The luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, a mix of Moorish, Spanish and Italian architecture, listed as the National Historic Landmark of the United States of America has made available the beautiful rooms with coffered ceilings for the meeting of the Figurative Art Convention & Expo, better known as FACE, now in its second year.
Conceived by Eric Rhoads, painter, writer and above all director and CEO of Streamline Publishing Inc. which is the publishing house of Plain Air Magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur, the latter compiled in collaboration with Peter Trippi, Editor in Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, former artistic director and curator of several museums.
Fourty one artists each with their own way to approach the art and the different techniques more or less conventional and experimental: oil, acrylic, watercolor, sanguine, pastel, charcoal and sculpture all in a mixture of approaches, techniques and mediums. This is because the participants, as well as the teachers share the concept of art as a work in progress: a continuous and constant research to overcome their limits such as the choice of support, the construction of the palette and the choice of tools used, which then define the way the color is spread, faded or cut. From the rendering of color to the technique and the tools made available to determine specific effects. The artists who took part in FACE 2018 were: Daniel Sprick, David Kassan, Shana Levenson, Rose Frantzen, Burton Silverman, Cesar Santos, Candice Bohannon, Ryan S.Brown, Elkin Cañas, Nilda Comas, Tonj Curanaj, Michelle Dunaway, Danny Grant, Suzy Hart, Robert Liberace and Casey Baugh who held pre-convention courses, Johanne Mangi, Carlos Martinez León, Marsha Massih Edward Minoff, Milixa Morón, Mardi Rees, Tim Rees, Julio Reyes, Mario A.Robinson, Sadie Valeri, Patricia Watwood, Jove Wang, John A. Variano and Teresa Oaxaca.
Organized to create an objectively grandiose experience, FACE annually offers the opportunity to study with the best artists in the world who, with humility and generosity, are able to convey the attention of the public, made up of well-established artists and not, who are always looking for an upgrade, letting themselves be inspired and encouraged by the teachers who make their skills and tips available with no secrets.
For each demo made, at a pre-established time within which the artist must finish the work, they follow the exhibition and sale of the works produced during the convention whose proceeds (the work of Casey Bough sold at auction, standing between the audience was purchased for $ 13,000 in a duel to death of two lucky ladies) are available to offer scholarships to different categories of artists, this year the categories were 3: students, art professors and artists over 65 .
The concept of FACE is structured as a range of workshops that differs in technique, type of material used and artist from which to draw information and inspiration.
Attending the various demos in the program, mainly inside, such as portraiture, sketches, blood and charcoal drawings, but also landscape en plain air, the participants were able to put into practice what they learned by accessing the various studies on the upper floor of the building secondary in which both models for nude representations and models for portraiture were present. For the occasion, a space dedicated to the purchase of the material used was set up, with the best brands known among the experts, at advantageous prices.
In addition to this, FACE offered talks and panel discussions moderated by Peter Trippi and Eric Rhoads who, in addition to interviewing art collectors such as Steven Bennet and Elena Melotti Schmidt, dealt with different topics interactively involving both artists and the public. Among the various topics covered: what you want to convey through your art; marketing relating to figurative art; from the atelier to the professional artist; figurative sculpture nowadays and how to exhibit their works in a museum. Particular attention was given to the discussion panel, halfway between the provocative and the actual need to find a way that could reconcile the figurative art, which is coming back more than ever in vogue, with the current contemporary art market which moves more towards abstraction.
In this regard, quite alarming was the fact that no magazine or newspaper in the city of Miami and its surroundings mentioned the FACE convention, unique in its kind, limiting the knowledge of these artistic techniques and of the great masters to the detriment of those in the figurative art which still manage to find representation of recognizable images in the world, of which we tend to represent the conceptual idea, sometimes confusing even to the artists who produced it.
And at the end of the second year of FACE, the surprise of the Golden Ticket was placed under the seat of a chair among the public giving the right to free access to the third FACE Convention, which will take place from November 10 to 13, 2019 in Williamsburg, Virginia .
Waiting for the next FACE will follow articles related to some of the artists attending the convention. Not intending to hurt those not mentioned, with whom I will have a change to deepen in the future.