Michael Kessler — Another Perfect Placement

Michael Kessler, "Aspenslate (1)", 48' x 84", Acrylic on Canvas, 2016

Michael Kessler, “Aspenslate (1)”, 48′ x 84″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2016

“Aspenslate” by Michael Kessler found its forever home this week, and we couldn’t be happier with the collector’s selection. This special 48″ x 84″ painting is perfectly suited for their sleek mountain decor and adds sophistication to their entryway. Congratulations to our collectors!

We have been assisting this family with their fine art for nearly eight years, and this space has been waiting for the ideal piece since they moved in. In this case, scale was very important to the couple. They wanted a piece that occupied a great amount of space, but was serene and well suited for their surroundings.

As we often see, this home has grand, photo-perfect views that are tough to compete with. An abstract work of art that harmonizes with the natural landscape (right outside) is the ideal solution, and Michael Kessler‘s work perfectly fits the bill.


Install Macey

Michael Kessler, "Aspenslate (1)", 48' x 84", Acrylic on Canvas, 2016 -- Installation view

Michael Kessler, “Aspenslate (1)”, 48′ x 84″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2016 — Installation views


A Standardized Test for Artistic Ability

"Homework," by Rebecca Kinkead

“Homework,” by Rebecca Kinkead

Courtesy Molly Gottschalk of Artsy.com

This spring, the New Hampshire will put forth a pilot arts testing program cultivating alternative ways to measure creative learning, following its similar programs already in place for math, science, and language arts. But can these re-imagined assessments (say drawing and reflecting on a self-portrait) actually push forward teaching and learning in the arts—and aspiring Picassos into careers?

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up,” Pablo Picasso once famously mused.

The initiative is the latest step in a new model for education that moves away from standardardized tests as a sole measure of accountability and instead focuses on measuring students’ abilities in ways more akin to how they will eventually be measured in the real world. (New Hampshire is one of a small number of states, including Michigan and Florida, exploring this method for the arts.) The arts tests were developed by a cadre of teachers across the state. They score students through a series of tasks that more clearly map onto the actual process of arts disciplines.

At its core, the program is an opportunity to inform the teaching and learning process. And this stretches far beyond the benefit to individual students and their instructors. Perhaps even more critically, the findings become fodder for a frank comparison between schools, which is where an equitable and actionable conversation about the state of arts education begins.

In a society where creative expression is increasingly valued in nearly every aspect of culture and industry, it’s become crucial that we define a rubric to fairly quantify creative work and empower young creatives. For example, a 2010 study by IBM found that 60% of CEOs polled cite creativity as the most important leadership quality over the next five years. “There are a lot of signals out there that point to creativity being more and more valued in the school setting,” says Marcia McCaffrey, an arts consultant for the New Hampshire Department of Education. “This work helps promote the value of art in education, because art supports creative thinking.”

Bridgette Meinhold Expands her Horizon at Legendeer

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Bridgette Meinhold, sketchbook, July, 2016

Our wonderfully talented artist Bridgette Meinhold just returned from an artist workshop in Canada, and is brimming with excitement and new ideas for her process and work. We are excited to see what new themes will come out in her work, and have a show planned for her in November — so you will be able to see it too! View her entire post about the excursion, here. Her written piece is excerpted, below.


At the end of July, I spent a week in Canada as part of the 2016 Legendeer Expedition and Workshop. I found out about Legendeer right before their 2015 workshop and was so sad to miss it, and so I was determined to make this one. Legendeer was started by artist and illustrator, Sterling Hundley, the freaking nicest man you will ever meet. His goal was to help artists live out their best story, make awesome art and then share it with the world. What I knew about it beforehand was that a whole bunch of artists (painters, photographers, filmmakers, writers and many more) got together in an amazing place, learned from some fantastic instructors, and made art in the woods. Sounds great, right? This all, in fact, did happen on our expedition, but it was so much more than that.

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In the evenings, back at camp, we would sit around talking about our work, the directions we want to head, our problems, fears, and our dreams. We chatted with mentors, asking questions, pitching ideas and getting feedback. Over the course of the trip, I grew to love each and every person there. Sure they are all quirky – we’re artists, of course we’re quirky – but their passion, dedication, intelligence, and warm hearts made me appreciate them for who they were. Every single person on this trip is incredibly talented, but not one of them is pretentious. We became cheerleaders of each other’s work, and even now that we’ve gone home, we’re all communicating regularly, asking how things are going, and reminding each other of the excitement and stoke we had on the trip. This is my tribe and I’m so grateful to have found them.


I learned so much this week about myself, about other people, about artists, about art. I learned that the end result of a painting isn’t exactly the point, but the process it took you to get there is pretty damn important. I learned I am doing great and I am exactly where I need to be. But I also learned where I want to go with it all, or at least the general direction. I learned community really [f*&%ing] matters and that I should stop being an island. I learned I want to collaborate with people.

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I learned art is important, especially now when things are scary, and hard, and changing so fast. We artists are the torch bearers, shining our light into dark corners; making difficult things easy, making easy things beautiful; showing what is, what was and what can be. We rehash, retell, relive, revive. I believe we can all be artists too. It is important to share your light with the world, no matter what your skill set is, no matter how bad you think you are, no matter if you don’t know how. Legendeer taught me this. Our voice, perspective, and experiences make each of us unique and that means we do actually have something special and unlike anything else to share with the world.

James Penfield in Permanent Collection of Viking Stadium


These paintings are in the permanent collection in the Loft Suites at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN. The five are each 4×3′ acrylic and pencil pieces, with white and purple double frames.

James Penfield has had a busy year! In addition to painting commission work and artwork for our gallery, he was selected to paint five pieces for the Minnesota Viking’s football stadium. Penfield says that the opening at the stadium was, “truly a great time.”

The artists were able to tour the whole stadium with close to no one in it, as well as check out a variety of artwork. Appropriately, they were wined and dined!




We covered this project on a previous blog, but now it is tremendously exciting to see the finished pieces, installed.

Here is the Minneapolis Star Tribune article – http://www.startribune.com/vikings-commission-u-s-bank-stadium-art-from-34-minnesota-artists/330792101/ and another on the Minnesota Vikings’ official website – http://www.vikings.com/stadium/new-stadium/art.html.

The artwork grouping has been composed by Sports and the Arts, founded in 1995. They connect professional athletes and sports franchises with paintings, photography and limited edition artwork. What a great company with whom to work, and what an interesting niche!

Here are a few of their previous projects:

Marlins Park
Amway Center
NY Jets Training Facility
The New Yankee Stadium
Firestone Commission
The Prudential Center
Staples Center




In addition, we recently discovered a wonderful promo video that Penfield made with Princeton brushes, through Blick Art Materials. It features his work and studio well, so you can take a behind the scenes peek at his life. Notice that Penfield paints atypically, on a flat, horizontal surface.

See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt76YVvpUM8

Fresh Work from Fred Calleri

It’s that time of year again — our annual show for artist Fred Calleri.

Fred covers a wide range of styles and subject matter and you never know what subject he will tackle next! As he explores different paths, the paintings always come back to the figure — sometimes nostalgic, sometimes ethereal, and always quirky. His paintings are in some of our most important collector’s homes, including several celebrities’ and Fortune 500 CEOs.

While exploring the figure and representational painting in general, Calleri has found that by adding a slight distortion he is free to let the image take him where it wanted to go. The result is fresh and lively. Calleri injects into his images a romantic and mysterious quality and this new body of work typifies that.

"Hashtag Travel Buddy"

“Hashtag Travel Buddy”


"At The MOMA (Cray Cray)"

“At The MOMA (Cray Cray)”


"At the MOMA (Yolo)"

“At the MOMA (Yolo)”


"Fresh Powder"

“Fresh Powder”