AMSA/NSS Symposium at Brookgreen Gardens 2011

By Robin Salmon

Last month, 34 members of AMSA and other aficionados of medallic art gathered at South Carolina’s Brookgreen Gardens to enjoy two days of talks, demonstrations, tours, celebration, and camaraderie. Not only was the subject of medallic art – past and present – on everyone’s lips, but it was also displayed in the Joseph Veach Noble Gallery at the famed sculpture garden. The exhibit, The Art Medal: Past and Present, showcasing 176 cast and struck medals and galvanos, was on view there from May 7 through July 24.

During the symposium, 10 informative presentations were made by Eugene Daub, Donald Scarinci, Jim Licaretz, Mark Benvenuto, Heidi Wastweet, Mashiko, Tony Ullman, and Robin Salmon, in addition to special tours of Brookgreen’s sculpture collection given by Robin Salmon. Topics varied from “Current Trends in the Art of the Medal” to “Direct Graphite Carving”, “Cold Cast Patinas” and “Letter Forms and Carving in Reverse”.

On the final evening, participants enjoyed a reception with Brookgreen members in celebration of two indoor exhibits in the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion, The Art Medal: Past and Present and Four Masters: Selected Works by Rainey Master Sculptors, 2010-2011. The Art Medal, on view appropriately in the Joseph Veach Noble Gallery, featured historic medals and galvanos from the Brookgreen collection alongside additional historic examples borrowed from the Mellon-Bloch Collection and contemporary medallic art borrowed from AMSA members.

Works by many of the symposium participants were shown including those of Heidi Wastweet, Eugene Daub, Douglas White, Friedrike Merck, Linda Preble McVay, Jacqueline Lorieo, and Jim Licaretz. Additional AMSA members having works in the show were Ann Shaper Pollack, Tanya Karpiak, Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, Karen Worth, Sarah Peters, Anne-Lise Deering, Geri Jimenez Gould, George Cuhaj, Bud Wertheim, Marika Somogyi, Del Newbigging, Geert Maas, Daniel Altshuler, Michael Keropian, and Alex Shagin.

Four Masters in the Carl Paul Jennewein Gallery included sculpture by Brookgreen’s sculptors in residence from 2010 and 2011: Marc Mellon, Simon Kogan, Greg Wyatt, and Eugene Daub. Marc Mellon and Greg Wyatt also attended the event, in addition to Eugene Daub.

Although it was the first trip to the sculpture gardens for many of the participants, the hope is that it will not be the last. During the symposium, the idea was discussed about the possibility of a future AMSA juried exhibit to be held at Brookgreen Gardens.

A Bit of News About the Exhibit

By Susan Taylor

Living on the eastern side of North America, my husband Doug and I decided to seize the moment and visit Brookgreen Gardens to attend the vernissage of the American Medallic Sculpture Association 30th Anniversary Exhibition, previously on exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue Washington. The setting of the exhibit is spectacular, with magnificent gardens, live oak trees draped with spanish moss, superb sculpture and impressive exhibits. For those who have yet to experience Brookgreen Gardens what better time to visit! You will have the opportunity to view our members work in a world class setting! Even better attend the Eugene Daub’s Medallic Art workshop from June 3rd to June 7th. Here you will live and breathe creativity and be inspired by Eugene and other fellow artists.

On the evening of the vernissage, Robin Salmon graciously greeted us as we walked up to the reception located in the breeze way between the two galleries of the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion. The vernissage celebrated the opening of two exhibits. In one gallery there was an exhibit of Selected Works by Rainey Master Sculptors, 2012-2013 and in the other the AMSA 30th Anniversary exhibit. Despite of the recent loss of her husband, Robin mounted a beautiful and sensitive showing of members work. Where possible Robin displayed an artist’s work so that it was grouped together in their own display cases. This was an insightful touch, as it was possible for the visitor to see the d’oeuvre of the artist in a single setting. For the most part the display cases were made of clear plexiglass supported by a a black base. In a few instances it was possible to view the medals from the side as well as from the front. In the corner sections of the gallery the medals were mounted on a black base without a plexiglass top. These displays were roped off so the the viewer could not touch them.

While admiring the medals and enjoying the fine cheeses and excellent wines, we had the pleasure of discussing the exhibit with Alex Palkovich and his lovely wife Aggie Palkovich. Alex talked with enthusiasm about the exhibit, his current projects and the up coming workshop with Eugene. Friends of Brookgreen Gardens were also in attendance at the vernissage and we had the opportunity to learn of the volunteer efforts that make Brookgreen an exciting venue for our 30th Anniversary exhibition.