Serenity, Harmony, Wonder: The Art of Emotion

  • by
  • 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, 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, 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

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  • 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.

Pippin Pics: This Week in Photos

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • May 2nd, 2015

A public sculpture dedication, new paintings, and excitement for our upcoming show this month..Check out our week in photos and follow us on Instagram for more Pippin Pics @PippinContemporary.

Aleta Pippin art at Pippin Contemporary

Aleta Pippin brought in several new paintings from her studio that we hung in the gallery. This piece is called Celebrate Color, a 60″ x 36″ oil/canvas. Come visit the gallery to see Aleta’s other new pieces!

Greg Reiche Public Sculpture

We spent Earth Day in Los Alamos for the grand opening of the new Nature Center where Greg Reiche’s sculpture was dedicated. The rain runoff from the roof cascades onto the stone, then goes into a reservoir that waters surrounding plants, while kinetic glass above it changes with light and air movement. A stunning sculpture and a beautiful Earth Day dedication ceremony. Watch this video of Greg sharing his inspiration for the piece.

Greg Reiche Blog

Greg Reiche’s Los Alamos sculpture was a site-specific commission, something that Greg does often for private and public clients. As part of our Contemporary Collector blog series, we talked to Greg about creating site-specific sculpture and how the commission process works. Read about it here.

Desert Rain by Cody Hooper at Pippin Contemporary

We love Cody Hooper’s artistic depiction of the “Desert Rain” we had this week. We’ve been sharing some paintings on Instagram from our artists that aren’t always hanging in the gallery or not yet added to the website..follow us @PippinContemporary for more “first look” opportunities.

Pippin Contemporary in Santa Fe New Mexico

We’re ready for Santa Fe summer – less than three weeks until our first show and then the Summer of Color begins! We’re extending our hours on Friday evenings and preparing for summer exhibitions, so check our events page for a full exhibition schedule.

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 a 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 installation. For a public art commission, the process is lengthened as Reiche works with architects, engineers, city officials, and even community groups who consider and approve the design.

Reiche’s most recent commission is for a couple’s 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 clients’ 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 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.