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Archive for Tag 'museum'

A Beautiful Relationship at the Corcoran

Posted by on May 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm

The Corcoran College of Art + Design is Washington’s only four-year accredited institution for education in the arts.

Situated only a block away from The White House in its renowned turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts building, the Corcoran Gallery of Art has long been an integral part of our nation’s capital. When it was founded in 1869, the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, occupied the White House.

When the Gallery first opened its doors in 1874, “art students immediately flocked to the museum to observe, sketch, and paint copies of the collections famous works,” according to the Corcoran’s website.

The Gallery’s founder, William Wilson Corcoran, made sure that art education was central to the work of Gallery and donated additional funding that was ultimately used to open the Corcoran School of Art in 1890, two years after his death. The school has been known by its current name since 1999.

Today, more than 600 students at the Corcoran College of Art + Design pursue a wide range of Associate, Bachelor, and Master degree programs in the visual arts. The College also offers part-time credit and non-credit classes for adults and teens through its Continuing Education department. I know this first-hand. I’ve taken several drawing classes at the Corcoran in the past, and am currently enrolled in a ceramic tile-making class.

My class meets once a week for a three-hour session on Wednesday nights. Sure, it makes for a long day, but it is worth it. I’m learning a new craft. I’m using new mental and creative muscles. And I’m getting a hands-on appreciation for the timeless art of tile-making, which has changed little over the last several hundred years.

Most important, with each tedious step of the tile-making process, I am re-affirming what I already knew: there are no short-cuts to success in the creative arts. You learn by doing and do by learning.

The same can be said for success in business. Executives and managers must constantly challenge their employees through creative training programs that excite new thinking. In turn, employees must be willing to use new muscles, and put them to work through practice and application.

Marrying business and education — like marrying art and education – will make for a beautiful relationship and lead to many happy returns.

Bullish on a Promising Spanish Artist

Posted by on October 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Artist Beñat Iglesias, self-portrait - "Auto"Beñat Iglesias, self-portrait

Harlem’s Alex Adam Gallery opens its “Artists and Monitors” art show on Thursday, October 15. The show uniquely features the works of “three of New York’s most extraordinary contemporary figurative artists, and the painters who are and have been privileged to be their assistants.”

One of the “Teacher’s Monitors” whose works will be featured is Beñat Iglesias, a very talented portrait artist who was born in Pamplona, Spain in 1979 on October 12 – thirty years ago today. And yes, Pamplona is home of the world-famous “Running of the Bulls,” the high-risk, high-adrenaline running of 1,200-pound bulls (i.e., with horns) through the cobbled streets of this picturesque city in northern Spain.

This hometown image is in sharp contrast to how Iglesias describes his approach to art: “My work is devoted to the mundane, to depict humble and ordinary people I aim to show in their natural state, to reveal their way of communicating to the world.”

I first saw Iglesias’s talent showcased five years ago, when I attended an art show at New York’s Art Student’s League. Iglesias’s education in fine arts has spanned more than a decade, including a fine arts degree from the Universidad Del Pais Vasco (UPV) in Bilboa, Spain; then further study at the Edinburgh College of Art in the UK, the University of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and New York’s National Academy School of Fine Arts, the Art Students League, and the Andrew Reiss Studio.

Iglesias has exhibited his work in numerous shows in New York and throughout Europe. In 2007, he was a semi-finalist in the 70th Annual American Artists Drawing competition.

I find myself immediately drawn into his work, and how he is able to capture remarkably true-to-life expressions of unremarkable people. I have bought several pieces from Iglesias’s collection over the last several years, and intend on buying more as he continues to grow and develop.

Iglesias’s bright future has been built on a foundation of years of hard work, high quality training, learning by doing, and a bull-headed dedication to his vocation. All are key ingredients for success in any field of work or business. Identify the talent, grow and nurture it, and put yourself in environments where creativity can thrive.

Happy 30th birthday to a promising artist, Beñat Iglesias, or better yet —
¡Feliz cumpleaños!

The show at Alex Adam Gallery in Harlem (78 West 120th Street) runs from October 15th-25th. The exact schedule can be found on the gallery’s website.

The Legacy of Duncan Phillips

Posted by on March 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The Phillips Collection is America’s first museum of modern art. It was founded in 1918 and opened to the public in 1921 — eight years before the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and two decades before Washington’s National Gallery of Art.

Located in the eclectic Dupont Circle area of our nation’s capital, Duncan Phillips (1886-1966) established the museum as a memorial to his father and brother who died, respectively, in 1917 and 1918. The brothers both went to Yale, were very close, and shared an interest in modern art. “Sorrow all but overwhelmed me,” Duncan Phillips later wrote. “Then I turned to my love of painting for the will to live.”

Over the next five decades, Phillips collected a broad representation of both impressionist and modern art – including works from European and American artists. The museum has showcased works of Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John Marin, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Today, the Phillips Collection is a model for other museums to follow – giving back to the nation and the DC community through education and outreach to nearly 90,000 children, teachers and families each year. The museum’s programs seek to leverage the “magic of the arts” to inspire creative expression, the development of critical literacy skills, and lifelong learning. Phillips’s upcoming Annual Gala on May 15 raises money to help fund these very worthwhile causes.

The magic of the arts can also transform individuals in the workplace. Inspiration from present-day and past artists can provide a mighty catalyst for more inspired products and services. Putting your employees in creative environments can pay dividends for your company or organization. Learn from innovators like Duncan Phillips who used loss and adversity to break from the pack and turn a passion into a life-changing experience.

Meet Artist Hunt Slonem

Posted by on December 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Hunt Slonem Artwork

Wikipedia refers to Hunt Slonem as an artist who “combines abstract expressionism and representational imagery.” Slonem splits his time between his native Louisiana and New York. Over 75 museums internationally include his work in their collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, both in New York.

Earlier this year, I hosted an Innovation Summit for 40 top executives at Thomson Reuters in Hunt Slonem’s home and studio in New York City. I took the executives out of their usual office and business environment and exposed them to one of the most provocative and innovative artists of our time. The executives engaged Slonem and his art, and in doing so they came away inspired and energized by this unique experience.

Arezu and Hunt Slonem