Make a unique statement. Bring some spirituality into your home with these protective ceramic totems — a unique family keepsake in the Native American tradition. Inspired by the artist’s world travels and available in large models, tabletop and wall totems. See more at www.cathygerson.com.
With its massive size, shocking blue color and tragic backstory, Luis Jiménez’s “Mustang” has generated much discussion since its installation at the Denver International Airport in February.The 32-foot-high work has been long awaited in Denver, first commissioned in 1993 as part of the airport’s public art program. Sadly, a portion of the sculpture fell and crushed the artist in 2006, delaying its completion. After his death, Jiménez’s family supervised the final work on the project.
“Mustang” has been met with critical praise and public scorn, with The Denver Post describing it as “nothing short of a masterpiece,” while a local blogger says it “looks as if it galloped straight out of hell.”
The fiberglass sculpture sits atop a knoll between inbound and outbound lanes at the airport, allowing it only to be viewed by car. Airport officials hope to eventually offer viewing opportunities on foot.
For more of “Style Spotlight,” pick up the October 2008 issue of AmericanStyle today.
The National Endowment for the Arts has selected 11 artists to receive 2008 National Heritage Fellowships. The $20,000 awards are given to those working in folk and traditional arts, both as visual and performing artists. Among this year’s recipients:
- Dale Harwood, a saddle maker from Shelly, Idaho
- Bettye Kimbrell, a quilt maker from Mt. Olive, Ala.
- Jeronimo E. Lozano, a Peruvian retablo (altar box) maker from Salt Lake City, Utah
- Horace P. Axtell, a Nez Perce drum maker and singer from Lewiston, Idaho
After nine decades of ownership, Corning Inc. has decided to sell Steuben Glass, its handmade luxury crystal division.
A buyer has not yet stepped forward, but the company says it hopes to find a new owner before the end of the year, and will consider other options,including closing the business, if one does not emerge.
Steuben Glass was founded in 1903, and acquired by Corning in 1918. The company is now the only manufacturer of luxury lead crystal in the United States.
According to Corning, Steuben has not been profitable for a number of years, and does not align with the corporation’s focus on technology innovations.
Corning hopes to sell Steuben to a retailer or luxury goods manufacturer, and will encourage any buyer to keep the company’s operations in Corning, N.Y., its base for nearly a century.
You may know Karen Allen best as Marion Ravenwood, Indiana Jones’s fiery sidekick in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
What you might not know is that the actress is a life-long knitter. “Even when I was doing films, I’d set up a little design studio in my trailer,” she says. “This was my first love.” It’s no wonder that the down-to-earth star launched her own business in 2003 and now runs her own shop, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, in Great Barrington, Mass.
Allen started knitting at the age of 5, and at 17 briefly attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York before switching tracks to focus on theater and film. She returned to FIT in 2002 to learn machine-knitting technology. Soon after, Allen settled in the Berkshire Mountains and launched a design studio. Today she designs, creates and oversees every pattern, fabric and garment in her collection, producing more than 700 pieces a year.
Allen’s jackets, sweaters, scarves, shawls and hats are carried in stores across the U.S. Her Great Barrington shop also carries the work of 60 other artists. To learn more, visit www.karenallen-fiberarts.com.
Over mussels and white wine, with classic rock playing in the background at a restaurant called The Ravenous Pig, John Petrey speaks about his art, the golden years of television and the cultural icons of the 1960s. The artist’s current series is a collection of nostalgic dresses made from unconventional materials: bodices cut from handmade paper or patina-coated copper, and skirts constructed of old barn wood, asphalt shingles or busted yardsticks. Some hang in relief, as though dancing across the wall, while others stand upright, perched like a dressmaker’s form.
Recently relocated from Orlando, Fla., to Chattanooga, Tenn., with his wife and fellow artist, Peggy Homrich, Petrey made the trip back to the Sunshine State for this year’s Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. While sitting on a director’s chair outside his booth, he smiles and watches the passers-by touch the unexpected materials that make up his dresses. One woman reaches out to caress a sleeve, another fingers a splintered skirt, and a third presses her palm against a bodice of bottle caps. The pull of a dozen dresses is amazing; it is as though each viewer has found her own narrative in his work.
After the festival, Petrey talks about the story behind these dresses. It seems the idea began brewing several years ago when he found himself considering those “carefree days of childhood when the world was great.” His artistic experimentations took him through a number of Americana pieces until he realized people were connecting to his dresses. “In the ’60s, when I was growing up in southern California,” he says, “all the families on TV could solve their problems in 30 minutes.” Petrey laughs and continues, “The women’s clothes were perfectly pressed, and they wore pearls to cook breakfast!”
Certainly he pokes fun at the absurdity of frying an egg while decked out in pearls. But his critical examination of those Pollyanna days is not a dress burning, but rather a warm preservation of those iconic ideals with which so many of us were raised. Curiously enough, although Petrey memorializes the past, his work doesn’t push to tell us what to think about the women in our lives; instead, he seems to give us room to discover what we think of them—what we imagine them to be.
For more of Portfolio: “Of Pearls and Pollyanna Days,” pick up the October 2008 issue of AmericanStyle today.
Oddly enough, it was a jewelry-making class that set California-born college professor Kenn Holsten on the path to opening what would eventually become one of the premiere glass galleries in the country. Today his name is synonymous with glass masters including Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly and William Morris, and his Holsten Galleries in Stockbridge, Mass., has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Holsten sat down with AmericanStyle to reflect on how he’s made it this far, and what he sees for the future of glass art and collecting.
You have a Ph.D. in Spanish. How did you end up as glass dealer extraordinaire?
For the first 10 years of my professional life, I was a college professor and taught Spanish and Latin American literature at several different universities. My first wife, Chandra, who was a craftsperson and artist, urged me to take a jewelry class. I think the idea was to get me out of my head, to develop other aspects of my personality. I got pretty good at making gold and silver jewelry, and around 1972 someone asked if I was going to do an upcoming art fair. I didn’t even know what that was. She explained that you take whatever you make, set up a table in the mall, and shoppers come by and sometimes buy things. That sounded good to me, because I was supporting a family of four on a professor’s salary. I ended up making about as much in a weekend as I was getting paid a month teaching. Bells started going off in my head.
Chandra and I started doing more and more of these fairs, getting into some of the more serious ones like the American Craft Council shows. In 1976 we decided to become full-time craftspeople, and moved to the Berkshires in 1977. After a year or so, it wasn’t going quite as well as we’d hoped, and the idea just popped into my mind of having a gallery. In 1978, we opened Holsten Galleries in Stockbridge as a multimedia craft gallery.
How did you come to specialize in glass?
It wasn’t an overnight “Ah-ha!” kind of thing. We didn’t start out thinking, “Oh, we’re going to have a world-class glass gallery,” because that concept didn’t even exist. I’m not even sure that I knew who Dale Chihuly or Harvey Littleton were in 1978.
So what pushed you in this direction?
Maybe a clue is that the most expensive piece we sold that first summer was Rob Levin’s “A Cup with Appeal” banana cup for $500. When we made that big sale, I took Chandra out to an expensive restaurant that night, feeling that we were going to be rich. I’m still working on that one 30 years later.
For more of “One on One” with gallery owner Kenn Holsten pick up the October 2008 issue of AmericanStyle today.