2nd Annual Lantern-Making Creative Session at steve mckenzie’s!

We had such a blast creating some amazing paper lanterns for last year’s Atlanta Beltline lantern parade, we’ve decided to bring back our fun workshop in preparation for this year’s parade!!

Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade September 12, 2015 photos by Christopher T Martin
photo by Christopher T Martin

The lantern parade takes place on September 10th at 7:30pm, and marks the beginning of the annual Art on the Atlanta beltline exhibition, the largest temporary art exhibition in the south!

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The lantern making Creative Session will take place at steve mckenzie’s on Saturday, August 27th at 9:30am, and all materials – plus a bite to eat – will all be provided!

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Our own paper expert (among other things), Xavier Neuner, will be leading this session and inspiring and encouraging the creativity of all!

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

So, start to put your lantern designing thinking caps on and get ready for a great time! Attend as a group, or just yourself… We promise a fun morning!

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We’re looking forward to lighting up the Atlanta Beltline with you!!

Buy tickets for this event here.

Museum Monday: Whitney Museum

Recently, Jill went to NYC to visit she and Steve’s oldest daughter, Molly, who lives and works in the city with her husband. While there, the duo visited the Whitney Museum, which is now located in an amazing new building (designed by Renzo Piano) in the Meatpacking District, at the start of the High Line.
Whitney Museum
Whitney Museum

Some of the highlights of the museum/their visit…

  • It’s not too big, not too small – an ideal size to feel as if you can take the time to enjoy everything, while still making a bit of a special trip.
  • The museum features American art, along with public exhibits that will change out. While there, Jill and Molly enjoyed Laura Poitras’ “Astro Noise.”

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  • There are lovely outdoor spaces, where you can experience the neighborhood, which includes One World Trade and the Empire State buildings.
  • Fantastic for families for all of the above, plus food is available within the museum with several food cart options right outside on the street.

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  • It’s very accessible for all – including those who use wheelchairs or strollers.
  • There are plenty of very pleasant and knowledgeable staff members circulating throughout the Whitney Museum, who are happy to answer any questions.
  • The pair’s favorite viewings included all the Edward Hopper works, George Bellows and the Calder Circus!

If you’re planning a vacation to the Big Apple, or are fortunate enough to reside there, but haven’t yet been to the new Whitney Museum, we highly recommend planning a visit – enjoy!!

Vik Muniz at The High Museum

There is a fantastic exhibit currently on show at the High Museum here in Atlanta – featuring the amazingly creative works of Vik Muniz. Known as one of the world’s most innovative artists of the 21st century, Vik Muniz, works with unconventional materials, such as sugar, tomato suace, magazine clippings, dust, and junk to create what he calls “photographic delusions.”

Vik Muniz, self portrait
Vik Muniz, self portrait

Once his artworks are complete, he records many of them with his camera, often resulting in images that quote those from popular culture and the history of art.

Although this appears to be a line drawing, it's actually a work created using a single piece of wire. By Vik Muniz
Although this appears to be a line drawing, it’s actually a work created using a single piece of wire. By Vik Muniz

For Vik Muniz, it’s all about the power of the viewer’s process of perception. He explores matter in a way no one ever has before.

Vik Muniz's Mona Lisa, made from peanut butter and jelly!
Vik Muniz’s Mona Lisa, made from peanut butter and jelly!

This is an ideal exhibit to view with the family, as there’s something for everyone! The kids will love the unique use of materials, while expanding their cultural horizons. The Vik Muniz exhibit will run through August 21, 2016, and we strongly suggest making a goal of seeing it before it’s gone – it’s unforgettable!

Library Friday – Jackson Pollock: A Biography

For this Library Friday feature, steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner is back – and this time he brings a debate!

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

Xavier selected “Jackson Pollock: A Biography,” as his choice this Library Friday, and offers some unique insight into the work of this timeless artist…

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Hello avid steve mckenzie’s readers, This week’s Library Friday topic brings us a debate that has been going on for years –  Jackson Pollock! Is his work a breath-taking, original idea, or a product of a lazy man’s way to fame?

I personally believe Pollock’s work is ground breaking for the time. The definition “to paint” is to cover a surface or object with paint.  Nowhere did the definition state that an artist needs a paintbrush to apply paint on a surface.

Jackson Pollock was the first artist to fully grasp this concept.  As his painting styles evolved he began to experiment with dripping the paint onto canvas.

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Jackson Pollock – One Number 31, 1950

My friends and family know how I act when we go to a museum or art gallery.  Rarely do I stop and stair at artwork during an exhibit, unless I am engulfed in the technique of the piece.  When I saw Pollock’s “One Number 31, 1950” for the first time, I felt like Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller’s best friend.  I couldn’t help but observe how many layers of paint make up the texture on the canvas. He truly understood in order to paint all a person needs is paint and a surface.

We love learning Xavier’s take on some of our favorite works in the steve mckenzie’s library! What are your thoughts  – do you agree with Xavier, or have an alternate point of view?! Please share in the comments, we’d love to know your thoughts!

Art on the Beltline: Lantern Creative Session at steve mckenzie’s

Each year, a fabulous lantern parade lights up the Atlanta skyline in preparation of the Art on the Atlanta Beltline event… And this year, steve mckenzie’s is excited to participate by hosting a Lantern Creative session!

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Join us Saturday, August 29th at the steve mckenzie’s showroom to decorate a paper lantern for the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, taking place September 12th.

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Xavier Neuner, our resident paper & party expert will guide you through the lantern creation process.

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

You’ll get a paper lantern, a battery operated light to hang inside the lantern, a rod for hanging your lantern, and decorating supplies.

When you leave, you’ll be ready to participate in the parade!

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It’s an evening unlike any other, with a true sense of magic humming through the city.

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We hope to see you soon, ready to make your own paper lantern and look forward to walking the parade route with you and your fantastic creation! Click here for lantern creative session tickets – they’re going quickly!

Please contact the steve mckenzie’s team with any questions about this fun event.

Library Friday – Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence

Last month, we asked steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner, to share his thoughts on a Library Friday post, featuring “Rex Ray, Art + Design.” It was such a hit, we’ve asked him once again to select a book and share his insights about it with us. Lucky for us all, he agreed and chose “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence” as this pick for Library Friday.

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

As you may remember from a previous Library Friday post, Steve has been an appreciator of Morandi and his work for quite some time. What a coincidence Xavier would be just as moved by an artist, as to select a book on their life and work for a feature post here?! We knew we liked Xavier for some reason…

Without further delay, we give you his thoughts on “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence:”

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My pick for this Library Friday is “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence.”

Giorgio Morandi
Giorgio Morandi

Morandi was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life. His landscapes are what captivated me even before I found the book in the library.

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While in art school, I took a painting class and we had to recreate a master copy.  I chose one of his landscapes based on his use of soft tones and thin layers that portray an incredible texture. My mother still has that painting hanging in her home to this day.

What a fantastic story – and, of course, an excellent selection for this Library Friday – thank you Xavier!

Please give Xavier a big hello next time you’re in the steve mckenzie’s showroom, he’s such a great addition to our team and we’re so glad to be working with him!

Wanderlust Wednesday: NYC Art Scene

One of the biggest ways Steve finds inspiration for his own art is to view other artist’s work; after all, art is all about providing inspiration! Recently, he was in NYC for the opening of a show that featured two of his works and while there, took the day with his daughter, Molly, who lives in the city, to experience a bit of the city’s amazing art scene…

Their day started on the Upper East Side at the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Ave to see one of Steve’s favorite artists, Cy Twombly. The confidence and power Twombly exhibits is a constant source of inspiration for Steve. Though small, only 5 overscaled paintings and a few sculptures, the exhibit was beautiful.

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“Cy Twombly” Installation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever
"Cy Twombly" Instillation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever
“Cy Twombly” Installation View Artwork © Cy Twombly Foundation. Collection Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo by Rob McKeever

Next, it was off to the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, to see the Bjork Retrospective. This was especially meaningful because Steve and Jill’s son-in-law, Jim, and the architectural firm he works for, The Living, designed and installed the space for the new performance piece by Bjork, Black Lake. The piece and the space were incredible, and it was a very proud moment for Steve when Jim’s name rolled by in the credits of the video:

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Here is a trailer for the piece:

For Steve, a trip to MOMA would not be complete without visiting a couple of works of art that are perennial sources of inspiration.

Two of the combine series by Robert Rauschenberg created in the 50’s provide such a source of inspiration to create work without fear or limits.

Robert Rauschenberg combine “Canyon” 1959
Robert Rauschenberg combine “Canyon” 1959
Robert Rauschenberg “Bed” 1955
Robert Rauschenberg “Bed” 1955

The Franz Klein Painting, “Chief,” exudes the raw energy and scale Steve seeks when he is in the studio…

Franz Klein “Chief” 1950
Franz Klein “Chief” 1950

Chelsea was next on the list, to see the latest work by Richard Serra, “Equal,” at the David Zwirner Gallery. These monolithic heroic forged weather proof steel pieces confront the viewer and give you pause to contemplate your role in the bigger universe.

Richard Serra “Equal” at the David Zwirner gallery

Here is a view of Molly beside a piece for scale:

Richard Serra “Equal” at the David Zwirner gallery 2

When strolling through Chelsea, you are bound to see something through the window of a gallery you just must take in. This was the case with McCaffrey Fine Art and the Kazuo Shiraga monumental paintings.

Kazou Shiraga monumental paintings

The brush strokes were huge on these enormous paintings, which lead Steve yearning to know how they were created. He was astonished to learn they were painted with the artists feet swinging from a rope. Here is a brief video of the artist working:

The day closed with Steve feeling inspired and ready to return to the studio to create.