Houston Fine Art Fair

houstonWhen you think of hot spots for art and entertainment, Houston, Texas may not pop into your head as being at the top of the list. But you might want to think again. Returning to the George R. Brown Convention Center, the third annual Houston Fine Art Fair will take place from September 19-22.

As they explain their purpose on their website, it’s a place where “art enthusiasts will encounter an international cross-section of works in all media-from past to present. The fair will feature modern and contemporary masters, mid-career and emerging artists from around the globe. HFAF also features memorable on-site installations and special projects, plus an invigorating three day program (September 20-22) of panel discussions designed for both novice and experienced collectors.”

They include 80 galleries that show their wares and they had over 12,000 attendees last year. Opening night will be Thursday, September 19th and will include the “Houston Is Inspired” sneak preview. The art fair is certainly worth seeing and Houston is a city worth exploring if you have the chance.

NY Art Book Fair Coming Soon

Whether you’re a book fiend or just enjoy browsing through large fairs, the NY Art Book Fair is not to be missed. Printed Matter, Inc. presents the fair for their 8th straight year at MoMA PS1. There will be a public opening on Thursday, September 19 and the fair will then run from the 20th to the 22nd.

This event is the world’s leading event for anyone who loves artists’ books, catalogs, periodicals, magazines and more. It includes over 280 booksellers, antiquarians, artists and independent publishers from more than 20 countries.

As part of the fair are a number of unique and exciting programs. These include:

The Classroom: This is a series that includes informal conversations, workshops, readings and other artist-led programs. Some of the participants will include: Trey Sager, Olof Olsson, Linda Simpson, Elisabeth Tonnard and Chris Burnett.

Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference: This will include two days of discussion and debate within the art-book culture.

The conference will include keynote addresses from Clive Phillpot and Warren Lehrer. In addition, as explained at e-flux.com, “Clive Phillpot, a noted critic and preeminent figure in the field of artists’ books, will give a rare New York appearance on the occasion of his long-awaited Booktrek: Selected Essays on Artist’s Books Since 1972. Writer and book artist Warren Lehrer will discuss his classic book works and present a multimedia performance of his latest work.”

River Arts District Event

Certainly, it’s great fun to travel to exciting places and learn about artists around the world. At times, however, it’s also nice to stay close to home and to enjoy local talent. Each month the River Arts District Artists in Asheville invite the public to take “A Closer Look” at their art work and their studios. During August, they will be focusing on painting and drawing and other 2D mediums like illustration, printmaking and 2D mixed media.

Here, I’m going to focus on just three of the many artists who will be offering seminars as part of the program. William Henry Price will present on August 10th at the River Arts District in Asheville from 10-6. He will actually set up and complete a still life painting during that time.

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Richard Christian Nelson will be there as well. As he explains, “Recently I have begun experimenting with fusing Western watercolor techniques with the age-old Asian traditions, with some very interesting results. I enjoy explaining the materials and traditions of Asian painting and calligraphy, and visitors to my studio will see demonstrations of traditional techniques and be able to touch and hold the paper, carved seals and brushes. They will be invited to try ink painting for themselves with a hands-on mini-lesson, either scheduled or spontaneous.”

Finally, artist Lynn Stanley of Silverpoem Studio will have an ink and watercolor on rice paper demo and hands-on activities.

It should be an amazing day and an enriching one for anyone who loves painting and artistic expression.

Don’t Miss Point Art Monaco Next Month

I won’t be making it to the Point Art Monaco event, but if you have the time and money, you shouldn’t miss this one. This is going to be the third edition of the Salon Point Art Monaco. As described on the website for Point Art Monaco, “The Salon Point Art Monaco, one of the major events dedicated to art, hosts this year some of the most prestigious Monegasque and other internationally renowned galleries, in a setting created for the occasion at the Sporting d’Hiver in the heart of the Principality of Monaco.”

This event, organized under the High Patronage of his H.S.H. Prince Albert II, will take place from August 1 to 5th, 2013.

In attendance will be many of the world’s finest artists and their work including permanent exhibitors Gallery Adriano Ribolzi, Grippaldi Monte-Carlo, Maison D’Art and others. One time exhibitors include Dario Ghio, De Bartha Galerie, Galerie Bernard De Leye, Phoenix Ancient Artand many others.

Phoenix Ancient ArtAs a sneak peek into the fine pieces to be exhibited at the event, Phoenix Ancient Art offers a glimpse into their collection. A second generation Ancient Art business with galleries in New York and Geneva, Phoenix Ancient Art houses beautiful antiquities. One piece they plan to display is a Greek Hellenistic jewelry set from the late 2nd-1st century BC.  It includes a necklace and a ring. The necklace includes four pendants that are oval-shaped and are set with an oval garnet on a gold disc. The pieces are beautifully preserved with the necklace completely intact. The ring is in outstanding condition with much of the gold detailing, granulations and filigree work completely intact.

Other pieces they plan to include in their collection for the Point Art Monaco show are a gold leaf bust of the Emperor Licinius from the Roman period beginning in the 4th century AD, a white marble bust from the Roman period 250 AD and a beautiful mosaic with the portrait of a philosopher of a man of letters from the Roman 2nd century AD period.

Certainly, this is an event worth being part of for any art collectors, antique lovers and travelers. It’s on my bucket list. Someday…

Geneva Arts Fair Coming to Illinois

Geneva Art FairI’m not lucky enough to be spending time in Geneva this summer. But I will be in Geneva, Illinois for their amazing summer arts fair. You’ll but sure to find me at the Geneva Arts Fair on July 27 and 28 for their twelfth year showcasing works of over 155 fine artists. The show is juried and will offer visitors a chance to look at works in many mediums and to talk directly with the artists. The show will take place on Third Street in Geneva.

While enjoying the beautiful art, kids can make t-shirts as wearable art, merchants and restaurants will be offering guests sales on food and wine and more. The fair has been voted the “Best Craft or Art Show” by West Suburban Living magazine and arts at the fair will include photography, pottery, fiber, glass, mixed media and much more.

For more information, go to www.genevachamber.com or call (630) 232-6060.

Boardwalk Art Show at Virginia Beach

art showWhat better way is there to enjoy Father’s Day than at an art show? This year, as in most years, we are heading to Virginia Beach to enjoy the awesome Boardwalk Art Show that takes place every Father’s Day weekend. The show takes place from June 13-16 at the Virginia Beach oceanfront boardwalk from 20th Street to 32nd Street.

It’s actually MOCA’s largest fundraising event each year and it features 270 artists’ booths, live performances, entertainment, great food and more. They actually end up getting more than 200,000 visitors.

Last year at the show I was smitten by the history portraits. Many artists, including Hank Shapell, showcased profiles in history pieces that were stunning. I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of some of these again.

The story behind the event is as follows. In 1952, a small group of artists started an outdoor art show on the boardwalk. The proceeds went to a fellow artist who was ill. These artists then formed an organization which became the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. The first official show started in 1956.

The show is ranked in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 50 fine art shows. The art show will include R. L. Alexander, Lisa Aronzon, Jake Asuit, Kendra Baird, Greg Barnes, Michael Barnes, Robin Barr and many others.

JFK and an Antique Log Book

Shapell Manuscript Foundation

JFK log book in the Shapell Manuscript Foundation collection

Many people assume that antiques include only large objects like pottery, paintings and the like. Documents, however, are also part of this category, and as a history and antique buff, I’ve always found antique documents fascinating. It was John F. Kennedy’s birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday to our dear 35th President!) and there were a number of articles written about him and about documents from his lifetime.

One that caught my eye, from the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, explained that there was a little-known fact about JFK – he knew how to fly. In 1944, he apparently took flying lessons while he was serving in the US Navy. Shapell Manuscript Foundation has a student pilot’s log book that shows that he took ten lessons, including one where he flew solo. The solo flight, incidentally, took place on his 27th birthday on May 29th, 1944.

It’s of particular interest that JFK knew how to fly, considering the dark history his family has with planes. Joseph Kennedy, John’s older brother, died in a plane in August 1944, while sister Kathleen died four years later in a plane crash. And just about everyone knows about the fatal day in 1999 when John F. Kennedy Junior, flying to a family wedding, died in a plane that he was piloting.

The log book in Shapell’s possession includes a recording by Kennedy’s instructor about JFK’s flights and it has Kennedy’s signature (“John F. Kennedy – Lt. USNR”). Certainly a piece of history worth cherishing and an interesting little-known fact that is worth knowing.

The Crozet Arts Festival Fun

crozetIn a few days, we’ll be enjoying our yearly trip to Claudius Crozet Park in Virginia for the Crozet Arts Festival. The view in the park, first of all, is breathtaking, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountain, a one acre lake, picnic areas, trails and more.

On May 11 and 12 they’ll be hosting the yearly art show with 101 juried artists. The artists coming this year include: Spirit Tree Art, Inc. Jewelry, Allison K Studio Mixed Media, Sandra Baquero Collection, The Barn Swallow Ceramics, No-Yoke Art, Ennis Mountain Woods, Bill and Sue Baldwin Leather, Weaving Arts Studio/Jesamie Handwovens, Raymond Bell Gallery and Garden Photography, art2die4 Photography, Tracy Booth Paintings, Dick Brown Graphics Photography and many others.

They also have musical entertainment coming which will include Skyline Cloggers, The Design, The Virginia Gentlemen, Terra Voce, The Judy Chops, Beleza and others. They plan to have additional family activities this year including Kim and Jimbo- Interactive Musical Entertainment, Mr. Freckles Balloon Twisting and Magic Acts, Crozet Arts Children’s Group production of Public Art, Crozet Arts Creative Movement, Mystery Music, guided painting and more.

It’s definitely worth a look if you live in the area or are an arts fanatical like I am!

Dance & Music Ensemble Coming in May

Ann and KateIf you happen to find yourself in Asheville on May 17-18, you should definitely not miss this opportunity. Two amazingly talented woman are going to team up for a beautiful performance at The Diana Wortham Theatre.

The event will be a performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Ann Dunn, who has guided North Carolina’s oldest non-profit dance company for years, will be putting on An Appalachian Romance. This is based on Romeo and Juliet but set in the Asheville mountains. Kate Steinbeck and her chamber ensemble Pan Harmonia will play the accompanying music.

The young lovers will be danced by Lyle Laney and Alyssa Belcher.

Tickets are available at the box office at 257-4530.

Asheville’s Drum Circle

drum circle

If you don’t live in Asheville, you definitely don’t know what you’re missing! This has got to be the most vibrant, interesting town around. Every Friday night in the warm weather months, we have a drum circle. Anyone is invited to participate in the drumming, dancing and enjoying. The drum circle takes place in Pritchard Park downtown on Patton Avenue at College Street.

It’s about as much fun as there is, starting around 5 pm usually and going until 10. The drum circle has been going for over a decade, having started in 2001! Here are some great pictures and videos to capture the fun and enthusiasm of the drum circle. Get involved and have fun!