The Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery
United States

The only real gallery that New York would permit you to visit within the course of six days in September is the Phyllis Harman Gallery in New York City at 215 West 57th Street. The teachers achieved a display of their work with assistance by the students and there was a lovely collection of subject matter deemed either too traditional or conventional with the rare startling medium-based piece.

The Arts Students League of New York is well respected for developing the talents of students with the wide choice of courses exploring painting, drawing, sculpture, moulding students into the next De Kooning, Warhol, O’Keefe etc. (Of course, these names are a general idea of the ability this League has, not having necessarily taught the likes of those mentioned).

There is an attractive collection of work that precedes the success of the gallery’s previous exhibition each time, showcasing the depth of the teacher’s knowledge of Fine Art with traditional and uncharacteristic subject matter. Among the different processes and areas explored, we were subjected to the likes of anatomy and life drawing; sculpture, printmaking – etching and lithography; watercolour; relief sculpture; collage, mixed media; photo and digital lithography; pastel from life; combined media assemblage; forging; portraiture and composition; mural painting; still life and landscape; modelling in clay; experimental techniques and many more in the hundreds.

There is a feeling of judging an art competition that overcomes the audience, viewing these pieces individually and deciding which is more suited our own styles and therefore which tutor is teaching the subject we would like to enrol in. Nevertheless, there were some very worthwhile artists we ought to keep our eyes open for whenever we hear of the League: Gregory Lyde Vigrass’ Abstract Expressionist paintings which drastically control the motion and direction of the paintbrush, inspiring student Sasha Kogan to explore Abstract portrait painting; the art of James Garvey, which is forged, produces bent furniture designs which has inspired the likes of student K-thor Nielsen to create outdoor sculptures forged into Spanish designs. The wide-ranging printmaking techniques of Sylvie G. Covey shows a form of psychedelic etchings and digital lithographs we would not see again until we notice her student John Salvi’s own take on Surrealist-esque prints; Naomi Campbell is a watercolour artist that proves having the same name as a famous model does not have her work suffer, with startling watercolours exploring human figure in history inspiring a similar exploration of shape with student Laura Egelhoff.

Many student exhibitions are instigated every year in every institute imaginable yet the rare numbers of teachers/instructors exhibitions shows a faith in the art education department not separating the old from the young but the artists from the artists. A nice presentation of art with traditional subject matter and non-traditional mediums demonstrating there is likely a class for you.