Tag Archives: John Thornton Films

Souls

Souls Shot, Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

“On November 3, 2017 I went to the Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill to see a show of portraits of victims of gun violence. Artist Laura Madelaine had invited me to a show that she co-curated with Rebecca Thornburgh. Artists were paired up with family members of shooting victims to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.” – John Thornton

“There is a parable told by Jesus about a man who kept accumulating possessions. At some point, he had so much stuff, he had to build barns to contain it all.  Apparently once the barns were built and the stuff stored, he said to his soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”  “Fool!” booms God’s voice disrupting this man’s satisfaction with the future he had secured. “This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” It was God’s way of saying, “You can’t take it with you.” – Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Stewardship

Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Through November 30th, Gallery Hours 10:00am – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday

Thank you to John Thornton Video for the content of this post.

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Incouragement

 

PAFA ASE 2016, For the Incouragement of the Fine Arts

Video by John Thornton Films

“In 1805 Ben Franklin’s buddy Thomas Jefferson received a letter from an artist named Charles Wilson Peale. Peale wrote about trying to form an Academy for the “Encouragement” of the fine arts.” – John Thornton

“One of the most highly anticipated student group shows in the country, the ASE offers collectors a rare chance to view and purchase works by the art world’s emerging young talents, including winners of PAFA’s Spring Prize competition, prestigious Travel Awards, and other prizes awarded in various categories of excellence. This year’s ASE will feature approximately 1,000 works in various media by 41 graduating MFA students and 66 third- and fourth-year Certificate and BFA students.” – PAFA

“The 115th Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) features works by PAFA’s BFA students, third-year and fourth-year Certificate program students and Master of Fine Arts candidates, showcasing artistic styles that fuse traditional skill with contemporary vision. This long-standing tradition offers students the opportunity to curate, install, and sell their own works in PAFA’s galleries, and is one of the most celebrated student group shows in the country.

In addition to its role as an exhibition and sale, the ASE includes a competition for the coveted Certificate program’s Cresson, Schiedt, Von Hess, Ware, and Women’s Board Travel Scholarships. It also provides collectors and the general public with opportunities to view and purchase works by PAFA’s prize-winning students and rising stars in the art world.” – PAFA

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Underneath

Underneath, The Life and Art of Gregory Gillespie

John Thornton Films

“A character in a Bruce Springsteen song sings, “Maybe you got a kid, maybe you got a pretty wife, the only thing that I got been bothering me my whole life.” The painter Gregory Gillespie was not that guy. He had a lot in his life including worldly success, loyal friends, a family, and an absolute genius for art. But I do think he also had something that bothered him his whole life.

I met him once when I was a drunken art student and he came to an opening of an important group show of realists that he was in at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I was in the men’s room, and looked over as I was urinating and there he was standing next to me. I yelled his name, stuck out my hand, and he shook it. He was the nicest famous artist I have ever met.

In 1977 when Gregory was only 40 years old, he had a retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. In 2000, age 63, he hung himself.” – John Thornton

Life and career

Gregory Gillespie was born in Roselle Park, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he became a nondegree student at Cooper Union in New York. In 1959 he married Frances Cohen (1939–1998), who was also an artist, and the following year they moved to San Francisco where Gillespie studied at the San Francisco Art Institute.

In 1962 he received the first of two Fulbright-Hays grants, for travel to Italy to study the work of Masaccio. He lived and worked in Florence for two years, and in Rome for six years, studying the works of such Renaissance masters as Carpaccio, Mantegna, and Carlo Crivelli, who was a particular favorite of Gillespie. During this time he was awarded three Chester Dale Fellowships and a Louis Comfort Tiffany grant. In 1971 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1994.

He had his first solo show in 1966, at the Forum Gallery in New York. In 1970 he returned to the United States, where he settled in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. He exhibited in several Whitney Biennials, and in 1977 the Hirshhorn Museum organized a touring retrospective of his work.

Gregory Gillespie became known for meticulously painted figurative paintings, landscapes, and self portraits, often with a fantastical element. Many of his early works were made by painting over photographs cut from newspapers or magazines, transforming the scenes through photographic collage and by adding imaginary elements. In his later work he abandoned his early fascination with creating hyper-realized realistic imagery, instead focusing on a looser and more expressive style. He often combined media in an unorthodox way to create shrine-like assemblages.

He was found dead in his studio in Belchertown, Massachusetts, apparently a suicide by hanging, on April 26, 2000.” – Wikipedia

Gregory Gillespie, John Thornton Films, Forum GalleryGregory Gillespie, Self Portrait in Blue Hooded Sweatshirt, Forum Gallery

Thank you to John Thornton Films for permission to share this enthralling video.

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Natural

Natural Flow, the Paintings of Gerry Tuten, John Thornton Films

“Through March 12, 2016, The Wayne Art Center is hosting a dazzling exhibition of landscape based abstractions by metalsmith turned painter Gerry Tuten. Although these paintings have echoes of DeKooningTàpies, Soutine, Cy Twombley, and the late garden paintings of Monet, they remain resolutely her own.” – John Thornton

The purpose of The Wayne Art Center is to provide both instruction in the studio, and to build appreciation of the visual and performing arts through our many exhibits, lectures and programs. The Center affords artists an interdisciplinary venue to share, learn, exhibit and perform. Specifically, The Wayne Art Center carries out its mission in the following ways:

  • By providing instruction in all phases of the fine arts, contemporary crafts, music, culinary arts and drama.
  • By offering exhibitions, performances and special events for artists and community of the greater Main Line area and Delaware Valley.
  • By reaching out to our community with instructional programs for persons with special needs. These programs use art for therapeutic value.
  • By providing a gathering place for artists and students to both share and lend support toward improving the cultural climate.

Gerry Tuten, Natural Flow

“My painting is a venture inside and outside of myself seeking freshness and change. I thrive on challenge, action and awakening in my painting. I am intensely curious, exploring the micro and macro levels of the natural ecology. When the image begins to “break up” or erupt, my excitement rises. I transfer this excitement and freedom to the viewer through movement, color and texture of paint over surfaces. Here in the process of painting I allow myself to break all the rules. Trusting my intuition I can let go of the “work of art”. The painting is just a place to free myself – to surrender to process. The medium of paint speaks stronger than words. Clarity is distilled out of movement and change. The paintings come as gifts.

The elements of earth, water, fire, air and space give form to all life and play a prominent role in my inspiration. By exploring organic natural forms and the visceral textures of paint with spontaneity and freedom I play at mark-making and application while trying to stay ahead of my grasping mind. Through close observation my art explores imagery living in the natural world – insects, birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, trees, flowers and minerals in a myriad ways. I am overcome by the abundance and beauty of nature. If I can allow my paintings to run free then I can find delight and joy.

My aim is a constant search for subtle and not so subtle energies in our visual world as well as the tension between things and expression. Painting is a way for me to move through life having a relationship with the Beloved. The paintings are the record I leave behind of my journey into spirit. They are in gratitude for my life. – Gerry TutenJune 2015

The Wayne Art Center
413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne, PA 19087
610-688-3553 · 610-995-0478 fax

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Beehive

Inside the Bloody Beehive with Artist Judith Schaechter

Video by John Thornton Films

“The first time I ever heard of artist Judith Schaechter was sometime back in the early 1980’s when we were both in a group show at Philadelphia’s Art Alliance. She had  this small unassuming painting that I have never forgotten. Judith stopped painting and went on to excel in another medium, stained glass, and on October 17th, 2015 I went back to the Philadelphia Art Alliance to see a dazzling display of her work. Later, I spent an afternoon at Judith’s home and studio. I believe that this funny, brilliant woman is one of the world’s greatest living artists.” – John Thornton

“It seems my work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful in theme as well as design. For me, this means taking what is typically negative — say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality, or nerve-wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to observe (to avoid ending with preposition). I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling one’s feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.” – Judith Schaechter excerpt artist statement

Judith Schaechter’s work is gut-wrenchingly beautiful. “Beauty” says the artist, “is considered the most horrible crime you can commit in the modern art world. People are suspicious of anything that makes them feel as though they may lose control. Beauty forces you to confront your helplessness as well as your dark side. My work is not intended to make comfortable people unhappy, although it may make unhappy people comfortable.” – University of the Arts faculty

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