Friday, October 18, 2013

Flowertown Players and Artists wiith Conviction Coalition presents- The Science of Art

The Science of Art- "Einstein" by Robert Frank
 As a part of The Flowertown Players' "Science of Art" Gala Fundraiser, the new art group I started called 'The Artists with Conviction Coalition' got to put together a free outdoor art show. I was honored to have the opportunity to organize this show on Coaltion's behalf in tandem with our new allies at the Flowertown. They were so kind, accommodating and helpful- they gave us a chance and we tried our best to earn our keep! I was going to make a point not to let them down.

It wasn't hard to get a handful of extremely talented artists from the group together to participate in this event. We are lucky that the Coalition has a lot of talent on hand. I am proud to say that by the end of the art deadline we had over 60 pieces to show in all! I couldn't believe the quality of work that poured in for this exhibit.

Here's an over all view of the walls of artwork created by the Artists with Conviction Coalition.

Painted by Heather Pallay and Erika Filipiak.
You may have noticed that the screens are painted with a delightful meadow & forest design. Once again, I'd have to give credit to Flowertown Players for that addition. They helped us build screens to hang art by recycling old sets of performances past. The particular show they recycled these screens from was their uber successful rendition of Wizard of Oz. I was told that these slats of wood were "The Last of the Oz Set." I like the fact that we are using the last brackground from something so successful as the first background of something so brand new. I feel like that gives the Coalition extra positive energy to go forward with in the future.

Plus, the exhibit has such a fresh and happy look to it, dont you think?
It's the springtime for the Coaliton!

View of the Flowertown/Coalition Gala festivities from afar.
 I guess I should explain what this event was all about in the first place. It was a fundraiser for Flowertown Players Theater to help them produce future shows and promote their newest performance, Picasso at the Lapine Agile (OCT 18th -NOV 1st). It is a play written by Steve Martin that answers a question that nobody thought to ask- "What would happen if Einstein and Picasso met in a bar?" Intelligent highbrow hilarity ensues! Needless to say, our "artsyness" fit in perfectly with the theme of this Gala.

The center of the exhibit featuring the grand piece "Bob Marley" by Christopher LeBeau.
Anyways, a lot of good and creative things came out of the woodwork. I was particularly proud to show pieces by artist Chris LeBeau, who is totally blowing up right now! In addition to this show he is going to be featured in at least 2 more this month, and for one of which he is a headlining artist. For our exhibit, he also brought some very cool Star Wars pieces to the table which got lots of attention from the Sci Fi fans.

Also featured was Nino Tria, a very old friend of mine from High School who is incredibly talented as well. (Make sure to check out his Tumblr for a bunch of his work and other things.) He heard of the event "late in the game" but still managed to finish up a brand new piece just in time for the show. His submissions are the colorful portraits of his siblings, situated directly below Bob Marley. I just love how they bring a little bit of extra poppy-ness and color to the display.

The right wall of our Flowertown Gala "Science of Art" Coalition exhibit featuring work from Candice Bizzell, Alexandra Roberts, Trina Lyn,  Lora Marsh, Heather Pallay, and Angela Hiott Morgane.
I can't possibly describe how cool every artwork was, all I can say is that these artists brought it. Almost all of the photography contributions came from either Candice Bizzell or Yoshika Johnson. Candice runs the Visual Arts Association for Trident Tech, so I was thrilled to get the chance to combine forces with yet another artsy group. I think it's great that all these different alliances can work together without feeling like we all need to compete with each other. We are all chasing after the same goals, so we might as well team up when we can.

Speaking of groups, check our our awesome Artists with Conviction Coalition flyer. I think it gets the point across! (Thanks HPallay for bailing me out when I forgot to print these, btw :-* Life saver. )
Another shot of the Artists with Conviction Coalition exhibit with work from Crystal King, Alexandra Roberts, Robert Frank, Angela Morgane and Alizey Khan.
 As my first time actually curating an event, I tried my best to organize the artworks by themes or colors. For example, the middle panel is dedicated to enlightenment and growth. I tried to organize all the "plant material" together in one general area. There was also a loose "cosmos" theme going on thanks to beautiful work by Angela Hiott Morgane and others.

Work by Alizey Khan, Yoshika Johnson, Chris Lebeau, Alexandra Roberts, and Robert Frank.
Another awesome wall of artwork- this one featuring more work by Chris Lebeau as well as another superstar in our midst, Alizey Khan. We became acquainted after the Coalition heard about the now famous incident of her work being stolen from the Charleston Library. It was awesome that she trusted us enough to allow us to show a couple of her incredibly intricate resin cosmo pieces.

Work by Christopher Lebeau, Christa Elrod, Lora Marsh, Trina Lyn, Heather Pallay and Crystal King.

 For the farthest side of the set up, I enjoyed making this quaint little "macabre corner" of artwork.  Lora Marsh's "Another Supper" piece, featured lower middle, got lots of attention from patrons. I also really dig Crystal King's expressive portrait contributions featured lower right. For some reason I thought they flowed well with the other creepy creations on this wall. You may also notice my ol' faithful Sugar Skull- it is foreshadowing of the next show I'm going to be participating in, Phil Hyman's Day of the Dead.  But more on that later!

The live science exhibit at the Flowertown Science of Art gala
with our resident scientists Edward Barnes & Michael Truxel.

Me and Robert competing in the Abstract "Draw Off."
We both won, of course :P
I can't forget to mention all the other cool things that were going on at the Science of Art gala. There was a live demonstration of science experiments including an experiment with surface tension and Science Sweet Tea! Also a free "Draw Off" booth courtesy of Summerville's own Bottles and Brushes. You had to draw a friend's portrait and whoever did the better one wins candy! On a side note- I have always had an admiration for Bottles and Brushes. They make art fun for people who didn't think they could be creative! If you're in the area, it's definitely worth signing up for one of their classes.

Did I mention they had a very competitive silent auction? Items up for auction included awesome gift baskets full of decadent goodies as well as gift certificates to local parks. People were going crazy over that stuff!

We were also treated with a live preview of the Flowertown Players of Summerville's production of "Picasso at the Lapine Agile." This is right before Picasso and Einstein have a Draw Off of their own. I guess if you want to find out who wins, you'll have to see the performance yourself! This is going to be a great play!

Heather Pallay getting her portrait drawn by yours truly.
Trina Lyn- Live Portrait Artist for Hire!

Oh, and check it out- Flowertown hired me to draw portraits of the patrons! I was thrilled to have a chance to share my art with everyone in this way. If anything, being able to draw people from life is an awesome party trick. 
My medium for the portraits was soft pastel- I had to brush up on my pastel skills before the show to make sure I could do a good job! It was worth the extra time though, pastels turned out to be a great medium for portrait drawing.

The Junior Service League of Summerville
The Science of Art Planning Committee- Hey, there's me...
This is the part where I just have to gush about all the other amazing volunteers that came out and helped put the show together...

Heather Pallay's "Wave #4" - a series about self growth

Firstly, there was Heather Pallay, the Theatre Administrator of Flowertown Players, who approached me with the idea of having a Coalition exhibit at their event in the first place. Everything she did for us after that just blows my mind... getting us screens, promoting the art group, even having the crazy idea of bringing all of the exhibit under a tent so that it wouldn't possibly get rained on- and it eventually did rain that day. This girl even bought me a mocha frappe after one of our committee meetings. If there could possibly be an award for "most helpful person for no reason" it would go to Heather Pallay. She is also a very creative artist that was gracious enough to contribute a few pieces to our Coalition show as well.

Me hangin' out with Bob Frank after drawing
each other at the Bottles and Brushes station :P

  I also have to give my pal Robert Frank and fellow Coalition Moderator a lot of kudos for helping get the pieces put up before the show. He was a huge part of making sure everything got hung up on our recycled screens. Without him, the installation wouldn't have happened at all! He also was an incredible help when it came to getting the artists organized and delivering their artwork on time. (I don't know how he did that! witchcraft! ) Over all, I'm really glad that he decided to volunteer and help organize this event.

Crystal King working on some new artwork as she helps out at the
Artists with Conviction Coalition Volunteer booth.

Speaking of volunteers, another shining star at this event was artist Crystal King. Some may remember her from a blog post I wrote a while ago when I met and showed artwork with Crystal at Phil Hyman's "Outsiders" art show. I was so relieved when she decided to come help the group out on our big day! She is such a mature and kind young lady, great company for one's first art show.

Tim and Tori Walters of "Mystic Ghazala" also helped a bunch by coming out and taking free pictures of the event!

The Ice House in Summerville- Image by Post and Courier.

Of course last but not least on my list of people to thank would be those at The Ice House in Summerville who allowed everyone to set up at their beautiful restaurant in the first place. They have such a nice property which gave us lots of room to do our thang. Can you believe they also fed us delicious gourmet treats? I got to eat my first Cordon Bleu- and it was good. I also remember having this crazy fluffy good pastry puff. It was such a nice relief from all the hustling and bustling I had been doing that day. (They also gave me one complimentary "special punch" drink which made me fly around the room! LOL) I can't wait to come back to their place during regular business hours so I can sample some more of their awesome Summerville Cuisine.

An adorably atmospheric center piece to send you off.
Man, have things changed over such a short period of time. Just a few months ago I was scraping together art events through craigslist and other random outlets. Now I'm helping curate a show where other artists are approaching me! So fancy. This is just the start of something really great.

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to try such a project like this. The amount of experience I gained and the doors that opened for everyone involved was completely priceless. I look forward to next year, which promises more art and even more opportunities!

Thanks again to everyone that helped make it happen!

Photography by Heather Pallay and Mystic Ghazala.