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


Mission Complete: Operation Vernissage

By Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A painting student, SCAD Atlanta

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November, has been busy for students, faculty and especially staff members at SCAD Lacoste. This week’s mission was our student Exposition/Vernissage. The exposition, is our end of the quarter exhibition, where students are given the opportunity to showcase their artworks done throughout the quarter. The exhibition would not have been possible without the hard and dedicated service from our staff members. To make you aware of one of their tedious tasks, student’s artists statements and titles for their works were translated into the French. This effort was a joint project, credited primarily to Cedric Maros, coordinator of exhibitions and special events, and Hélène Soalhat, our administrative manager.

From today’s turnout, the hours of work from our staff members really paid off. Despite the chilly and grey afternoon, natives of Lacoste as well as visitors from across the globe and Provence came out to support the rich history of the Student Exposition/Vernissage. 

The Exposition/Vernissage was a treat for the students. It was a time of relaxation and fun from all of the hard and tedious work throughout the fall quarter. As a graduate student, Lacoste has been a grand time. Farewell Lacoste!

Photos credited by Charles “Chuck” Parham

The Turner Experience at the Tate Britain

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Several students traveled from Lacoste to London over a weekend in hopes to view Turner paintings.  The Tate Britain devoted an entire wing of the museum to the master artist. When walking down the corridor to the Turner collection, my eye meets his self-portrait that is on display at the end of the hallway. When I was standing in one of the ten galleries that housed his paintings, I knew that moment became sentimental because I was standing in a room filled with the masterworks of an artist who greatly influences my work. Continue reading

Dan Adel’s Studio

By Jordan Acosta, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

This past Saturday, November 10, the Intermediate Painting students received the opportunity to visit Dan Adel’s studio in Lacoste. Dan is a classical painter who creates very dynamic paintings of drapery cast over sculpture. He creates natural depth that goes beyond the surface of the paintings. He shared with the students his experiences of being a professional artist and the journey that led up to the artist he is today. His journey began as a portrait artist as well as a character illustrator. His illustrations have been featured in and on the cover of many US magazines. For instance, in 2004, Dan’s portrait of the Man of the Year was featured on the cover of Times magazine. He has been represented by Arcadia Fine Art in SoHo, New York, NY since 2001.

Dan encourages us as young artists to practice classical rendering but at the same time not to get stuck in technique. We discussed how Dali is a great example for young artists to admire, for Dali achieved the balance between classical rendering and creativity. It is easy for artists to go to one extreme, either lost in the realm of creativity or be stuck in technique of the classical era.

We were able to see how Dan set up his studio to paint and observe how to clean brushes. Overall, Dan was very encouraging and it was helpful to listen to his tips on how to become a successful artist.

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Photo credit: Sandra Reed

Wrapping Up the Quarter

By Julie Ferris. B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

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My time here in Lacoste has been incredible to say the least! I have learned so much over the past seven weeks, and as this is the last week of my college career I find myself encountering bittersweet emotions as things come to an end. When classes first began I was excitedly anticipating what the weeks ahead would bring and as I look back, those weeks far outweighed my expectations. Thankfully, I could focus more intently because I was enrolled in only two classes this quarter. The Landscape Painting and Treasures of Provence courses really worked hand in hand as I travelled around the area for Treasures of Provence, which in turn helped me to learn more about the land Iwas painting and studying in my landscape class. My heart truly gravitated towards the Landscape class though, as my love is for painting, and I was surprised to see how I developed in the way I perceived the land around me. At first, I was overwhelmed because I felt the need to paint everything around me exactly how I saw it. I became frustrated by this, as it was an impossible task to take on, and there was no way I could do it. So I began to take smaller steps and focused on the things that can really make or break a Landscape painting like the palette choice, mark making decisions, color placement, and composition. I discovered that even a seemingly boring and uninteresting view could be made beautiful by making the right compositional decisions and creating a certain feel or mood within the piece. It was hard for me to step out of my box of limitations that I subconsciously make for myself, but as I purposely made decisions and tried new things, I continued to learn from my mistakes and successes.

In my Landscape painting class I focused on trying to paint in a range of different styles as well as painting to evoke certain moods and feelings about a place. Since my main focus as an artist is to paint works related to the equine, I explored different possibilities to incorporate my focus into some of my landscape pieces.  In one sense, it was not very difficult because horses are usually found outside in some sort of landscape, but in another sense, very difficult because I strive to paint horses in a different perspective than what is typical. My goal is not to justpaint a horse into a landscape because I like them and think they are beautiful, but to really dissect other options and ways to portray the horse in its natural landscape that is different than the commonly found kitschy paintings of horses. One of the ways I do this is by incorporating an element of humor in the piece, which I decided to use in some of the horse paintings I worked on here in Lacoste. To find my models, I searched out a local barn that I ended up riding at a few times located in Bonnieux. It is called Ecurie de Meille and operated by Aurélien and Audrey Silvestre. If possible, I make a conscious effort to paint horses that I have connections with somehow. I was pleased that I had the opportunity to spend some time and make personal connections with these horses before I painted them. As an artist, I am always more connected to my paintings when I truly know the subjects that inspire me.


Photo credits: Julie Ferris

Cézanne’s Atelier and Mt. Ste. Victoire

Our trip to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-enProvence was short and sweet. The painters started their journey up the mountain walking the much-celebrated footpath Paul Cézanne used to hike up to paint Mt. Ste. Victoire en plein air. Student Kate Marie Phillips said she “really enjoyed walking up there as a group of student artists. It was really exciting to look through another Artists eyes with a group of people all interested in getting more in touch with Cézanne’s inspiration and seeing it first hand rather than through his paintings.” Cézanne produced 44 oil paintings and about 43 watercolors of Mt. Ste. Victoire.

As soon as we reached the top, the students had to quickly run back down to make in time to tour the studio. We hustled down in the rain and Professor Reed encouraged us with a little prize for whoever got down first… which I believe went to Aaron Edwards. Continue reading

The Bee Keeper: Faculty Presentation by Allen Peterson

On Wednesday, November 7, Allen Peterson, professor of sculpture, ended the faculty presentation series with his talk at Maison Forte.

By Kate Phillips, BFA Painting, BFA Sculpture, SCAD Atlanta

We are all little bees, in a way, each performing a dance to the rhythm of life, expressed Professor Allen Peterson on his ideas and motivation for his artwork. He explains that we each are all responsible to the community of life, just like a honey bee is necessary to the pollination of crops, construction of its hive, and protection of its queen. Prof. Peterson was honest in expressing that he knows he can’t change the whole world overnight, but he has hopes to reinvigorate a sense of community and responsibility in people utilizing bees as his artistic metaphor.

Through his extensive iron-working abilities, he has created works utilizing the hexagon structure of beehives in conjunction with the bee dance to press paper and create installations. Also, he has performed live iron pours for choreographed dances to use newly-poured glowing bees. Further, implementing beeswax busts and the hard work of real life bees, Prof. Peterson shows his interest in a relationship with bees beyond the metaphor. In the meantime, when he is not directly working on his pieces or teaching at SCAD, he cares for a hive of approximately 40,000 bees along with raising two little girls — with the help of his wife — in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Sandra Reed

The Magnificent Versailles

By Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A Painting Student, SCAD Atlanta

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On Saturday, November 3, 2012, I visited the palace of Versailles along with my fellow graduate student, Kimberly Bates. Versailles is a mega palace located in the suburbs of Paris. When we approached the palace for the first time, it was explosive!!! From all of my years of studying about the Versailles palace in art history, being in front of it was an experience. When I entered through the gates in the front of the palace, I became a sponge, absorbing what I could. On the exterior, the size of the palace is an astounding 520,000 to 550,000 square feet and with the garden included it is 87,728,720 square feet!!! The garden is a small city in itself. Continue reading

Musée de l’Orangerie; a “peaceful haven” of Paris

By Ann Haley, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

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I visited the Musée de l’Orangerie in the late afternoon of Friday, November 2, 2012. It was a wonderful, calming way to end the day after a somewhat mind-draining day at the Louvre. This was a smaller museum located just off of the River Seine in the Jardin des Tuileries that many painting students visited during the evening of our last full day in Paris. The Musée de l’Orangerie was one of my favorite museums that I visited on our trip (tied with the Pompidou!), and I think part of why I loved it so much was the timing at which that I went there. Being the last museum that I went to, it was a pleasant way to end my trip–some museums have so much artwork that it can be very overwhelming at times, but the Musée de l’Orangerie was simple, yet still had a lot of amazing work. My two favorite exhibits in the museum were Claude Monet’s and Chaïm Soutine’s.

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My little snippet of the Pompidou

By Sujay Shah, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

“It was nice to go to the Centre Pompidou after the D’Orsay in the same day, you know, because the Pompidou is like the grandchild of the D’Orsay.”- Ann Haley

The Pompidou is electric and striking especially at night because the steel wire exoskeleton is backlit by the interior lights. A zig-zag tube runs along its frontal side that houses escalators to transport guests from one level to another. The atrium of the Pompidou looks like a mash up of a giant airport terminal, a game arcade, and a cinema lobby. The atmosphere felt very informal and helped us all to comfortably enjoy the artwork during our class visit on Thursday night, November 1, 2012. Continue reading