Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SF recap

I had a great time in the bay area last weekend. I had the chance to pack in lots of visual interest and wide-ranging conversations in the few days I was there. To top it off, I even got three seats to myself on the redeye back to NY. The only unfortunate thing is that I did not bring my very good digital SLR camera and relied on a point and shoot that did not give me many usable photos. Fortunately the galleries I visited both have excellent websites that are always updated with many photos from all of their artists.

The opening was very nice and I got to see their larger space. It is possibly the largest jewelry and metalsmithing gallery that I have been in. I had the opportunity to meet some of the local artists that had come for the opening. I also really enjoyed meeting Elizabeth and Mike, co-owners of the gallery. They were extremely hospitable to me during my visit, which I really appreciated!

I have poured over the book by Lark called 500 Earrings. Many of my favorites were in the show and I delighted in seeing the earrings in person. It came as somewhat of a surprise to see that many of the earrings were much larger or smaller than I had imagined. For example, the earrings on the card, by Beate Klockmann, were much larger than I expected. The outside of the spheres also had an interesting texture that resembled cast iron that I hadn't detected in the photo.

The earrings below, by Rebecca Hannon were one of my favorites in the book, and also one of my favorites in the show. I tried them on, and the rainbow refractions from the CD "gems" added a life to the design that can't come across in the photos. Her use of recycled objects in the context of a classic earring shape is very appealing to me.

Rebecca Hannon earrings back view
Rebecca Hannon earring front view
Velvet da Vinci also shows sculpture and metalwork. The artist Diane Komater is showing her wire sculptures concurrently with the Earrings show. Her work has several levels of viewing, with the distant view giving a strong linear impression, but then you move in closer, and there are many tiny details that reveal themselves.

Sculpture by Diane Komater

Another featured sculptor at the gallery is Thomas Hill. He is currently making a variety of bird sculptures and here is one of them surveying the scene from the window of the gallery.

Thomas Hill sculpture

Revere Academy

Alan Revere was the juror for the 500 Earrings book and he owns a jewelry school in San Francisco. After meeting him at the opening, he invited me to come to his school to talk to some of the students there. His school is one of the only places in the US that offers a comprehensive training in the technical skills that are needed to work at the bench. Students have diverse goals; working at a jewelry store in the workshop, designing and making their own line, etc. I enjoyed the chance to look at the school and talk with the staff there, particularly Christine Dhein and Ronda Coryell.

Revere has all sorts of programs that are detailed on their website. I really liked this wall display of sample projects from all of their classes.

I also stopped at the Asian Art Museum and saw, specifically, the Stylized Sculpture show, which features contemporary Japanese fashion.

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Polyester and cotton with metal rods

The exhibition was unusual in that they decided to forgo the usual label system. The mannequins were set in a dimly lit room with small halos of light around each one. it was only after I had carefully looked at each garment in turn that I realized that there was a brochure that detailed the designer and materials of each garment. After having absorbed the exhibit visually, the written material really did provide a whole other layer of meaning. That is really the way it is supposed to be, but how often do we (as hard as I try to resist, this includes me), walk up to a work on display and zoom in right away on the label.

I also love the way they have displayed their carved stone collection at the Asian Art Museum. Many pieces are hung on a plexiglas wall in the middle of the gallery, so that you can see the carvings from both sides. The inclusion of Bhutanese art and textiles is also a plus. I haven't seen that anywhere else. And of course, I would pretty much like to have their entire bookshop on my personal bookshelf!

1 comment:

LaVern David Thompson said...

How's Business ?

Check out ldtartstudio.blogspot.com