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Max Cole 'Crosswinds" at Larry Becker Contemporary Art
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If you find yourself in Philadelphia before the end of the year, we highly suggest stopping by Larry Becker Contemporary Art to see their current exhibition. To be honest, it wasn’t yet on my radar when I decided to go gallery hopping on a Saturday in November. I happened to begin chatting with an artist sitting a co-op space nearby and he urged me to go over and take a look. ‘Crosswinds’ presents paintings and works on paper by American artist Max Cole. I won’t give away too much here since the owners are more than happy to tell you about this incredible artist and her work - so go see some great art and say hi to their adorable gallery cat!

Max Cole
’Crosswinds’
On view Nov 10 - Dec 29, 2018

You can follow the gallery on Facebook & Instagram.

Max Cole’s paintings suggest an approach to infinity through the use of vertical repetitive lines, a record of intense focus that is said to contain energy as embedded content. The artist describes this process, which she has worked in for over 50 years, as meditative. Though sometimes compared to the work of Agnes Martin, the similarities between the practices are superficial. “There is no other way to produce the work except for a depth of engagement requiring the abandonment of self," Cole has explained, "and this process opens the door to infinity enabling reach outside the physical. For me art must transcend the material.” Born in 1937 in Hodgeman County, KS, she received her BFA from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and her MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Influenced by the Suprematist works of Kazimir Malevich during the late 1950s, she began producing paintings which reflected on time with simple forms. The artist lives and works in California. Today, Cole’s works are held the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Artist biography adapted from Artnet.

Pulse & Scope Recap 2018
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We were so thrilled to be able to have the chance to see more fairs than usual this year. While we loved the diversity of artists represented at each of the shows that we visited, we have to give a special shoutout to Pulse and Scope for having consistent programs of top quality galleries and artists. As we walked along the aisles at both fairs, we couldn’t help but be pulled in every direction trying to take in as much of it as possible. We certainly tried to - so here are a few of our favorites!

PULSE

Andy Dixon  Toilette of Venus , 2018 Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas 59 x 47 inches Joshua Liner Gallery

Andy Dixon
Toilette of Venus, 2018
Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
59 x 47 inches
Joshua Liner Gallery

Amy Lincoln  Sprinkler , 2018 Acrylic on panel 24 × 36 inches Project: ARTspace

Amy Lincoln
Sprinkler, 2018
Acrylic on panel
24 × 36 inches
Project: ARTspace

Kate Ballis  Lenticular II , 2017 Archival Pigment Print 39 x 59 inches Garis & Hahn

Kate Ballis
Lenticular II, 2017
Archival Pigment Print
39 x 59 inches
Garis & Hahn

Agostino Iacurci  Bust n°6 , 2018 Acrylic on canvas 59 1/10 × 39 2/5 × 1 3/5 inches M77 Gallery

Agostino Iacurci
Bust n°6, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
59 1/10 × 39 2/5 × 1 3/5 inches
M77 Gallery

Daisy Patton  Untitled (Mischievous Couple) , 2018 Oil on archival print mounted to panel 80 × 60 inches K Contemporary

Daisy Patton
Untitled (Mischievous Couple), 2018
Oil on archival print mounted to panel
80 × 60 inches
K Contemporary

Bisa Butler  The Safety Patrol , 2018 Quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon 82 × 90 inches Claire Oliver Gallery

Bisa Butler
The Safety Patrol, 2018
Quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon
82 × 90 inches
Claire Oliver Gallery

Daniel Handal  Java Rice Finch (Bubble Gum) , 2016 Signed, titled, dated, and numbered on label, verso Archival pigment print, painted frame (Edition of 3 + 2 APs) 19 x 15 inches Clamp Art

Daniel Handal
Java Rice Finch (Bubble Gum), 2016
Signed, titled, dated, and numbered on label, verso
Archival pigment print, painted frame (Edition of 3 + 2 APs)
19 x 15 inches
Clamp Art

Martina Lang  The Object 01 , 2017 Digital c-print 35 × 24 × 1 22/25 inches Uprise Art

Martina Lang
The Object 01, 2017
Digital c-print
35 × 24 × 1 22/25 inches
Uprise Art

 

SCOPE

Max Sansing  Stranded on Stony Island , 2018 Oil, Acrylic & Spray Paint 30 x 40 inches Line Dot editions

Max Sansing
Stranded on Stony Island, 2018
Oil, Acrylic & Spray Paint
30 x 40 inches
Line Dot editions

Fahren Feingold   WASTED MOMENTS , 2017 Watercolor 12 × 9 inches The Untitled Space

Fahren Feingold
WASTED MOMENTS, 2017
Watercolor
12 × 9 inches
The Untitled Space

Nathan Wong   NW 28 , 2018 Acrylic on canvas 72 × 60 × 1 inches Joseph Gross Gallery

Nathan Wong
NW 28, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
72 × 60 × 1 inches
Joseph Gross Gallery

Betsy Enzensberger   Glittery Rose Gold Popsicle , 2018 Resin, ink, glitter & plexi 26 × 14 × 14 inches

Betsy Enzensberger
Glittery Rose Gold Popsicle, 2018
Resin, ink, glitter & plexi
26 × 14 × 14 inches

Hélène Cenedese   Beard man #6 , 2018 Oil stick, acrylic on canvas 72 × 60 inches Galerie C.O.A.

Hélène Cenedese
Beard man #6, 2018
Oil stick, acrylic on canvas
72 × 60 inches
Galerie C.O.A.

Ulla-Stina Wikander   Just Call! , 2018 Cross stitch on found object, mixed media 5 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 7 9/10 inches Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Ulla-Stina Wikander
Just Call!, 2018
Cross stitch on found object, mixed media
5 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 7 9/10 inches
Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Gigi Mills   Laundry/Hanging Sheets with A Long Legged Dog , 2018 Oil on linen 20 × 17 inches Emmanuelle G Gallery

Gigi Mills
Laundry/Hanging Sheets with A Long Legged Dog, 2018
Oil on linen
20 × 17 inches
Emmanuelle G Gallery

5 Questions with a Curator: Eileen Owens, Philadelphia Museum of Art

We were so thrilled to be able to chat with Eileen Owens, currently a Research and Exhibitions Assistant in the European Paintings Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She curated the exhibition ‘Biting Wit and Brazen Folly: British Satirical Prints, 1780s–1830s', which opened at the museum earlier this year. The show will be on view for a few more weeks, until December 5th, so we highly recommend that you go and check it out!

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Talk about your background in art and art history. Was it something that you were always interested in growing up?

Yes and no. I grew up in the southeast of Ireland, in a medieval city that was steeped in history. I would visit Kilkenny Castle often (my sister and I could probably still recite the tour now, decades later!) and loved learning about the city’s history. So, I had an appreciation for art in a very broad sense, but I didn’t visit my first art museum until I was a 17. When I moved to New York State, my high school offered an art history class, and I was immediately intrigued--I could actually learn about all these paintings I only vaguely knew about from TV or magazines. Taking that class, and having opportunities to visit the Met and MoMA on field trips, truly unlocked something in me. It was as if I was suddenly in on this secret new world--one I felt profoundly connected to.   

Even with this passion though, the understanding that I could have a career working in an art museum came to me fairly late. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college that I committed to adding Art History to my major. The cliché of falling in love with art in Rome is true for me. I challenge anyone to live there for three months and not contemplate how important, enlightening, and continuously relevant art is in our shared history. Not to mention the sheer thrill of seeing so much beauty in one place! It was impossible to ignore.

You went on to study at Temple University for your MA in Art History. What was your focus and what did you enjoy about the program?

I studied nineteenth-century French art, with a focus on prints and print culture. I felt really supported by the faculty at Temple. The size of the program made it easy to develop solid mentor relationships with professors and some great friendships with fellow students as well. Being in an art history program that is part a renowned fine arts school—where people are creating and exchanging ideas in real time—was really appealing to me too.

Temple’s connection to Philadelphia and its arts and culture scene was also a huge influence, not only for access to exhibitions and arts institutions, but for internships and post-grad job applications, too. Being able to capitalize on that network really helped me get my foot in the door.

Tell us about how you ended up at the PMA! That must have been an exciting transition out of grad school.

It definitely was! I was very fortunate to have gotten a fellowship right out of school and to still be working at such a valuable institution now. I was selected as the Suzanne Andre Curatorial Fellow in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, which is a two-year fellowship that I began in 2016. In grad school, I developed a love of works on paper—how they were made, how they functioned in society, who collected them—and this was my first museum position where I got to interact directly with these objects on a daily basis. Running the department’s busy study room, preparing for acquisition meetings, completing condition reports, taking courier trips—it was all vital training in the daily tasks of a curator.  

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

As part of your two-year fellowship you had the opportunity to curate an exhibition. How far in advance did you begin planning for it, what was the process like and what did it entail?

All in all, from concept to opening day, the show was in planning for the better part of a year and a half. I started throwing around potential exhibition ideas pretty much as soon as my fellowship began. I had a standing interest in caricature, having researched French satire for my masters’ thesis.  The museum’s holding of caricature, specifically British caricature, is so rich it just made sense to showcase these fantastically funny and perpetually relevant images.

I spent a long time looking through the more than 300 British caricatures in the museum’s collection. Early on, I made the choice to focus specifically on social satire, intentionally leaving out political works that might be less relevant (or understandable) to a modern audience today. What was so revealing, and actually pretty heartwarming, was how similar our collective sense of humor is now and then. What Londoners in the 1800s found funny and what we laugh about today really hasn’t changed that much. There are so many relatable threads running through the comedy of these centuries’ old prints—from anxieties about new technologies and environmental issues to the struggle to keep up with the latest fashion.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The show has been up for several months and has been extended until December, congratulations! What are you working on now or what's next?

Thank you! It has been so fun to share the exhibition with visitors. I love sneaking in the galleries and watching people, young and old, giggling at the prints!

I was fortunate enough to stay on at the PMA once my fellowship ended. Currently, I am a research and exhibition assistant in European Painting, working with curator Jenny Thompson on an upcoming Impressionist exhibition that will open in April 2019. In addition to the exhibition, we are planning a reinstallation of the PMA’s nineteenth-century permanent collection galleries too. Both are exciting projects that I’ve really enjoyed digging into!

*Photo credit for all exhibition installation images: Joseph Hu.

Overcoming Creative Burnout 

By Ekaterina Popova

Header image by Lauren Zaknoun

Creative burnout is real. Have you been struggling to start that new painting, or even show up to the studio? Does the thought of making new work drain you and fill you with dread? I recently went through a very intense burnout, which manifested itself as physical illness, emotional breakdown and just a general inability to work. I was out of commission for nearly two weeks.

You see, I have been running on empty for over two years without fully realizing it. From leaving my day job at a call center in 2016 to juggling my painting career and the magazine, I unknowingly replaced breaks, fun and time off with generating new ideas, networking and more to do's. I forgot what it means to be truly inspired, actually have fun and enjoy simple and free pleasures in life whether or not they contribute to my art practice or career. 

It's easy for creatives to feel guilty about taking breaks because we either feel extremely lucky to be able to do it as our job or are dying to make art after working a demanding day job 40+ hours a week. Art can be an escape, but in some cases, it becomes a burden and we need to give ourselves time to heal and replenish our energy and creativity. 

When art, the love of your life, becomes an impossible task, it's time for a little intervention with yourself. Of course, we want to design our lives in a way that would prevent these breakdowns by following a healthy schedule and practicing saying no, but when a burnout happens, here are some steps to help you get back on your feet and back to the flow of life and creativity. 

Slow down to speed up

When I first started experiencing my setback, I shared the situation with my mentor, Bridgette Mayer, who suggested scheduling time off, even for fun activities. Make your time off just as important as your assignments and projects. Try to incorporate a day a week where you indulge in guilt-free activities such as reading, spending time with loved ones or making art just for you (if you are up for it of course). 

Check your engine

Sometimes we forget that we are living, breathing humans and not machines pumping out ideas, art and inspiration. Even if you exercise and eat well, stress and fatigue may have devastating effects on your overall health. When I was going through my burnout, I felt like I had the flu and could not stop sleeping, even though my medical report was flawless. Make sure you are conscious of your breathing, are sleeping enough and taking the time to laugh and enjoy your day. 

On a recent episode of our podcast Art & Cocktails, I interviewed one of my favorite painters Andrew Salgado, an incredible and prolific figurative artist. Andrew shared that he takes a complete break after each exhibition and travels. Coming from such a successful figure, this made me realize how my nonstop schedule is probably hindering my growth in some ways. 

We simply cannot expect to make good art if we continue to abuse our body and mind. I am guilty of this and am learning to listen when enough is enough, no matter what is expected of me that day. 

Release the pressure

The good news is, if we take care of ourselves and temporarily stop making art, no-one is going to be severely affected. I remember, back when I worked at Macy's, my manager used to tell me on a particularly bad sales day "we are not saving lives, it's just lipstick.", and that little saying stuck with me. No matter what's going on, your health and mental well being are way more important than artwork. Plus your gallery and collector need you just as much as you need them and would totally understand if you needed an extra day, week or month (only you know how much time you need). If you are generally a responsible, reliable and pleasant person to work with, people will understand and will give you grace. Release the fear and take the time that you need to be the best artist and person you can be.

Prioritize

Of course, sometimes we have projects and deadlines that determine the course of our career or if we will be able to pay for our bills that month. Highlight the immediate tasks at hand and complete them as well as you can and practice saying no to anything that comes after. If you have things due in the future but are not pressing at the moment, use this time to recover fully. Don't look at, think about or talk about upcoming deadlines that aren't an emergency and focus on your health as much as possible. If you need help saying no, here is a great resource by Marie Forleo to help you get started, another great book I read on this subject is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.


Say it out loud

Sometimes, we get stuck in our own head and need to someone to give us permission to take the break we desperately need. Calling a friend or someone you trust and expressing your condition can help you view yourself from a third party perspective and give you compassion. If you don't have someone to call, here is your permission slip. You are worthy of feeling your best, no matter how much time you need. 

When you are ready to start creating again, start slow and shorten your workday from what you are used to, in order to not fall back into the trap of overwhelming. Work on multiple projects at a time in bite-size pieces. Set a timer and take a five-minute break for every 30 you work. Make sure to step outside once in a while and breathe. 

Our art is about expressing our true selves, and if we are completely worn out it is difficult to share our passion with others. After my recent experience, I want to still be painting and feeling great when I am in my 80's, therefore I will treat my life and career as a marathon and not a sprint.

Give yourself permission to rest. I promise you and your work will be better for it. I can't wait to see what you create when you come out on the other side!

Share your thoughts below or send us an email at info@createmagazine.com

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Natalie Dark

Born in Miami, FL, Natalie Dark works in a variety of mediums, though her current work is made exclusively in colored pencil. Natalie's attention to detail and precision requires a certain level of mindfulness, which lends itself to rich color and visual depth that results in finished pieces reminiscent of oil paintings created by 17th-century Dutch Masters.

As a theme, mindfulness is woven throughout her body of work in direct response to her environment and reflections on personal identity and cultural experience. As a Cuban-American woman in today's political climate, colored pencil provides a sense of stability and grounding that is necessary when living in a world that is in a constant state of flux.

Follow her on Instagram: @nataliedarkart.

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Artist Statement

"Camino Oscuro," (or "Dark Journey," in English) is a foray into Natalie's experience as a newly married, Hispanic woman, who has lost a sense of obvious cultural identity in exchanging her maiden name, Delgado, for the more Americanized Dark.

Her subject matter is purposefully inviting, familiar, and comforting. It provides the viewer with an instant connection and, therefore, an opportunity for further exploration. It is a democratizing experience, where a seductive and comforting exterior hides a world of complexity, a history unexplored or understood by the viewer.

Mo Cornelisse

The work of ceramicist Mo Cornelisse consists of unique pieces mostly in porcelain combined with gold. With love for the traditional craft, but a strong interest in modern techniques, her sculptural artworks are focused on shape and material. Her minimalist and often monochromatic three-dimensional pieces are distinguished by form and simplicity. Mo is the first ceramicist to make porcelain portraits using the latest 3D techniques. Her wall objects are reminiscent of light reflections and she is also known for her melting vases. Lately Mo has been working on a series of wall carpets created in porcelain and gold, but is also beginning to branch out to make them with different materials.

Follow her on Instagram @mocornelisse

Art on Paper in Brussels

We were so excited to be given the opportunity to visit Art on Paper [in collaboration with BOZAR] a small, international drawing-focused art fair in Brussels last week. Besides the fact that it highlights a specific medium - one which can be defined broadly due to its potential to be used in a seemingly infinite amount of ways - the fair is unique in that each gallery's booth presents one solo exhibition rather than a group show of their roster of artists. Below you'll find a few of our favorites!

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From the Art on Paper press release:

The line, to infinity. As everyone knows, drawing is first and foremost a line, potentially infinite. This line evolves and expands over time. In 2018, Art on Paper grows and doubles in size. Since its inception, Art on Paper has been emphasizing the variety and diversity of contemporary approaches to drawing through artist solo shows. This is the main principle of the show, it is THE specificity renewed every year: one booth, one gallery, one artist. Thus, for 5 days, 50 Belgian and international galleries are investing BOZAR exhibition spaces to offer, in the heart of Brussels, 50 SOLO SHOWS from established and emerging artists: the best of contemporary drawing. Building on the success of its latest editions, Art on Paper is setting itself up this year in the prestigious "Ravenstein Circuit", always in collaboration with BOZAR, and has new parallel projects to reflect the most current creation and the most experimental practices in terms of drawing.

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1. Gamaliel Rodríguez at ATM Galería

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5. Serena Fineschi at Montoro 12 Contemporary Art

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6. Anneke Eussen at Tatjana Pieters

Andrew Wapinski "Transmutation" at Callan Contemporary

Born in Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, Andrew Wapinski is a visual artist whose current practice is rooted in the memories of interacting with the environment of the historic coal mining town in which he grew up. His work places great importance on the physicality of material and its relationship to artistic process. Melting blocks of pigmented ice, hand-ground anthracite coal and the collection of dust from his reductive painting processes lay the foundation for Wapinski to investigate interwoven themes of liminal space, reclamation and material significance as they relate to shifting environments and sense of place.

He will be presenting a solo exhibition entitled "Transmutation" at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans from September 1 - 30. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 1 from 6 - 9 pm.

TRANSMUTATION

Fluidity and change—the waxing, waning duet between human beings and nature—are the subjects of Andrew Wapinski’s formally elegant, conceptually rich mixed-media paintings on linen-mounted panel.  In his debut exhibition with Callan Contemporary, Wapinski presents a suite of evocative abstract works, which project a contemplative, Zen-like serenity while encapsulating personal and anthropological narratives.  The paintings flow from a time-intensive process that Wapinski first developed in 2013, in which ink- and pigment-infused ice melts onto canvas in controlled fashion, imprinting organic forms.  “This establishes a foundation to open a dialogue between natural process and personal interaction,” the artist observes.  “For me, the melting ice is symbolic of geological process and a metaphor for the passage of time.”  Wapinski adds and excavates thin layers of gesso, responding intuitively to the shapes.  A hard dividing line, or scission, emerges along with the forms through myriad additive and subtractive strata.  This creates a texture differential reminiscent of the strip-mined hills he grew up around in St. Clair, Pennsylvania, and evokes the moment of potentiality when natural environment and human interaction, in cycles of construction and deconstruction, evolve together into something new.  Organic gesture and geometry become interwoven in a mélange of personal memory and socio-geological critique.

Wapinski earned a B.F.A. in painting from Kutztown University (Pennsylvania) and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Delaware.  His work has been reviewed in publications such as The Washington Post, New American Paintings, and Artline and has been exhibited recently at Elmhurst Art Museum (Illinois), as well as galleries in New York, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati.  The paintings are included in significant private and corporate collections throughout the United States.

Influenced by minimalists Agnes Martin, Richard Serra, and Donald Judd, Wapinski’s sensibility also evokes the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 70s.  In materiality and technique, the paintings allude to the primal call-and-response of man and nature, the shaper and the shaped, each altering the other’s trajectory from prehistory through the present day.  In poetical greyscale tones and washes they speak to the dialectics of permanence and impermanence, the local and the global.  The artist sees the works not only as metaphors for geologic processes, but also as embodying “a kind of alchemy:  the idea of transmutation; the forms changing from one state to another; the shaping of material with intent.”

                                                                                                                          by Richard Speer

All images courtesy of the artist.

Ida Ivanka Kubler at Salena Gallery, LIU Brooklyn

Artist Ida Ivanka Kubler will be presenting a solo exhibition of paintings entitled "Birth of an Idea" at Salena Gallery, LIU Brooklyn. The show will run from September 4 - October 26 with an opening reception on Wednesday, September 12 between 6 and 8pm. 

LIU Brookyn
Salena Gallery

First Floor, Library Learning Center
1 University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm
Travel: B, Q, R to DeKalb Avenue; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins Street; A, C, F to Jay Street
For more information please contact Nancy Grove at 718-488-1198 or nancy.grove@liu.edu

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Ida Ivanka Kubler (born January 3, 1978, Bulgaria) is an international artist based in New York.

“Up to my 7th year, I lived with my grandparents in a small village in South Bulgaria, almost at the border to Greece. The village was well known for its silkworm sericulture. I often was sitting under the mulberry trees, painting silk cocoons with reddish paint I made from crushed red bricks. The silk cocoons became the initial material for my artwork.” (2012)

Organic in appearance and abstract in presence, Kubler's Birth of an Idea series features simple circle settings consisting of an abundance of painted and sculptured silk cocoons positioned on large canvases. Using what she calls “imaginative touch”, Kubler transforms cocoons left behind by the silk moth from their original identity into transcendent assemblages of colors and shapes reminiscent of Indian Mandalas or ancient Greek mosaics.

Ms. Kubler’s Birth of an Idea series has been recognized by the Behring Institute for Medical Research as having a positive influence on public health. She has worked worldwide, including in Germany, France,  Bulgaria, Norway, USA and the UK and has a wide base of international collectors. Ms. Kubler attended the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria; the University of Applied Arts, Bielefeld, Germany; and the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK. 

Ida Ivanka Kubler is fiscally sponsored by The Solo Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt organization providing artists and not-for-profit organizations with operational and programmatic assistance.

Artist Statement

Capturing the beauty of transformation, the empty cocoon represents the completed process of change and its success. The brightness of the colors celebrates the transition from one state of being to another and honors its glorious unfoldment. The arrangement of the cocoons within the circular shape represents unity and connection. The contrast in colors creates a center point on which to focus the mind.  It is within the cocoon, in isolation and in silence, that the metamorphosis happens. This is true for the human mind as well. Similar to a mandala and its incredible potential to assist in the practice of meditation, the Birth of an Idea series expands on this tool by incorporating nature into its structure. As such, the viewer enters and experiences the artwork, be it consciously or in a trance-like state, and is encouraged to pause and remember the healing power of stillness and silence that resides within each of us.

Art New York 2018: Editor's Top 10 Picks

Art New York, presented by Art Miami, returns to Pier 94 from May 3-6 offering noteworthy and fresh works by important artists from the contemporary, modern, post-war and pop eras, featuring paintings, photography, prints, drawings, design and sculpture.  

The 2018 edition will see over 85 international contemporary and modern galleries from 30 countries come together to represent over 1,200 artists including CONTEXT, a platform for a selection of new and established contemporary galleries to present emerging, mid-career and cutting-edge talent. 

Create! Magazine had the pleasure of exploring the fair on VIP preview day on May 3rd, 2018 and here are our top picks:

Caroline Smit & Ray Caesar at James Freeman Gallery

James Freeman Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Carolein Smit and Ray Caesar, two artists at the forefront of contemporary surrealism to explore the contradictions of the subconscious mind. The show will open with a private view at 18.30 on Thursday 3 May and run through Saturday 26 May 2018. 

Carolein Smit, an internationally renowned ceramic artist and Ray Caesar, a renowned pioneer of digital art, create wondrously dark, deeply instinctive works of art. Both artists’ practices are fueled by a compelling and intuitive process which often leads to their artworks taking on an unforeseen shape.

Smit’s ceramic figures, both frightening and fragile, illustrate her fascination with contrasts and question the boundaries between beauty and horror. Without knowing what form her finished sculptures will take, the artist borrows themes from classic mythological and biblical tales to create characters that lurk deep in our shared cultural psyche. Despite their timeless nature, the characters tap into some of the most elemental narratives governing the subconscious. Exquisitely detailed satyrs, skeletons, medusa’s heads, and sacrificial lambs covered with thorns and drops of blood: they are motifs that have been playing their roles for so long that they become more theatrical than fearsome. The figures often reminiscent of vanitas provide a reminder of the impermanence of life and inevitability of death.

In tandem with this show, Smit’s solo exhibition ‘Myth and Mortality: The Fairytale World of Carolein Smit’ runs at the Victoria & Albert Museum until 30 September 2018 including two site specific wall installations. Smit also has two other important upcoming exhibitions: “L’amour fou” at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, and a solo show of the same name at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands.

Ray Caesar’s work shows manifestations of childhood memories along with the disturbing subconscious workings of the mind. Surprisingly for such intricate works, Caesar lets his intuition take “control”at the moment of creation, resulting in works that have a striking, visceral quality. His images present a cast of figures he refers to as dolls dressed in a myriad of historical costumes and interpreting a variety of cryptic roles. The environments they inhabit are as equally unsettling, with pastoral landscapes, nostalgic seafronts and neo-classical interiors where animals become human and plants come to life. He even sometimes takes to scanning his or his wife’s skin below the eyes to give his creations their sentient, pallid appearance.
 

The James Freeman Gallery is a contemporary gallery in London which focuses on artists making contemporary work that explore art history references with both technical and aesthetic prowess. Founder and curator James Freeman is available for expert comment and interview.

www.jamesfreemangallery.com
James Freeman Gallery, 354 Upper Street, Islington London N1 0PD
For more information please contact Anna Beketov, anna.beketov@damsonpr.com
To RSVP to the Private View please email rsvp@damsonpr.com

Carolein Smit is an internationally renowned ceramic artist who currently lives in Belgium. In the early 1990s she received three scholarships from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Design and Architecture in Amsterdam, and in 1993 was honourably mentioned for the Prix de Rome. Her sculptures form part of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Asante collection in Switzerland, the Thomas Olbricht collection in Germany, the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection in Portugal, Fuled International Museum (FLICAM) in Fuping, China and many more. Her artworks have been on show at the Bonnefantenmuseum (Maastricht), Art Basel, La Maison Rouge (Paris), me Collectors Room (Berlin), the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) to name but a few. In 2010 she had a solo show at the Kunsthal (Rotterdam), and was also part of the blockbuster exhibition ‘CERAMIX’, curated by Camille Morineau (curator Centre Pompidou) and Lucia Pesapane at the Bonnefantenmuseum in 2015 and La Maison Rouge and Cité de la céramique (Sèvres) in 2016.

Raye Caesar (b.1958 in London, UK) is celebrated as the grandfather of digital art. At an early age his family moved to Toronto, Canada, where he currently lives and works. Caesar’s vision resonates with the changing psyche of his figures, reflecting memories of his childhood and experiences gathered over 17 years working in the art therapy department of the Hospital For Sick Children. His work is collected by the Hearst Family, Riccardo Tisci Givenchy, Madonna, Metallica, the Bristol Museum, and selected by the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art, New York & Guggenheim, New York.

Shayna Silverman - "The Grand Sketch"

Shayna Silverman is currently based in Amsterdam, but she hails from New York.  She got her artistic start by drawing on the kitchen floor with crayons, but today her preferred mediums are watercolors and pen and ink on cold press paper.  She is inspired by sunny destinations, the craziness of city life, and all subjects equine or canine.  She attended New York University, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Economics.  For the past nine years, she worked as a strategy consultant in New York and Paris, but she recently decided to take a break from consulting to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an illustrator.    

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I think a lot of artists got their start by doodling with crayons as a kid! Did you have the jumbo box with 120 colors? I loved that. How did you continue to develop your drawing and painting skills growing up? Did you take classes independently or are you more self-taught? Were you still dedicating a fair amount of time to making art even during your early career in strategy consulting?

We had everything at home growing up!  Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pastels, the Sculpey polymer clay you bake in the oven, and more.  My mom was an artist who did decorative painting with acrylics – first on furniture and later on textiles – so our house was always filled with art supplies.  Ironically, I never painted that much when I was little and now I wish that I had let my mom teach me.

My preferred technique was drawing and I had a huge set of Prismacolor colored pencils.  Many years later when I was a management consultant, one of my clients was the company who owns the Prismacolor brand and I got the chance to shop in the company store.  It was a dream come true!

Aside from one watercolor painting class that I took at The New York Studio School when I was a consultant, I am pretty much self-taught, though.  While I was a consultant, I would sneak in time to do travel sketches on vacation (or okay, maybe the occasional doodle in the margins of my work notebooks), but otherwise my creativity was limited to the confines of PowerPoint!  

Tell us a bit about the transition to illustrating. What was the turning point that made you decide to go after your lifelong dream full-time? 

I have always loved art, but I guess that I always felt a little bit of pressure to follow a more traditional career path.  When I graduated from college I had student loans and I wanted to stay in New York (but it’s expensive!), so consulting seemed like a responsible choice.  The further I progressed on the consulting career track, the riskier it seemed to leave.

That all changed when I transferred to the Paris office of my consulting firm.  One of my lifelong dreams was to work abroad. However, once in France, I was working even more grueling hours than I had in the US and I didn’t even have enough time to visit Paris!  Although, I must admit that I was still able to eat my fair share of croissants. Then my boyfriend found a job in Amsterdam and while I was researching my visa options in the Netherlands, I discovered the Dutch American Friendship Treaty visa for American entrepreneurs and I realized that I might have a shot at obtaining it as a freelance artist.  I said to myself that it was now or never!

Where did the name 'The Grand Sketch" come from? Did you consider using your name? 

I did consider using my name, but I decided that I wanted to have a little flexibility with branding until I decided on the style I wanted to use.  I chose the name “The Grand Sketch” because I wanted the name to immediately convey the product being sold. I also liked the juxtaposition of the word “grand”, which suggests an elaborate, impressive work, with the word “sketch”, which implies a rough or unfinished product.  One of my goals in my painting is to have an economy of line that expresses the same emotion as an elaborate painting but without all of the fuss. Finally and most importantly, though, the domain name and instagram handle were available!

Describe a few of your sources of inspiration and how or why they influence your work.

I have always found the craziness of city life endlessly inspirational, if not exhausting!  In New York there are so many eccentric characters everywhere, and so much energy! Amsterdam is wonderful in different ways – the beautiful canals and quiet streets, the take no prisoner cyclists, and the moody weather.  I also love painting horses and dogs. It is a real pleasure to capture their movement and expressions.

What is your process like to create a work from start to finish? Feel free to talk about materials here too. How long does one piece usually take and do you work on more than one at a time? 

I tend to start out by taking a lot of reference photos of the subject that I want to paint.  Then I move to a pencil sketch (with lots of erasing)! When I am checking proportions, I tend to take a photo of the drawing and crop it to the same size as the reference photo and then flip back and forth between the two.  This allows me to spot errors in the proportions. Once I think that I have finished the drawing, I always leave it alone for a day and come back to it to make final corrections before I start to paint. It’s like that dress that you wanted to buy in a store – it’s always easier to have perspective on what you truly need when you look at things with a fresh eye!

For the painting, I often do landscapes on cold press watercolor paper, and more detailed paintings or portraits on hot press paper.  When I am painting horses or dogs, I first do an underpainting of ultramarine blue and van dyke brown to set the values. Then I layer color on top.

While portraits tend to take eight or more hours, I find that lately I have been spending more time on detailed city scapes that require a little bit more ruler work.

I prefer to work on multiple pieces at a time and switch between them to prevent myself from getting bored, but when I have a commission, that takes priority.

Are you working on any upcoming projects, collaborations or exhibitions? 

I am currently preparing for an exhibition at the coworking space The Thinking Hut in Amsterdam.  The theme of the exhibition is Holland and I am painting everything from the canals of Amsterdam to modern – and humorous – takes on the cultural trademarks of Holland (Delft pottery, cows, stroopwafel).  I also have a few commissions in the works, which are all dog portraits.

What are your goals in the coming year? 5 years? 

In the next five years, I would like to eventually find representation with the right gallery, as well as with an illustration agency.  It would be great to do illustrations for luxury brands or editorial work. I would also like to write and illustrate a children’s book, but I think that is more on the five-year horizon.

For more of Shayna's work, you can visit her website or follow her on Instagram here.

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Interview with Kate Young: Hosting Inspiring Events at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
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Tell us about the PAFA venue space. When did this program open up and what types of events do you host?
 
PAFA has been inviting special events in its spaces for decades, but it’s really taken off in the past five years. Businesses and couples are interested in shedding off the traditional banquet hall for something unique. By using spaces that inspire guests right when they walk in allows for hosts to set a mood from the start of their event! About half of our clients are couples getting married, and the other half are non-profit and corporate clients hosting events to honor their employees or their business partners.

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Share a little bit of history behind the building. 
 
There are two buildings adjacent to each other that are available for guests to use. The Historic Landmark Building is the oldest museum in the country and has displayed a collection of American art from 1871. This space is an architectural masterpiece and reflects aspects of the Gothic revival movement in the US as well as Venetian designs, Eastern ornaments, and cast-iron work.
 
The Samuel Hamilton Building was actually built to be a car storage facility and showroom in 1916. The first two floors are now a modern gallery space that are shared by our event guests. Architecturally, the space is grand with expansive ceiling heights and a grand stair case that seems to float in the space. The interior structure of the massive building is supported by a triangular grid of interior concrete columns; once a practical way for cars to pass through the space, and now a wonderful way to allow for wide open gallery and event spaces.
 
Both buildings offer incredible spaces that serve a purpose other than events. In that way, they feel to me like they are more inviting and exciting!

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What are some exciting attributes and bonuses to having an event at PAFA?
 
PAFA events naturally feel like you’re gaining secret access to the museum after hours – because you are! We are one of the only museums in the area that allow you to dine in the galleries rather than an offshoot event space. That makes for an incredible backdrop for your event space!
 
We work to provide a really seamless experience for guests for easy planning– with convenient parking garages or valet, coat checks, dance floors, lighting and A/V packages, and in-house tables and chiavari chairs. We take a lot of the guesswork out of throwing an event by having a team of experienced planners and event hosts!
 

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What role does PAFA play in the Philadelphia arts and culture community?
 
Through our spectacular galleries, our internationally known school of fine arts, and our public programs, PAFA strives to provide students and visitors alike with a unique and thrilling experience. We’re always striving to be a source of inspiration for the Philadelphia community and grow our offerings to our students and the public. For example, PAFA was just awarded $500,000 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for the institution’s Campus Master Plan. Partnerships with local groups like Mural Arts – who’s office is in our Hamilton Building – allows us to stay involved in the art and culture scene outside of our galleries!

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How can those interested learn more and get in touch?
 
If you’d like to rent one of these incredible spaces, email Venue Sales Manager, Kate Young kyoung@pafa.org. If you’d like to know about other programs, exhibit schedules, or the school, visit our website at www.pafa.org!

Awagami Factory: Interview with Craig Anczelowitz

"Awagami Factory" is a brand of Japanese washi papers produced solely in Tokushima, Japan. Awagami operates on 8 generations of family knowledge and skill focusing on quality and refinement within this world-heritage craft. Awagami papers are used by the world's leading artists, photographers, designers, bookbinders and conservators and unlike other washi of unknown origin, guarantee their papers 100%.

Responding to the needs of artists and creators, Awagami strives to incorporate washi paper into contemporary society and is known as a modern-day facilitator of washi culture. Besides creating the worlds most trusted Japanese papers, Awagami also operates a paper museum, runs international papermaking workshops, maintains an ongoing artist-in-residency program and a multi-disciplinary printmaking lab. The mill also collaborates with artists on custom-made papers and has most recently created the Awagami International Miniprint Exhibition; a juried printmaking show (for works on any type of washi) with over $10,000 award in cash and prizes.

It is Awagami’s desire to promote the beauty of Japanese washi and to proudly pass washi culture on to the next generation….and then well on into the future.

Awagami is a generous sponsor of our call for art and will be giving away $300 worth of fine Japanese paper to one lucky winner selected for issue IX.

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When was Awagami Paper founded and what is the story behind the company?

Awagami's Fujimori family has been making washi paper for over 200 years going back 8 generations. In the old days, papermakers were farmers who during the winter months turned to making paper to earn additional income while there were no crops. Traditionally, Japanese papermakers never used a "brand" or added an identifying mill watermark to their paper as they were simply 'humble craftsman. With an influx of Japanese-style papers entering the market from other countries and an increased artist interest in their papers origin, we established the "Awagami" brand in the 1980's.

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What makes Awagami paper different? Tell us about the unique properties of your materials. 

Awagami paper or "washi" is typically made using eco-friendly/renewable fibers such as kozo (mulberry), gampi, hemp and more-and-more, bamboo. These plant-based fibers renew annually providing hundreds of usable harvests over the plants lifetime.  Typically, washi paper is thinner than Western papers however these papers are remarkably strong and resilient. Awagami makes a few hundred types of paper suitable for fine art, conservation and even digital/inkjet printing.

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Japan has a history of beautiful paper. How is this tradition continued and used by contemporary artists today?

Because of the inherent beauty, strength and archival qualities of washi paper, artists are still drawn to using them.  Our mill works with many inspirational creators who use Awagami papers for many types of work including fine art, product and interior design, etc.  Awagami maintains an artist-in-residency program and washi paper museum to promote contemporary artworks on washi.  In recent years, we have seen a growing demand for inkjet/digital papers, so our collection of "AIJP" inkjet papers has gained traction with professional photographers looking to give a new dimension to their prints. Traditional printmakers have also started to use these inkjet papers to create "hybrid printworks" by combining digital output + traditional print techniques (lithography, silkscreen, etching, etc…) in a single print.

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Name a few interesting facts about your company that artists should be aware of. 

-We are one of the few mills in Japan to make such a wide variety of papers (art, inkjet, conservation, interior)…. Done in an effort to adapt washi to meet the demands of a more modern following WII.  

-Awagami's 6th generation master papermaker, Minoru Fujimori was awarded by the Emperor of Japan as a 'National Sacred Treasure'

-We have often accepted challenges by artists to make unique custom papers and have the ability to make some of the largest handmade papers in the world…some of which you can see in works by Chuck Close, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Yu Youhan and Ding Yi.

-Although our papers are sold in over 50 countries, we are still a small family-operated papermill. 

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Is it possible to visit the factory when in Japan?

Of course, sure…..our mill and washi paper museum are open to the public from Tues.-Sun. Please visit, make paper, visit our paper shop and galleries, etc… We also hold 2 annual International workshops each year (in January  & August).  More information may be found on our website: www.awagami.com or via our facebook page.

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Where can we learn more about the products and purchase it?

Our website has more information and a page of international Awagami stockists. Also, please check out our facebook page as we update it regularly with papermaking photos, interesting paper facts, paper artworks and other paper goodness.  Feel free to message us there anytime too if you have specific questions and/or paper needs.

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"All That You Have Is Your Soul" opens at FACTION Art Projects February 1st

FACTION Art Projects presents their inaugural exhibition, All That You Have Is Your Soul, a group show of 17 artists, all of whom are tied together by their responses to building identity within a foreign land. The exhibition uses the link of heritage between the artists to present artworks that celebrate differences in identity.

Artists from disparate generations and with diverse histories come together to create a community through the narratives of their art. All That You Have Is Your Soul presents a microcosm of the wider global community, one that attempts autonomy from social constraints and looks beyond the boundaries of borders and political divisions to focus on and celebrate the individuality of the human soul.

Each artist in the show has some relationship to Cuba, some island-born emigres, some with careers developed in Cuba and others with a more distant descendance. This starting point, a key point of identity for some, but not for others, offers a tangible bond in their linked roots, but the overriding premise is that as a group they mean to redefine themselves within their unique circumstance.

Exhibitions on Cuban art thus far have tended to establish borders and define their subject through polarization: generations, inside/outside, national/foreign, made in the Island versus created elsewhere. In a world of fusing boundaries and erased frontiers, is there a need to be defined by these terms? The claim of “Cubanidad” for contemporary art has become in most of the cases an artificial construction that complies with commercial, institutional or political interests.

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All That You Have Is Your Soul on the contrary, invites participants to express their own opinions on what it means, fundamentally to be an artist. The struggle of being of an artist, regardless of background, is visible in the physical manifestations of their practice. Inevitably, each perspective is different, and it is only through this that we can truly begin to comprehend the complexity of human creativity.

Armando Marino, Co-curator and artist exhibiting in the show says: “I wanted to add my story of what it means to be an artist, in spite of what I was born, to those of others, seeking to demonstrate that although we have our roots in the same place, every story is truly unique. All That You Have Is Your Soul offers an insight into the distinct ways in which artists have rebuilt their identities, and reimagined themselves within new environments.”

Curating alongside Armando Marino is Meyken Barreto, who says: “This exhibition bets on the understanding of identity as an open and liquid concept, which is constantly redefined and enriched. The artists gathered here come from different circumstances and their work departs from very diverse premises. With this exhibition we want to subtract weight from the well-worn “Cuban Art” label, and in a way relativize or undermine this notion.”

Notable artists include Ernesto Pujol (Havana, Cuba 1957), a site-specific performance artist, social choreographer, and educator with an interdisciplinary practice, Alejandro Aguilera (Holguin, Cuba 1964) who creates abstract work with strong references to his recent memories of Cuba, Anthony Goicolea (Atlanta, Georgia 1971) a multidisciplinary artist who draws on themes from personal history and identity, to cultural tradition, alienation and displacement, Maria Magdalena Campos Pons (La Vega, Cuba 1959) with autobiographical work investigating themes of history, memory, gender and religion and how they inform identity and Juana Valdes (Pinar Del Rio, Cuba 1963) whose work explores current migration processes and critiques race, gender, and mobility.

A central theme for the show is the celebration of diversity. The artists involved are of a variety of ages, genders, sexualities and races. The location of Harlem, New York is significant as a place that is thriving with a culturally diverse community. Its rich mix of people make it a platform from which to embrace difference, without preconceived notions of race and culture. The show does not present the artificially conceptualized "national art". The artists here reunited do belong in a certain kind of nation, but it is an expanded and infinite one; the contemporary nation of the Art World.

Throughout the show FACTION will seek to engage with local communities of the Harlem
neighborhood. This will include a series of School Workshops, Curators’ Talks, a Family Opening, Artist Workshops, Panel Discussions and a Cuban Cultural Evening. Speakers include: Joaquin Badajoz, Ernesto Mendez Conde, Meyken Barreto and Juana Valdez.

FACTION is a new flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who in this, their foray into the US, are adapting a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together.

FACTION is a well needed response to the changing market place and the erosion of the traditional art market, where galleries were gatekeepers for artists. FACTION aims to reimagine these relationships through unique collaborative projects, curated either by the team themselves, or by talented guest curators such as with All That You Have Is Your Soul. FACTION provides artists with promotion and opportunity to access collectors and a wider audience, with all the support of a gallery but without the constraints of the traditional model.

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For more information please contact Anna Beketov, Damson PR at anna.beketov@damsonpr.com or +44 (0)20 7812 0645.

All That You Have Is Your Soul
Curated by Meyken Barreto and Armando Marino
FACTION @ Gallery 8 NY
2602 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
NY 10030

February 2nd to March 10th, 2018
Private View February 1st 6.30-9.30pm

FACTION’s inaugural New York project celebrates the building of identity from a common heritage within a community engaging Harlem exhibition.

Artists:
Alejandro Aguilera, Anthony Goicolea, Armando Mariño, Ariel Cabrera Montejo, Elsa Mora, Enrique De Molina Ernesto Pujol, Geandy Pavon, Jairo Alfonso, Juan Carlos Quintana, Juan Miguel Pozo, Juana Valdes Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Marc Dennis, Maritsa Molina, Marta Maria Perez, Pavel Acosta, Quisqueya Enriquez

FACTION is a team of three partners - Celine Gauld, Richard Scarry and Dean Coates - each coming to the art world with unique experience and skill sets. Celine Gauld has a background in art history, and 20 years’ experience running art galleries in central London. Richard Scarry has over 15 years’ experience working at auction houses, not for profit and contemporary galleries in Los Angeles. Having relocated to the UK, he became a founding partner of Coates and Scarry in 2011. Dean Coates is a practising artist and academic and holds a Masters Degree in Ceramics. He has many years’ experience working in education and with community arts groups.