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Anyone who thinks the most recent Art Chavón night was just another show full of figurative studies and portraits is mistaken. The night—March 13th, and a Friday, at that—shimmered with new and unusual additions to the work for sale. Plenty of work sold, and the show seemed to be to the taste of the 150 members of the Casa de Campo community who turned up for the sixth annual exhibition of The School of Design students’ work, and much more.
The Boar. “You Are What You Eat.”
Francine Parnes was responsible for the exhibition’s show-stoppers: a stuffed boar, which we decorated with a garland of papier maché pork products—bacon, morcilla, and chorizo—and dubbed this installation “You Are What You Eat.” In keeping with the porcine theme, there was a life-size African carved ebony warthog. Francine also gave us a handsome and mysterious tropical wooden statue of a West African shaman, a Prats-Ventós “Menina,” and two spectacular Gaspar Mario Cruz figurative pieces—all items for sale to benefit The School.
With additional works by Nancy Graves, Patricia Tobacco Forrester, Philip Pearlstein, and Ann Parker, this was more than another student show. Phyllis Berney donated the Parker and Forrester pieces to our Scholarship Fund. Prize-winning former artist in residence Fermín Ceballos sent three of his powerful, somewhat gothic and macabre pieces, and a host of graduates provided works to accompany those of current students.
A Chavón mini-ciné viewing room was opened on The Gallery’s second flood to show a wonderful documentary film on the life and work of Fernando Botero, provided by Renata and Peter Winterstein. The cool, air-conditioned space was a perfect oasis from the heady bustle of the event.
“What amazing talent!” was overheard time and time again throughout the night. The soft, skillful jazz music, breezy clime, and convivial crowd ushered about by a team of this year’s most charming bilingual and trilingual students came close to perfection. Steady sales and some very generous contributions above and beyond the entrance fee made the evening’s revenue a substantial boost to the scholarship drive.
Art Chavón’s steering committee—villa owners Mignon Bellini, Bryn and Arnold Cohen, Rik Laird and Patti Rambasek, the Wintersteins, and Norma and Roy Reubel—brought the event to the attention of the guests, all of whom seemed delighted to be part of the happenings. We all found ourselves saying that there should be more such activities, and that the food, music, and art seemed to underscore the raison d’être of Altos de Chavón as it shone in the moonlight.
Article contributed by Stephen Kaplan
Dean of Studies at the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design
Altos de Chavón, Casa de Campo