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Cabarrus Magazine

See Color in Action at ClearWater Studios' Live Collaborative Painting Event

Jul 13, 2018 04:53PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

"PASSING: A Collaboration" @ GAS Gallery And Studio / by Gerard Amsellem and Mikel Frank

ClearWater Artist Studios is known for it's out-of-the-box ideas, support of local artists, and for providing unique and interactive experiences with their artists. Earlier this month, ClearWater welcomed Mikel Frank to the studio for a live painting event, which was a huge success. The event coincided with the opening of their latest exhibit, which is an international collaboration from artists around the globe, "Visual Strategies: A Collaborative Project."

Frank, who recently moved to the Charlotte area after living in New York for 29 years as an Event Coordinator and Stage Manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, combined forces with manager Sarah Gay to create not only a unique live collaborative art exhibit, but also live painting events. 

The first live painting that took place was unlike anything that has happened at the ClearWater Studio so far.  Four regional members of the Global Art Project, or ‘GAP,’ an international collaborative-artists organization, along with one non-affiliated artist, spent three hours working together to create large, colorful mixed-media artworks on the Studios’ “Giant Easels.”  An audience of about 80 people sat in chairs lined up in front of the giant canvas and observed the unique and fun art piece unfold. 

The first live event was held July 1st and included Frank along with artists Nancy Perry, from Anderson, SC; Sandee Johnson, from Asheville, NC; and Claire Schauseil as well as Frank's 5-year old Grand Nephew, Liam Borges, from York, SC. 

“When I saw the space, I thought it a perfect venue for an exhibition like this,” said Frank in a ClearWater Press Release. “The artists here have been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and Sarah is great to work with. The space is so unique; it works very well.”  

On July 14th, for ClearWater's monthly Second Saturday, another live painting event will take place with one of Frank's longtime collaborative painting partner, Gerard Amsellem starting at 11am. Both form the Visual Passion Duo and they will be bringing their artistic and performing talents to the studio for a 5-hour, Live Collaborative Painting Demo: VIsual Strategies. Local jazz pianist Noel Freidline will be there providing live music throughout the event. 

This is not something foreign to the Visual Passion Duo, who have worked together to create art before (see the video below for a full visual on the process). Frank and Gerard Amsellem met in 2010 at the grand opening of GAS Gallery and Studio in Maplewood, NJ. Since then, creating art together has become natural, particularly when it relates to life and death, a topic that bonded them in the first place. One of their most notable pieces is titled "The Passing," which was their first large scale public “performance” painting, measuring 15 feet wide by 7.5 feet high. That was in 2011.

Seven years later, they are still working together, leaving behind a trail of live collaborations, including a unique multi-media, interactive art extravaganza called Visual Passion: On Love, and so much more. Their presence in North Carolina is much anticipated. 

The third and final live event will take place August 11th, Family Collaborative Painting Day. At this event, families are encouraged to join Frank in the creation of the final live art piece that will be added to the exhibition.  

The exhibit "Visual Strategies: A Collaborative Project" will be available through August 24th, so be sure to stop by and enjoy the collaboration! 

Keep up with ClearWater by heading to their website, giving them a call at 704.784.9535, or following them on Facebook

Visual Passion Duo | "Naissance" 2013

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