Editor’s Note: Looking for a Little Design Inspiration? Check These Spaces

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

Vivian Reiss' Studio
When she isn’t traveling or working in her garden, Vivian Reiss can be found in her third-floor studio, working on luminously colorful large-scale oil paintings imbued with her vibrant sense of joie de vivre.

Real estate agents call it staging—putting furniture and accessories into rooms of an empty house to make it feel more lived-in and sellable. You and I would probably just call it stuff—the things you cart from place to place over a lifetime to make your own formerly empty house your home.

When it comes to the homes of visual artists, however, stuff gets transformed. In their hands, even things like pulp paper egg cartons can end up as massive wall hangings, and squeezed-out paint tubes piled haphazardly on a rolling cart present an appealing, if unplanned, visual vignette.

One of the things we always ask in selecting homes to feature in our annual Art & Design edition is how compellingly an artist’s personal space becomes a visual extension of their creative eye. This year, with the homes of Toronto painter Vivian Reiss and Pittsburgh mixed-media artist Lori Hornell, I think we’ve hit the jackpot.

Historic and with just a hint of the idiosyncratic on the outside, the inside of the sprawling 1870s Victorian that Reiss moved into more than 25 years ago bears the undeniable stamp of her exuberant personality. Stripped down to its bones, then reconstructed room by room according to her exacting specifications, it defies drop-in visitors to remain gloomy for long. Once captivated, it also makes them exceedingly reluctant to leave.

Lori and Alan Hornell’s house is a historic property of another kind. Not all that different on the outside from a host of other refurbished carriage houses on former estates of American business tycoons, the inside is just as much a quirky mixed-media assemblage as the rest of Lori Hornell’s work—only much, much bigger. Tufted velvet settees mix with primitive African sculptures, recycled artworks and a billiard table that looks almost small in the soaring living room. Old haylofts, now balconies, serve as galleries for hanging art. And the dizzying juxtaposition of old and new, contemporary and antique, keeps visitors wanting to just poke around the house and explore.

Both residences are amazing.

Style Spotlight: From Garden to Gallery

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

Garden to Gallery
The Frick Collection enclosed its outdoor garden to create the new Portico Gallery along upper Fifth Avenue. CREDIT: Michael Bodycomb

Henry Clay Frick, who died in 1919, always intended to build an addition to his 1914 mansion—now The Frick Collection—to house his growing collection of sculpture. The project was postponed because of World War I, and Frick died before it could be resumed. Now, almost a hundred years later, the museum has added a new display space called the Portico Gallery. The Frick worked with architecture firm Davis Brody Bond to enclose its garden portico and turn it into an indoor gallery space.

A compact 815 square feet along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the gallery opened with 65 examples of Meissen porcelain and two 18th-century statues by Jean-Antoine Houdon. That exhibit runs until April 29. The new space will be used for rotating art and sculpture displays.

Style Spotlight: Transforming the Hirshhorn

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

From March 22-May 13, “360-Degree Projection,” an installation by Doug Aitken, will illuminate the facade of the Hirshhorn Museum with film. Conceptual sketch image courtesy of the Doug Aitken Workshop.

Since opening in 1974, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum has been one of the most visually striking buildings in Washington, D.C., as much a work of art as the collections within. But beginning in March, the colossal cylinder, designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft, will become even more of an attraction as it plays host—and canvas—to Doug Aitken’s “360-Degree Projection.”

From sunset to midnight every night from March 22-May 13, approximately 11 high-definition projectors will cast a film of imagery varying from landscapes to cubist visions onto the building’s concrete façade. According to the artist’s statement, “The visual and conceptual language of the work will be scripted and filmed to seamlessly turn the form of the museum into a single transformative experience.”

Style Spotlight: Philadelphia’s in Stitches

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

''Formal Argument,'' Diane Savona
Diane Savona’s “Formal Argument,” crafted from repurposed vintage textiles, beads and odds and ends will be featured during FiberPhiladelphia. CREDIT: Diane Savona

It’s fitting that Philadelphia, the home of Betsy Ross, America’s first famous fiber artist, should play host to a major biennial festival celebrating textile art. But Betsy might not have been familiar with some of the mediums used today: as well as traditional materials, the artists celebrated in FiberPhiladelphia 2012 use metal, clay and even light in their textile art.

Throughout the months of March and April, 40 locations, including major institutions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of the Arts and the Fabric Workshop, as well as smaller venues, will welcome artists from all over the world for exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other events. Traditional craft techniques will be celebrated, as well as an exploration into the seemingly limitless realm of contemporary textile art and design.

Events kick off on March 2 with “Fiber in the 21st Century Art World,” a lecture by art historian Elissa Auther, at Moore College of Art and Design. For more information and a schedule of events, go to www.fiberphiladelphia.org.

Style Spotlight: Craft Artists Honored as USA Fellows

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

''Egg Baskets,'' Aaron Yakim
Aaron Yakim, who created these ”Egg Baskets,” is among six traditional craft artists to win a USA Fellowship. CREDIT: Aaron Yakim

Craft artists are among the 50 artists honored with USA Fellowships by the advocacy group United States Artists (USA). In a ceremony on Dec. 5 in Santa Monica, Calif., the honorees—architects, dancers, writers, musicians, playwrights and visual artists— were each awarded with a $50,000 grant to use however they like. The organization’s mission is to “invest” in American artists. Since 2006, USA has “invested” $15 million in U.S. artists.

Six artists were recognized in the crafts and traditional arts category:

Textile artist Sonya Clark, of Richmond, Va., whose provocative work makes use of mediums including beads, plastic combs and human hair; blacksmith and sculptor Tom Joyce, of Santa Fe, whose forged sculpture and architectural ironwork often makes bold statements about the social, economic and political histories of iron; Atlanta resident Jon Eric Riis, an internationally renowned tapestry weaver whose work blends ancient Asian tradition with contemporary sensibilities; Beth Lipman, of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., whose exquisite glass sculpture and designs explore the traditions of still-life painting while making a statement about conditions in the world today; ceramic artist Akio Takamori, of Seattle, who draw on his memories of childhood, as well as illustrations in history books, for inspiration; Aaron Yakim, of Parkersburg, W.V., who creates traditional Appalachian baskets by harvesting white oak himself and using hand tools to split the wood into delicate strips.

For a full list of winners, visit www.unitedstatesartists.org.

Style Spotlight: Public Art Comes to D.C.

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

A new program, known as “5×5,” has been introduced by Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities with an aim to invigorate the capital city’s public art scene.

Five curators have each received a grant of $100,000, which they, in turn, are using to fund five artists or collaborative groups in creating 25 projects. The projects must be temporary, lasting no longer than four months, and will be unveiled during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20-April 27.

Installations will include Tattfoo Tan’s labyrinth of weeds in Yards Park, a new waterfront space on the Anacostia River, and a tree made of rubber tubing, by Natalie Jeremijenko, whose branches will spread across one of the city’s busiest intersections.

Style Spotlight: Art Brings in Money (Sometimes)

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

People will buy anything with an art image on it … or will they? Apparently it depends on what the image is and what it’s printed on. A plan by the California Arts Council to raise funds by selling license plates bearing a 1993 image by Wayne Thiebaud was largely successful—in Southern California. The snag in its “Million Plates Campaign” wasn’t the price: $50 for a regular plate; $98 for a personalized one. It was the picture: the palm-trees-beach-and-sunset image just didn’t play well in Northern California.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service launched the 10th entry in its successful stamp series showcasing American fine arts and crafts: a “Forever” stamp by iconic New England artist Edward Hopper. The stamp, based on Hopper’s 1935 painting “The Long Leg,” depicts a sailboat off the coast of Provincetown, Mass. Price shouldn’t be an issue. At 45 cents each, the stamps are a bargain.

Style Spotlight: Guggenheim’s True Colors

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

If you fantasize about living in an art museum, you can now make that dream more of a reality with Guggenheim Color by Fine Paints of Europe. The Vermont-based paint company has unveiled two new paint color collections produced in a partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York: Gallery Colors, 50 hues inspired by colors used in Guggenheim exhibits, as well as by architectural details in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum itself; and Classical Colors, chosen from landmark paintings in the museum’s collection by van Gogh, Cézanne, Modigliani and others. Prices range from $35-$130 per can. For more information, visit www.guggenheimcolorbyfpe.com.

Parting Shot

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

Woods Davy

Gravity? What gravity? These stones, gathered from the Pacific Ocean in Mexico, seem completely oblivious to any rules of weight and mass. California artist Woods Davy’s new sculpture series, “Cantamar,” features a variety of rocks in gravity-defying formations. The stones appear to float, creating an impression that is at once eminently peaceful and profoundly unsettling. Why do they stay up there? This apparent contradiction is emblematic of Davy’s work. All the elements are natural, yet they behave in ways that are completely unnatural. He calls his sensibility “Western zen.” Like the discipline, the stones raise questions that have only mysterious answers.

Style Spotlight: Spring Craft Weekend in D.C.

March 2012 | BY | Issue 79, Spring 2012 | NO COMMENTS

A vase by Hideaki Miyamura is one of the items up for auction at the alliance’s Glorious Anniversaries gala. Courtesy of James Renwick Alliance

It will be a big arts and crafts weekend in the city that knows how to celebrate when the James Renwick Alliance brings its Spring Craft Weekend to Washington, D.C., March 23-25.

With “Glorious Anniversaries,” the alliance has a lot to celebrate: its own 30th anniversary plus the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery

The splashiest event is a gala Saturday night at the historic Willard Hotel, a benefit dinner with live and silent auctions. The auctions feature much-sought-after work by such artists as ceramicists Cliff Lee and Hideaki Miyamura, jeweler Pat Flynn, and metal artist Wendy Stevens. At the dinner, the alliance will present its One-of-a-Kind award to noted collector and benefactor Fleur Bresler.

This year the alliance coordinated events for the same weekend as the 100th National Cherry Blossom Festival. In honor of that, there will be a panel discussion Saturday morning on the Japanese Influence on American Craft, with noted textile designer Jack Lenor Larson, jeweler Donald Friedlich, furniture designer Wendy Maruyama and educator Judith Schwartz.

On Sunday morning, those two educators, along with two others, mixed-media artist Paulus Berensohn and glass artist Stephen Powell, will be honored by the alliance as Distinguished Craft Educators.

The alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes knowledge and appreciation of American craft and provides support for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery. For information, go to www.jra.org or call 301-907-3888.

Web Exclusive: Glass Galleries

March 2012 | BY | Archives | NO COMMENTS

Here is a selective list of retailers of fine studio art glass:



Blue Rain Gallery



PISMO Fine Art Glass

District of Columbia

Maurine Littleton Gallery



Habatat Galleries


Galeria of Sculpture


Habatat Galleries



Ken Saunders Gallery



Flame Run



Dane Gallery


Schantz Galleries



Habatat Galleries



Duane Reed Gallery

New Mexico


Blue Rain Gallery

Holsten Galleries

New York


Heller Gallery

North Carolina


The Bender Gallery



Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery



Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass



Traver Gallery

Notice to our Readers

Our Affiliates

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L'Attitude Art & Sculpture Gallery

Ripley Auctions

Designs for Tranquility

Pismo Fine Art Glass Pinnacle Gallery
The Art School at Old Church Sedona Arts Festival
Leaflines Lela Art Crystal

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