Founded in 1909, the California Art Club was built on the foundation of promoting and supporting contemporary-traditional fine art. No better example of this can be illustrated than this past weekend's 2nd Biennial Winter Art Symposium held at the Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco.
Three years ago, with the blessings of Elaine and Peter Adams, the driving force behind the resurection of the CAC in 1993, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the CAC established the Symposium as one of the premier showcase events of the club. Having achieved the goals set for the Symposium of providing education and inspiration for the Northern California members... it immediately became apparent that it should become a club signature event by opening it up to a larger audience.
Planning began for this years 2nd Symposium with keynote speaker/demonstrator and CAC signature artist Kevin Macpherson agreeing to be the headliner. Soon after, the full agenda of artists and speakers were lined-up and fine-tuned. Kevin also agreed to conduct four private six person critique sessions during the event... something not previously attempted. It was received so well that it will most likely be adopted for future Symposiums. Kevin's humor, talent and spirit was a treat. Kevin's talk and slide presentation was about his personal travels and history... that lead him on a path to follow his dreams.
Peter Adams, CAC president, followed with a short slide show of his work, history and the etherial side of painting.
Josh Rose (editor of American Art Collector Magazine) and Beverly Chang (public relations director for the CAC) gave a talk on "Packaging Yourself for the Press". Candid and insightful, these two professionals spoke directly to an eager crowd. Information was shared that most artists never get exposed to.
Three simultaneous painting demonstrations were held in the afternoon session of Day 1 with Jesse Powell painting a Carmel Beach dunes scene in warm tones. Jean LeGassick painted a Sierra mountainscape with precision and presence. Craig Nelson, director of painting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco did two seated portraits in oil.
Day 2 began with Kevin Macpherson demonstrating a distant mountain scene illustrating the use of his three grey underpainting to block in the light and shadow areas of a painting before beginning to add color. Being present to view his unique approach was special.
Up next was a talk and powerpoint presentation by artist Bill Cone who is also an Artistic Director at Pixar. Mixed with humor and vision, his talk centered on the effects of "Elements of Natural Light and Color" in our world and our paintings. Explanations of changing light and shadow results produced by nature were eye popping. Slides of paintings and his work at Pixar also illustrated the way he studies and explained light in nature. Given a standing ovation at the end of his time slot, the crowd began shouting more.. more.. more and he did.
The final demonstration of the day was by Craig Nelson once again who gave the audience a full drawing demonstration of a jacketed male model on the main stage. He talked while drawing about approaches and methods throughout and the final drawing was a stunning likeness of the model. What a talented artist and gifted teacher.
For the final closing of our Symposium... we brought up five artists, each giving a different perspective on thier "Pathways to Success". Ed Terpening talked about Social media options, Carolyn Lord about the benefits of being part of clubs and organizations both local and national, Paul Kratter spoke about his experiences with Plein Air events, Jesse Powell discussed relationships with Galleries and Richard Lindenberg rounded out the discussion with the pathway of recognition through Local Events. Elaine Adams also added her perspective as a gallery owner.
The CAC provided a program this past weekend that was well designed to provide further information to all levels of artist and inspire to progress with any artists chosen path. We hope you all can continue to take advantage of the programs that the CAC, as well as other national organizations put forward with a noble goal to help expand and enrich traditional art.