Good Turns

December 2006 | BY | Issue 53 | NO COMMENTS

The center has a permanent collection, exhibitions and a museum store. Photography by James B. Abbott

Albert LeCoff can trace his destiny to a single moment. While he was a student at Antioch University in Philadelphia, he found an apprenticeship with Manny Erez, a local production woodturner who was returning to Israel and wanted to train a replacement. Excited to inherit a tidy package of a business, LeCoff signed on. But he soon discovered that newel posts and balusters—the staples of the production woodturner—made his eyes glaze over. “I was not interested at all,” he recalls.

That is, until the day LeCoff was leading a friend through the shop and they stopped to watch Erez at his lathe. In minutes, the master turner transformed a spinning hunk of wood into a perfectly proportioned post, using nothing more than his eyes to measure and a crude cutting tool to carve. Then Erez tossed the post onto a pile of 25 identically perfect ones. “At that moment,” says LeCoff, “I realized it was an art to be able to turn with that much skill. I realized the art of the craft.”

Soon after taking over Erez’s shop, LeCoff began holding woodturning symposiums twice a year at the George School in nearby Newtown, Pa. Then, seeing a hunger for a community hub, LeCoff founded the Wood Turning Center in his Philadelphia home in 1986.

For more of “Good Turns,” pick up the February 2007 issue of AmericanStyle today!

Living with a Legacy

December 2006 | BY | Issue 53 | NO COMMENTS

Katherine, Anthony Quinn’s widow, preserves her husband’s memory through their two children, Antonia and Ryan, and through his extensive collections. Photography by Steve Dunwell

Katherine Quinn, widow of artist, actor and collector Anthony Quinn, remains connected to her husband in many ways, most significantly through their two children, Antonia, age 13, and Ryan, age 10. Every day, she feels Anthony’s presence as she works to document, preserve and interpret his extensive collections.

Anthony Quinn left behind an enormous legacy: more than 3,000 pieces of art (his own and the works of others), collectibles and antiquities, a library of more than 10,000 books, and thousands of archival objects documenting his life and career. Most of these items were either on display or in storage at the Quinns’ estate in Bristol, R.I., when Anthony died in 2001. Later, when Katherine decided to move into a smaller home, the need for documentation became pressing. “I thought it would be important historically,” she says. Katherine began to photograph everything and hired a curator, Benjamin Bergenholtz, to catalog the entire collection.

The documentation project soon took on a life of its own, as friends and advisers responded enthusiastically to Katherine’s efforts. First came Anthony Quinn’s Eye: A Lifetime of Creating and Collecting Art, the lavish book celebrating Anthony’s legacy, designed by Malcolm Grear. An exhibition based on the book soon followed at the Newport Art Museum in Newport, R.I. Response to the show was so overwhelming that Katherine, working through the Anthony Quinn Trust, arranged to put the show on the road nationally.

For more of “Living with a Legacy,” pick up the February 2007 issue of AmericanStyle today!

Editor’s Note

December 2006 | BY | Issue 53 | NO COMMENTS

Throngs of fair goers at the Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts in Tempe, Ariz. This year’s show runs March 30- April 1.

One thing you can say about AmericanStyle readers: they’re highly consistent in their craft show preferences—except when they’re not.

Just look at what’s happened with this year’s results in our annual Top 10 Fairs & Festivals readers’ poll. Five of last year’s winners got shuffled around a bit, but maintained positions on the Top 10 list. Five others, all brand-new entries, muscled their way into slots formerly held by craft show biggies, including the American Craft Council shows, SOFA New York and Chicago, and the Santa Fe Indian Market. Even more astonishing, three of the 2006 Top 10 are based in a single state, and one of those, the four-year-old Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival in Midway, Ky., was a major grass-roots write-in favorite.

How’s that for making a case to get out the vote!

Having just come off the high of America’s political midterm elections, it’s been doubly exciting for us here at AmericanStyle to tally up and analyze our readers’ preferences on craft fairs.

So what do this year’s Top 10 ballot choices all mean? First, that AmericanStyle readers are committed fair goers who know the playing field and are willing to travel to find it. Second, that more than just art is involved in fair going. Voters maintained that getting the chance to meet and talk one-on-one with artists during craft fairs was frequently the high point of the overall experience. And finally, that voters bank on craft fairs as a reliable way to see more, learn more and refine their tastes, the better to discover and support promising new talent whose work is still affordable and artistically strong.

Because we believe that craft fairs are such an integral part of craft collecting, what you’ll also find in this issue is AmericanStyle’s Essential Guide to Fairs & Festivals. It’s a month-by-month planning calendar of some of the country’s most prestigious craft events, which we anticipate rolling out in ever-expanding form at the beginning of each new year. Just look at it as a Burpee seed catalog for non-gardeners. Then get out your pencils and start circling.

Hope Daniels
Editor-In-Chief

Arts Travel: Olympian Effort Nears Completion

December 2006 | BY | Issue 53 | NO COMMENTS

A former industrial waste site on the Seattle waterfront is about to be reborn.

After a three-month delay caused by a union strike that cut off the project’s concrete supply, the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is scheduled to open Jan. 20 on 8.5 acres of prime real estate that was previously home to a Unocal fuel transfer facility. The new green space will feature a number of permanent sculptures as well as changing exhibitions and educational programs. A pavilion will host exhibitions and performances. The project was designed by New York’s Weiss/Manfredi Architects.

The initial roster of works to be installed include Richard Serra’s “Wake,” Alexander Calder’s “Eagle” and a glass bridge by Teresita Fernandez titled “Seattle Cloud Cover.” The sculpture park is one of two major Seattle Art Museum projects. The museum itself is temporarily closed for expansion, and is scheduled to reopen May 5. Exhibitions are currently being mounted at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Pieces (of Art) for Peace

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

It isn’t every day that a child is given the chance to create art and participate in a community project. CITYarts, a nonprofit organization now in its 38th year, creates projects based on those expectations. The organization’s latest project, “Pieces for Peace,” was designed to help New York City youngsters connect with art. More than 1,000 kids collaborated with professional artists to complete a 213-foot-long mosaic at the Jacob H. Schiff Playground in Harlem.

To further encourage children to connect with the art, a traveling exhibition accompanies the project through 2008, showing 251 original artworks and photographs of the mosaic project at various venues. CITYarts is still accepting new art; children can submit their designs representing peace to www.cityarts.org. Check the site for an updated list of exhibition venues.

Arts Walk: Mendocino

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

The Panache Gallery on Main Street is one of two owned by Susan Cimmiyotti. Photography by Charles R. Lucke

Mendocino is the town that art built.

Half a century ago this charming village was almost a ghost town. Perched on a promontory at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino had been a bustling northern California lumber center. But when its mill shut down in 1938, the economy did too. Residents left, abandoning houses.

Then, in 1957, William and Jennie Zacha came camping. An artist based near San Francisco, William was swept away by the beauty of the rugged coastline, the redwood forests, and the town itself—gingerbread cottages, New England-style farmhouses and Old West storefronts. Their daughter, Lucia Zacha, says, “This was the place my father had been looking for all his life.” The Zachas bought one of the empty houses and moved north.

Convinced that art could save the town, William Zacha set out to prove it. He paid $500 for the site of a mansion that had burned to the ground. In the outbuildings he founded the Mendocino Art Center in 1959. Other artists joined him, enticed by the center’s classes, studios and exhibitions.

“The town was resur rected because of the Art Center,” says the center’s executive director, Peggy Templer. “It’s the reason the town is what it is.”

Today art is everywhere—in galleries, gift shops, gardens, cafes and studios. Mendocino’s population, around 1,000, includes a high percentage of artists.

Visitors are drawn by the irresistible combination of high-quality art and scenic splendor in a relaxed, step-back-in-time environment. Brisk walkers can stroll the town in an hour. Art lovers should allow at least a day to enjoy the natural and handcrafted wonders.

One quirky note: Mendocino has two address-numbering systems: most people use county-issued five-digit numbers, but others prefer their old three-digit addresses.

The Mendocino Art Center (45200 Little Lake St., 707- 937-5818) is the place to begin. Enter through the f lower-f illed Zacha Sculpture Garden, the heart of a vibrant institution that offers four galleries, workshops and performances. On the grounds are a theater, apartments for visiting artists, and studios where students and professionals create fine art, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and textiles.

From the Art Center, amble east past the Victorians along Mansion Row. Detour into Color & Light (10525 Ford St., 707-937-1003), a studio made bright by the fused- and stainedglass art of Linda Brown.

At Lansing Street, head toward the tall, asymmetrical building on the next corner—the William Zimmer Gallery (10481 Lansing, 707-937-5121). In a showplace that would be at home in a major city, Zimmer has assembled sculpture, paintings, glass, ceramics, jewelry and furniture from all over the world. “We’re a crossover gallery,” he says. “The distinctions between f ine arts and crafts are artif icial. What does it matter what the material is if the work is beautiful and enriches a life?”

Pause to chuckle nearby at Art That Makes You Laugh (45000 Main St., 707-937-1354), which features paintings by Jeff Leedy. This is the first of several worthwhile stops along the north side of Main Street—though the wild bluffs and blue bay to the south will compete for your attention.

Highlight Gallery (45052 Main, 707-937-3132), inside a Victorian cottage, showcases paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and glass by 200 artists. It gleams with warm tones of wood. Highlight is known for furniture by designers such as Tom McFadden and the Meier Brothers. “Working with artists one-to-one is what endeared me to the gallery,” says owner Sharon Peterson.

Two Visions Gallery (45104 Main, 707-937-3898) showcases photographs by Lisa Kristine and Chris Honeysett. Kristine works in color while Honeysett prefers black and white, and they focus on different subject matter. Yet side by side the photos reveal complementary styles and artistic philosophies.

Celtic Creations (45098 Main, 707-937-1223) is the second-f loor studio of jewelry artists Chris and Shani Christensen. Inspired by nature and ancient symbols, they use gold, silver and gemstones to fabricate custom designs.

As you step into bay-windowed Panache Gallery (45110 Main, 707- 937-0947), vivid colors catch your eye. Bright-toned paintings harmonize with the vibrant art glass that is a specialty here. Owner Susan Cimmiyotti says, “I love putting glass with paintings because of the interplay of colors.”

The modern green building in the next-to-last block was designed by William Zacha as his family’s home. The second f loor is the informal Zacha Gallery (484 Main, 707-937-5205); call for an appointment to see the town benefactor’s art, including “Tokaido Journey,” serigraphs of Japan that he considered his masterworks.

Near the end of the street you’ll find the Artist’s Co-op of Mendocino (45270 Main, 707-937-2217). Its gallery offers paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry and a spectacular view.

The ocean beckons. Take a break to wander the bluffs, listen to the sounds of the surf and smell the salty air. As winter approaches, dress for cool, gray weather, and carry rain gear; that’s when Pacif ic storms roll in, often leaving brilliant blue skies behind. Keep an eye out for gray whales, which migrate from December through April.

Now backtrack up Main to Kasten Street. Head one block north to where Kasten meets Albion Street.

A second Panache Gallery, in a yellow carriage house (10400 Kasten, 707-937-1234), has its own artists. “We try to keep the galleries unique,” Cimmiyotti explains. While you’ll find art glass and paintings here too, this location carries more steel and wood sculpture than its Main Street twin, and different styles of jewelry.

Clinton Smith Gallery (333 Kasten, 707-937-2261) displays Smith’s hand-printed landscape and nature photographs. The World of Suzi Long, tucked into a water tower (611 Albion, 707-937-5664), exhibits Long’s seascapes. Next door, Compass Rose (613 Albion, 800- 900-9894) specializes in leather; you can watch Ed O’Brien craft purses. At Sticks (45085 Albion, 707-937- 2621), Bob Keller offers rustic handmade furniture, birdhouses, baskets and his photographs. The Mendocino Jewelry Studio (45050 Albion, 707-937-0181) features gold and silver creations by Nancy Gardner and other designers.

Finish your walk at Coastside Gallery (45055 Albion, 707-937- 4960). The shed-like exterior gives little hint of what lies within—an elegant space filled with sculpture, furniture, jewelry and wall-hung art, including plein-air art works by owner Kevin Milligan. A history buff, Mulligan collects Mendocino’s stories as well as painting the town’s shapes, colors and special quality of light.

“Mendocino is a community of artists,” Milligan says. That observation would have made William Zacha smile.

Arts Travel: An Artful Way to Stay in Taos

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

Seventy years ago, a batik artist went into the hospitality business, establishing a soon-to-be-legendary inn that has opened its doors to cultural luminaries including Greta Garbo, D.H. Lawrence and Robert Redford.

The artist, Helen Martin, was the sister-in-law of Bert Phillips, a painter who was among the “Taos Founders.” Her husband, Dr. Thomas Paul Martin, was the county’s first and, for many years, only physician. The couple owned the area’s largest house and purchased surrounding houses on the plaza, renting them to artists and writers.

In 1936, Doc Martin died and Taos’s only hotel burned down. Helen Martin bought the remaining property on the plaza and opened the Hotel Martin, which soon became the center of Taos’s cultural community.

Renamed the Taos Inn and then the Historic Taos Inn by subsequent owners, the hotel remains true to its artistic heritage, hosting invitational exhibitions of northern New Mexico art and serving as a founding sponsor of the Taos Talking Pictures Festival. For information on the inn and its 70th anniversary celebrations, visit www.taosinn.com.

Celluloid Surfaces, Anyone?

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

For the first time, New York’s Museum of Modern Art is putting art on its walls—its exterior walls.

The museum and Creative Time, a public art organization, have commissioned a large-scale work by artist Doug Aitken that will project film scenes onto seven of MoMA’s facades, including along West 53rd and 54th streets and the walls overlooking the museum’s sculpture garden.

The scenes, all filmed in New York, explore the rhythm and energy of the urban architectural landscape in relation to the pedestrian experience.

Continuous sequences of the films will be shown 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily Jan. 16-Feb. 12, 2007. The work is Aitken’s first large-scale public art project in the U.S.

Art Travel: Art Trips For the Taking

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

There’s not much time left to buy a chance at art-filled vacations to Paris, London, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco or Santa Fe.

These packages being offered in a raffle by Art League Houston include roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations and private tours of museums and galleries. Highlights include:

  • A stay at New York City’s Hotel Gansevoort, which features work from Wooster Projects, a neighboring gallery, as well as a large-scale collaborative work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol in the lobby.
  • Private tours of the Gary Nader Collection and auction house and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, along with passes to the Miami Art Museum, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach and the Lowe Art Museum in nearby Coral Gables.

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by calling 713-523-9530. Only 2,000 tickets are being sold for the drawing, which will be held at the League’s Off the Wall Ball fundraiser Nov. 18; you do not need to be present to win.

Arts Travel: Crafting Your Holiday Getaway

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

Alexandria, Va., shops take the holidays seriously, decking the halls and opening their doors with seasonal cheer. the town’s Holiday Parade of Lights will feature more than 50 brightly decorated boats casting holiday colors into the Potomac River.

Whether you like your holidays toasty inside or out, we’ve found three holiday destinations that will keep stomachs full, cheeks aglow and arms full of presents.

Alexandria, Va., pulls out all the stops through the holiday season. Kicking off with the 36th Annual Campagna Center’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, the first weekend in December offers a parade with 100 Scottish clans dressed in full regalia and the Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, which showcases six charming homes decorated for the holidays. Another can’t miss event is the 6th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights, when the harbor sparkles with more than 50 brightly lit boats. For a complete list of events, visit www.funside.com.

Saugatuck and Douglas, Mich., twinkle with small-town charm all month long. During the first two weekends of December, the Kirby House offers a “Dickens Christmas Dinner” that includes a party on Friday night and a six-course meal on Saturday evening. If you want to visit every bedandbreakfast, try the “Christmas Candlelight Progressive Dinner.” You’ll join an old-fashioned culinary tour that travels from inn to inn for each course. To top it off, try a horse-drawn carriage ride to the galleries and shops downtown. Visit www.saugatuck.com for details or to make reservations.

Madrid, N.M., decks the halls throughout December to bring the feel of an old coal mining town back for the holidays. Celebrating its Christmas Open House during the first three weekends of December with traditions dating back to the 1920s, the festivities begin with a parade on Dec. 2. With more than 45 specialty shops and 30 galleries, it won’t be hard to make fast work of your holiday shopping. Madrid boasts four bed-and-breakfasts of its own, with more accommodations available in nearby Santa Fe. Call Johnsons of Madrid Galleries at 505-471-1054 for more information.

Smithsonian’s Museum–Quality Art for You

October 2006 | BY | Issue 52 | NO COMMENTS

Collect with the confidence of a museum curator, without the multimillion-dollar institutional budget.

Each year, the Smithsonian Associates Art Collectors Program commissions a limited-edition print by a contemporary artist and offers the work to the public through its website.

This year’s commission, Janet Fish’s “Lotus,” sells for $1,200 ($950 if you’re a Smithsonian Resident Associates member). The hand-printed screen print is available in a numbered and signed edition of 150. Previous commissions went to Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Kushner and Sol LeWitt, among others.

For the budget-conscious collector, the program offers posters and small color etchings, all ranging in price from $10 to $350. For information, visit www.artcollectorsprogram.org.

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