Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Adventures of a gallery intern

Art 3 Gallery is home to the works of many artists - sculptors, painters, both traditional and abstract, glassblowers and more. Being an intern here means new work and new artists are always popping in. Studying art myself, it's thrilling to meet all the characters that visit. Last week, I accompanied Joni Taube, owner of Art 3, on a studio visit to several artists. After packing and repacking her car like a strange game of Tetris, we headed out.

Mike Wilson
 Our first stop was at the studio of Mike Wilson, where Mike and his two dogs, Otto and Scout, greeted us. His walls, covered with colorful paintings, and tables littered with brushes and vases of fake flowers, made the space feel very lived in and pleasant, much like Mike himself. He showed us his new project, 90 paintings of the hero Don Quixote in 90 days. Each was made in a cubist style, with vibrant colors and playful, surrealist settings that reflect the story. While Joni and Mike discussed pieces for Art 3’s spring show, I was able to roam Mike’s space and realized just how varied his work was. From realistic rustic landscapes, to industrial trains, to his cheeky pin-up series, and his more abstract geometric pieces, each piece is well composed and interesting in its own way.

Rosemary Boyle
 We then headed towards the studio of Rosemary Boyle. Her studio was large and filled with found objects and acrylic mediums. Her work was massive and graphic, using stripes and line to create quirky pinwheel patterns. Her found object sculptures are reminiscent of a modern interpretation of Tim Burton's style. If you were to scan the wall too quickly, you might get vertigo. Rosemary wasn’t in her gallery, so she and Joni spoke on the phone and after sending pictures back and forth of what pieces to take and what to leave, we made our choices and our time was done.
Our adventures continued with a visit to Suzanne Hodes. Her oil paintings were all large and rich in color. She enjoys painting loose cityscapes, with bright turquoises, yellows, and oranges. Her paintings look like watercolors, making her abstracted landscapes and images of water stand out from others I had seen. We brought a great assortment of pieces back to the gallery.

Janet Shapero's studio
 Joni and I went next to the studio of Janet Shapero. Her studio was by far the largest, with towering mesh columns and vibrant, saturated squares of color hanging on every wall and ceiling beam. Despite being filled with new projects, Janet’s studio was meticulously clean and organized. Modern stools were placed here and there, with an impeccably white kitchen set up, utensils as colorful as the art on her walls, and large glass bowls of licorice candy scattered around the room. Janet has invented her particular method of working. She takes screen-like material, which she uses to create unique, vibrant hybrids of sculpture, printmaking, and painting. Joni selected some of her narrow vertical pieces to accompany the other work chosen for the show.
While we were there, Janet introduced us to another artist who lived next door, after which Joni exchanged cards, expressing an interest in her work. This was a good lesson for me about the art world, and the importance of connections, and how “who you know” can often open up opportunities that you wouldn't necessarily find on your own. Returning to Mike Wilson's studio one last time to get his framed works, we gathered all the art we had collected in our Tranzporters--Joni’s other business(see www.Tranzporter.com) Thanks to the help of Mike, and some supervision by Scout and Otto, we were soon packed and ready to return to the gallery.
All in all, it was a marvelous experience, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a job that exposes me to such a wide variety of artists and experiences. Despite the differences between Janet, Mike, Rosemary, and Suzanne, they all have found a niche market in which they have been able to survive for over 30 years. I look forward to seeing art from these incredibly talented individuals, as well as all the other fantastic work that can be found at Art 3 Gallery.
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