Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sargent Watercolors and the Annual Afterschool Program Exhibition

 It was another whirl wind weekend for me, filled with art and travel as I traveled up to the brooklyn Museum to see the John Singer Sargent Watercolor show as well as helped set up and attend the annual student show for the PAFA After School Program.
 The Sargent show is a must see! I have been a huge fan of Sargent for years and have been fortunate to see a few good shows of his work like the one running until July at the Brooklyn Museum.

 Sargent produced over 900 works in oil and well over 2000 works in watercolor over his career. The quality and size of the show is fantastic, with many of Sargent's best watercolors on display and many haven't been seen for decades. The show is organized into sections like his paintings in Venice, portraits or his paintings in quarries, etc.

The work is in fantastic condition--they looks like they were painted this morning, much of it was originally acquired by the Brooklyn and Boston museums and there are over 93 pieces in the exhibition.

there were also displays on Sargent's techniques, paper and videos by other artists demoing Sargent's techniques. There are also several oil paintings mixed in--really just a top notch and brain boiling show. After I went through the show my brain was on fire, like when my fan turns spins on my laptop.

 I really felt incredibly impacted by this show and I will be processing it for a long time. Never a wasted stroke, never something ugly, wrong, odd or unpleasent--nope, just fantastic design, technique, passion , beauty and restraint. This was Sargent painting for pure joy and every piece shows this and an artist mature in his rapture.

The brookly Museum itself is a fantastic place and probably overshadowed by the New york Museums like The Met, The MOMA, etc. They have a lot of other great exhibitions going on as well like the African Innovations exhibitions featuring some really fantastic African sculptures and masks.


There was also a great drawing show Fine Lines going on as well which featured sketchbooks from Sargent as well as William Meritt Chase, drawings by Thomas Ridgeway Knight, Thomas Eakins and more.


A drawing by Robert henri and an painting by Chase which is in the permanent collection.



A really great encaustic painting in the museum which also has a fantastic exhibit of Egyptian art and sculpture. There is soo much in the Museum I'll have to go back to see it all as there was just some work I couldn't make it to all in one day.

What's a trip to NYC without some hot honey-coated peanuts? After we ate our dinner at the Stage Door on 34th we walked around a bit before the bus back to Philly. I saw this street artist doing a caricature of a couple.

                                                   AFTER SCHOOL EXHIBITION

After the Bolt Bus ride back to Philly I was pretty tired but gut up early and headed down to help set up the exhibition on PAFA's 11th floor for the After School Program. Everey year we hang up the best of teh best of the students work from the program. Each weekday for 19 years there is a free art class at PAFA open to any high school student to attend in painting, drawing, and Illustration, which I have taught for the past 3 years.

Al Gury put the program together and its a great opportunity for any kid to come and get a real college level class on art but also a great opportunity for MFA 1 and 2 students to get real teaching experience as all of the teachers are grad students from PAFA's MFA Program.

Here is Abby posing with one of the great pieces she did in the my Illustration class this year.
Al Gury poses with Emily another one of our best students in the program. One of Emily's great cast drawings is below.



 It's a great show and a great opportunity that the school provides for student's in Philly, especially in light of the fact that the school district is in a shambles and many schools no longer have any art programs at all. We have had a few students from the program even get accepted into the undergrad program at school starting next fall.


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