Category Archives: Art Festivals

“Morbid Curiosity”–A Chicago Cultural Center Exhibit

The Chicago Cultural Center opened a very unique and intense art exhibit in January called “Morbid Curiosity.” The exhibit is truly unique because it showcases the work not of a singular artist, but of a collector. The art exhibit is extremely intense because its theme is death.

Richard Harris has spent twelve years collecting pieces of art that convey the many themes of death. The Chicago Cultural Center has over 1,000 of Harris’s pieces on display–they include artifacts, photographs, and decorative objects.

Surprisingly, this is only a portion of the pieces that Harris has collected over the years. His entire collection of death-related art totals more than 1,500 pieces. The museum’s curators, alongside Harris, created a replica of the Cultural Center in order to choose which pieces should be included and how they should be exhibited. Several practice runs led to the many-roomed “Morbid Curiosity” exhibit.

The goal of the exhibit is to address the many facets of death. One entire section of the Chicago Cultural Center is devoted to Mexico’s Day of the Dead. This portion of the exhibit contains a funeral procession of death-related artwork including altar paintings, drawings, and photography.

Another room offers a religious perspective on death. Christian and Catholic artwork provides a foundation on which to examine the common fate we all share in our relationship with death. Artistic images are used to relate the concept of death to the individual.

One room in the Chicago Cultural Center has been affectionately dubbed “the war room” and contains pieces of art that reflect the toll that human action, particularly war, can have on human life.

The exhibit also includes a 13 foot chandelier made of 3,000 plaster bones, 50 photographs, dozens of skulls, real and artistic representations, and Japanese pieces of art made from bone.

Be warned–this exhibit is not for the squeamish. However, “Morbid Curiosity” is perhaps the most suitable name for this exhibit. After all, death may very well be the single thing we all have in common. Richard Harris, along with the Chicago Cultural Center, has afforded us the opportunity to examine how different cultures, religions, and individual actions relate to death. The exhibit ends in July.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-0126-museums-morbid-20120125,0,7002015.story

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Art Alive

If you’ve never been to the San Diego Museum of Art for their yearly event, Art Alive, this is the year you should participate. The San Diego Museum of Art challenges floral designers to make the artistic masterpieces housed in their museum come alive through their floral interpretations. This four day event, beginning April 12 and ending on April 15, will fill the museum with thousands of flowers and, hopefully, thousands of visitors. The pictures in this blog post are examples of what you can expect to see at Art Alive.

Floral designers of all levels, from amateur to professional, gather at the museum to create floral sculptures that mimic famous pieces of art. The sculptures of flower arrangements depict images painted on canvas, from portraits to landscapes. Throughout the four day-long festivities, these living floral arrangements will be placed beside the famous pieces of art they are interpreting.

The museum’s masterpieces truly come alive as they are interpreted by these creative floral designers. You will be surprised and delighted to see how imagination comes alive when flowers meet with paint. The floral designers make use of light, color, and structural ingenuity to make these canvas paintings take on a new dimension. Art Alive celebrates artistic masterpieces of all types.

The four day-long event will be packed with activities. The event begins with an opening celebration on April 12 and includes a dinner for guests and a sneak peek at the Art Alive floral designs with their painted counterparts. The exhibition is open to the public beginning April 13. The Art Alive exhibition will also included fun events for children and families. These events will be geared towards the idea that art is alive.

Flowers After Hours is another nighttime event in which guests can peruse the floral art exhibit while sampling tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Behind the scenes, these floral designers are competing hard to create their own artistic masterpieces inspired by the famous works located at the San Diego Museum of Art.

If you plan on visiting the Art Alive exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art, be prepared to pay an entry fee. Rest assured that this fee is going to a good cause–Art Alive is one of the museum’s greatest fundraising events. The proceeds will go towards special exhibitions, educational outreach programs, and art conservation projects.

Can you imagine a more perfect way to usher in Spring?

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How Color Can Transform Space www.segmation.com

Street Painting in Washington, DC

Look around you. The buildings, the streets, the trees – they all look pretty much the same, day after day, don’t they? So much so, that you probably got to the point where you don’t really notice your surroundings anymore, other than to get from Point A to Point B, or to admire an occasional flower or sunset.

What would happen if someone painted multicolored stripes across the street you take every day to work? Imagine how much that would change your perception of the street and alter your day to day reality. Color has the power to lift you into another world, and take you beyond the ordinary. Many artists are utilizing this power to transform our everyday surroundings so that we see our own familiar spaces in a new light.

Here are three examples of how color can transform space:

  • In the image above, artist Mokha Laget, in conjuction with the Corcoran and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, recreated a striped street painting that she originally created 20 years earlier on 8th St. NW in downtown Washington DC. The painted stripes are an homage to former Corcoran professor and noted color field artist, Gene Davis, who died of a heart attack in 1985. The bright colors enliven the street, bringing a sense of wonder and whimsicality to the US capital.
  • Rio de Janeiro, capital of Brazil, is a city with striking disparities between the rich and the poor. Twenty percent of Rio’s inhabitants live in densely populated favelas that crowd the hillsides overlooking the capital’s more wealthy residents. The ‘O Morro’ Favela Painting project is an attempt to bring color and culture to the impoverished community, injecting vitality and pride into an otherwise depressed area rife with social issues. The Favela Project is employing favela residents to paint their houses in specific, carefully-designed patterns that when finished, will be a display of beauty and color visible from the center of Rio.
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude, famous for “wrapping” buildings, bridges and entire islands, once again soared into the spotlight in 2005 with their “Gates” installation in New York City’s Central Park. For 15 days in February 2005, 7,503 vinyl saffron-colored gates rising 5 meters into the air were displayed along Central Park’s pathways, stretching a combined length of 23 miles. Although the public had mixed feelings about the installation, the gates undeniably brought color to New York’s austere winter landscape.

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Tips for Making the Most of Your Next Art Museum Visit www.segmation.com

Visiting art museums can be both fun and daunting. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, contains over 2 million square feet of exhibition space – now that’s a lot of art! With room upon room filled with treasures from various civilizations, a visit to a major museum such as the Met is certainly an eye-opening, educational experience… but it can also be exhausting. Almost against your will, you’ll find that after awhile, your mind shuts down as you stare blankly at artwork after artwork.

Follow these tips to avoid that zombie-like state and glean the most from your visit to an art museum:

  • Study the museum map before you enter to familiarize yourself with everything the museum has to offer, then plan out a logical route that takes you through everything you want to see.
  • Don’t try to see everything at once. Prioritize your visit by planning to see the artwork you’re most interested in at the beginning of your museum visit, while your mind is still fresh.
  • Read the placards that explain what each exhibit and artwork is about. If you start to get burned out after awhile, don’t try to retain all the information. Just let your eyes skim over the information and absorb the key information. Look for artist, time period, medium, and location, if applicable.
  • Linger awhile in front of the pieces that most interest you, and contemplate why you like that particular piece. It is better to spend time examining the artwork you really enjoy, rather than to rush through rooms full of art that you really don’t care about.
  • If photographs are allowed, take photos of the pieces that most interest you. You should also photograph the title card of the piece, so that you can research the artist and artwork later.
  • Carry a sketchbook with you to jot down notes, ideas, impressions, and sketches of artwork that catches your eye. If photographs are not allowed, a sketchbook can be a useful substitute.
  • If you need a break, sit down in the museum cafe and rest your eyes for awhile. Fresh air can help if you’re feeling burned out, but if you leave the museum to step outside, make sure it is okay for you to re-enter without having to pay the entry fee again.

Follow these tips and your next trip to an art museum will leave you happily saturated with creative inspiration!

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All About Yellow Pigments www.segmation.com

Yellow is one of the three primary colors, which means it is often used in painting – from capturing the warm rays of a golden sun, to a field full of sunflowers, to the flickering flames of fire. Here is an overview of some of the most common yellow pigments you’ll use when painting:

Yellow Ochre (sometimes called Mars Yellow) is a non-toxic natural clay pigment. In fact, it is one of the oldest pigments in the world, used by our prehistoric ancestors. Yellow Ochre has a tan, sandy appearance.

Naples Yellow was once made from toxic synthetic pigments that were used abundantly by the Old Masters, but today’s version is made from modern, non-toxic substances. Naples Yellow usually has a light, pale appearance.

Cadmium Yellow is another historically toxic pigment (Cadmium Sulfide) that was used by artists in the late 19th century. It now contains a non-toxic replacement (usually Azo pigments), but is still called Cadmium Yellow. Cadmium Yellow has a very bright yellow appearance.

Azo Yellow (also called Hansa Yellow) is a dye-based synthetic pigment invented in the early 20th century. Azo Yellow is usually bright but it is also pale and translucent compared to Cadmium Yellow.

Each of these yellow pigments adds something different to your palette. If you are painting a still life, landscape or portrait that requires the use of yellow, consider the different properties of these yellows to decide which one (or more) would work best for what you need.

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Putting Together an Artist’s Packet

If your dream is to show your artwork in a gallery, one of the most common ways to get your foot in the door is to “wow” them with your artist’s packet.

What is an artist’s packet?

An artist’s packet is the first thing that most galleries will see when you approach them with your work. Most gallery owners are far too busy to let artists drop by and show off their portfolios, so instead they require hopeful artists to send an informative artist’s packet through the mail. This allows them the chance to look through your artwork and relevant information at their own pace.

Before you mail off your artist packet to every gallery in your city, first you should conduct due diligence by either researching the art galleries in person or online. Look at the type of art they show; would your work fit in with the styles and subjects they show? If so, call the gallery or check their website to see if they accept submissions. If they do, you’re good to go.

An artist’s packet is basically your way of “introducing” yourself to a gallery owner and/or curator. Be sure to include:

  • Reproductions of your art – In the old days, it was the norm for artists to send slides to galleries. These days, while some galleries may still prefer slides, many galleries now prefer CDs or inexpensive, but true-to-life, print-outs. You can call the gallery or check their website to see which format they prefer. In any case, make sure you take high-quality scans or photographs of your artwork so that the gallery owner can get a strong feel for what your work looks like.
  • CV or resume – Your CV or resume really shows the what, where, and when of your art career thus far. You should include things like: education, previous exhibitions (such as gallery or museum showings, art festivals, etc), previous and current gallery affiliations, major commissions, works sold or notable private collections, awards and grants, magazine and newspaper mentions, interviews and reviews, workshops you’ve led, artist-in-residence programs you have participated in, and any other art-related accomplishments.
  • Press Clippings – If your work has been reviewed by the press, include photocopies of those reviews.
  • Artist Statement – The artist statement explains the “why” and “how” of your work. It should answer questions like: What are you trying to express? What does the viewer need to know when he/she looks at your work, in order to understand it correctly? The artist statement should never be more than 1 page in length. Remember that gallery owners are busy people – they wouldn’t have time to read more than a page!
  • Bio – Your bio should also not be more than 1 page in length; usually a paragraph will suffice. Your bio will be more casual than the artist statement, letting the gallery owner know who you are and what makes you unique.
  • Business card – A business card shows that you are professional, so be sure to include a high-quality business card in your packet.
  • A letter of introduction – When you put your artist packet together, put the letter of introduction on top of everything else. Address the letter to the gallery owner by name. (If you don’t know the person’s name, call to find out.) Explain to him or her how you first heard of their gallery and tell them why you feel your art would be a good fit. Again, keep your letter of introduction short and sweet – it should fit easily on 1 page.
  • SASE – If you want your materials returned, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

After you send off your artist packet, you can relax and paint! It is polite to give them a follow-up call a week later to make sure they received the packet, but try not to be pushy. Gallery owners are busy people and they will review your work in their own time.

Good luck!
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Jan Steen Dutch Genre Painter by www.segmation.com!

 Jan Steen  Dutch Genre Painter by Segmation

 Jan Steen  Dutch Genre Painter by Segmation

Jan Steen Dutch Genre Painter Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC by Segmation (see more details here)

Jan Steen (c. 1626 – 1679) was a Dutch genre painter of the Dutch Golden Age. His painting of Dutch family life, celebrations, and outdoor scenes are both lively and humorous. He also painted numerous portraits, religious, and historical scenes. In 1672 when the art market collapsed, Jan opened a tavern. Our pattern set includes many of his most recognized pieces including “Self Portrait”, “The Merry Family”, “The Sick Woman”, “The Doctor’s Visit”, “The Dancing Couple”, “The Fest of St. Nicholas”, “The World Upside Down”, “The Lovesick Woman”, and “The Picnic”.

This set contains 24 paintable patterns.

When these patterns are completely colored, the resulting image has a very strong resemblance to the original artwork. These vibrant and colorful pieces of art are truly engaging and exciting for you to paint, and especially a joy to look at when completed.
With over 2800 available patterns from an ever growing collection of artistic themes, SegPlay® PC will provide you with hours upon hours of painting fun and entertainment. SegPlay® PC Splash Screen With SegPlay® PC as an Art Appreciation teaching tool, students can memorize famous works of art, color by color. Children can truly touch images related to a wide assortment of subjects. As a parent or educator, the learning possibilities stretch as far as your image-ination!

SegPlay® PC is in the computer software category known as “casual gaming”. While it provides a pleasurable and creative escape from mundane computer activities, the program is simple to use and new players can begin the painting function immediately, with just a few, intuitive tools. However, the program also offers rich features with challenging and engaging options, so it expands with each user, whether they seek an education in art appreciation or just want to enjoy a creative gaming challenge.

With a dynamic and clear user interface and fun sound effects, the program’s gaming features compliment the artistic benefits and engage users at all levels. For a gaming challenge, users can race against a timer to complete patterns in a given timeframe at levels from Easy to Experienced and Expert. Users can also employ speed-painting tools, monitor the mistake counter, and track the number of remaining pieces and colors to increase the program’s challenging and addictive potential.

Jan Steen Dutch Genre Painter from Segmation

Have fun and relax with beautiful online painting art. So fun and easy to use with no mess but just a mouse!

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Promote Your Art Through an Open Studio

A great way to drum up interest in your art is to hold an open studio. Instead of waiting for your art to get accepted into a gallery, why not turn your work space into a temporary showing space? Remember that most art lovers enjoy spending time in artists’ studios because it allows them an inside peek into the process behind the art.

Here are several tips for hosting a successful open studio:

  • Send invitations to local gallery owners, local art critics, and anyone you think may be a patron of your art. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family also, because they will help stir up conversation about your art amongst the other attendees, and their enthusiasm will be infectious.
  • Make sure your studio is neat and presentable, but you don’t need to go overboard. People will expect paint splatters in an artist’s studio! You should leave some of your art materials (paints, brushes, palettes, etc) in their natural positions, so that your tidied studio still retains the essence of your creative energy – but make sure all toxic chemicals are safely stored away.
  • Arrange your artwork in an organized display around your art space. Add title cards underneath them with your name, the title of the work, and the price, if it is for sale. It is also a good idea to display one or more works-in-progress, because many people will be interested in seeing the evolution of an artist’s work.
  • Have plenty of business cards available. A guestbook is also a good idea for adding to your mailing list.
  • Consider selling prints of your art for people on a budget. You could also sell other low-cost items with your art on them, such as cards, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
  • If your art space is big enough for people to linger, offer a plate of hors d’oeuvre. If your budget allows, offer your guests wine or other drinks.
  • To set the ambience, select appropriate music to accompany your open studio – but play the music softly. It’s important that your guests are able to hear you and vice versa.
  • Once the doors are open, socialize. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you don’t know. You’ll be asked a lot of questions by people who want to know more about you and your art, so be mentally prepared. Your open studio is an opportunity for networking, so make the most of it.
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Art Basel with Lois Ostrov Abstract Artist!

Lois Ostrov

Lois Ostrov

Lois Ostrov Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

A beautiful collection of 22 tropical and abstract artworks by Lois Ostrov, an award winning water color and water media artist living in the Miami, Florida area. You’ll find oranges, sailboats, hibiscus and poppy flowers as well as a lighthouse, and toucan in this warm blend of South Floridian themed collection.

Lois Ostrov, originally from Ohio, taught for 25 years before choosing South Florida as the physical place to further develop her art.

Curious about textiles, her first fine art medium, she began to research other techniques of the fine arts. Ostrov found that painting, with collage added, provides the greatest opportunity to express ideas and thoughts in a personal and creative way.

As an artist, selection of colors and mediums depends on the atmosphere and surroundings of the places to choose to paint. Paint in a series. The colors, forms, and textures depicted in each series are quite different. The spirituality one feels about a place is an integral part and helps develop a personal relationship with the environment when painting.

Vision for work is acquired from photo references taken on locations from around the world. The right blend of photographs enhances feelings about a place and allows the construction of a perfect painting!

Ostrov invites the viewer to enjoy, analyze, and question her work.

Ostrov paintings have won awards and placed in juried shows including: Art Serve Broward County, Artists’ Eye Fine Art Gallery, Art Expressions Gallery Artists Haven Gallery, Broward Art Guild, Broward Library Gallery 6, Coral Springs Museum, Cornell Museum of Art, Delray Museum Art School, Florida Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Gold Coast Watercolor Society, Hollywood Art Guild, Miami Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Palm Beach Watercolor Society, Parker Playhouse, Plantation Art Guild and in private and commercial collections.

In the Press: April 2006 Edition of Palette Magazine, April, 2006– Edition of Watercolor Magic , August, 2003–City Link, December, 2002–City Link

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