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  • July 28th, 2015
Aleta Pippin painting in collectors home

Aleta Pippin’s Riding the Range in a collector’s home.

(By Aleta Pippin) You’ve just looked around your home and realize there’s something missing, something that has the power to make your décor pop. We’re talking about art. The right pieces will literally move your décor from “okay” to fantastic. So, how do you begin? Where do you look for the “right” pieces? And just exactly what are the “right” pieces anyway?

If you’re like many people, purchasing art can prove a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to guide you, as you search out that perfect piece(s) of art, the one that will give your home that “drop dead” gorgeous look.

First, there are a few myths that need to be debunked.

Hooper in Collector's Home

Cody Hooper’s Summer Song hanging in a collector’s home in Texas.

Myth 1: Art should match your sofa.

Great art looks good anywhere. It doesn’t have to match your sofa. Of course if you’re getting ready to purchase a piece to be placed in a certain area, you may want to consider the color and find a piece that enhances it. However, don’t make your purchasing decision based solely on such strict criteria. Remember, if you do purchase an original piece of art, it will stay with you long after the sofa has changed, the walls have been repainted, and you’ve even relocated two or three times.

Myth 2: Original art is a good investment.

It seems to be a common line in many galleries, to tell potential buyers that purchasing an original piece from an up and coming artist is a great investment. They’ll tell you that the artist’s prices have risen steadily over the years or that the artist is just on the brink of making it big. All of that may be true. However, unless you know people who are interested in purchasing art, you will not be able to resell your investment piece and make a profit. The only people who really make a killing in the art market are those who purchased Picasso 50 years ago.

The best reason to purchase an original piece is because you love it. I have several original pieces from other artists in my home, which were purchased because I loved them. (And yes, they are up and coming artists whose prices have risen steadily over time.)

To say that you should love a piece is not an understatement. Art should evoke an emotional response. That response may be from the color, composition, or even something intangible like reminding you of a poignant happening in your life.

Cody Hooper

Cody Hooper’s Distant Drums in a collector’s dining room.

Myth 3: My child could have painted that abstract piece.

Yes, children paint wonderful pieces, but to suggest that a child can produce some of the beautiful abstract work that is in the market is dismissing artists’ creativity too quickly. Actually, most abstract artists learn to draw and to paint representational work before they evolved to abstract work. All good art conforms to guidelines of line, shape, form, atmosphere, design, and rhythm. Each artist finds their voice, much the same as a writer, and that voice may express in paint, sculpture, stained glass and on and on. And in each of those categories, there is a myriad of expressions limited only by the artist’s imagination.



You’re Ready to Purchase

Before you go shopping, stop and consider a couple of things – Do you want to purchase an original piece of art or a retail piece and how much money are you willing to spend?

Originals vs. Reproductions

There is one thing that drives many artists crazy…reproductions made to look like originals. There are plenty out there. They’re those “paintings” you find in department stores, flea markets, even retail outlets in the malls. Of course, these paintings are fairly inexpensive in the $75-$400 price range. Just don’t mistake them for original pieces. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the “hand of the artist” in an original piece.

Giclees have been extremely popular. A giclee is a computerized reproduction of an original piece that is usually “printed” on canvas. Some artists, or their employees, paint into this reproduction, giving it the texture and look of an original piece. Usually these pieces are numbered in the lower corner, like any reproduction, so there’s no question in the buyer’s mind.

Giclees are good buys if you’d like to have a piece that looks like an original, at a lower cost. It’s also a way of collecting the work of an artist you like, but an original is out of your chosen price range. (Not all artists agree with mass production and will not produce giclees.)

However, nothing matches the beauty of an original piece of art. If you’ve decided to go that route and have designated the amount of money you’re willing to invest, you can probably find a piece. It may take a little doing but it will be worth it. Visit the Internet. Check out the local galleries. Talk to friends who have artwork you admire.

Aleta Pippin and Rick Stevens

Aleta Pippin’s Momentum (right) hanging with a Rick Stevens painting in a Houston collector’s home.

Blue Arc by Greg Reiche

Blue Arc by Greg Reiche, commission steel and glass sculpture in a local New Mexico home.

What to look for in art?

Are you looking for a certain color, a certain pattern or even a certain size? If you’re purchasing an original, you should love it. If you’re purchasing art purely to finish the décor in your home, then you’ll want to find pieces that enhance the décor. There are several retail outlets that sell reproductions and prints, many already framed – Target, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few.

Why not spend a day looking at the various options. Check out local galleries, as well as the retail outlets. You may decide to purchase an original after you see all of the wonderful art that is available. And don’t forget the outdoor Art Festivals; these are a wonderful way to connect with an artist and to purchase an original piece.

If you choose to purchase an original, do a background check. Ask about the artist’s career, sales history, and make an intuitive assessment of the integrity of the person trying to sell the piece to you. Personally, I think original work truly adds to the quality of any environment.

Have fun with this. Take your time. The right piece will show itself. And it’s worth finding it, because art will add sizzle to your décor.

© 2002 by Aleta Pippin, abstract painter. Visit her web site at www.aletapippin.comUpdated 4/7/2015.

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

Guilloume: Diverse Communities

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • July 14th, 2015

Bronze Sculptor Guilloume

“My subjects are purposefully devoid of recognizable facial features. If I provide the viewer with identifiable characteristics, then I play a part in accentuating the differences between people. Instead, I prefer to underscore the similarities common to all humanity.”

When Colombian sculptor and painter Guilloume looks at a person, he sees past their temporary physical qualities and attributes of age, beauty or style. He instead looks for the forms that create the essence of the human figure; these simple body movements, delicate gestures, and subtle interactions inspire his work and define his self-described artistic style, “Bolismo.”

For Guilloume’s show at Pippin Contemporary, Diverse Communities, he has created work that represents the idea that even though no two people are like in their language, experiences, Guilloume in the studioand views, we have commonalities that unite us. The show will include freestanding bronze sculptures, bronze wall reliefs on aluminum, and oil paintings of minimalist figures that mimic our daily interactions between friends, acquaintances and lovers.

“Typically, my paintings and sculptures depict two or more people. This is simply meant to express my understanding of humans as social beings. Like living people, my characters are most happy when they are among family, friends, and others with common interests.”

Please join us at Pippin Contemporary on Friday, July 24th, from 5-7pm as we celebrate the universal language Guilloume creates through art that speaks to people from all corners of the earth, from all age groups, from all the diverse communities that make up our disparate, yet uniquely connected world.

Diverse Communities will run from July 15th through July 31st at Pippin Contemporary. Click here to access Guilloume’s online show catalog.

We Can Grow by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

We Can Grow, 12×48″ oil.

Just the Two of Us by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Just the Two of Us, bronze ed. 50, 20″h x 10″w x 8″d

Read more about Guilloume and his “Bolismo” artistic style.

Serenity, Harmony, Wonder: The Art of Emotion

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  • June 30th, 2015

Pippin Contemporary Artist Michael EthridgeThe common phrase, “stop and smell the roses,” reminds us to appreciate the little things in life, to find the happiness and peace that exists in the beauty around us. Florida painter Michael Ethridge’s take on this idiom is instead to “stop and gaze into a painting.” As an artist, he is encouraging us to pause, forget our surroundings and allow the beauty and joy we experience from a work of art give us peace and contentment for a moment.

“My paintings endorse feelings of endless time and give a picture of eternity,” says Ethridge. “They take the focus off everyday living.”

For The Art of Emotion, Ethridge is asking viewers to take time in front of his abstract seascapes and allow the emotions his work evokes to relax the mind and heighten the senses. Three series of paintings will allow viewers to visually experience three subconscious feelings that are often associated with Ethridge’s work: serenity, harmony, and wonder. Each emotion will be illustrated through a series of paintings that give color and composition to their corresponding abstract thought. Ethridge will stay true to his painterly style across this body of work – abstract seascapes with layered texture and dazzling color – but with a different color palette and inspiration for each series.

Serenity series:

Distant Serenity by Michael Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

Distant Serenity, Michael Ethridge, 12×12″ acrylic/canvas

Michael Ethridge grew up in Wynne, Arkansas; he continued to live and work in his home state until his recent move to Florida in 2014. The Serenity series captures the beauty of this time in Etrhridge’s life, as well as the comfort and serenity he felt growing up. Earth tones, including deep reds, oranges and golds, are used to represent various elements of Arkansas’ natural beauty and Ethridge’s outdoor experiences there.

Harmony series:

Harmony of the Wind by Michael Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

Harmony of the Wind, Michael Ethridge, 36×36″ acrylic/canvas

As a young man, Ethridge spent a year as a professional entertainer on a Caribbean cruise ship. After this experience, music and tropical landscapes both became avenues of inspiration for his work. Ethridge fell in love with the harmony of sky and water, the comfort of the waves, and the lush tropical forest. The Harmony series focuses on this coexistence of sea and sky through various shades of blue as well as Ethridge’s signature turquoise. Gold light in the sky and wispy lavender in the clouds are reflected in the wave caps, illustrating the natural harmony of the Caribbean landscape as well as Ethridge’s current surroundings in Naples, Florida.

Wonder series:

Canopy of Color by Michael Ethridge at Pippin Contemporary

Canopy of Color, Michael Ethridge, 24×36″ acrylic/canvas.

The Wonder series is a glimpse into the unknown. These paintings are an expression of an imaginative beauty we haven’t yet experienced in our lifetime. A blend of complimentary colors and a composite of the hues represented in the Serenity and Harmony series’ create a palette not found in nature, one that represents the unpredictable and unknown parts of the universe that we often wonder about.

Show Preview: Serenity, Harmony, Wonder: The Art of Emotion
Show runs July 2nd – July 14th
Opening Reception: July 3rd, 5-7pm

Pippin Pics: This Week in Photos

  • by
  • June 27th, 2015

Art openings, summer days, artists studios, and more…enjoy this week in photos and follow us on Instagram @PippinContemporary for more Pippin Pics.

Suzanne Mears and Stephanie Paige at Pippin Contemporary

The Art and Soul of Color at Pippin Contemporary

Santa Fe’s Summer of Color is off to a great start! The Art and Soul of Color opened last Friday evening at the gallery with a great reception for Suzanne Wallace Mears and Stephanie Paige. Come experience this ethereal exhibition of light and color through July 1st.

Pippin Contemporary courtyard

The view from our front porch on a beautiful Santa Fe summer day.
View more stone and glass sculptures by Greg Reiche.

Crimson Meditation by Tony Griffith in a Santa Fe home

A photo from happy art collectors – Tony Griffith’s southwest inspired painting, Crimson Meditation, fits perfectly in their Santa Fe home. We love the southwest style! View more of Tony’s acrylic/resin paintings.

Michael Ethridge studio

Michael Monroe Ethridge’s art studio in Naples, Florida. Michael has been busy in this creative space preparing for his show, The Art of Emotion, opening next weekend! Don’t miss the reception on July 3rd, 5-7pm, and see Michael paint in front of the gallery for the duration of the exhibit.

Show Preview: The Art and Soul of Color

  • by
  • June 17th, 2015

Summer of Color

We’re celebrating the Summer of Color, Santa Fe’s citywide arts initiative, at Pippin Contemporary this week with the opening of The Art and Soul of Color, a collaborative exhibition between glass artist Suzanne Wallace Mears and mixed media painter Stephanie Paige. Join us for the opening reception this Friday, June 19th, 5-7pm.

Suzanne Wallace Mears, Pippin Contemporary Glass Artist

Mears’ undulating glass vessels, whimsical totems and masks, and luminescent color blocks are created with layers of brightly colored fused glass. The Oklahoma artist has named this collection of abstract glass sculptures Feathers on the Loose for it’s lighthearted theme and undemanding joy.

A feather is thought to be a gift from the sky, the sea and the trees.  It arrives unexpectedly, just drifting randomly with the wind. We notice it. It lifts our spirits. It gives us freedom for a moment. We pick the feather up and wonder where it came from, the travels it’s had and why it came our way. A single feather, like a piece of art, is unique and it happened to come ‘your’ way. The art gives us pause, gives us freedom to think about something totally unrelated to the realness of our own lives.”

Stephanie Paige, Pippin Contemporary ArtistStephanie Paige’s mixed media paintings are abstract representations of the natural world. Layers of pigment and burnished plaster reveal meditative illusions of the sun setting on the horizon or a warm desert breeze. Paige will show her Abstract Landscape series, paintings inspired by Mother Earth with rich color balanced around stark horizon lines, as well as her latest group of works from the Zen Garden series. This group of paintings has forged an even closer relationship with nature through the incorporation of eucalyptus leaves and natural materials from Paige’s California home. Learn more about Paige’s process for the Zen Garden series.

In the press: check out the article on The Art and Soul of Color in The Santa Fean, and see Mears’ Feathers on the Loose collection featured in American Art Collector Magazine

Show Preview: The Art and Soul of Color

Suzanne Wallace Mears, Feathers on the Loose, kiln formed glass.

Stephanie Paige, Abstract Landscapes, Zen Garden series, mixed media on panel.

Pippin Pics: Edible Art Tour

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  • June 14th, 2015

Last night was ARTsmart’s Edible Art Tour on Canyon Road. Twenty-five galleries hosted Santa Fe’s top restaurants for a delicious and spirited evening of art and hors d’oeuvres. We had a great night at Pippin Contemporary with Chef Ahmed Obo from Jambo Cafe and African drum and dance group Agalu. All ticket proceeds for this event went towards arts education in local public schools – thanks for your support!

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African Culture and Cuisine at Pippin Contemporary

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • June 4th, 2015

Next weekend is Santa Fe’s 18th Annual Edible Art Tour hosted by ARTsmart New Mexico, a local nonprofit that supports arts education in Santa Fe schools. For this  event, over 40 of Santa Fe’s top galleries will pair with the best local restaurants for two fun evenings of art and creative cuisine with imaginative themes and entertainment. EAT has grown into a two night event meaning double gallery participation – Friday evening, June 13th, will be the downtown and Railyard gallery tour and on Saturday, June 14th, Canyon Road galleries will welcome EAT participants.

At Pippin Contemporary, for the third year, we’re hosting Chef Ahmed Obo from Jambo Café as well as African drum and dance group Agalu for an authentic African experience on Canyon Road. Join us on Saturday evening, June 13th from 5-8pm for African homestyle cuisine along with the high energy and excitement of African drumming, dancing and singing in front of the gallery. Buy your two-night EAT ticket now

Q&A with Jambo Chef Ahmed Obo

JAMBO Chef Ahmed Obo

Photo by Kitty Leaken in Local Flavor Magazine

Jambo Owner/Chef Ahmed Obo creates African-Caribbean fusion with recipes from generations of homestyle cooking. He grew up in Lamu off the coast of Kenya where he learned to cook in his mother’s kitchen. The Swahili fusion of European, Arabic, and Indian influences of the island have become the inspiration for Obo’s exotic cuisine at Jambo Café. The award-wining restaurant has easily become a fan favorite of Santa Fe’s foodies – Jambo was voted the Best International Cuisine in the Santa Fe Reporter, won Best Soup at the Souper Bowl three years in a row, and was even featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. (It’s also rumored to be one of Johnny Depp’s favorite spots when he comes to town..) Obo is continuously involved with local charity events as well as initiating efforts in his home country; check out his latest venture with the Jambo Kids Foundation

You grew up in Lamu off the coast of Kenya.  What was the culinary experience like there and how did it inspire the start of your own culinary adventure?
Obo: My family was poor by any standards and we moved from one small rented house to another. My mother Halima cooked for everyone – sometimes myself and my nine brothers and sisters, aunts, grandparents and cousins. We sat in a big circle on the dirt floor and my mother served heaping platters of rice or ugali, fragrant with coconut and island spices for lunch, our main meal. If we had protein, which wasn’t often – usually fish — she portioned it out so everyone got a small piece. I loved to watch her cook. The love and devotion of my mother, and the memories of the warmth and aromas of my childhood, inspire me and are always with me.
What are the inspirations for the flavors and recipes at Jambo Café?
Obo: When I created the menu for Jambo Café I took my memories and knowledge of the flavors from the East African coast, which had been influenced by the Indian spices like cardamom, cayenne, and turmeric and also incorporated spice profiles from the Caribbean that I had been introduced to by friends. I have been open to influences too, from the Mediterranean and other places. My goal has always been to offer richly flavored, spicy, delicious food that makes people happy and satisfied.
Why did you choose Santa Fe for your restaurant?
Obo: I didn’t exactly ‘choose’ Santa Fe. I had visited here, loved it, and when I arrived in America from Lamu, my American wife and I moved here after a Lamu friend who was living here got me a job as a line cook in a restaurant. We spent a year here and two years in New York and came back to Santa Fe to live and work.  When I began thinking of opening a restaurant I couldn’t think of a better place than Santa Fe, where people love food and are open to new tastes.
What is your favorite item on the Jambo menu?
Obo: The goat stew and the jerked chicken. Also the chicken curry, which was a “treat” from my childhood.
Besides The Edible Art Tour, what other Santa Fe Community events do you participate in?
Obo: A lot. Let me see…Angel’s Night Out, the Souper Bowl (for the Food Depot), Gerard’s House, Creativity for Peace, St. Elizabeth’s Shelter, and Cooking with Kids.

Show Preview: Into the Wind by Greg Reiche

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • May 19th, 2015

Greg Reiche: Into the Wind at Pippin Contemporary

This Friday, we’re hosting New Mexico sculptor and 2015 ARTsmart Honorary Artist Greg Reiche for the opening of Into the Wind, our first show of the summer season. Reiche has created a powerful new body of kinetic sculpture that draws upon two energetic forces of nature prevalent in our natural southwestern environment: solar and wind power. Join us Friday, May 22nd from 5-7pm for an opening reception with Reiche as we kick off the Santa Fe show season on Canyon Road.

Reiche’s sculpture ranges from monumental site-specific work to small tabletop pieces, both of which will be exhibited for Into The Wind. Stone and metal contribute a sense of timelessness, strength and solidity to his work, while reflective glass elements breathe life and energy into the static materials. Reiche’s responsive glass tiles make invisible aspects of the environment visible to the viewer, reflecting air movements as well as subtle changes in light and shadows. These basic sculptural elements transcend time and culture, and together create enduring and powerful works of art.

For Into the Wind, Reiche has combined gently undulating iridescent and dichroic glass with powerful metal and stone forms. This dichotomy brings together both the basic physical elements of nature as well as energetic forces. The glasswork is alive with moving color and light, while other elements of the piece are quiet, strong, and still. By harnessing forces of nature within these graceful forms, Reiche’s sculptures become more than mere objects; they become experiences for the senses.

Into the Wind show preview and installation photos:

Inner Sanctum, steel and iridized glass. $84,000

Inner Sanctum by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary
Inner Sanctum by Greg Reiche Installation at Pippin Contemporary
Photo May 21, 8 17 37 AM

Inner Sanctum by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Oculus, stainless steel and mirrored steel. $4,100

Oculus by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Sky Hook, sandstone, glass and stainless steel, $16,900

Sky Hook by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Chacoan Dreams, limestone, stacked sandstone, stainless steel, clouds, $18,100

Chacoan Dreams by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Gaia Chalice, stone, steel, glass, $10,900

Gaia Chalice by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Fire and Ice, steel, iridized and tempered glass, $4,400

Fire and Ice by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Fire and Ice (Jasper), steel, iridized and tempered glass, $4,700

Fire and Ice by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Inner Voice, steel, iridized glass and mirrored stainless steel, $7,000

Oculus by Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

See more new work and meet the artist tomorrow night
at Pippin Contemporary, 5-7pm! 

Pippin Pics – This Week in Photos

  • by
  • May 15th, 2015

This week at Pippin Contemporary we watched artists paint on Canyon Road, hung new art in the gallery, and visited with our friends from American Art Collector Magazine. Check out our week in photos and follow us on Instagram @PippinContemporary for more behind-the-scenes Pippin Pics!

Cody Hooper Art at Pippin Contemporary

Cody Hooper paid us a visit on Saturday with these stunning paintings full of energy and light. We hung six new pieces in the gallery – visitors keep commenting on their depth, saying that peering into his panels is like entering another world.
View Cody’s new work.

Canyon Road Passport Quick Draw

Local artists lined the street on Canyon Road for the Passport to the Arts Quick Draw, where they created beautiful works of art in a short time frame. The paintings were then sold at a live auction benefiting the Santa Fe Public Schools Music Education Program. Learn more about this event and mark your calendars to be here next year!

Mode by Troy Pillow at Pippin Contemporary

New sculpture! ‘Mode’ by Troy Pillow is a contemporary stainless steel piece with kinetic elements. Watch this video of ‘Mode’ moving and spinning with the wind, and see more new sculpture from this artist.

American Art Collector Party

Gallery Director Ashley Wilson and Marketing Director Kelly Skeen at the Art Collector Magazine party at the beautiful La Posada. Always a great event with the Santa Fe art community..and with great hosts! Check out our gallery feature in the May issue of the magazine.

Greg Reiche at Pippin Contemporary

Greg Reiche brought several new Bloom sculptures in preparation for his upcoming show, “Into the Wind,” opening next Friday. More new pieces are on the way – and big things will be happening to our courtyard! Don’t miss the opening reception, Friday, May 22nd, 5-7pm. Learn more about the show.

The Art of Abstraction

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • May 6th, 2015

Mark Rothko at SFMOMA

Non-figurative. Stripped of allusion. Painting in its purest form. Art lacking subject. Non-representational. Non-objective. Departure from reality. The true essence of art.

How do we define abstract art? How do we appreciate it, understand it? Critics, art historians, gallery owners, and artists have come up with copious explanations of abstraction, but the real beauty of abstract art is that it’s true definition and interpretation lies within the viewer. While some artists may have deeper intentions for meaning and message, abstract art is largely a style that provides freedom of interpretation. When you see an abstract painting hanging in a gallery or museum, the dialogue between artist and canvas has long been completed. It’s now your turn as the viewer to finish the story, or start your own conversation.

“Art is an experience, not an object.” – Robert Motherwell

While abstract art leaves room for open interpretation, it is also helpful to gain an understanding of the movement in order to fully appreciate the artist’s talent and intention. Impressionists in 19th century Paris were the first to break from realism in art, incorporating the effects of light and perspective on a subject to depict an “impressionistic” view rather than a realistic one. From here, expressionist artists of the 20th century continued to dive deeper into the art of abstraction, infusing mood and emotion into their work with painterly style and intense color. Abstract Expressionism followed as a dramatic movement that is most often associated with the birth of abstract art. Artists of this period, such as Jackson Pollock, used the paint itself as a subject as well as the their relationship with the material. Art became a reflection of the spiritual mind, subconscious ideas, and the artist’s (often very complex) emotions, all communicated through abstract compositions of expressive line and color.

Jackson Pollock at work in Long Island, New York, 1950. Photograph: David Lefranc/Kipa/Corbis

Jackson Pollock at work in Long Island, New York, 1950. Photograph: David Lefranc/Kipa/Corbis via The Guardian

Just like when it was first introduced in the 20th century, reactions to abstract art today are dramatically different from one person to the next. Abstract artists are given the challenge to connect with the viewer through pure movement and color, rather then realistically portraying a familiar scene that calls for familiar emotions. Standing in front of the same painting or sculpture, one person may be disturbed while another is intrigued. Neither viewer is wrong in their interpretation; abstract art encourages our most abstract thinking and gut feelings.

So, how do we define the abstract? Defining abstract art is nearly as open as interpreting it, but who better to ask than the artists themselves? We talked to our painters and sculptors at Pippin Contemporary to find out why they choose to work in abstract and how they would define the style. Here are some of their responses:

Cody Hooper Quote

Tony Griffith Quote

Suzanne Wallace Mears Quote

Aleta Pippin Quote

Greg Reiche Quote

Stephanie Paige Quote

Join us at Pippin Contemporary this summer as we celebrate abstraction with contemporary art exhibitions of oil, acrylic and mixed-media painting, as well as bronze, stone, steel and glass sculpture. We encourage you to share your own interpretations with us as you view art in the gallery. Find our full event schedule here, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily gallery updates and photos.