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Greg Reiche Site-Specific Sculpture: Making Art Part of the Environment

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • April 22nd, 2015

Greg Reiche’s site-specific sculptures are more than simple forms of stone, steel and glass placed together for an aesthetic effect. These commissioned works encompass themes and symbolism inspired by anything from the geological history of the site they are made for, to the relationship with the clients who commissioned the piece. Every aspect of the sculpture – the shade and texture of the stone, the curved or intersecting lines of steel, the hand-cut shape of the glass – are all deliberate choices made by the artist based on it’s future environment and the client’s desires.

Greg Reiche installing sculpture

Greg Reiche installing a commissioned sculpture at New Mexico home.

“A big part of the art for commissioned sculptures is working with the client and finding something that fits them and the site,” says Reiche.

Every site-specific piece is unique, but all commissions follow a similar process, one where Reiche works very closely with the collector. The first step is a detailed conversation between Reiche and the client outlining the goals and desires for the work. The New Mexico sculptor then makes an important site visit, noting everything from the texture of a nearby stone to the style of surrounding architecture. Following this extensive observation is even more extensive research.

Greg Reiche assembling sculpture“I want to find what stories exist within the site – not just human stories, but environmental and geological stories,” explains Reiche. “I try to keep a very open mind during this phase and not attach myself to any specific ideas or designs. I prefer to let specific design ideas evolve after I have done a thorough investigation.”

Reiche dives into deeper aspects of the site including the history and natural environment, all while keeping the clients artistic tastes in mind. Only after this thorough investigation does Reiche begin to sketch. When the final design is refined, he makes a physical model or “maquette” of the piece to present to the client. A contract is established and finally, Reiche begins to fabricate the piece. The whole process can take anywhere from four to twenty-four months, including the last step of delivery and installment. For a public art commission, the process is lengthened as Reiche works with architects, engineers, city officials, and even community groups that consider and approve the design.

Reiche’s most recent commission is for a couple’s private home in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with the final stages still in process. “The Unspeaking Center” is made of cream-colored Texas limestone, stainless steel, and glass. The primarily stone design was influenced by the rocky outline of the Organ Mountains that overlook the client’s home, while existing architectural structures at the site dictated the choice of the cream-colored limestone. The symmetrical and interconnected design of the piece symbolically speaks to the union of the couple who commissioned it. The maquette as well as Reiche’s sketches for this sculpture will be on display for “Into the Wind,” Reiche’s upcoming show at Pippin Contemporary.Greg Reiche sculpture sketch

The Unspeaking Center by Greg ReicheCommissioning a Reiche sculpture is a truly unique and artistic process, as every piece shares the story of its environment as well as that of the collector.

“As an artist, I love to do commissions because it gives me the opportunity to work one on one with my client and get to know them personally,” says Reiche. “It’s a process that takes a little longer and a little more work, but it can be very enriching for myself and the client. In the end, I think everybody ends up with something they’re proud and feel a part of.”

If you are interested in commissioning a site-specific sculpture for a public or private space, please contact the gallery at 505-795-7476, or at pippincontemporary@gmail.com. The opening reception for “Into the Wind,” Greg’s upcoming show at Pippin Contemporary, will be on Friday, May 22nd from 5-7pm. Click here for more details about this event. 

From the artist’s perspective: check out the following video for a closer look at Greg Reiche’s art and inspiration.

Pippin Pics – This Week in Photos

  • by aletapippinartist@gmail.com
  • April 17th, 2015

This week at the gallery we’ve been rearranging sculpture, sending art to Australia, visiting local artist studios, and more. Check out our week in photos and follow us on Instagram @PippinContemporary for more behind-the-scenes gallery photos and previews of new work.

Tony Griffith Gallery Photo at Pippin Contemporary

A family visiting from Australia stopped to take a closer look at Tony Griffith’s resin paintings. They fell in love with the beautiful orange diptych and we sent it to Sydney! View more of Tony’s work.

Aleta Pippin's Santa Fe Studio

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” – Pablo Picasso.
We paid a visit to the place where inspiration finds Aleta Pippin hard at work on a daily basis. Vibrant color and energetic paint splatters means new work is coming soon! Learn more about her Santa Fe studio space.

Pippin Contemporary at 200 Canyon Road

A sunny spring day inspired us to do some rearranging in our courtyard. Troy Pillow’s Re-Emergence moves with the wind in front of the gallery. More work from Troy is coming soon!

Detail of Allegro by Michael Monroe Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

Did you know that Saturday, April 11th was Slow Art Day? Museum and gallery visitors around the world were encouraged to slow down and take a longer look at an intriguing work of art. After taking a closer look at Michael Monroe Ethridge’s Allegrowe noticed vivid color and texture we’d never seen before.

Pose by Troy Pillow in a Collector's Home

“We both fell in love with the clean lines of the sculpture, but when we got home we struggled with where we would place it to showcase it’s beauty. I think we found the perfect place, as you can see…”
Remember the sale of Troy Pillow’s Pose in the last edition of Pippin Pics? It has made two Colorado collectors very happy and looks beautiful in their home. If you have photos of Pippin Contemporary art displayed in your home or office, we’d love to see them! Send us your Pippin Pics at pippincontemporary@gmail.com.

History is Written by the Collector

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • April 8th, 2015
Peggy Guggenheim with Jackson Pollock

Peggy Guggenheim and Jackson Pollock in front of Mural, 1943, first floor entrance hall, 155 East 61st Street, New York, c. 1946 (Photo: George Karger © 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

“The collector is an artist in his own way, by the way he puts things together. You can read a person’s soul from their collection.”
-Ayers Tarantino, Art and Antiques

Why collect? Collecting art is more than just buying pretty objects. As an art collector, you are an arts supporter, a part of art history, and are able to tell a story through unique acquisitions that reflect your tastes, ideas, and experiences. Whether you follow a single artist’s career, a specific genre, or have an eclectic range of work, art collecting is not something seasoned buyers of the art world take lightly. The pieces you acquire reflect your personality and distinguish your style. Collecting art becomes more than a hobby of buying beautiful things – it becomes a treasure hunt, a philosophical pursuit, an unyielding passion.

“I collect these objects to learn from them. In some moment these things are going to teach me something. For me, this is like a library. These are my books.”
-Joes Bedia in ARTNews

As an art collector, not only are you culturally fulfilling your own world, you are making a difference in the life of an artist by becoming an instrumental part of their career. Throughout history, collectors have shaped the art world in subtle and overt ways. Modern art collector Peggy Guggenheim was influential in the career of early American expressionists Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell as the first to publicly exhibit their work in her gallery. Gertrude Stein’s early support of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse through passionate acquisition and advocacy led them to become household names and arguably the most famous artists of the 20th century. Van Gogh, with no one to appreciate his swirling brushstrokes and vivid color, lived a life unknown; it wasn’t until the last year of his life and after his death that his work received the fame it deserved after finding it’s way into public and private collections.

“You can either buy clothes, or buy pictures.”
Gertrude Stein

Today, collecting art is seen by some as a luxury, others as a necessity. During times of economic downturn, the art market saw an all-time low, however, 2014 topped the charts as the highest year in history for art sales (read the article here). This is in part due to new trends in the art world such as fairs, as well as Internet sales through sites such as Artsy and Artnet, that are broadening public engagement and attracting younger buyers. The top three art markets in the country remain as New York, Los Angeles, and our home city of Santa Fe. With 200 galleries in two square miles, Santa Fe is the most concentrated market – and the most historic. At over 400 years old, Canyon Road boasts over 100 galleries in its half-mile stretch. At Pippin Contemporary, we welcome tourists, art collectors, and art enthusiasts at the base of this iconic street.

“Santa Fe’s unique art scene can be compared to the cultural experience of an art fair, but with year-round accessibility. The density of diverse and high quality art in Santa Fe is unlike any other in the country, maybe even the world.”
-Aleta Pippin, Gallery Owner

Collectors continue to be highly influential in the always-changing art world. In Santa Fe, you as the collector keep galleries in business and contribute to the family-like feel of our close-knit art community. You give artists the opportunity to thrive through a creative career as they share their inner emotions and expressions through their work, and in turn create a portal where you see your own spiritual sentiments reflected.

“We collectors know that art communicates with us on different levels. Language and culture are no barriers.”
-Barbara Trapp, Art and Antiques

This blog is part of our new Contemporary Collector Series. See it featured on the Santa Fe Gallery Association website. 

Pippin Pics – This Week in Photos

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • April 4th, 2015

This week at Pippin Contemporary has been full of sunny spring days, sales, and new sculpture. Check out our week in photos, and find us on Instagram at @PippinContemporary to follow our Santa Fe gallery life on Canyon Road!

Photo Apr 01, 9 13 32 AMStephanie Paige sent us some great photos from her California studio – here she works hard on a piece from her new Zen Garden Series, using actual leaves pressed into the plaster. We’ll be showing her Zen Garden paintings this June at the gallery – learn more about the series and Stephanie’s technique here.

Photo Apr 03, 12 43 15 PMAre you familiar with Greg Reiche’s Bloom sculptures? He’s now added a new dimension to the kinetic glass style with a three-panel screen, the only one of it’s kind. Come check it out in the gallery, it’s been bringing in colorful light from outside as well as a few Canyon Road window shoppers..

Photo Mar 22, 12 59 43 PMSpring has sprung in Santa Fe! Beautiful blooms against adobe and turquoise architecture make Canyon Road an even more enjoyable experience for our out of town visitors (and locals too, of course).

Photo Mar 26, 11 59 26 AMArt close up! This detail of Stephanie Paige’s “Love” shows the cracking textural details created with dry weather and plaster. Not only does nature inspire Stephanie’s work, it dictates the physical outcome of every piece. Learn more.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetSOLD! “Pose” by Troy Pillow went home with a Colorado couple who fell in love with the fluid sleek sculpture. It was a beautiful day to enjoy outdoor art on Canyon Road.

Photo Mar 31, 12 53 53 PMNew sculpture is coming – Greg Reiche came by the gallery to plan a new piece for the courtyard. He said this one was going to blow everyone away..we can’t wait for the installment!

Photo Apr 03, 4 30 35 PM

We received several new sculptures from Guilloume including this wall relief, “Family Growth.” See more of his work on the website.

Nature as Medium: Stephanie Paige Introduces Zen Garden Series

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 25th, 2015
Stephanie Paige in her studio

Stephanie Paige in her studio

“All art is but imitation of nature.”

This phrase, coined by ancient Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, perfectly describes the artistic approach of mixed-media painter Stephanie Paige. Her contemporary paintings are abstract landscapes pared down to simplistic compositions, which are anything but simple to construct. Large-scale panels balanced around stark horizon lines are created through a mixture of pigment and marble-dust plaster, a tricky medium that Paige discovered as a muralist painting frescos and Venetian plasters in Southern California.

“It appeals to me because of how different it is,” explains Paige. “More than just the way it looks, I love the way it feels and what it can do.”

Santa Ana Winds and Letting Go by Stephanie Paige at Pippin Contemporary

Santa Ana Winds, 36×36″ (left) and Letting Go, 24×24″ (right) by Stephanie Paige, Abstract Mixed Media Collection

Paige began this abstract mixed-media style in 2008 after a search for peace and balance in her life and a consequent discovery of Buddhism. This tranquility is reflected on her panels, with symmetry and balance playing a large role in the compositions. Nature is the inspiration and motivation for Paige’s art, and she creates each piece in honor of Mother Earth.

“In my work, I see rich textured soil, clear blue water, spacious open sky, or a soft breeze,” says Paige. “In my pieces, you can see the contemporary feel mixed with a rustic earthiness, two complete opposites that dance well together.”

Stephanie Paige work in progressNot only does nature inspire Paige’s work, it also dictates the physical outcome of each piece. Plaster is sensitive to weather conditions and temperature, a quality that Paige sometimes takes advantage of to create texture. A piece with wet paint and plaster placed outside on a dry day opens up with cracks and peels, adding unique textural details to its surface.

This spring, Paige’s paintings are forging an even closer relationship to the natural world with the start of her Zen Garden Series, which she will introduce at Pippin Contemporary in June. Paige started experimenting with leaves in her work several years ago, creating impressions within layers of plaster. Now that it’s evolving, Paige is dedicating an entire series to this once experimental technique. Using natural materials from a grove of eucalyptus trees in her yard, Paige creates a dark base on the panel with leaves pressed into the plaster. She then removes them and sands the plaster back, adds color, and repeats. She finishes with a watercolor wash on the surface, bringing out the leaf impressions from underneath and creating a soft blend of color in either calm blue and grey hues, or energetic oranges and reds.

Stephanie Paige in the studio
This technique is also dependent on weather elements, which is why paintings in the series can only be created during this time of year. The moisture in the spring air keeps the leaves strong, while the dry summer season causes them to crack and break, unable to make a solid impression on the plaster. In addition to leaves, Paige also makes impressions with grass strips, vines, and weeds. Occasionally a leaf or other natural material will remain in the plaster, becoming a part of the completed piece.

Eden’s Love by Stephanie Paige, 60×30″ mixed-media, Zen Garden Series.

 

Paige has to cut back her beloved eucalyptus trees for fire precautions this time of year, and the Zen Garden Series is a way she reuses that material in a creative way.

“It bothers me that I have to trim them back and take nature out of my garden,” says Paige. “This way I can still honor that nature with art.”

Paige will show work from her Zen Garden Series this June at Pippin Contemporary for the Art and Soul of Color, a collaborative exhibition as part of Santa Fe’s Summer of Color. View more of Stephanie’s meditative abstractions on her artist page of our website.

 

 

 

Steeped In Art – A Contemporary Art & Gourmet Tea Pairing

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 11th, 2015

Bold. High energy. Calming. Balanced. These words have all been used to describe the abstract art at Pippin Contemporary at the base of historic Canyon Road. At the other end of the street, past over a hundred galleries, restaurants and boutiques, the same words are used to describe gourmet teas from all over the world as they are served at The Teahouse. On March 21st, these two businesses will come together to create an experience for their patrons through the pairing of gourmet tea with contemporary art.

Interior of Pippin Contemporary

Pippin Contemporary, 200 Canyon Road

The Teahouse on Canyon Road

The Teahouse, 821 Canyon Road

Sponsored by the Santa Fe Gallery Association, Steeped In Art will be a part of the Art Matters Sustenance event series on how food, conversation, and art nourish the mind, body, and soul. Because of the uniquely similar qualities between art and tea, Pippin Contemporary and the Teahouse have matched six gourmet teas with abstract artists from the gallery. Attendees to this public event will have the opportunity to taste a variety of teas while contemplating the defining characteristics each one shares with contemporary art. The taste of a sweet cup of Guava Citrus will take the viewer of Michael Ethridge’s tropical abstract landscapes on an exciting and flavorful journey to paradise. The bold and beautifully balanced Yuzu Kukicha will bring out the vibrancy of Cody Hooper’s abstract, yet structured compositions. Some of the Teahouse’s most exquisite selections will be served at the event, including Himalayan Snowflake, one of the most rare teas in the world and a twenty-dollar cup at The Teahouse.

Aleta Pippin Happy Days with Teahouse Imperial Grade Sencha

Aleta Pippin’s Happy Days will be paired with the Teahouse’s Imperial Grade Sencha.

Painters Aleta Pippin, Stephanie Paige, Tony Griffith, Michael Ethridge, Cody Hooper and sculptor Kevin Robb will each have their body of work paired with a tea. Tasting the tea while viewing the corresponding artists’ work will bring out the defining qualities of each, resulting in an experience for the viewer (and tea drinker) that will heighten the senses and open the mind. Local artists will be in attendance to discuss their work, and Teahouse owner Rich Freedman will be sharing his insight on the qualities and origins of the tea selections. Pippin Contemporary will host this event at 200 Canyon Road on Saturday, March 21st from 2-4pm. See a full list of artist and tea pairings on the Pippin Contemporary events page. Join us to be steeped in art and decide which teas are artists are most complimentary to your taste and style!

See this blog featured on the Santa Fe Gallery Association website.

 

Meditations on Nature: The Art of Tony Griffith

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • February 24th, 2015

Whether you’re climbing mountains in Northern New Mexico or strolling down a nature trail, we’ve all come across those serene areas that invite you to stop, rest, and enjoy the natural world around you. It could be a beautiful waterfall, a trickling stream, or just a sunny clearing that gives you that calm and peaceful feeling in a busy and hectic world.

These intimate spaces are the inspiration for California artist Tony Griffith’s abstract acrylic paintings.

Crimson Meditation by Tony Griffith at Pippin Contemporary

Crimson Meditation by Tony Griffith, 36×36″, mixed media: acrylic/resin/panel.

“There are so many distractions in our society,” says Griffith. “I hope that when looking at my work, the viewer can clear their mind and experience that inner peace for a moment.”

Griffith’s Buddha Creek series reflects a specific area along a trail in the San Jacinto Mountains above Idyllwild, California, a place Griffith called home for ten years before his move to Palm Desert. A clearing with a mountain spring flowing into small pools and waterfalls is one of Griffith’s favorite places to stop, relax, and meditate before continuing on his hike. Buddha Creek #23 is an abstract representation of this familiar resting place and the peaceful emotions associated with it. Griffith explains the symbolism in his narrative of the composition:

Buddha Creek #23 by Tony Griffith at Pippin Contemporary

Buddha Creek #23 by Tony Griffith, 36×36″, mixed media: acrylic/resin/panel.

The abstract landscape-oriented composition of the work combines the vast mountain vistas (the background), and the granite boulders and outcroppings that define the immediate intimate spaces (the foreground). The southwest-inspired colors are fueled by mood, lighting, time of day, scenic orientation, energy and peacefulness of the Zen-like experience of each visit. Space and texture co-exist on the same picture plane inviting the viewer to transcend through solid rock, a metaphor for our journey across life’s obstacles.

Griffith’s spiritual approach to his art along with his inspiration from nature gives his work an organic vibrancy, which is also in part due to the resin finish on his panels. As the resin cures, it brings out the vivid colors and uneven textures from the layers underneath, as if the viewer is looking at the piece through water. Griffith compares it to pebbles in a stream – they appear brighter and closer when underwater. The resin finish conforms to the texture underneath, and like water, often creates pits and ripples that change with the light as you move around the piece.

With a background in computer science and a career as an IT professional, Griffith started pursuing art full-time when he was 40 years old. Growing up in a family of artists exposed

Pippin Contemporary artist Tony Griffith at Buddha Creek

Tony Griffith at his “Buddha Creek” meditation spot in the San Jacinto Mountains of California.

him to a creative environment at a young age, and this artistic influence stayed with him throughout his life. As a young adult, Griffith surrounded himself with artists and art educators who gave him an informal education in art history and studio art. While you wouldn’t expect a technological background to be compatible with fine art, Griffith’s computer and coding experience proved to be a creative process he could easily transform into art, and he has enjoyed a successful second career selling his work in galleries across the southwest.

Griffith’s 2015 show at Pippin Contemporary will run from October 14th to October 27th, with an opening reception on Friday October 16th. “Passages” will be a new body of resin work that represents the spiritual awakening or epiphany required to overcome life’s challenges.

View more of Griffith’s southwest-inspired pieces on his artist page of our website.

Kevin Robb: Speaking Through Sculpture

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • February 11th, 2015

When you have a sculptor for a father, you learn to see and understand the world in a different way. When you have Kevin Robb for a father, you learn that communicating in that world is about more than words you say, words you write. Every hand gesture, smile, touch, and laugh means so much more than any spoken words ever could. You learn that the large, stainless steel sculptures that surrounded your childhood are more than just contemporary works of art; they are outlets and expressions of a life’s passion, or even a life’s saving grace.

Pippin Contemporary Sculptor Kevin Robb Monumental Work

Kevin Robb’s Monumental Stainless Steel Sculpture

 

Kelsey Robb discovered all of this as the daughter of metal sculptor Kevin Robb. Growing up around the studio, Kelsey loved helping her father grind metals and watch abstract designs evolve into monumental, dynamic works of art at his hand. But in January 2004, everything about her father’s artistic process changed. After creating sculptures for 20 years, Kevin Robb suffered a massive stroke in his studio – an unexpected, unfathomed occurrence for a strong and healthy 49-year-old. The doctors told his family he wouldn’t make it through the first night, that they should say their goodbyes. “They forgot to tell my dad that,” said Kelsey proudly.

Pippin Contemporary sculptor Kevin Robb with daughter Kelsey in the studio

Robb with daughter Kelsey in the studio.

Robb was on life-support for thirteen days and in rehab for seven weeks, beating the doctor’s predictions. Against the odds, Robb survived the stroke, but not without consequences. It killed 75% of his left-brain, leaving him with no ability to read, write, or speak. The stroke also left Robb with physical limitations, and he is now unable to use his right arm and leg.

“When we brought him home, my mom and I didn’t quite know what to do,” explained Kelsey. “So we did the only thing we knew to do. We brought him into the studio.”

Diane, Robb’s wife and now spokesperson and business manager, knew as soon as they walked into the studio that this would be her husband’s recovery. “When he was first home he just really wasn’t there,” she remembers. “But the moment we brought him into the studio, I saw the life come back to his eyes.”

Kevin Robb with studio assistant

Robb with studio assistant Harrison Nealy.

It was then that Kelsey and Diane made the decision to do whatever it took to allow Robb to continue communicating his passion. Diane quit her job and became his business manager, and they hired welders to aid him in the studio. Robb now communicates to his family and studio assistants through charades, directing every aspect of production, gesturing every curve and movement that he wants the metal to take. It has now been eleven years since Robb’s stroke, and his artistic career hasn’t slowed. From tabletop pieces to monumental sculpture, Robb’s dynamic body of work exists all over the country and around the world. He has public installations in 48 of the 50 United States, and his sculpture is collected internationally in Canada, Mexico, France and Australia.

“Even before the stroke, he has always said he had more ideas than he could ever do in a lifetime,” said Diane. “He creates intuitively and lets the metal tell him what to do.”

Kevin Robb 3D sketches

In the past year, Kevin has mastered Sketch Up, a computer software program that allows him to create 3D sketches for commissions and proposals.

With the twists and turns of the steel as his guide, his wife and daughter as his support, and his assistants as his hands, Robb continues to create and live his passion. In the words of his daughter, “You have to find a passion and find a way to make it work, no matter how the odds are stacked against you.”

Watch Kelsey speak in this video about her father’s experience, and view Robb’s complete portfolio of sculpture on our website.

Kevin Robb with wife Diane and daughter Kelsey

Kevin Robb with daughter Kelsey and wife Diane.

 

 

Cruising the Caribbean with Michael Ethridge

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • January 28th, 2015

Michael Monroe Ethridge’s abstract landscapes take viewers on a tropical journey to warmer climates. A salty breeze, the spray of an ocean swell, and the sound of crashing waves flow through your mind like a virtual vacation. Layers of acrylic pigment add a sculptural element to Michael’s work, with unique textures giving life to a rippling wave or a wind blown cloud. Many of the experiences captured on his canvases are inspired by Caribbean waters, where he spent time as a musical performer on cruise ships in his younger days. This month, Ethridge had the opportunity to return to the dazzling turquoise landscape that first sparked his artistic passions.

Richness of Nature by Michael Monroe Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

Richness of Nature by Michael Monroe Ethridge

Michael cruised the Caribbean for ten days this January as the artist-in-residence on the Oceania Riviera. He taught art workshops to over capacity classes, listened to wonderful music, ate gourmet food, and enjoyed the beauty of white sand beaches. The cruise ship stopped at eight ports including the Dominican Republic, Saint Maarten and Saint Barts. His first teaching experience as well as fresh inspiration from the landscape sent Michael home refreshed and artistically motivated. Hear Michael talk about his experience as he enjoys the beauty of St. Maarten in this video.

“More than anything, getting out of my art studio caused the creative juices to flow,” said Michael. “I was reminded of all the turquoise and aqua greens from my past cruises and it reignited my passion to put them on canvas.”

Michael Ethridge teaching art workshop

Michael teaches a painting workshop on the cruise ship. Check out this video of Michael in action!

Michael exhibited his paintings on the ship in the “artist’s loft,” an area that was specially reserved for his work, as well as the hallways leading to fine dining areas. As the guests strolled to dinner in their evening attire, Michael’s canvases caught their eye as an artistic portrayal of their day on the water. In his workshops, Michael encouraged his students to look at art as if they were “stopping to smell the roses,” taking a moment to gaze into a painting and truly appreciate the beauty in front of them.

“I found leading workshops to be very rewarding,” said Michael. “It’s one thing to be able to paint, but it’s another thing to be able to teach someone to paint.”

Michael Monroe Ethridge art workshop

Full art class on the Oceania Riviera

Michael’s students also found the experience rewarding – every seat was full and people still lined the back of the room as they stood listening to his instruction. One idea that Michael shared with his students was the visual stimulation art has on the senses.

“Just like food, music and love, art makes us feel good,” explained Michael. “It stimulates us visually, and I taught that to students in my workshops.”

Michael returned home to Naples, Florida to a completed studio, a project that has been in the works for more than a year of renovations. Now in the process of organization, Michael plans to start painting in the new space very soon.

So Far Away by Michael Monroe Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

So Far Away by Michael Ethridge. SOLD

“It’s all been very refreshing,” said Michael. “I’m looking forward to getting some of this inspiration out onto the canvas.”

The completion of the studio along with his rejuvenating experience in the Caribbean will be reflected in Michael’s next show at Pippin Contemporary. The show will focus on the current transitions in his career and how his art is affected. Mark your calendars for July 3rd to experience Michael’s newest body of work.

Greg Reiche: Refreshing Creativity as ARTsmart Honorary Artist

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • January 14th, 2015

A strong slab of sandstone, delicate glasswork, and opposing straight and curved lines of steel make up Greg Reiche’s symmetrical sculpture, “Tuntawu Offering.”

Tuntawu Offering by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Tuntawu Offering by Greg Reiche. Available at ARTsmart Gourmet Dinner & Auction on February 21st.

“Tunatwu” is the Cherokee term for moth or butterfly, particularly one that flies in and out of fire. Reiche uses geometric forms to evoke an anthropomorphic feeling from the piece: sandstone wings, a delicate glass body, and steel antennae illustrate a “tuntawu” with a commanding presence. The piece is indicative of Reiche’s static work – perfect symmetry creates a balanced sculpture with shapes borrowed from the natural world.

The moth is also a Cherokee symbol of rejuvenation or rebirth, an idea reflected in Reiche’s current artistic endeavors. As the 2015 ARTsmart Honorary Artist, Reiche has been mentoring high school students in Jake Lovato’s Santa Fe High School welding class for the past several months. This honored title, along with the eye-opening experience of working with talented youth, is rejuvenating Reiche’s creativity.

_DSC0078

Reiche advises a local high school student on his project.

“These kids have definitely inspired me,” says Reiche. “I want to look for other opportunities to work with kids in the future because of my experience with the project.”

Reiche lead the project with few parameters and little structure, allowing the students to feel free to create something original. The Santa Fe sculptor is guiding about 50 welding students, some working individually and some in teams, which will result in 20 to 25 pieces of original artwork to be auctioned off at ARTsmart’s Winter ARTfeast.

“We have everything from contemporary abstracts to roosters and bulls,” explained Reiche. “My ultimate goal was for the students to have a good time and produce something they’re proud of.”

The young artists will keep half of the proceeds from their work, while the other half supports ARTsmart New Mexico. This non-profit organization supplements arts education in Santa Fe schools through visual arts workshops and by donating funds for art materials and scholarships. Every year, ARTsmart selects an Honorary Artist to lead one of these workshops, giving students the opportunity to create projects under the guidance of a professional artist. The project culminates with the Winter ARTfeast event Step Up to the Plate, a gourmet dinner and auction honoring Reiche and the student artists.

Step Up to the Plate ARTsmart Santa Fe

Step Up to the Plate guests ready to bid at the live auction! Photo Credit: Genevieve Russell, Story Portrait Media

Reiche’s “Tuntawu Offering” will be up for auction at this event, along with student work created under his guidance. The decadent dinner will offer a three-course gourmet meal prepared by Adobo Catering, with appropriate wine pairings and a dessert buffet. Attendees will witness four of Santa Fe’s leading artists create art in a Quick Draw and bid on their work. An array of fine art and travel packages will also be included in the live and silent auctions. Full details on the event and tickets can be found on ARTsmart’s website.

Before the spectacular chaos of Step Up to the Plate ensues, we’re hosting a casual meet and greet with Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary. Chat with Reiche over croissants and coffee about his artwork and his experience inspiring young artists. This event will take place at the gallery from nine to ten am on Saturday, February 21st, preceding ARTsmart’s dinner and auction that evening.

The title of ARTsmart Honorary Artist will follow Reiche throughout his career. The visionary sculptor looks at the upcoming year as one of outward growth. He plans to expand his gallery representation out of state with his kinetic work and has plans for several public projects. Reiche will begin the summer with a showing of his most recent body of work at Pippin Contemporary this May.

Support Greg Reiche and emerging young artists – buy your ticket for Step Up to the Plate now! It will be an unforgettable evening of fantastic food and spirited bidding, all in support of ARTsmart’s creative cause.