Vernissage 101: Professional Practice

Jordan Acosta, left, sold two paintings. Vernissage Assistant, Sami Woolhiser (in red dress) assists in preparing the works for the patrons to take with them.

By Ana Gardiner, B.F.A painting student, SCAD-Atlanta

For many students, the Vernissage was their first exhibition and also their first international show. The Exposition des Étudiants de SCAD Lacoste 2012 had a lot to offer. The student coordinators gained a wealth of knowledge in hanging and curating a show.

Personally, this exhibition has made me realize that I need to work harder at being a better artist. Interactions between the public and the artist are very important and it shows how professionalism can make or break a sale. Having business cards and being able to talk about your artwork shows how invested you are in your work and also why others should also be invested in you.

Moreover, the artist’s attire and posture make a difference. I noticed that people were more talkative toward me when I had good posture than when I showed that I was tired and cold. I found out that there is a tricky balance between being attentive and giving the viewer their space rather than “hovering”.

“I really enjoyed watching the patrons and seeing how they reacted to each work and which ones they were drawn to the most.” ~Julie Miller

Sujay Shah, right, sold two paintings. Both he and Ruth Ribeaucourt, his patron, are very happy!

For several, the most challenging aspect of this exhibit was that it was international. Although most of the guests spoke English, communication was strained. There was an overall hesitation when it came to any conversation. Although the students had a friendly attitude and even knew a few phrases in French, answering specific questions such as clarifying if there was just one artist in the room or more became confusing at times.

Holistically, the show went very smoothly—even the staff commented on how successful the show was.

“‎3145 euros of sale in one day! This is the best we ever had for a Fall quarter! Congratulations!” ~Cédric Maros

Photos by Sandra Reed


Building Windows

By Ana Gardiner, B.F.A. Painting SCAD Atlanta

I am in a perpetually heightened state of awareness when it comes to perceiving the world. By observing the sounds, colors, and patterns surrounding me, I am able to create a certain composition or setting for my paintings. I address each painting with a different amount of sensitivity based on what created the composition. Although I am using nature as a foundation, body language and the voices of those around me have also–unexpectedly-impacted my work. My reliance on the visual world derives from my synesthesia. This perceptual condition is defined by its symptoms of mixed sensations. For me, I hear color. From a young age I have watched and learned from the unspoken language revealed through movements and undulating colors and shapes heard from the tone and pauses in each voice

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As shown above, each layer of paint has its own characteristics due to a unique set of influences. For example, the first window painting is based largely off landscape whereas the second pertains more closely to the colors and shapes generated from listening to my classmates. For the first painting shown, I painted after stretching the canvas into the window. For the second, I have installed the windows but I am painting first before cutting out the windows.

I hope to engage the viewer more intimately by giving them a better understanding of my process and how these windows come to exist. As each painting develops, the windows purpose will become more apparent.