Vernissage Follow Up

My, the local papers were good to us! Thank you, Cedric, for getting the word out to the photographers and journalists at all stages of the vernissage process.

In the photo at top, student photographers, sculptors, and a couple of painters (Ann Haley, second from left) and Julie Miller (second from right) are seen in Studio 2 in front of Sami Woolhiser’s final piece from her sculpture installation course.

In the lower right photo, Ana Gardiner (in red jacket) is seen with peers, near to a table in Olivier 3 that includes her sustained en plein air painting of the Maison Basse courtyard, a work that found a home during the vernissage.

Lacoste School of the Arts – the Vernissage is here!

The Vernissage is from 2 – 7 pm on Saturday, November 17 with the reception from 5 – 7 pm. The students are in their final hours of preparation. Sami Woolhiser and Caroline Hepler-Smith are the Vernissage assistants for painting. They have coordinated the work flow and a mountain of information with timeliness and clarity, and the painting students have answered the call for assistance reliably showing up for their shifts.

The painting students will exhibit work from their painting courses and from other courses, such as Travel Portfolio and Installation, in a variety of the spaces at Lacoste. There are over 600 works that will be on view (there are 44 photographers here along with the 20 painters and a goodly number of sculptors and other majors). For anyone who has taught or studied here, you will recognized that additional space was needed to accommodate this profusion. Of note the back cave of the printmaking space has been outfitted with wires on the two main walls and one side wall, and it has become a show-case space, with a vaulted ceiling of more than 20 feet. Also, one wall of the boutique has been turned over for the display of small works, such as panoramic sky paintings, and Studio 3 is full. Here is 10% of the work that will be exhibited.

And of course, in classic Lacoste fashion, Rue St. Trophime and Rue du Four become outdoor walking galleries. Works by Sean Muldrow and other painters are strategically positioned to pull the viewers from one venue to another, and the students will be out in force for their one-day showing to greet guests and help them to discover every square inch of art that is to be seen.

We all wish that you were all here.

All photo documentation created by Kayla Cloonan, BFA Painting, SCAD Savannah

Vernissage How-To

Seven painting students applied for two Vernissage Assistant roles in painting. Sami Woolhiser, from Landscape Painting, and Carolyn Hepler-Smith, from Advanced Painting, were selected. Throughout the week preceding the exhibition (in addition to preparing their own work), they attended to a variety of responsibilities, prepared information, communicated needs, delegated duties, and problem-solved a variety of logistical factors. Their organizational abilities, good eye for placement, people skills, and skills with hand tools ensured that the painting students knew what they needed to do when.

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In the early part of the week, Sami and Hepler masterminded the submission of label information and photographs of work to be exhibited, created a schedule of volunteers, and measured all exhibition spaces that were designated for the exhibition of paintings. Throughout the process, the guiding rule was, “Everyone helps” and the spirit of camraderie spurred many painting students to help in ways that they didn’t know would be necessary or even, that they had the requisite skills. Aaron Edwards learned to bend and crimp metal when he needed to fabricate hanging supports for his “Wolf” from flat metal rods. Tyler Giordano’s experience as a preparator resulted in professional results wherever he had a hand – precise and thoughtful installation. Emily Nelms, Mizuki Katakura, and Kate Phillips took charge of production and placement of labels, which was a very important task: if the labels are crooked, messy, or poorly placed, it would be like smeared lipstick on an otherwise well-put-together woman.

In preparing to install the work, one of the main considerations regarding which works would go where was determined by if the work needed to be on a white wall or if it would be shown to best advantage on one of the stone walls (or ‘antique’ walls, as Cedric says). He provided floor plans of each space and Hepler calculated that of approximately 180 linear meters, 120 were in spaces with white walls, and 60 were in spaces with antique walls. She made a sample layout on paper to make sure that key works by every painter could find an attractive space. As the plan developed, Cedric proposed solutions based on his experience with seven prior Vernissages. Paintings were to be exhibited in nine distinctly different exhibition spaces, some small and intimate such as Olivier 3, and others grand and imposing, such as the vaulted back gallery of the printmaking studios. Additionally, paintings were hung on existing nails in the antique walls of the village streets. (It turned out that these were prime places because guests could view the work passively. In more than one instance, a painting in the street helped a student to sell a painting that was on exhibit in one of the caves.) Ten paintings were exhibited on easels around the village to visually pull guests from one exhibition area to another. Throughout the entire process, Cedric Maros made suggestions and provided the means to help realize the very best possible Vernissage. For instance, this year he rented 20 metal grids to provide additional places to display artwork. Every one of the grids was utilized.

Placing work for best effect of the overall exhibition took patience, flexibility, innovation, coordination, and in the end, physical labor. Sami and Hepler worked hand-in-hand to see the exhibition through, including de-installation on the following day, when everyone learned to give, barter, or trade their works as well as how to safely remove paintings from stretcher bars. With such a big group of painters this quarter, Cave 2 has become a well-stocked ‘stretcher bar’ cave: it’s possible that future painters in Lacoste won’t need to buy a single stretcher bar.

Thank you, Sami and Hepler, for the time and care that you put into the success of the exhibition for everyone.

Vernissage Promotion

Congratulations to Julie Ferris (B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah) and Melodie Allegre (B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah), who were selected to record a radio spot to promote the Fall 2012 Vernissage. To hear the promo, click here. (Note: the students used their best accents to address their audience in French.)

Also, congratulations to Charles Parham (M.F.A. Painting, SCAD Atlanta), whose improvisational drawing of a perch city was selected as the Vernissage postcard image. Postcards are being mailed far and wide, and today, the landscape students handed them out in Fontaine de Vaucluse and placed a poster there as well.

Halloween in Lacoste

By: Kimberly Bates, MFA Painting, SCAD Savannah

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The students of SCAD Lacoste again hosted Halloween festivities that are now becoming a French tradition in Provence. The streets of Lacoste were aligned with 500 visitors in various costumes.  “I thought Halloween was great. It was well coordinated by Cedric coupled with the high participation from students to interact with the locals. It was a perfect activity to take a break from our studies,” said Kate Phillips.  Continue reading

Why is French drawing so good?

Question: Why is French figure drawing so good?

Answer: Because French models are so good!

On Sunday afternoon, October 21, Florent posed in the Maison Basse studio for the second Open Model Session this term. The painting students and Maison Basse residents arrived in advance and cleared and cleaned the area under the skylight. When the drawing session got underway at 3:00 pm, Professor Deems and her life drawing students, joined by painting students Tyler Giordano and Kayla Cloonan, received a real treat. Florent, a professional artist’s model, shared his favorite poses and was also open to trying new poses. After three ten-minute poses, he settled into a long pose during which he held Sujay’s soccer ball under his chin as though he were about to heave an over-sized shot put.

When 30 minutes had passed, Florent said he was okay. At 45 minutes into the pose, I said it would be a good time to take a short break because we had 35 minutes remaining, and he said he was okay. In the end, Florent held a standing pose with torsion for 80 minutes. This allowed all of us to focus on subtle shifts such as changes caused by inhalation. It also meant that our concentration was unabated. If he could hold the pose, we could hold our focus. The session ended at 5:00 p.m.

All of this took placed under the most wonderful northern light. The life drawing students had the opportunity to complete their second long pose focusing on proportion; Kayla expanded her experimentation by using pruned branches as over-sized holders for her fine art brushes and adapted her exploration from landscape to the figure; and Tyler created a painted color study. Professor Deems sketched and so did I.

By Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting

Maison Basse Dedication

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This Saturday evening, October 6, was the grand opening of Maison Basse!  SCAD Lacoste was paid a visit by our President Paula Wallace as well as patrons who made it possible for us to have the incredible work space that we are now using. Throughout the week they took extra time to visit students and faculty in their studios for encouragement and collaboration. President Wallace’s presence was warmly welcomed by the students. “She was very approachable and enthusiastic about getting to know us and was interested in our goals while in Lacoste,” said one student with whom she spoke. Continue reading

Fall 2012 SCAD Lacoste Faculty Presentation Series schedule announced

Presentations will be made by the six faculty members who are teaching at SCAD Lacoste this fall. All faculty presentations will begin at 8 pm in Maison Forte, which is a presentation space above the student Skype lab on the upper terrace. Umbrellas and flashlights are recommended.

The schedule for the Fall 2012 Faculty Presentations is as follows:

Wed Sept 26   Tom Fischer, professor of photography, SCAD Savannah

Wed Oct 3   Josh Jalbert, professor of photography, SCAD Savannah

Wed Oct 10  Rebecca Trittel, professor of art history, SCAD Savannah

Wed Oct 17 – no presentation (most students and professors are on the first Paris trip)

Wed Oct 24  Sherran Deems, professor of foundation studies, SCAD Savannah

Mon Oct 29  Sandra Reed, professor of painting, SCAD Savannah

Wed Nov 7  Allen Peterson, professor of sculpture, SCAD Atlanta