Businesses wanting to share in the process of showing art are finding out the method of locating and exhibiting good art is difficult, even in a town that has more than its share. The art of selling art has its challenges, such as, how will a buyer receive their piece without affecting the exhibit. Will there be an opening, if so, who sponsors it? How does the shop financially divide the proceeds? Selling art is not an easy venture, inclusive of, but not limited to, locating and managing artists, pricing, hanging, transporting, delivering, registering sales, and dividing profit. Still, the walls of the local coffee shops and eateries make fertile space for contemplation of work by emergent talent. Perhaps the caffeinated rush fuels a yearning to reflect intellectually. Visual art made available to contemplate provides a layer of intrigue.
The most disconcerting aspect of showing work outside the formal arena of the gallery is posting prices. My sister recently shared a story with me about visiting the home of an acquaintance who had prices of her artwork stuck on the wall next to the art displayed. Taken aback, her mental response was how tacky. Placing prices directly on the wall invites and gives impetuous to the pressure of a sales room, a connotation that the works primarily intent is for commercial consumption. It is an inhibitor, for rather than reading the contents of the work presented, a viewer may dismiss the work for sheer conflict in opinion of commercial worth. In the traditional gallery, the list of prices provided upon request, leaving the visitor to safely view from a subjective vantage point.
Value is certainly personal, imagine going into the National Gallery in Washington and being able to see how much each piece cost. Of course, some works to the museum might be quite low and some rather high. Works acquired a long time ago likely obtained at a much lower price than pieces more recently acquired by the museum. Pieces purchased yield a higher cost than those donated. What is expensive to me may be quite different for a descendant of the Waltons. Of course, the work in the National Gallery is not for sale, although in times of financial strain a museum may decide to sell pieces from their collection, as happened in Michigan last year.
In a profession where poverty holds historic acclaim, artists have not always been comfortable about the monetary worth of their own work. For example, Modigliani suffered for his difficulty to attaining a commercial connection between his work and the collector; such was not the case with Picasso. On the other hand, Monet was quite comfortable in the gain from the monetary value of his pieces. Savannah’s artists are impressively perceptive about the collectable value of the art they produce. This is largely the result of an educational institution placing commercial achievement high, the buying practices of a local tourist market, and a struggling economy. Successful shows here ranked by number of sales rather than by the readability of artistic intent. The truth is professional artists need to survive fiscally.
It is a win-win situation, Sulfur Art Services maintains a list of available artists; sales are managed with the artist, the venue, and Sulfur Art Services benefiting. The customer is a prime player, by acquiring a QR application and bringing art into their lives. Savannah residents are becoming aware of what fun it is to acquire works of art. Many are setting funds aside to acquire these precious pieces.
Sulfur Art Services, was designed to help connect businesses who want quality art with local working artists. We handle the curatorial aspect, installation and sales, allowing artists to focus on making and our locations to focus on their business.
Our unique art tags allow visitors to scan a code using their Smartphone to receive more information about the art and artist and even make a purchase right from their phone. Shipping options are available for out of town purchasers. Art can also be purchased from the Sulfur Art Services Website: www.sulfurstudios.com, or by calling us at 912-231-7105.
I continue on the theme Nature Nurtured with the work of Jeff Markowsky. In committing to immersion in the exhibition titled, Equalization, Markowsky's works are currently on view until September 28 at Gallery Espresso. This exhibition provides a panoramic vestige in the conversation of the relationship between man and nature.
The exhibition contains six large-scale images all in one point vanishing perspective. Each image shares in subject and method, and is a rarely seen vista of the Savannah landscape.
Known for his astute technique in portraiture, landscape, and still life, Markowsky provides us with an uninhibited view of the city making his subject the alley, or depending on where you are from, back lane. A study he has immersed himself for some time, this time choosing specifically to depict the space in large-scale format and from a single vantage point. He causes the viewer to contemplate the space from the sidewalk as if passing by. Stopping one in their tracks and inviting his audience to contemplate what occurs in the distance. These paintings have the ability to transform the spectator into a deep and private space, the painter exercises his ability to transport one through the back lanes. We feel as if we are traveling through them and there is simultaneity of public and private occurring in this body of images. We seem to be invited in, however, are stopped by the nature of the back way. Traditionally the back entrance of a home reserved for the servants, children, dog or cat. We enter our own homes from the rear, the front door reserved for privileged guests. In a city like Savannah, the back alley is the place for the dumpster and one finds septic tanks, or compost turners, rodents and trash. In Markowsky’s paintings, however there is a Hopper like quiet. As if coming upon the lane in the early morning hours when no one is around, we peek around walls and peer into crevices, into the silent lane. Utilizing a public perspective, the one point vantage allows us to see clear through to the other end. The artist envisions this private public duality stating, “…The lane is often an overlooked part of our neighborhoods and in fact, it is illegal to loiter there. Because foot traffic keeps generally to the streets, the lanes become fragments and broken visual sensations to passersby. My intention is to remind and bring significance to the beauty of an overlooked utilitarian aspect of our neighborhood and our city.”
Upon entering the space, in the first image the steeples of the church stand boldly in the distance reminiscent of religious influence on our city. The painting reminds us, if lawmakers and religious leaders are the only ones to tell the story of the people, how limited a history would be. Using a technique of taping the surface of the painting, Markowsky alters the center of attention creating an interesting interplay, a shifting focus of near and far. By using a single vanishing point and the consistency in the repetition of widths in gray, we view as if in the process of walking or riding by in or on a vehicle. At close view, shapes in the works minutely jumble in their complexity. Standing back the interaction of elements, color, light, shadow and depth of field, fuse to make each image coalesce.
When contemplating these works I encourage the audience to move beyond the busy atmosphere of the coffee shop. For, to stand in the middle of the installed exhibition is evidence of the need to move beyond the interior space. The alleys become portals to the outdoors they depict by making one keenly aware of Savannah’s domestic traffic just outside the window.
In the title and theme, Equalization, Jeff Markowsky invites us to slow down and reminds us of the reality of the city as nature. Equalization is prominent in the fusion of elements as image moves rapidly past; yet, slows down in the context of time and perspective, and finally, equalization in vantage points of near and far.
For more information about Jeff Markowsky’s exhibition:
Nature Nurtured an exhibition on display at the Whitaker Center brought together the work of professors from the Savannah College of Art in the Department of Foundations. With the exception of Maureen Garvin who serves in the capacity of Dean of the School of Foundation Studies. Each artist chose to depict and interact with nature in different ways making for a diverse and interesting exhibition.
In interpreting nature, Garvin is the most liberal, intentionally choosing distinctly symbolic references and using the necessity of vantage point. Garvin uses a bright discordant palette to identify a clearly symbolic narrative. In these works, the centrality of a house surrounded by invented vegetation, her works depict the guarded environment of the home. Surreally hearkening to the concept that home is truly, where safety is. With no clear entryway, the home, reminiscent of a monopoly house, is impenetrable. Seeking safety from invasion Garvin uses various voyeuristic vantage points. These richly colored, densely textured, and carefully framed pieces are like small vignettes from the outer limits.
In the entry foyer, quiet in descript, are the works of Adriana Burgos, a testimony to the reflective quality of nature. Made using a technique called silverpoint in which the artist uses a silver tipped instrument as a drawing utensil. Over time, the image tints because of the silver tarnishing. The use of silver point enhances the concept of the work. In, From the Fishing Dock, the viewer identifies a densely forested place from a distance another at close vantage we see just how dense the location really is. Burgos uses drawing as a journalistic method sharing her exploits in her drawing blog listed at the end of this post.
ettes from the outer limits.
Terry Moeller chooses to place her viewer in the midst of the scene. The viewer enveloped by nature’s forces and in full immersion, can experience nature from a centralized vantage point. These images have a foreboding as if painted indoors there seems to be an imminent storm in each. Working in the fashion of painters from the Realist period who drew their subject matter outdoors then brought the images inside to translate to the canvas. These painters were without the advent of the tube of paint, thus, going into nature to paint was impossible. Moeller combines color harmonically, in Carolina Yellow and Violet Forest color comprehension in the reading of violet balanced by the amount of light emanated by the yellow.
Stephen Gardner’s large format drawings portray a masterful technique of depicting careful contrasts. Subtractive and hard-edged, these drawing are by someone who has evidently mastered presentation. The narrative quality of Gardner drawings is evident here as he depicts a bush in, Fan Palm, in the way one would depict still life with direct lighting and dramatic shadow. What lends itself to narrative is the absence of the depth of field evident in outdoor landscape imagery. In the picture, Hen Pecked, Gardner shows an image of a hen next to a bush pecked clean at the bottom. By harvesting nature and repositioned, it is then revitalized by the artist to tell onlookers a tale of events.
The large geometrically segmented painting by Debra Malschik depicts and organically overlapped space, natural wildness. Nature in this painting is uncontrollable. Layered between geometric shapes the organic fauna overtakes man’s need to organize.
ere as he depicts a bush in, Fan Palm, in the way one would depict still life with direct lighting and dramatic shadow. What lends itself to narrative is the absence of the depth of field evident in outdoor landscape imagery. In the picture, Hen Pecked, Gardner shows an image of a hen next to a bush pecked clean at the bottom. By harvesting nature and repositioned, it is then revitalized by the artist to tell onlookers a tale of events.
Karen Davies photographs seem hidden in a rear corner space of the gallery; however, the location of the work enables the viewer the privacy to contemplate this imagery. One of the necessities of art for a culture is that Art provides the audience with the ability to remember to contend with emotion. Davies chooses to depict images of fading flowers, in these intimate works time passes before us. In one image Abelard and Heloise hues of violet and amber graze the surface of the image in a gently intertwine. The in descript flowers are depicted on a dark ground in extended format nature becomes comforter.
Jeff Markowsky's pieces in the show remind one that the challenge of depicting the landscape is also in becoming one with the subject matter. With works also on display at Gallery Espresso Markowsky's quiet presence is a force in the depiction of nature. Studies in this show depict the challenge of representing nature from life; by painting on site, Markowsky uses his vast knowledge of space by partaking in the amalgamation of it.
In Nurture Nature the elucidation is as a means for protection, a challenge in its depiction of the technical, a place for restoration, a means to capture fleeting time, a subject to harvest, a place for immersion, a way to recall and remember, a thing to control. It is a place where man becomes reconnected.
Recently, I visited the studio of Savannah artist Christina Edwards. Edwards will be donating proceeds of the sales of her art in an event titled Art in Action raising funds and awareness for the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire.
Born in Germany and moving to Savannah at a young age Edwards recalls the significance of the snow of Germany a drastic contrast to the warmth of Georgia. Though Edwards speaks fondly of her experiences, ambivalence to location is evident in the images referenced on the wall of the studio. These images contain rusted car hoods, peeling paint, concrete, textured imagery that translates into the layers of Edwards work. Edwards focus is on color, resultant texture, and composition.
Edwards also creates small paintings. These images, made by using the encaustic process, are linear paintings that capture cherished subject matter, such as birds, fruit, or flowers. Much like images held hostage in the recesses of our minds. In the small works Edwards continues with the dripped colors, sharing qualities of the Plexiglas used in Edwards larger works. The high quality of framing brings to mind the object of each small image.
By choosing to donate to the Rape Crisis Center, Edwards will be helping raise funds for a center that offers services to women who have experienced rape and or residuals of the crisis. Of the works sold by Christina Edwards from the Kobo Gallery on Saturday, September 11, 100 % will be donated to the center.
oil on canvas, 24 inches x 47 inches
Winner’s choice raffle online event 3 tickets for 20.00
Auction tickets are available:
Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire
Contact Christina Edwards
Image taken Lake Mayer
Engaging art inspired by nature needs no previous understanding or training in artistic complexity. For nature holds the complex and basic qualities that art attempts to replicate. My current work is inspired by the organic the ability of forms in nature to regenerate, to expand, and revive themselves even in restricted environments. I believe Savannah is in is a renaissance of sorts, many are choosing to locate here and to stay poets, writers, artists, and musicians are relocating to the region and choosing to remain. In the need to thrive artists must engage a public with limited awareness of artistic worth or value.
Images of Mushrooms
When I moved to Savannah more than twenty years ago, I questioned the lack of museums and entertainment. I figured it was because Savannah was an outdoor town, as southern locations tended to be agricultural with a long growing season. Later I learned the effects of an economy deeply affected the culture of the region. Those effects result in limited educational exposure (especially to the arts), limited access to cultural institutions, and those with promise moving on to greener pastures. Access to the arts is a privilege reserved for those who are able to comprehend its purpose and message. A low economic status can be evident in available extracurricular activity, culture, education and the arts. Artists functioning as ambassadors to the culture may feel pressured to produce work that is easily digested and functional within the society.
Photograph Savannah City Hall
The beauty of Savannah is worth staying for attractiveness abounds. The warm climate lends itself to tropical flora and fauna. The flat landscape enables expansively layered vantage points throughout the city. The weather and storm patterns leave incredible cloud formations. The lack of tall buildings results in unencumbered vantage points for landscape painters; it is common to see someone snapping a picture of an incredible sunset. A beach is close, marshes abound, organic matter from magnolia to mushrooms abundant, and incredible wildlife especially birds flourish.
Being a part of nature is a gift it enables us to refuel and refresh. Of course, nature is a part of our creator’s intent. As simple as drinking water and eating foods that are as close to the origins of nature prove the connection to be healing.
Through my experiences with people I have came across more than a few panicked individuals believing their creative prosperity limited as idea generation is invaluable in the creative fields. The solution is to use nature as an unlimited resource. Artists since antiquity have relied on nature in virtually religious correspondence. The establishment of the Art Nouveau Movement based itself on the premise that nature was a prime resource. Nature’s organizations and functions still inspire artists of influence to this day.
In my next post, with these thoughts in mind I will be looking deeper into art works inspired by nature.