Judge Realty presents “Come Rain or Come Shine,” a public art installation by Savannah, GA-based artist Ben Tollefson and Indiana-based artist Elmer Ramos. The piece is the fourth iteration of Judge Realty’s sponsorship of public art projects and was conceived through the collaborative joining of two distinct art practices. The artwork is a whimsical interpretation of local weather patterns such as short bursts of afternoon rain, common in the summer months in Savannah. “Come Rain or Come Shine” borrows its name from the title of a song by Savannah native Johnny Mercer.
“Come Rain or Come Shine” is comprised of numerous low -relief sculptures of elements of weather; clouds and raindrops figure prominently, while a massive rainbow hovers at the top of the composition. The artists combined elements of each of their respective artistic practices in the conception of the project. Ramos, a trained printmaker, employs techniques of the printmaking craft to new and surprising ends. He is known for his blends of vibrant color, which he isolated through the cutting and collaging of bold, abstracted shapes. This use of color and shape informs the simple, but radiant elements in the project. Tollefson, an oil painter, creates images of imagined environments. These environments frequently include clouds and rainbows as sculptures that exist only in the paintings. Like Ramos, Tollefson embraces a saturated color palette. The sculptures are mounted on the thin rods off the facade of the Judge Realty building, creating depth and dramatic shadows in the sunny spring weather, and providing a joyous backdrop for visitors. The project is a bold, vibrant, and playful setting, a bright contrast to the subdued color and dappled sunlight that characterizes downtown historic Savannah.
Members of the public are invited to a free block party to celebrate the opening of the installation on Friday, April 6 from 4 – 7 pm, which includes games, drinks, and refreshment.
Video: Tristan Kim | Music: Will Robinson
To the Judge Realty team and all involved, the Intersection Block Party represented more than just a celebration of hard work and stunning art – it was a chance for the community to come together in a place where art can thrive. Lori Judge has made it her goal to allow Judge Realty to always be a place of opportunity for artists to express themselves and grow, involving the community and making art as public and accessible as possible. Intersection was nothing short of a behemoth effort representative of Savannah’s love of public art, involving many moving parts and hard working tastemakers, art lovers, and savvy engineers. Lori Judge and her team endlessly thank artists Will Penny, Liz Winnel, Britt Spencer and Matt King, Susan Laney of Laney Contemporary, structural engineer Cody Tharpe and contractor Paul Miller, Big Bon Pizza, The Telfair Museums and Stephanie Raines for spearheading their new initiative #art912, and of course, W Projects, and the willingness to expand the definition of public art by the Historic Board of Savannah, without whom Intersection would still be just an idea. Intersection, Judge’s Third Annual Public Art Project, saw more positive feedback and community support than any before, and in the hope that we can continue to bring amazing works to the forefront of community visibility, we thank all who support us in our efforts.
The Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection was founded on the principles of environment, economy, and energy- the three are not only the foundational cornerstones of the collection, but the business as well. On a recent trip to New York, founder and broker-in-charge, Lori Judge had the opportunity of adding a piece, Federal Reserve Note, to the collection that is a direct representation of the economic ideology Judge supports: a free and fair market. Jason Hughes is a Baltimore based artist whose work so perfectly parallels the ideals of Judge and her company that the connection with his work was instantaneous.Federal Reserve Note by Jason Hughes
“I want everyone to see his work in an artistic and educational way. What he’s talking about is really important because so many people are unaware about current economic issues. His work is the first step in starting that conversation and allowing everyone to understand what’s happening,” said Judge.Image Courtesy of Jason Hughes
Hughes’s work is rooted in the abstract relationship between labor, value, and wealth, focusing on the deconstruction and repurposing of physical currency. The irony of Hughes’s discussion about currency and its cultural valuation is that when creating another recent work, Evergreen, the Federal Reserve gave him 1000 pounds of shredded, decommissioned currency, about $2.5 million that he then used to produce other forms of currency.Image Courtesy of Jason Hughes
Evergreen, a decaying pyramid built with blocks made from shredded cash has never been more relevant. Hughes said, “It’s really about how unfettered capitalism and money in politics are eroding our democracy. A pyramid is not just architectural, it’s representative of a hierarchy, and in Evergreen the hierarchy is crumbling.”
Hughes said, “Working on Evergreen was actually really fun, there were lots of happy accidents. I started washing the money to prep the material for casting bricks. By the end of the day what was left was this oily, brown, smelly water. It was fascinating to see the residue from our daily transactions, something that connects all of us as it passes through our hands. In a sense these transactions almost function on an energetic level because currency flows between us, connecting every laborer, consumer, and billionaire throughout the world. All of our hands are dirty. So I boiled this residue down until it was this thick, muddy sludge that now I’m using as a watercolor pigment. It’s all still in a very crude phase but it’s about the inevitable contradictions between the environment and the economy. A radical change is necessary to slow down climate change and the current economic policies of endless growth are only worsening the situation. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein really inspired me when I thought about what to create with the pigment. I immediately started sketching landscapes that are threatened by neoliberal policies and climate change due to those policies over the last 30 years.”
Marcus Kenney’s work embodies the bizarre boldness of the south in a manner as true and transparent as his dialect and demeanor. On a recent visit with Kenney, we talked about art, culture, the south, and even the television show “Naked and Afraid,” all while shuffling around his methodically berzerk studio. “Yeah, it’s chaos,” he laughed with a drawl so honest I was immediately on a farm in Louisiana.
Kenney, a Savannah transplant of fifteen years, has shown his work in New York, London, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Paris, New Orleans and St Louis. His work is less of a studied idea of the south and more of a literal explosion of unabashed brain trust. “I like to create problems for myself. I create the problem, then I look around and see what’s here that can help me solve it,” he said.
Looking around his studio, it’s easy to see that his process is unlike anyone else I’ve met and his connection with the history of his work is unparalleled. “I was in Atlanta with a buddy, he was shopping for something for a client. We went into this interior design store and after five minutes I had to get the hell out. I found this abandoned house and went in to poke around and found this old rusted tin can. I loved it; who used it? What did they do? Where were they from? It told such a story,” he said. Kenney, moving more into self taught traditional painting practices now said, “That’s my problem with the paint: there’s no history. With found objects, people already have a connection with them, they have an intrinsic history about them. But with paint? You’re telling a story on your own and the connection is solely from the image you create.” Kenney’s past works have all been sculpture, collage, or a beautifully weird mixture of the two. Now, he’s created yet another problem: what to create without that history.
His work is like going to a flea market in New Orleans where all of the proprietors are lounging in caftans smoking opium and drinking absinthe- it’s stunning -as if Toulouse Lautrec had a lovechild with Nina Simone and that child embodied both of their experiences. “I found this baby doll in a flea market and became obsessed with it, so I made 300 of them and put them on the steps of The Telfair,” he said, “The ideas always come from something I find that I can’t get out of my head. Then I make something with it or a new version of it.”
For more information about Marcus Kenney visit http://www.marcuskenney.com/ or come see his work in The Judge Realty Permanent Collection at 347 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia.
Photography: Heath Daniel, Judge Realty Creative Director
Conceptually inspired by the plein air landscapes of Van Gogh and Rembrandt, Henry Dean’s series Sluice contemplates the intersection of art and nature. “Van Gogh loved the cycles of nature, his work was more about art as a way of living and manifesting a desire to be outdoors than just the observable world,” Dean said. “I grew up on farms, in the woods, my father was a beekeeper: so working outdoors seemed only natural for me. In the 90’s I focused on several sustained responsive drawings, observing a landscape for a long period of time (hours, days, weeks) and would draw the feeling, rather than the specific geography.” In his most recent set of works, Dean went in a new direction: subversive paintings. “I came to Savannah to teach and saw an opportunity to remake my practice and do something completely different with no expectations. Traditional painting doesn’t reflect the experience of a place or, typically, the process of creating the work; I thought, ‘how do I represent the true meaning of the landscape as I see it?’.” Dean focused his energy on finding out what it meant to be in nature under the guise of a recognizable painting: how could he, almost completely, remove himself from the process and let the art be the experience of nature itself? He’s happy with the outcome, he says, “They have this experimental quality, but at the same time I felt like I had to stay on top of the process. It’s great to have Lori add the work to her collection. I’m grateful for that.” Dean’s process is, in a word, the way he describes the lowcountry: tidal. “There’s this amazing quality to Savannah where everything seems to wash in and out. I liked that aspect of the work as well; I left the canvases in the water and there’s a stillness about the works, in the way they’re being prepared, but then nature takes over,” he said. Leaving the canvases in the marsh for weeks at a time, allowing nature to fully engulf them, Dean achieved his balance: an ethereal, honest depiction of what life in the lowcountry feels like. Dean said his process is less about painting with nature and more about allowing nature to create a visual representation of the experience. “We have this odd relationship with the force of nature. We talk about how it’s this beautiful thing, but we rarely fully observe it.” To see Henry Dean’s piece Tangent (South Carolina) and the rest of the Judge Realty Permanent Collection (founded in 2014, focused around the ideals of environment, economy, and energy) stop in to Judge Realty at 347 Abercorn Street.
Photographs: Provided by Henry Dean
This week we explore the Judge Realty permanent art collection and one of the newest pieces Moth #1 by paper cut artist Hiromi Moneyhun.
Moth #1 was included in the exhibition Story Line: Wiley, Howard and Moneyhun, the marquee visual art event of Westobou Festival held every year in Augusta, Georgia. Curated by Susan Laney of Laney Contemporary, the exhibition explored social, mythical and cultural themes connected by the most foundational of artistic ideas – the line.
Moneyhun, originally from Kyoto, Japan, moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2004, where she began to expand her craft. Using the tradition of Kiri-e, or Japanese paper cutting, Moneyhun exercises an exacting method to produce hand-cut paper works of astounding complexity and rich detail. Beginning with a line drawing, the artist uses a fine blade knife-wielded technique with a remarkably steady hand to carve the image out of black archival paper. The delicate works are then mounted away from the wall, creating textured patterns of light and shadow.
With no formal training, Moneyhun has developed a unique voice combining traditional Japanese visual art forms with the modernity. The most obvious reference is to Edo period Japanese woodblock prints (moku hanga), which had a major influence on her early budding artist mind.
As with woodblock prints, Moneyhun’s three-dimensional cut paper pieces are the result of a multi-step process, which produces an art that is at once amusingly lighthearted and startlingly alive. Her pieces invite the viewer to reach out and touch the images. Like the works of all the great masters, Moneyhun’s pieces are best appreciated when viewed in person.
The Judge Realty Permanent Collection started in early 2014. Built to showcase a private collection that is open to the public, the pieces are on rotation for guests and passerbyers to enjoy. They are very pleased to add Moneyhun’s Moth #1 to their collection. Presently, with over 30 pieces of art, Judge Realty aims to support local and regional artists and help the creative community thrive.
Tobia Makover, fine art photographer and mixed-media artist in Savannah, Georgia will hold her fall exhibition Tobia Makover – Myself a Memory Friday, November 20th, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at 201 East Charlton Street.
The event is free and open to the public. Fellow artist, exhibit designer and preparator at Telfair Museum of Art, Heath Ritch will be installing the exhibition.Curated by acclaimed artist Marcus Kenney, the exhibition brings hundreds of pieces together specifically designed for the location. This is Kenney’s first time curating Makover’s work which makes the experience of working with long-time friend and fellow SCAD alumni, Makover, even more special.
Kenney states, “Tobia’s images hold my attention like few others and the truth is that it is what I do not or cannot see in them that captivates me the most. It is my goal with this installation to show a side of her work that few get to witness and to share those memories the way my mind sees them. To see them not as a patron or student but as a memory of myself and ourselves. Her images are our memories, our childhood, our fantasies and our fears.”Makover’s work is renowned for creating intrigue using timeless imagery combined with Fayum, a unique process of encaustic waxing that dates back to 1st century Egypt.
“This is my first solo show in Savannah since 2011 and I could not be more excited to be working with both Marcus Kenney and Judge Realty. I have known Marcus for 20 years starting as photography students at SCAD. I have known Lori for over 10 years, have photographed her son and have seen the growth of both our businesses over the years. I am beyond thrilled to have some of my longtime colleagues and friends be a part of this event,” says Makover.
The event space at 201 East Charlton Street overlooks historic Lafayette Square and is sponsored by Judge Realty. The property was built in 1852 for Major John Gallie, an officer in the Confederate Army. Designed by John Norris, Savannah’s most prominent colonial architect, this historically significant building lends a perfect atmosphere for the event.Judge Realty has been an advocate of the public and private art sector in Savannah and has brokered locations for both public art productions and pop up venues. Lori Judge of Judge Realty mirrors the excitement of the show and its significance, “Tobia has been a friend of mine for a long time. It’s a pleasure to support Tobia’s event while continuing my mission of supporting local and regional artists. Because of invested artists like Tobia, the Savannah’s artistic economy is becoming more stable.”
Makover, born and raised in Atlanta, is a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate in Photography and has been living as a full-time artist in Savannah for over 10 years.
Internationally acclaimed, Makover has exhibited all over the world including at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England, Les Ateliers de L’Image in St. Remy, France, PH-Neutro in Verona, Italy, the Griffin Museum in Boston, MA, AIPAD in New York, NY, and the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA.
For more information about the event visit the facebook event page.
This week we take a look at the Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection with the moving piece Hatch Nuclear Power Plant, Altamaha River GA by photographer/artist Ansley West Rivers.
Influenced by a three week trip through the Colorado River, Hatch Nuclear is part of the “Seven Rivers” series. The series challenges the idea behind the American River. It further explores the man-made impact on the river systems’ construct and flow. The rivers in the series include the Colorado, Missouri/Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and the Hudson. The project also addresses the fragile state of freshwater across the United States.
“We stand at a precipice in the history of water. How we approach the health and use of our rivers now will determine the lifespan of fresh water,” says Ansley. “Rivers across the world are experiencing changes in water levels, temperature, wildlife, and saltwater intrusion. The debate over water can only truly begin if we can connect ourselves to the rivers that sustain us.”
Constructed images on each film negative show the possibilities and effects of industry, global warming, agriculture, power, and the unquenchable demand for fresh water that is impossible for the eye alone to see. By placing various tools in front of her 4×5 camera, Ansley was able to expose specific areas allowing her to uniquely build each image.
Ansley West Rivers is a photographer from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her MFA from the California College of the Arts and her BFA from the University of Georgia. She currently lives and works with her husband on their coastal Georgia farm.
The Judge Realty Permanent Collection started in early 2014. Built to showcase a private collection that is open to the public, the pieces are on rotation for guests and passerbyers to enjoy at Judge Realty. With 30 plus pieces in the collection, Judge Realty aims to support local and regional artists and help the creative community thrive.
This week we take another look into the Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection, the recently acquired piece Shields Up by artist Anna Fox Ryan.
Shields Up is a charcoal on Rives BFK paper piece that is a part of Ryan’s Power Series. The purpose of the series was to reflect and investigate power and energy as they both conflict in relationships.
“In using power structures, I wanted to explore the relationship of energy and how it was exchanged. Was it positive or negative? Was it developed and grown? I used charcoal in bursts of the powder instead of clean lines, almost in a spitfire as they engaged with one another,” says Ryan about the series.
Anna Fox Ryan energy paintings began with the observation of industrial energy, and evolved into the observations of electromagnetic fields in living beings, commonly called the energy body or aura. Her interest in energy fields started at a young age and have, over time, progressed into a full education in shamanism. A Fine Arts, magna cum laude, graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, Ryan is based in Philadelphia. Ryan also lectures on drawing and energy throughout the country.
The Judge Realty Permanent Collection started in early 2014. Built to showcase a private collection that is open to the public, the pieces are on rotation for guests and passerbyers to enjoy at Judge Realty. Presently, with over 30 pieces in the collection, Judge Realty aims to support local and regional artists and help the creative community thrive.