Stacie Cassutt


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Monday, April 24, 2023

I’m writing this on a Monday about Saturday, April 22. It was a busy weekend, with friends enjoying what feels like a flash forward into summer. Thursday was a lovely 4/20 at Dolores park, Friday a great day at the studio, Saturday a dj set and concert with friends, and Sunday a barbeque to celebrate none other than Denis Mahkin’s birthday. Happy birthday, Denis! Grateful to know you.

Another highlight of this weekend was Art Market Productions at Fort Mason on Saturday. It was especially fun because I’ve been working on a project for the last year that has taken me into the land of Art Curation. I have been working for myself / my clients for nearly two nears now and have fallen in love with the cross over of Art & Design. Through my good friend, Jean Colangelo, I got a job at SPM Design working under Jean and the rest of the inspiring leadership there. SPM Design was started by Sean Madden and I am learning so much from him and the amazing group of artists, architects, designers, and engineers he has gathered. One of my closest friends, Lindsey Shive, is also on the team and together we work on environmental designs. We are currently curating a corporate collection together for a client in Mountain View.

All that to say, going to the market was particularly fun because some of the artists we have commissioned for the collection were showing work alongside the impeccable galleries and artists. Lindsey and I spend a lot of time researching, scouring for local talent, learning about their stories and process, and hoping to discover that next inspiring work to fit our brief. California and specifically the Bay Area is spilling over with artists in all media types and I am grateful I get to do this work.

I went to the show with my husband, Ty, and whenever we attend an event like this we like to choose one singular piece we’d take home if we could. Let’s be clear, we can’t afford anything at this event, but why not at least manifest!

Ty’s favorite was Laurence JonesNight Pool in Cerulean Blue. This piece is acrylic on Belgian linen and has a large presence at 70 7/8 inches x 82 5/8inches. Jones was represented at the show by Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery in London. Ty loves work with a magical realism. He likes to abstract his surroundings and pretend he’s in a dream or travelling somewhere he’s never been. This painting made it easy for him to climb right in and take in the lightscape in the distance. 

The work captures the ambient glow of light at each layer. From the blue of the water that bounces off the ceiling at the top of the composition to the distant city haze that immediately takes me to Los Angeles.

“My paintings incorporate elements of both fiction and reality, and are brought to fruition through a varied means of production.

A significant focus has been an exploration of the mediated image, and an investigation into the power of implied narrative. Through the act of painting, narrative begins to form as elements are added or removed, displaced from their source and recontextualised, providing the scenes an intangible sense of familiarity.” Source: Laurence Jones

Source: Laurence Jones

My personal favorite collection (sorry I fell in love with this artist, and couldn’t choose just one piece) was the display of Myles Bennett’s work by Pamela Walsh Gallery in Palo Alto, California. His woven and deconstructed canvases emit a compelling softeness. The tight gradation creates a mathmatical diagramatic grid in his two-dimensional compositions while his deconstructed works prompt nostalgia for California’s golden and green foothills. His animation of the canvas as a character in the art blurs the final composition into an almost screen-like vision. Manner of Hanon is suspended in space and becomes more sculpture than painting. This one in particular revealed, with intimacy, Bennett’s color processes on the raw canvas.

“I became involved in fibers because canvas just seemed like the most ubiquitous painting surface. As an architecture major I came at it from, ‘You take a brick or a stone and you see what you can do with stones or bricks.’ So when I got into art, I bought a bolt of canvas and was going into the material, just sort of this universal painting surface, but instead of building it up, I was going into it.”
Source: Myles Bennett

Source: Myles Bennett’s via Pamela Walsh Gallery

Aside from our favorites, there were so many great artists present at the event. Round of applause to them and the curators who put together such beautiful exhibits of the work. Thanks to Art Market Productions and Fort Mason as well.

Some themes I saw throughout the day were concentric circles, psychedelic landscapes, and use of reflective and lenticular materials.

Another stand out was Michael Kalish represented by Axiom Contemporary in Phoenix, Arizona. Floral Circle #1 is a whimisicial hommage to the works of Warhol. Almost as if each color layer of a screen print was extruded and mounted in space. I appreciate the choice to contrast opaque and translucent materials that creates another landscape entirely made of shadow.

“His three-dimensional editions, constructed of high-gloss metal layers, playfully interact with viewers, affording unique experiences depending upon their vantage points.“
Source: Michael Kalish

So much more I could say, but I’m tired and still getting the hang of this art review thing. I think I need to do some reading to continue getting my footing. Artists and galleries linked if anyone should read this and want to learn more. I’ll intend to do this again sometime.

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Happy Saturday! A beautiful morning in San Francisco, but more importantly than that it’s my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary today. I have only been married for coming up on three years this fall, and it’s been something. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, he is my best friend, but merging your life with someone, no matter how hot and funny they are, is an inevitable challenge. Hats off to my parents today, it hasn’t been easy but everyday you decide to keep going together. I admire you and I wish I could get in on that Pizza Hut supper you’re having to celebrate. I love you!

Today is also a great day because I stopped by the Art Explosion Open Studios on the first floor of the building my forementioned husband, Ty and I, just moved into. I’m a pretty shy girly, but when it comes to this stuff, I can’t resist. Social anxiety is no joke, but I’m working on it. Emotional tangent ANYWAY, I met one artist in particular whose work drew me in immediately. Greg Dunham.

Primary colors are my fricken jam so I had to step inside his studio. His work is perfectly organic and geometric at the same time. The overlays between colors pulling you into dimensions of color and light. Soft swirls he was actively shading brought forth a sky-like quality to the perimeter.

We ended up chatting for a bit, about a mutual love for San Francisco fog, about my new studio ambitions upstairs, and our mutual connections to the design industry. Greg has worked for 20-something years with to-scale physical models of set designs. I work with Adobe and CAD programs to design installations and graphics. His world so tactile. Mine so digital but yet on a common ground.

His ethereal, collage-like paintings were translated in another language on the opposite wall: dimensional collages made from old scraps of sets he’d worked on. A more grounding palette of color and material emerges here bringing me to a sense of home and hand.

Thanks for a lovely chat, Greg! See you around.

On the floor below, William Valle, has truly created my happy place. Complete with the MoMA-edition Joan Mitchell hard cover I will be adding to my Amazon cart. JK I should be patient, go to SF MoMA, and buy it like I should’ve when I saw the exhibit in the first place. But talked myself out of. Because I didn’t need another book blah blah blah.


William Valle.

Another studio my anxiety couldn’t keep me out of. The energy radiating from this room was truly captivating. A variance of brush work, some paintings thrashing, some flowing, some inviting you to wonder about process and how they might have been applied. While I didn’t get a chance to speak with William, I know we’d get along.

That’s all for now! Thank you to artist, Suzanne Baxter for the Open Studio tip!

This is my first attempt at something like this. Blog-like, art review, journal vibes. I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll intend to keep it up. Artists and studios linked if anyone should read this and want to learn more or check out the studios for yourselves. I’ll intend to do this again sometime.


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The emotion of potential: that sensation in the chest when an idea emerges that feels a lot more like fear than possibility. It could maybe be called the emergency break to potential because when given into as fear, progress halts and all confidence disappears.

Why does that brief emotion & bit of butterflies so quickly turn into something negative? Fear so often feels like a warning sign to go & hide. But, what if that feeling was actually designed to reveal when we’re onto something.