Friday, January 9, 2015

Artist of the Year - An Exhibition Filled Weekend!

What better way to end my reign then to see it go to my friend and fellow artist, Jan Geyer, The Gargiulo Art Foundation's Artist of the Year 2014. After several months of experimentation in the abstract, Jan is now a figurative painter with expressionist tones and over the past year has been working diligently at her craft and exploring new directions. First there was the Harold Garde Strappo print making workshop. We took this one together but it was Jan that truly fell in love with this Garde invented print-pulling-off-glass process and then developed it in a way that uniquely showcases her deft drawing skills. Then there was the award of a 4-week artist residency at the renowned Vermont Studio Center this past August. It was here that she fell back in love with painting the figure and came back inspired and worked diligently over the Fall finishing an expansive and impressive body of more than forty new figurative works. These will all be on display at two exhibitions / awards shows this weekend. Here's the rundown, and you'll want to attend them all:

Tonight, Friday, Jan. 9th, 6 - 9PM
The weekend tips off when the Gargiulo Art Foundation hosts the Artist of the Year Exhibition at Salvo Art Project's gallery at NatureScapes Nursery (313 Old Brick Rd off Rt 100 just two streets west of Belle Terre).  Salvo's tall ceilings and studio-surround atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to experience about a dozen of her fresh figurative paintings and Strappo prints. It is also a great place to relax on a Friday evening with friends and enjoy the art and open studios of other local artists. Add to this the live music in doors and the gardens of NatureScapes outdoors where you can sit next to a warming fire-pit and enjoy a glass of wine under the night sky and it all makes for a memorable evening.

Plus, many of the former Gargiulo Artist of the Year recipients will be there - Linda Solomon, JJ Graham, Weldon Ryan, myself, Peter Cerreta, Jane Sbordone and Edson Beckett - and it's a great way to support the arts in our community as a portion of all sales of Jan's work goes towards the Gargiulo Art Foundation's Art in Public Places program here in Palm Coast. And Salvo asks for a $10 donation at the door to support funding improvements to this large structure currently housing studios for eleven local artists. The celebration kicks off at 6pm.

Saturday, Jan. 10th, 6 - 9PM
Then on Saturday Geyer opens her expansive Studio at City Marketplace (located next to the Walmart plaza) allowing us to experience an intimate look at her work space and process as well as nearly thirty additional new works, some of which were born during her awarded four-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center this past August. Jan's studio is on the balcony level of City Marketplace, just a few doors down from the Flagler County Art League's Second Saturday community event. The mayor of Palm Coast will be on hand with Tom Gargiulo and Arlene Volpe for the award presentation. Her studio will be open from 6 - 9PM.

[Speaking of Tom Gargiulo and Arlene Volpe I continue to be amazed at the amount of hard work they continue to put into their Foundation's Art in Public Places within our community…even during a scary year of health issues...and naming one local artist as Artist of the Year helps bring attention to individual artists. I can tell you from my own personal experience that this one award, received last November, acted as a slingshot for my professional art career (and I can't thank them enough). ]

Jan's work is also part of a show which opens this Sunday at I AM ART/RACHEL & FRIENDS Gallery in Hammock Beach called "SHE: The Figurative Feminine" - celebrating work by and of women. This show opens Sunday, Jan 11th, 4 - 7PM. The exhibition also features works by local artist Diana Gilson and Kate Miller and includes several resulting works by students of Kate's figurative class held there. The gallery is located at the "Pink" building on A1A north, next to 386 Restaurant. This "Sunday Soiree" event kicks off at 4pm. 

Hope to see you at one or all of these events this weekend!