I was touched by Doug Lesser’s definition of ‘retreat’ on the Yahoo groups. Several times a year I go into yoga retreats and my teacher often starts with the definition of Retreat: “a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction...”
And I do believe that it is multi-faceted, we rarely allow ourselves time to step away from the routines of our daily lives. In doing so we can rejuvenate, creating space for ideas to flow into our conscience - pounder/question. It is my belief that that is what feeds us in the solitude of our studios.
I am still taking it all in; the thoughts that were presented by our guest lecturers, the wonderful social conversations, looking at each other’s work, and the strong sense of community. I have been passionate about this event for the past four years. Each year I have worked to “grow” the vision of what is possible in putting the retreat together- always with the intension that it be a time and place to come together sharing ideas and finding support.
Each year, things shift- focus changes from one area to another. I am always very aware of the feedback surveys- listening to what is wanted.
This year there seemed to be a divide: some craved more demonstration, others found fulfillment from the wide verity of lectures. Some folks wanted more “free time” and others wanted more scheduled activities. I am always faced with challenges when building the schedule; what is the time availability of the guest lecturers? -what are the set-up logistics of getting a demonstration stage set as opposed to the sound and lighting for a lecture, how many times can we build and break-down a set? All of these things and more come in to play as I work to build a schedule that aims to be broad in scope. There are also many different personalties that come together for an event like this, some folks lecturing prefer specific lighting or sound environments, and some want little introduction- having prepared biographies as part of their presentation. My hope is that you had a chance to review the retreat blog site, where biographies of each of our guests were given.
What seems to distinguish this event from others, is the sense of community that is fostered and supported. It is my belief that in being able to lodge together, share meals, and most of all follow a single presentation format, we are able to build strong connections in a short amount of time. If we were to follow a multi-formatted program, we would be divided in to smaller groups and have much less time to be together and discuss shared experiences.
I have been hopeful that we would grow in numbers every year, with more and more members attending.We have grown in number every year, and it seems we may have reached our maximum capacity for our lovely and sweet Hidden Valley. There were many folks who wanted to but were unable to stay on-site due to the rooms all filling. We seemed to fill the dinning room as well. In looking ahead, this is a consideration.
So that brings me to the future. It has been an honor to be able to bring my vision to the past three retreats, thank you for the opportunity. I enjoy my role as director, and am working with the Board on future plans. It is my hope that I’ll be starting work on our next event very soon! But I will take a deep breath, savor the memories of this past weekend, and take a moment to pause.
Many of you have expressed your thoughts and feelings about this year’s retreat, I am so grateful for your kind and generous words, thank you.
Paula Fava has generously allowed me to post the photos she took during the retreat, you’ll find them on the IEA Retreat blog site: http://iea2009retreat.blogspot.com/ as well as on Face Book : http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2037588&id=1480718208&l=f850fd49d5
I know that many of you also took wonderful photographs, and I would love to add them to our blog site- if you would like to share (with a photo credit of course), please email me images: email@example.com
I am again touched by another of Doug’s postings, his reciting of a poem by David Whyte entitled “Self Portrait”
" It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of sure defeat.
I have been told, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God."
I look forward to hearing how your experiences at the retreat filter into your studio life, I really appreciate hearing from you. I wish you the very best as you run, jump, saunter, or crawl back to your studios- remembering the energy and support that extends beyond our time together, reaching you now.
Cari Hernandez, Director IEA Retreat & Conference
International Encaustic Artists: Retreat
Tom Burns, Publisher & Artist; Lecture
Tony Scherman: Key Note Speaker
Tony Scherman is widely considered the pre-eminent exponent of encaustic painting today. His paintings are pinnacle demonstrations of painterly virtuosity and expressive flair. He works the surface, mining it to physically embody feelings, express psychological tension, vulnerability, scarring and melancholy. Collectively the themes of Scherman’s art can be grouped together as an exploration of the love/hate relationship of vexing male dangers: vanity, lust greed, hubris and gluttony.
Tony Scherman was born in Toronto, but moved to study and work in London, England in 1968 receiving a MA (1974) from the Royal College of Art. He has consistently been exhibiting his works in international solo and group exhibitions since 1976; he has been a visiting critic and lecturer at universities, art colleges and galleries throughout North America and Europe.
Source: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Andrea Schwartz: Guest Lecturer
Andrea Schwartz Gallery was founded in 1982 in San Francisco, CA. In 2003, the gallery moved into its current location at 525 2nd Street, in the up and coming South of Market neighborhood. The 3,400 square foot exhibition space and 18ft ceilings allow the gallery to feature artwork in an expansive space with great lighting and ground floor visibility to the neighborhood. The gallery exhibits all types of media, with a focus on contemporary painting.
Andrea Schwartz graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1977. She believes that her background as an artist has assisted in her understanding of the perspectives and idiosyncrasies of the art world. For over twenty-five years the Andrea Schwartz Gallery has supported work that is challenging and at the forefront of contemporary practice, representing a select group of artists from the Bay Area and throughout the country. The range of work includes paintings, works on paper, photography, installation and sculpture. In addition to solo and two person exhibitions we curate thematic shows. The gallery supports, promotes and nurtures the careers of the artists we represent.
In addition to gallery exhibitions, Andrea Schwartz Gallery exhibits at art fairs across the country with the goal to introduce our artists to a wider audience. Recent exhibitions at the gallery have been reviewed in ArtNews, Artweek, Art Ltd., Fine Art Connoisseur, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Paper City, and Juxtapoz as well as many online publications. Andrea Schwartz Gallery is member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association. Andrea is also a member of Art Table. Gallery artists are included in museum collections throughout the United States and in Europe and Japan. We provide art consultation to our private and corporate collectors and pride ourselves in our knowledge and expertise.
source: Andrea Schwartz Gallery
R & F Handmade Paints: Richard Frumess, Lecturer
products! Visit R & F Handmade Paint's website at www.rfpaint.com.
Fresh Paint: Jossetta Sbeglia & Helen Brown, Guest Lecturers
Pamela Blum: Lecture and Demonstration 3D panels
Pamela Blum is a painter of encaustics -- pigment suspended in beeswax. She has a diverse background in many visual disciplines including drawng, painting, sculptural installation, performance art, architecture, physical planning and graphic design. She specializes in teaching and directing foundations programs in visual art, the first two years of study. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in France. Active in national organizations, she has been the Editor of F.A.T.E. in Review, the Journal of Foundations in Art Theory and Education, and a member of the Mid-America Art Association Board of Directors.
Professor Blum has a BA degree in studio art and art history from the University of Pennsylvania and a MFA in sculptural installation from the Massachusetts College of Art.
Source:Dutchess Community College
Tom Burns: Publisher & Artist
Here is his biography in his own words:
"I was born of royalty in England, a direct descendant of King Henry III. My mother was a professional Opera singer and hairdresser, while my father divided his time with the NASA Space Program and his beloved model trains. My parents, the Duke and Duchess of Dunmore disowned me at a young age for following my dream to be an artist. Cut from the family trust and left with no other source of income, I took to selling my painting on the streets of New York in exchange for coffee. While selling paintings, I was discovered by a talent scout for the TV soap opera, As The World Turns. I was Dr. Nogood for a short run until my character took up with the town tramp and was slowly poisoned by mistake – but that’s an other story. The acting bug got me to make the move to California. On my way to LA, I stopped in Carmel and never left. I now reside in the forest collecting berries and foraging for food."
Local Driving Directions to Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley is located exactly 11.2 miles east of Hwy 1 on the Carmel Valley Road (G-16) in Carmel Valley, California. Traveling east on G-16, Hidden Valley is located on the right side just past Ford Road. The campus entrance is distinguished by a hand-carved sign denoting Hidden Valley, An Institute of the Arts.
Traveling on Hwy 101 from the south, take the Monterey Peninsula exit in Salinas (called Sanborn Road) and follow it west (Sanborn Rd. becomes Blanco Road) to Hwy 68. Turn left onto Hwy 68 (west) and follow it about 9 miles until you see a sign for Laureles Grade (G-20) to Carmel Valley. Turn left onto G-20 and follow it until it ends (6 miles) at Carmel Valley Road. Turn left again and follow it to Hidden Valley (approx. 2 miles).
Traveling on Hwy 101 from the north, Take the Monterey Peninsula/Hwy 156 exit and follow it west about 5 miles where it will automatically put you onto Hwy 1.
Traveling on Hwy 1, simply come to the Carmel Valley Road (just south of Carmel) and once on the Carmel Valley Road, come out 11.2 miles.
September 17th 2009 Update
We are now just a few weeks away from our Retreat & Conference - holy cow!
I’m very excited to see all of you, and thank you for your enthusiasm and support.
I’ve been in conversation with our guest speakers this past week, making final confirmations. Our key note, Tony Sherman will be giving a wonderful talk as well as participating in Saturdays panel forum discussion. Andrea Schwartz has been busy hanging shows at her gallery and preparing for a large installation debut at a Bay Area hospital. Pamela Blum has been working for the past 3 months creating a wonderful lecture/demonstration for 3D panels- there will be time and space for you to get some hands-on time during her presentation.
I want to invite each of you to email me a low-resolution jpg of your work, I’d like to have a projected “slide show” during one of our evening events and highlight your work. Please send one (1) jpg to: firstname.lastname@example.org ; please keep the file size under 1 MB (150 dpi).
Our wonderful Cruise Director (well, that is my title for her) - Wendy Aikin, has FUN things planned for our creative and relaxing time during the Retreat. She has requested that you bring an “old” tee-shirt (one that can be preeminently altered/changed/etc.) with you to the Retreat- she is planning a wild project for us!
And another reminder to bring a small wrapped painting for our art exchange (please remember that you will be giving this painting away, and receiving a new painting from a fellow artist to take home).
For those staying on-site, room assignments will be given to you at check-in. We have been able to accommodate all roommate requests to date.
1 jpg of work, emailed to Cari ASAP
Tee-shirt that can be permanently altered
small wrapped painting for art exchange
room in luggage for supplies purchased from our wonderful vendors
One-Day ticket sales to the Retreat & Conference have been made available as of today. We had received many requests from members that can’t make it for the entire event, but really wanted to participate- we hope this will allow more members to come and take part.
wishing you all the best,
IEA Retreat & Conference Director
Notes from the last update letter:
We have an exciting group of vendors for our Retreat!*
I have been in contact with R&F Handmade Paints on their debut of a brand new product! They are starting production on a new 40ml paint bar-this is very exciting!! With the option of buying a smaller amount of paint, we can explore new colors! They are shipping a large stock ofthis new product to sell at the Retreat. You may contact our vendors individually about any pre-orders or product questions. We will have daily scheduled vending hours starting Thursday late afternoon.
*Hidden Valley street address:*
88 West Carmel Valley Road, directions and map (located at the “bottom” of the blog page). When you arrive follow the driveway down a short distance, and park toward the
“right” of the first main building (that is the theatre).Registration will in a room next to the administration offices- easy to find, and we’re the only group using the facility.
Hidden Valley Inn is a neighboring motel, 831-659-5361
This is generally one of the most beautiful times of year in Carmel Valley (and Northern California!), we should be in for lovely weather. We may have cool to cold mornings, with warm afternoons. The Retreat is meant to be comfortable and casual, you might be most comfortable in clothing that can be layered for warmth- and pared down for the warm afternoons.
For the folks staying onsite, you will have a twin bed with bedding,pillows,linens and a set of towels. You may want bring your own pillow or blanket just for extra “cozy-ness”- but the basics are provided for.Bring your own hairdryer if needed, they don’t provide one.
*Meals at Hidden Valley*
The meals provided at Hidden Valley a generally served buffet style, always with some vegetarian choices. Hot water for tea and coffee are provided in the dinning room when ever you would like, and there is a very small refrigerator and microwave oven in the adjoining FiresideRoom.
Please bring a small (no larger then 10x12) painting to contribute to the Painting Exchange Game! - it was loads of fun last year, and it gave everyone the chance to share their work. Please have your painting wrapped, as it is a surprise for the person that gets it!
Registration is still OPEN for off-site lodging, lots of members are attending this year- it will be a wonderful chance to meet so many fellow artists!