The exhibition features more than 200 works of art and writing by New York City based Gold Key recipients participating in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year, students from all five boroughs in grades 7-12 submitted more than 10,000 works in 28 categories to the New York City regional program of the Awards, representing more than 300 schools.
Education has been at the heart of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mission since our founding in 1870, said Heidi Holder, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education at The Met. Now, more than ever, we are committed to investing in education and supporting the creativity of New York City’s young people. It is an honor to present the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition in partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This annual exhibition demonstrates the power of art to transform, uplift, and challenge us.
All works were blindly adjudicated by accomplished creative and literary professionals based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. This year, the exhibition will present framed prints of students’ work, due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equitable access for all the student artists.
The artworks on display at The Met received top regional awards and were eligible to receive national honors through a second round of judging, which can open further opportunities for exhibition and publication, as well as access to scholarships. The Awards have honored distinguished artists since 1923, including Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, John Baldessari, Luis Jimenez, and Catherine Murphy, whose works are in The Met collection.
Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: The creativity of our city’s teens has continued to flourish despite a year of unprecedented challenges. It has never been more important to celebrate diverse student voices and encourage the artistic expression of a generation of rising leaders. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is thrilled to partner with The Met to showcase the exceptional young winners of the 2021 New York City Scholastic Awards.
The Alliance partners with Parsons School of Design at The New School and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School to present the regional New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met is presented with generous support from The New York Times, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, and Scholastic Inc.
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.
About The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
In what is set to be the highlight of their Summer 2021 calendar, HOFA Gallery, London, will host ‘Coronation‘, a solo exhibition by prolific contemporary figurative painter Loribelle Spirovski, between the 2– 16 June this year. The upcoming exhibition, comprised entirely of new artworks created during the 2020 lockdown, delves into the effects of recent international epoch-making events on private life as distilled through the lens of the artist’s mind.
‘Coronation’ builds on many of the themes and motifs audiences have seen in her past critically acclaimed collections like ‘Hommes’ and ‘Memento Mori’. It is also a potent play on words whose double meaning points to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the political power shifts and significant moments occurring simultaneously which continue to exert mammoth influences on the external and internal lives of people everywhere.
In her new collection, Loribelle explores familiar and poignant themes with an urgency that speaks to the moment, employing her signature line technique to delineate eyes, faces and human forms entangled and abstracted into the minimalist geometric background which represents the room of the mind. She notes that “With the pandemic reducing the worlds of many to the confines of their phone screen, [the] ‘room’ motif seems more pertinent than ever…as a metaphor for the mind and the characters and scenes inhabiting it, signifying the external world filtered into the subconscious.”
The tenuousness of a reality mediated by technology and social media distortions is yet another strong theme of ‘Coronation’. However, the overarching theme is undoubtedly the inescapable reckoning all must face with history. As power shifts in the US reverberate around the world, ‘Coronation’ compels viewers to interrogate the things that hold sovereign power in their lives, prefaced on the recognition that there is need for a re-orientation, repudiation, or re-affirmation of individual commitments.
By her own account, Loribelle was no stranger to the emotional turmoil many experienced during lockdown. The pressures of living with restricted access to family, friends, and the outdoors while news of Covid-19 casualties trickled in forced the artist to take a stand against looming mortality by rediscovering and reaffirming the purpose of her art as a medium for self-expression and for exhuming the hidden contentions of the mind. ‘Coronation’ is an outcome of this defiance and the show will run at HOFA’s flagship gallery in Mayfair for 2 weeks from 2 to 16 as both an in-gallery show and a virtual exhibition, for all to enjoy.
‘Coronation‘ opens at HOFA Gallery, London on 2 June and runs for two weeks until 16 June 2021.
A parallel virtual show will also be accessible to all online via a secure weblink.
In compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols, all visits to the gallery will be strictly on RSVP basis.
World’s First Physical NFT Installation, “Quantum Mirror” by Adrian Stein, Debuts in Chicago.
The Immersive Work Contextualizes the Nature of NFT Art in the Real World.
As NFTs Have the Capability to be Infinitely Reproduced, “Quantum Mirror” Explores the Concept of Infinite Consciousness in the Digital Era.
In recent months, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have rushed the cryptocurrency scene and taken the art world by storm. This new way of buying and selling digital art using blockchain technology has disrupted the art market and created overnight sensations out of formerly obscure artists such as Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, who recently sold a collage of his digital works for the staggering sum of $69.3 million. Another rising artist in the new media art world, Adrian Stein, is unveiling what he describes as the world’s first immersive NFT installation in Chicago’s contemporary art gallery ARTSPACE 8.
“Quantum Mirror,” a 300-square-foot immersive installation, is an environment where the digital and physical worlds of art merge and multiply in a kaleidoscopic array created by over 150 mirrored surfaces. In-person visitors can see their own reflection infinitely juxtaposed alongside Stein’s digital works of human figures, which will be screened within the mirrored installation and accompanied by resonate soundtracks.
Stein’s digital art, available as NFTs that can be acquired via online marketplace Mintable, are displayed on screens in the center of the installation, representing the original copy of each NFT. These images are then reproduced within the geometrically mirrored walls, representing how NFTs exist online: they commonly have a single “original” with the ability to be infinitely duplicated. The installation acts as a physical representation of our virtual environment, using light and reflections to visualize how human consciousness and the economy have become entangled in a network of blockchains and social media.
Speaking to humanity’s deep dependence on technology, the installation lays inactive without its virtual core, in the same way as modern consciousness would be paralyzed without virtual connection – representing how everyday human life has crossed over to become a spectrum between raw humanity and cyborg consciousness.
“This work is meant to continue the conversation that Yayoi Kuzama began with her infinity rooms, by recontextualizing it into the digital world of artists like Beeple” said artist Adrian Stein. “As Kuzama’s work encourages the viewer to contemplate their place in the never-ending cosmos, “Quantum Mirror” encourages the viewer to contemplate their digital existence within the never-ending world online.”
The installation is viewable at ARTSPACE 8 on the third floor of 900 N. Michigan, starting March 20 through late April and viewable Monday through Saturday from 12:30 – 5:30pm at no charge. Online registration is required through this website, allowing ten people in the gallery at a time while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. More of Stein’s artwork can be viewed on Instagram.
ABOUT ADRIAN STEIN
Guatemalan-born, Chicago-based new media artist Adrian Stein seeks to understand how humans view themselves through the many mirrors viewed in everyday life which reveal the borders, glass walls, and masks built between one another in the process.
By representing the human form as a prismatic lens in constant shift, dynamically morphed and affected by the medium it is inhabiting, Stein’s work engages the concept that different states of consciousness give rise to different views of the self, elaborating on how perceived identities can create a hybrid existence that merges both virtual and physical personas.
Through the use of colloquial digital languages and visual commonalities, he seeks to create an aesthetic medium to reveal how his own duality as a Guatemalan-born American has given rise to a hybrid identity, forcing him to exist in both places at the same time.
ABOUT ARTSPACE 8
The 14,000 square foot gallery is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, specializing in contemporary fine art showing a number of paintings, prints, sculpture, and works on paper from emerging and established artists, based both locally and abroad. ARTSPACE 8 prides itself on taking a democratic approach to its affluent surroundings, engaging experienced collectors and the masses alike in the viewing and collecting of intriguing artworks through highly-curated exhibitions and events.
FURLA SERIES #03 NAIRY BAGHRAMIAN. Misfits Curated by Bruna Roccasalva
Promoted by Fondazione Furla and GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan
GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan NEW DATES: May 26 – September 26, 2021
From May 26 to September 26, 2021, Fondazione Furla and GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, will present Misfits, the first solo exhibition in an Italian institution by Nairy Baghramian, curated by Bruna Roccasalva.
Part of the Furla Series program, Misfits is a project conceived specifically for the GAM spaces that explores some key themes of the artist’s research: from her interest in intervening in spaces that mark a boundary to the relationship between the artwork and its institutional context.
Misfits began with the specific urban setting of the GAM, that is, a garden open to adults only when accompanied by children. A series of large-scale sculptures will inhabit both the museum’s interior and exterior spaces, combining the idea of play with a reflection on the aesthetic experience of inadequacy and imperfection.
Furla Series #03 – Nairy Baghramian. Misfits is the outgrowth of a partnership between Fondazione Furla and GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, with the generous contribution of Fondazione Henraux for the production of the works in marble.
Def Jam Recordings and Marvel Comics – two iconic brands who have left an indelible stamp on popular culture the world over – today announce a special collaboration designed to integrate the voices of young Black creatives with one of the most transformative characters and storylines in graphic arts history: Black Panther. Three of Def Jam’s rising stars – Saint Bodhi, Bobby Sessions, and Kaash Paige – will each contribute character-driven short stories in Black Panther #23, #24, and #25, the last three issues of the “Intergalactic Empire” saga from the acclaimed creative team featuring writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Daniel Acuna.
Black PIn celebration of Black History Month, arriving February 24th, Black Panther #23 will see buzzing South-Central-LA singer/songwriter Saint Bodhi share her take on Storm for an emotional story grounded in tragedy and acceptance. One month later in issue #24, Dallas-native, revolutionary rapper Bobby Sessions will tell a story about the King of Wakanda Black Panther himself. And in the series finale issue #25 in April, “Toxic R&B” breakout star Kaash Paige will forge a tale about Wakandan Princess Shuri and the power of knowledge. Aligned with the Def Jam Forward initiative to promote social, economic, and educational equality, each three-page story will also feature an exclusive one-page Def Jam artist profile.
“Bringing these two logos together was a dream,” said Def Jam partnerships consultant Jonathan Rheingold. “There was a mutual desire to unite these two great brands for a mission and a cause — leveraging Def Jam’s rising stars and the legendary Marvel characters to tell powerful stories that would make an emotional connection with fans of both cultures.”
Bodhi, Sessions and Paige are stepping into comics for the first time within these highly anticipated issues, but each of the Def Jam artists have a long-standing passion for Marvel and the world of comics and graphic arts in general. And like the inspirations behind their latest albums, the challenges faced by Marvel’s heroes are not so far removed from their own. “My album Mad World is a raw, honest, and very personal journey into my life and upbringing in South Central L.A.,” Saint Bodhi writes. “I grew up with a not-so-normal past. I say the things people are afraid to say. I let you experience the ‘mad world’ that is my life.”
Similarly, “Teenage Fever is my debut album and it was important for me to capture my last year of being a teen through my music,” says 20-year old Kaash. “This chapter of my life is coming to an end so I wanted to put all my experiences into a document that will live forever.”
“My album Manifest is a guide for people to transform into the greatest version of themselves,” Sessions concludes. “A body of work that will lead people to find their inner super hero!”
Bodhi, Sessions, and Paige will bring their short stories to life alongside some of Marvel’s most talented comic book writers and artists. Kicking off with her Storm story in Black Panther #23, Bodhi will be joined by co-writer Danny Lore, artist Alitha Martinez, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. Don’t miss this iconic new issue of Black Panther and Bodhi’s Marvel Comics debut, on stands in comic shops everywhere February 24th! As a bonus, Bodhi’s debut story will also be included in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1, a celebration of Black voices and artists, on sale the same day.
Over the next week, fans can tune in to Marvel’s podcasts on SiriusXM including This Week in Marvel, Women of Marvel, and Marvel’s Pull List to hear from these artists making their Marvel debuts. More information about Sessions and Paige’s stories will be released in the coming weeks.
About Def Jam Recordings
Founded in 1984, Def Jam Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City’s vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and the inimitable Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam’s music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand – synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity – encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like West, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Logic, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, Jeremih, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Dave East, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Today, Def Jam has reaffirmed its passion for and commitment to hip-hop culture, and has expanded its global brand reach to become the most-followed major label on all major social media platforms.
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.
Def Jam Forward is a task force committed to fostering a community that values, promotes and demands respect, freedom, equal opportunity and justice for Black lives.
Our goal is social, economic and educational equality for every Black person in our community, starting with our own artists, staff and colleagues. Our commitment to equality means we will examine and amend our internal practices, as well as support organizations on the frontlines of the fight for change.
As a company, we are uniquely positioned to be a thought leader within the music industry and the world at large. As members of this task force, and ambassadors of its message, it is imperative that we embody and implement a roadmap to lasting and meaningful change.
As a native of St. Louis, Missouri, Kaelen Felix is a graduate of Memphis College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration (2018). When she was an undergraduate, she interned for Jabberblabber Earth Family Magazine, a monthly magazine with over 100,000 readers in the tri-state area. In October 2017, her illustration of their Jabberblabber character was featured on the front cover of the grandparent issue. That publication is an achievement for Kaelen as an undergraduate while looking back; she couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it. The experience allowed her to define her artistic skills and to pursue a career in publishing.
Ms. Felix began her career as an artist when she was two years old! Six months later, Kaelen discovered her calling is to pursue art in illustration for books. As a child, art came naturally to Kaelen. Her tenacious desire allowed Kaelen to use her artistic ability to create storytelling book scenes from her imagination. She would often pay attention to how the light was casting on dolls and toys. She would create still-life and draw from observation for hours. Kaelen’s desire to spend a whole day on art made her heart complete as it showed her passion for capturing the light source and balancing the shadows became evident she could do it! Her favorite artist from the impression period, Vincent Van Gogh, inspired her whimsical style. The intricate details in her woodwork and water show her forte for a whimsy pattern.
Kaelen’s illustration career officially started in 2018. After completing undergrad, Kaelen collaborated with a remote author to illustrate a 32-page children’s book, A Colorful Balloon Ride (2018). At 23, Kaelen became a published illustrator and then collaborated with another children’s book author and created a 60-page book, Freddy the Foster Frog: Finds a Friendly Family (2020).
Currently, Kaelen is working on several collaborative projects, illustrating book 2 of the Freddy the Foster Frog series and acting as an illustrative editor for a soon to be published children’s book. In December 2020, Kaelen became an award-winning Best Book Illustrator for Freddy the Foster Frog from the SABA (Sound Advice Book Awards) in England!
Kaelen is a current intern for 360 Magazine (remotely), which is an edgy and fashion-forward company located in downtown Los Angeles, California. She illustrates topics such as celebrities, food, culture, and present news topics that coincide with political and other climate-changing current news. She thrives on creative and innovative illustrations that create a stylized and pop-art feel similar to Andy Warhol. Kaelen loves taking on any new challenge while being an intern at 360 Magazine as she embraced their well-known publications, print magazine, and brand identity.
Kaelen has a wide range of experience from illustrating magazine work to illustrating and designing two children’s books. Ms. Felix strongly believes collaboration is the key to creating a cohesive portfolio of work illustration or design. When illustrating the books, she always has a process of starting with reading the manuscript story, then it becomes a matter of how many illustrations need to be done in a timely or monthly manner. Finally, it comes down to a deadline and meeting that goal to be proficient in the business world. The process for all her commissioned pieces starts with brainstorming an idea from imagination and putting that idea on paper. She converses back and forth with clients to ensure their goals and visions are met! If she gets the final approval then, she applies the small thumbnail sketch onto the larger paper or digital platform.
Her inspiration as a kid also came from animals living in eco-friendly environments and creating characters with child-like style in my whimsical way. As far as the digital designs go, those vary in terms of how the style and vision come about from the client. Especially for 360 magazine, it’s a matter of not overthinking the process and trusting her instincts to create a work the magazine’s audience would be attracted to.
Ms. Felix works in areas from traditional illustrative mediums to digital graphics and print production art materials. Her areas of expertise include production art, illustration, print production art, and graphic art/design; she has over a couple of years of experience in those fields as she continues to work on fine-tuning her craft. Ms. Felix hopes to continue her illustration work while learning more about graphic design, brand identity, and the print packaging experience in a creative field from five to ten years down the line. Someday, she too is hoping to publish her own children’s book from her animal illustrations on her website! It’s always been a long-term goal to become a published illustrator and designer, and the Memphis College of Art, coupled with 360 Magazine allows her to follow her dream since the day she knew it could happen.
For more information on her upcoming publications, illustration, designs, and more: check out her Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Artwork is often the center of a home and brings life and character to a space. As time progresses, artwork trends change and as the new season approaches new art trends are arising.
With the start of a new year, Desino is excited to present the graphic art trending this spring! Abstract art is at the forefront for the coming season, with organic shapes, arches and geometric lines adding an artsy element to our walls. Check out the latest graphic prints created by our very own Design Studio.
The rounded arch can be spotted through architectural history, and this year the classic curved shape is leading the way in the interior world. Arched furniture, doorways and home accessories are being spotted everywhere! This spring we’ll be decorating our walls with arched designs that bring a classic and stylish feel to our homes. Many people have used the arched design as a makeshift headboard, a DIY that blends in with the trends.
For abstract art lovers, the organic shapes coming this spring are the perfect addition to your walls! Featuring warm, earthy tones, this graphic art featuring soft shapes and curves will bring a fresh feel to your gallery wall. These pair perfectly with less abstract pieces of art and tie together any gallery wall.
In contrast to the abstract art trending right now, figurative art is coming on strong this season. With a more simplistic approach to this art style, we’re loving these simple portrait drawings honoring our human shapes. These pieces of art encapsulate the beauty of human features.
Monochrome art complements all kinds of interior styles and this season we’re embracing these geometric patterns in black and white. A great choice if you want a modern accent piece for your wall, these graphic prints will look great in minimalist and colorful homes alike. Pairing these with silhouettes, as seen in the gallery wall below, instantly creates a beautiful contemporary wall.
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a new venue within Chicago’s recently renovated landmark Germania Club Building, today announced that due to popular demand the U.S. premiere of the blockbuster art experience Immersive Van GoghExhibit will extend its dates through Labor Day after having sold out the initial block of tickets. The Exhibit will open one hour earlier at 9 a.m. and will offer Saturday afternoon VIP and Premium tickets in February and March. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Jan. 30 at 9 a.m. at vangoghchicago.com and by phone at 844-307-4644.
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a three-story facility located at 108 W. Germania Place, is dedicated to immersive art presentations, merging the boundaries between entertainment and culture to give visitors the sense that they are encountering art as never before. Utilizing the building’s Victorian Era architectural details, 35-foot-tall walls and multiple levels (including balconies), the venue will present vibrant immersive art exhibitions that surround the viewer on all sides.
The venue’s first presentation, Immersive Van Gogh, is a visually spectacular digital art exhibition that recently received widespread critical acclaim during its debut in Toronto. Immersive Van Gogh invites audiences to “step inside” the iconic works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, evoking his highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement and imagination. The Italian creative team who pioneered digital experiences in Paris will create a custom design to fit the gracious Neo-Classical architecture of the exhibition’s Chicago home.
The hour-long, walk-through experience has been designed with health and safety as a priority. Capacity will be limited in accordance with the City of Chicago’s safety protocols. Additional safety precautions include touchless ticket-taking, temperature checks upon arrival, hand sanitizer stations, social distancing markers throughout the venue, and digitally projected social distancing circles on the gallery floors to ensure appropriate spacing. All guests must wear a face covering at all times during their visit to Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago.
Immersive Van Gogh was designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi, with original, mood-setting music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi, who provided a score that combines experimental electronic music with pure, ethereal and simple-seeming piano. Vittorio Guidotti is the Art Director. Siccardi and Longobardi are both pioneers of immersive digital art experiences in Paris, where they were part of the team that created the world-renownedVan Gogh, Starry Night exhibition, among others. With more than 70 projectors illuminating over 15,000 square-feet, visitors to Immersive Van Gogh will be encircled from head-to-toe in Van Gogh’s brushstrokes and colors, including animated details from works such as Self Portrait with Felt Hat (1888), The Bedroom in Arles (1889), Irises (1889) and The Starry Night (1889).
“Immersive Van Gogh is a new way of encountering art, as it quite literally surrounds viewers on all sides with the brilliant work of one of the greatest painters of all time,” said Immersive Art Space Co-Producer Corey Ross. “Both connoisseurs and new admirers of Van Gogh’s work are guaranteed a breathtaking perspective on the influential artist’s oeuvre. Merging state-of-the-art technology, theatrical storytelling, animation and some of the finest works of art ever created, Immersive Van Gogh is a uniquely mesmerizing experience that seemingly transports the viewer into the artist’s mind to see these timeless works as never before.”
“Despite being unknown throughout his life, Van Gogh’s artwork has created a lasting impact through its emotional richness and simple beauty,” said Massimiliano Siccardi, Immersive Van Gogh designer. “Both myself and Luca Longobardi are very excited to visit Chicago and once again bring Van Gogh’s legacy to life in a way that is unique to the beautiful architecture of the Germania Club Building.”
The premiere of Immersive Van Gogh, which opened in Toronto this past July, has already received rave reviews from critics around the world. The Toronto Sun pronounced it, “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating” and Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star reflected, “I wondered: could projections of paintings on walls and floors be thrilling? The answer is yes.” Called “dazzling” by Lonely Planet and a “blockbuster digital experience that has taken the art world by storm” by artnet news, the exhibition can be summed up by CTV’s description, “a completely new way of encountering art.” Immersive Van Gogh has already been enjoyed by more than 180,000 guests since its debut in Toronto during the pandemic in July 2020. During July and August 2020, according to Ticketmaster, it has surpassed worldwide ticket sales for any of the ticketing platform’s live cultural events.
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is operated by Immersive Art Space LP, a partnership between co-producers Corey Ross, Svetlana Dvoretsky, Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis. The venue also will feature a merchandise/gift shop and café. Future plans include additional immersive art shows as well as live performances.
Ticket prices start at $39.99 for adults ($24.99 for children 16 or younger) with untimed and flexible ticket options available. Beginning Saturday, Jan. 30, tickets will be on sale Feb. 11 through Sept. 6, 2021. The venue is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking in the nearby James House parking garage. For more information aboutImmersive Van Gogh, visit vangoghchicago.com or call 844-307-4644. Follow the exhibition on social media at @vangoghchicago onFacebook, Instagram and Twitter.
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS AND CREATIVE TEAM
MASSIMILIANO SICCARDI, Artistic Creator
Massimiliano studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance of London. But in 1990, he left the world of dance to begin a new journey in the world of video art. Massimiliano quickly became the artistic force behind several visual mise-en-scène for choreographers around the world. He also created video scenographies for numerous prestigious festivals and galas around the world. He also re-constructed the video mapping of the Basilica di Giotto and for the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, where one of his permanent installation’s virtually reconstruct the frescoes of the Cupola. Massimiliano is also a celebrated photographer and has had photo exhibitions in Spoleto and Rome, to name a few. He is professor of digital image elaboration at the Accademia di Comunicazione e Immagine of Rome. In 2012 Massimiliano received the prestigious International Award “Romaindanza” for his talent in the visual work of dance theatre. Since 2012, he has been artist in residence at the Carrières de Lumières – Atelier des Lumières where he authored the mise-en-scène of numerous immersive shows. He is currently creating projects within Italy as well as New York, Berlin, Leipzig and Rome.
LUCA LONGOBARDI, Composer
Italian composer and pianist Luca Longobardi is a classically trained musician who incorporates the contemporary electronic music into his pieces. Born in 1976, Longobardi studied classical music in Italy and New York and went on to earn his doctorate in digital audio restoration in Rome in 2011. His works reveal a strong interaction between classical and contemporary music. The experience he has gained as a theatre musician has increased his interest in the relationship between sounds and spectacle; he has composed music for ballets and films and accompanied installations and experimental art productions (Atelier de Lumières – Paris,Carrière des Lumières – Baux-de-Provence, Kunstkraftwerk – Leipzig). At his multimedia performances and in his recordings, strong experimental electronic music meets pure, ethereal and simple-seeming piano playing that nevertheless relays deep emotions.
COREY ROSS, Co-Producer
Founded in Toronto in 2003 by Corey Ross, Starvox Entertainment has ranked in Profit Magazine’s Fastest growing Canadian companies for 5 years in a row. Starvox produces, manages, represents and promotes cross-over performing arts shows and exhibitions that tour Canada, the United States and internationally. Ross has produced multiple theatrical shows in Chicago including the Harry Potter parody Potted Potter, Evil Dead The Musical, Champions of Magic and Sherlock Holmes. In Las Vegas, Ross produces three shows for Caesars Entertainment—Wow, Extravaganza and Potted Potter. In the world of art exhibitions, Ross produces the Art of Banksy in London, Canada, the USA and Taiwan, as well as Immersive Van Gogh and Illusionarium in Toronto.
SVETLANA DVORETSKY, Co-Producer
Toronto’s Show One Productions was founded in 2004 by the enterprising Russian born impresario Svetlana Dvoretsky. Initially focused on classical music, the company has since expanded greatly and is now a leading presenter of high-profile International artists, symphony orchestras, theatre and dance companies and special projects. The company is especially proud of its presentations of Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Malkovich, Michel Legrand, Slava’s Snow Show, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi, Eifman Ballet, the Vakhtangov Theatre, opera stars sopranos Sondra Radvanovsky and Hibla Gerzmava, and the late baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Trio Magnifico Opera Gala – the historic union and once-in-a-lifetime event at The Four Seasons Opera House of soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvazov in their Toronto debuts, with Hvorostovsky in his last Toronto appearance – remains an exceptional musical memory in the history of the performing arts in Canada. Dvoretsky is a proud recipient of the Order of York by the Government of Canada for “an outstanding contribution in art and culture.”
MARIA SHCLOVER and IRINA SHABSHIS, Co-Producers
New York-based Maestro Immersive Arts is the latest creative venture by Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis, in partnership with Lighthouse Immersive (Canada) to introduce the immersive art genre in major markets across the United States.
Shclover is a classically trained pianist who later became a finance and international business professional, after graduating from NYU Stern School of Business. With extensive finance experience under her belt, Shclover founded Maestro Artist Management in 2004 that initially concentrated on presenting classical music and special events.
Shabshis joined Maestro Artist Management in 2005, with a classical music background and vast computer science experience. Maestro Artist Management focused on providing a bespoke experience to international artists and over the years became one of the leading boutique artist management companies that presented international tours of such legendary classical musicians as Yuri Bashmet, Olga Kern, Denis Matsuev, Mischa Maysky, Vadim Repin, Vladimir Spivakov and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Together, the company presented more than 1,000 events and sold more than 700,000 tickets, working with international stars such as Michel Legrand, John Malkovich, Mikhail Baryshnikov and many others. As a presenter of some of the world’s best talent in the international performing arts, the company closely collaborated and partnered with some of the most prestigious art organizations, such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Opera and various Broadway productions.
In 2012, Shclover and Shabshis formed a non-profit organization, Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, to introduce international theatrical projects and acclaimed performers to American audiences. Festival has been a summer staple in New York and beyond, and received rave reviews from critics and audiences, welcoming such prominent international companies and projects as Gesher Theatre (Israel), John Malkovich and the international cast of Giacomo Variations (Austria), The Theatre of Nations (Russia), Vakhtangov State Theatre (Russia), Jaunais Rīgas Teātris (Latvia), Tango Fire Dance Company (Argentina), Rafael Amargo Flamenco Company (Spain), The Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Max Raabe & Palast Orchester (Germany), Theatre-Atelier Piotr Fomenko (Russia) and many more. In 2018, Shclover and Shabshis founded yet another venture, the Russian Film Week USA, an annual showcase of both independent and artistic films that represent the dynamic landscape of Russian filmmaking today. The festival received a resounding welcome from critics and audiences, and is continuing through January 29, 2021.
ABOUT VINCENT VAN GOGH
Legendary Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890) is recognized as one of the world’s greatest and best loved artists. He was born in the Netherlands to his father, Theodorus van Gogh, and his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolors was passed on to her son. He worked at his uncle Cornelis’ art dealership when he had already been fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch. He fell in love with English culture when he was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London in 1873.
During his short life he painted more than 2,000 artworks ranging from ordinary household items and self-portraits to surreal landscapes that inspire awe. Van Gogh was a post-Impressionist painter whose work — notable for its beauty, emotion and color — highly influenced expressionism in 20th-century art. He struggled with mental illness and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.
He was tragically admitted to a psychiatric hospital after offering his severed ear to a woman at a local brothel. For hope, he turned to painting and nature, until one day when he went out to paint in the morning with a loaded pistol in his hand and reportedly shot himself in the chest. In his 37 years alive, Van Gogh only sold one painting, The Red Vineyards, to his brother Theo.
When engaged couple Alisa Picerno and Alan Giana first met, they soon realized that they shared a common foundation of business savvy, faith, and creativity. Now, the pair has melded their similar drive and determination for success to become partners in a new venture, an art licensing agency called Alliances By Alisa Art Licensing. The agency already boasts an impressive roster of award-winning, international artists and fine art photographers. It markets their artwork to prominent print, puzzle, publishing, greeting card and textile companies.
“The idea for us to combine our professional experiences and launch the company came as the coronavirus pandemic immediately impacted my other business,” explained Picerno. “Like most owners of small companies, I needed to pivot in order to stay afloat.”
Picerno is referring to her successful public relations firm, Alliances By Alisa Media Relations, that she founded in 2000. The media marketing agency has represented businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Her clients have been featured in major media outlets such as the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, TODAY, Buzzfeed, Extra, The Doctors, Oprah Magazine, People Magazine and CNN. When lockdowns started in March 2020, contracts were cancelled as companies cut budgets.
“When Alan introduced himself, he wanted me to know immediately that he was not a stereotypical starving artist,” shared Alisa about their meeting in 2018 after a weekday Mass. “He said ‘I’m an artist but I’m not weird and I’m not poor’. I quickly learned how accurate that statement was!”
Giana began licensing his artwork to manufacturers around the world in the late 1990’s and have appeared on puzzles, calendars, checks, Christmas cards, gift bags, gift boxes, tins, mugs, canvas prints, placemats, note cards, list pads, coasters, magnets, clocks, music boxes, cross-stitch kits, and much more. These products are sold in stores both large and small, from mass-market retailers to independent gift shops and on the QVC television network. As a result, Giana’s in-demand landscape prints have led him to becoming a best-selling artist.
In fact, due to the current COVID pandemic, Giana’s popular imagery has reached new heights within the jigsaw puzzle industry as more families are staying home and constructing puzzles as a primary form of entertainment.
The couple realized this was the ideal time to combine business forces. “I always knew that Alisa would make the perfect art licensing agent with her years of marketing experience and her warm, outgoing personality. She is the perfect conduit between representing artistic talent and presenting their work to numerous industry manufacturers for their product lines.”
Giana’s extensive connections in the art licensing arena have proven invaluable in both attracting new artists, as well as getting the attention of a variety of product companies. Currently, Alliances By Alisa Art Licensing proudly represents the work of the below innovative artists, textile and pattern designers and photographers in the U.S. and around the world, including, Austria, India, Italy, Poland and Canada:
Alan Giana – scenic landscape prints
Catherine M. Elliot – contemporary impressionism prints
Joseph Elliot – luminous landscape photographs
Brandon Dowling – artistic humanity and nature photographs
Karen Burke – whimsical art of nature and human prints
Fineapple Pair – hand-painted clip art prints
Jesse David Harris – object and architectural photographs
Steven Bove – fantasy cartoon prints
Sue C. Brown – textile design prints
Patrizia Donaera – children’s book illustration prints
Christine Reichow – watercolor fine art prints
Jody Wheeler – children’s book watercolor prints
Lacy Tatum – hand-painted clip art prints
Sandra Hutter – design illustration prints
Marcin Poludniak – lively children’s illustrations
Stacey Lokey – Stained glass inspired designs and patterns
Monica Kapur – textile pattern prints
Thus far, the agency has secured licensing agreements with such notable manufacturers as Manual Woodworkers and Weavers, Ravensburger Puzzles, Evergreen Enterprises, Masterpieces Puzzles and Willowcreek Press with artwork being feature on greeting cards, calendars, fabric, puzzles, pillows, wall canvases, flags, and many other product lines.
“We are excited about this new venture and hope to become the go-to art licensing agency in the industry for artists as well as manufacturers,” concluded Picerno.
ABOUT ALLIANCES BY ALISA ART LICENSING
Alliances By Alisa Art Licensing is an energetic, international art licensing agency that represents some of the most innovative artists, surface designers and fine art photographers within the licensing industry today. Client creations have appeared on a variety of product lines for prominent print, puzzle, publishing, greeting card and textile companies. Visit www.alliancesbyalisaartlicensing.com for more information.
PHOTO: Engaged couple Alan Giana and Alisa Picerno are partners in love and livelihood with the launch of their new art licensing agency Alliances By Alisa Art Licensing, an international art licensing agency that represents some of the most innovative artists, surface designers and fine art photographers.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents José Manuel Ballester [2020/03/15], which will be open to the public over the next three months. The project consists of a series of photographs taken by the artist around the deserted streets of locked-down Bilbao last spring, exhibited alongside About the Guernica, 2009/2020 by Ballester, an emptied-out version of Picasso’s painting that conveys a contemporary perspective on the historical event and human tragedy.
This project as a whole offers a reflection on the consequences of serious events such as wars or pandemics. Thus, the dialogue between the ‘emptied out’ Guernica and the photographs of the apparently uninhabited city presents the viewer with an interesting and open reflection.
This project bears witness to the period of lockdown through a selection of large-scale photographs that reflect the deserted streets and spaces of Bilbao such as La Salve Bridge, Elcano, the Metro and Calle Bailén, casting an almost unreal image that could represent the current situation anywhere in the world.
In the words of Ballester, “The human absence on the streets created unusual images of totally empty roads, avenues, and squares, but the most disturbing part was knowing that all the inhabitants were there, that they were just a few meters from me, protected within the walls of their homes. Despite being so close, silence reigned supreme.”
This portrait of the uninhabited city has many parallels with the artistic vision José Manuel Ballester has been developing for years through his impressive series of works called Hidden Spaces, in which he reinterprets key paintings in the history of art devoid of their characters, giving them a new artistic and human sense.
About the Guernica is a photographic reproduction printed on linen, the same size as Picasso’s original canvas, digitally treated to empty the space of all its human characters. Thus, the architectural interior, with its interplay of light and shadow, remains a silent witness to the bombing of Gernika in 1937. Ballester shifts Picasso’s chosen time sequence to a later time, in which all of the protagonists have disappeared, but in which, in the artist’s words, “the signs of the inhuman remain, as do the flames of the fire that still burns, like the flower that blossoms from the sword”.
The experience provided within the museum itself is complemented by a digital project that develops the concept of emptiness so strongly present in Ballester’s work, accessible from the Museum’s website. In addition, a book has been published that includes the series of twenty photographs taken by the artist in the streets of Bilbao alongside his reinterpretation of Picasso’s work, with comments by Carlos del Amor.
A Collaborative Project
This project is presented to the public in a time of restrictions. After the lockdown and the Museum’s temporary closure last spring, current mobility constraints and economic difficulties make it hard for initiatives to move forward. It is in these challenging times when collaborations and the sum of efforts acquire new value, working together to make a project became a reality.
[2020/03/15] José Manuel Ballester would have been impossible without the generous collaboration of three companies: Estudios Durero has been responsible for the production of the large-scale photographic reproductions with special high-quality printing solutions, in addition to the creation and publication of a homonymous book; Giroa-Veolia has carried out the installation and lighting of the works in the special context that we are going through, and LIN3S has developed the digital experience that, for the first time in the Museum, shows in an innovative way not only the pieces presented in the Museum space but also some others by the artist that complete his project for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Hidden Spaces in the Museum Collection
José Manuel Ballester’s intervention on Guernica and on the other works included in the Hidden Spaces series is, in his own words “an attempt to bring into the present moment the events that motivated the creation of these works and to equate them with the current conflicts that exist in the world. These are events that scandalize and move us, but, at the same time, they fade away in our consciousness when they are far away.”
“When you strip paintings of their characters, you’re faced with a desolate, absurd landscape that brings out the horror in the wake of human savagery,” said Ballester.
Three works by José Manuel Ballester belonging to the Hidden Spaces series are present in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection: The Third of May (2008), The Royal Palace (2009) and The Raft of the Medusa(2010). These works are reinterpretations, respectively, of The 3rd of May 1808 (1814) by Francisco de Goya, Las Meninas (1656) by Diego Velázquez, and The Raft of the Medusa (1818–19) by Théodore Géricault.
RELATED ACTIVITIES Session of bertsosHustuari Hitzak (Words about Emptying Out)
Renowned bertsolaris Andoni Egaña and Maialen Lujanbio will offer a session of bertsos from the Museum gallery that houses the work About the Guernica and José Manuel Ballester’s images of uninhabited spaces. This session will be accessible via streaming.
A Conversation- January 14
Artist José Manuel Ballester, curator Petra Joos, and journalist Carlos del Amor will discuss the most relevant aspects of this unique project in a talk that can be followed both in person at the Museum Auditorium and via streaming. The experience can be found here.
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