Washington Glass School Goes All SOFA Chicago

SOFA_CHICAGO_500x500Every fall Chicago, IL hosts the critically acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Expo, more commonly known as SOFA. SOFA Chicago 2015 will be held November 6 – 8, 2015 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, where masterworks from top international galleries and dealers from numerous countries will exhibit. An opening night preview will be held Thursday, November 5. On par with Art Basel and TEFAF Maastricht, the critically acclaimed art fair has been continuously run every year since 1994. What distinguishes SOFA from other top art events is its focus on three-dimensional artworks that cross the boundaries of fine art, decorative art and design. SOFA is noted for its exceptional presentation of artwork by international galleries and it is enhanced by the many talks to attend in the Lecture Series given by award-wining designers and artists. 

This year, a number of Washington Glass School artists will be featured at the art fair, and the artists are bringing new works that have taken them in new directions. Tim Tate will be giving a “Booth Talk” at Habatat Galleries (space #1400) on Saturday, Nov 7 @ 1:00 pm. Just after that talk, at 2:00 pm, Sean Hennessey and Michael Janis will be featured at the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) Ice Cream Social on the terrace at Navy Pier.

Allegra Marquart, "The Princess and the Pea", 2015, Cast glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14"x 28"

Allegra Marquart, “The Princess and the Pea”, Cast glass shapes wall mounted over a sewn panel, 14″x 28″ photo: Pete Duvall

Allegra Marquart (Maurine Littleton Gallery, Space #821) has mixed her cast glass with textile, exploring the new possibilities for color, texture and especially line. Allegra has been stitching connections that create open, delicate looking backgrounds that complements and comments on the bolder glass shapes which are mounted slightly in front.  The glass and the threads compliment concepts of fragility and ambiguity. 

Sean Hennessey

Sean Hennessey, clockwise from top left: “The Doors that May Open”, “The Relentless Path Upward”, “The Gift of Time”, “From Mud and Soap”, cast glass, imagery, steel, LED; 24″ x 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Hennessey (Habatat Galleries, Space #1400) will be presenting works that take him in a new direction, both in terms of the brightness of the colors and in the use of a separate panel that incorporates photographed and drawn imagery, telling a slightly different side of the story from the larger panel. 

Audrey Wilson (Alida Anderson Art Projects, Space #402) makes her debut at the art fair. Her new mixed media works explore alternate and extraordinary realms.

Audrey Wilson, " Luminiferous Aether Electrode"

Audrey Wilson, ” Luminiferous Aether Electrode”, Cast glass, electronics, found objects, photo Pete Duvall

Michael Janis (Maurine Littleton Gallery, Space #821) explores concepts of identity with his frit powder (sgraffito) drawings with cast glass elements. New this year are his ceramic and glass sculptures.

Michael Janis, "Regeneration", cast glass, ceramic, 14” x 16” x 12” photo: Pete Duvall

Michael Janis, “Regeneration”, cast glass, ceramic, 14” x 16” x 12” photo: Pete Duvall

 

 

 

Tim Tate (Habatat Galleries, Space #1400) is showing his new illuminated pieces, his infinity series. Tim entices the viewer to look deeply into his created environments, create an optical and physical illusion of infinity through apparent limitless space.  There is an intimacy created by viewing deeply into a circular opening, as if peering through a portal to another reality.

Tim Tate, "Violet Tattoo Infinity", Cast Poly-Vitro, Glass, Lighting; photo: Pete Duvall

Tim Tate, “Violet Tattoo Infinity”, Cast Poly-Vitro, Glass, Lighting; photo: Pete Duvall

 

 

 

 

 

SOFA Chicago November 5-8, 2015

NAVY PIER
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

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Chicago SOFA Floor Plan 2015

Washington Glass School At S.O.F.A. Chicago 2014

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Every fall – for the past 20 years – Chicago, IL hosts the internationally acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair (aka SOFA Chicago).  

The 21st SOFA Chicago will be held November 7 – 9, 2014 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall where masterworks from top international galleries and dealers from numerous countries will exhibit. Opening night gala preview will be held Thursday, November 6.

Washington Glass School is represented by artists Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate are exhibiting at Habatat Galleries Space.

Allegra Marquart, "On The Bus", 2014,  cast glass, enamel OA dimensions 48" L x  24" H.

Allegra Marquart, “On The Bus” (detail), 2014, cast glass, enamel; OA dimensions 48″ L x 24″ H. Photo by Anything Photographic

Allegra Marquart will present a number of her new wall installations. Her new works are not strictly narrative but relate to etchings the artist made years ago when she first moved to the city and began interpreting what she saw on the streets with humor and an eye for juxtaposing disparate situations and individuals.

Sean Hennessey, "The Fur-Suit of Happiness" Cast Glass, Paint, Video (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey, “The Fur-Suit of Happiness” Cast Glass, Paint, Video
(Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey will be showing his cast glass/ mixed media panels at Habatat Galleries. His new works integrate electronics and videos into the panels.

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Tim Tate, “The Healing Polyopticon”, Poly-Vitro, Glass, Video

Tim Tate will be showing his installation “The Healing Polyopticon” – a 5 ft wide installation consisting of 16 video pieces in varying sizes of cast black frames. Each video is in the form of an eye blinking; each eye different. Surrounding this cluster of 16 video frames are cast black flowers that fills out the 5 ft wide circle . The work is based on a terminal diagnosis he received 30 years ago – and he imagined that he was being kept safe by those who passed before him – all keeping an eye on him thru portals. In this sculpture he portrays people who had effected his life in a positive way…keeping him from passing over, making him safe; imbuing him with self healing energy. This powerful sculpture will at Habatat Galleries space.

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Michael Janis, “Breathing In The Quiet” and “Waiting For The Lover’s Words”, fused glass powder imagery, glass, steel. (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Michael Janis will be showing a number of new works at Maurine Littleton Gallery space. The American Institute of Interior Designers (ASID) chose his work as part of their picks for SOFA Selectswhere highlighted pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics give viewers of the fair way to navigate the huge show.

If you are going to the show – be sure to stop by and visit with the artists – all will be at the Chicago Fair!

SOFA Chicago In Sight!

The world-renowned art fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art & Design (SOFA) returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Many artists are working on the last bits of work to be shown at the exhibit that runs from November 7-9 2014, with a preview on the evening of November 6, 2014. 

Celebrating its 21st year, SOFA CHICAGO is the longest continuously running, gallery-presented art fair in the city of Chicago, and one of the most successful in the country. Last year’s fair attracted 34,000 attendees from around the globe.

A number of Washington Glass School artists and alum will be shown at the art fair – Tim Tate will be at Habatat Galleries space, Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis will be showing at Maurine Littleton Gallery‘s space, and alum Jeff Zimmer will be one of Craft Scotland‘s collection that was designed to give audiences in Chicago the opportunity to see and buy some of the finest examples of ceramics, glass, wood, textiles, silver and jewelry being produced in Scotland today. Click on image below to see Craft Scotland’s video about their artists and works being showcased at this year’s fair.

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Glass artist Jeff Zimmer describes his work being featured at Craft Scotland exhibit during SOFA Chicago 2014

Off To SOFA Chicago!

The works are all finished and packed – and on their way to Chicago’s Navy Pier for the huge arts fair: S.O.F.A. (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art)!

Michael Janis “When She Was There” detail, kilnformed glass, frit powder imagery

WGS’ Tim Tate will have his new glass/video works on exhibit at Habatat Galleries (space # 1100); Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart will both be featured at Maurine Littleton Gallery (space #403).

Allegra Marquart “Cow Over The Moon”, kilncast glass

Tim will also be part of a series of lectures and booth events. He will be part of the Saturday Nov 2 talk about developing new audiences, titled: “Through A Glass, Brightly 
He also will be giving a booth lecture at Habatat’s space titled “Video as the Next Craft Medium” on Saturday at 1:30 pm.

Tim Tate “Guardians of Nature”, Cast Glass, Video

Glass Secessionism will have a talk hosted by William Warmus and Tim Tate in Room 323, from 3-4pm on Saturday. Titled ‘The Gathering: Glass Landscape in the 21st Century’, it will be a round table discussion centered on Post-Studio Glass and Glass Secessionism. For more info – check out the Facebook event posting online HERE.

SOFA CHICAGO opens Thursday, October 31 and runs through Sunday, November 3, 2013 at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier.

The Process: Setting Up A Show

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Set-up and takedown of a big art fair is a daunting task – and not all glitterati, paparazzi and Illuminati. Although visitors to the large shows only experience the special exhibitions and lectures, a lot goes on before and after the show. SOFA CHICAGOreturned to Chicago’s Navy Pier in early November, 2012, and the WGS artists participating in the exhibit (Tim Tate, Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart) uploaded photos of the process. Much of the process shown below is centered around the Maurine Littleton Gallery space.

Driving the work for Washington’ DC’s Maurine Littleton Gallery to Chicagois artist Drew Graham. Besides being a mixed media artist, Drew works for the gallery, and is one of its featured artists.

 Navy Pier – jutting out into Lake Michigan has the central exhibition space ready for the exhibitors to set-up. The gallery team arrives early in the morning to begin the set-up.

Drew Graham pulls up the truck inside the event hall, and prepares to start unloading.

Glass artists John Littleton and Kate Vogel are already in the hall and begin to transport the artwork down to the booth space.

Gallery owner Maurine Littleton reviews the booth space and the layout of the walls and electrical. The design of the space and the location of each work was planned weeks previous to arrival in Chicago, with lighting and electrical planned in advance. Some artwork was already delivered to the space. It turned out that some of the walls needed to be re-positioned, and artwork installation worked around those areas. Items such as pedestals, tools, chairs, special lighting, storage shelving, printer, artwork brochures/info, signage, etc and all the necessary components had been packed onto the truck and now must be unpacked and sorted.

John Littleton at work uncrating artwork and preparing the display of many of the works in the booth.

Other galleries are installing artwork – here, Heller Gallery installs Norman Mooney’s cast glass stars. 

Each glass artwork piece is unboxed and carefully installed.

The set-up time is a great time to catch up with other artist friends – Laura Donefer and Tim Tate share a hug.

The Littleton Gallery space is shaping up, pedestals are placed for the Harvey Littleton sculptures.

 The main aisle is busy with galleries preparing their booths.

SOFA Chicago is an international show, here Craft Scotland sets up their display.

The lighting is adjusted on the works, and the packing cleared. Kate Vogel checks for items that need adjustment before the fair opens. Time to shower and change into opening night attire.

Navy Pier just before the opening night gala, the quiet before the storm.

The Opening Night Premier begins with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Lino Tagliapietra is one of the glass greats that cut the opening ceremony ribbon.

The opening night is one to see and be seen. Very posh.

With the opening night premier over, the art expo is open to the public, who fill the hall.

The lectures and demos begin. Corning Museum has a mobile hot-shop that has a number of artists showing.

The art expo offers a great mix of art in all forms of media. For a Flickr gallery of SOFA glass works – click HERE.  For a link to local PBS television video segment on the art at the show – click HERE 

Christina Bothwell mixed media work at Habatat Galleries.

Miriam Di Fiore’s beautiful landscape sculpture.

John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s incredibly detailed cast sculptures.


The SOFA Art Fair ended on the Sunday night at 6:00 pm. With the announcement on the p.a. system that SOFA 2012 has ended, the lights go up and the public leaves the space. The reverse process of de-installation begins. Out come the boxes and crates.


Drew Graham takes a break from packing.

Martin Janecky’s blown glass sculptures in repose.

The unglamourous side of an art expo takes place when one has the least amount of energy. Coffee and energy drinks are needed.

The art expo provides the final meal for the show – Connie’s pizza.


With the show back in the truck and on its way back to Washington, DC, planning for the opening of the Washington Craft Show moves up the list of tasks to be completed. And after, shows at Art Miami/Art Basel. 

Area Artists Exhibit at SOFA Chicago 2012

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Gateway artists and their work will be amongst crowds at the international  art show SOFA CHICAGO, the annual arts expo devoted to Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA). Celebrating its 19th year, SOFA CHICAGO is one of the world's foremost contemporary art fairs, featuring nearly 70 art galleries and dealers from 10 countries along with special exhibits by renowned museums, universities and arts organizations, and an extensive lecture series.

Gateway Arts Featured at the SOFA include:

"Unhemmed" Ani Kasten, ceramic, reclaimed wood,  plaster, photo by anythingphoto.net

Ceramic artist Ani Kasten will have her work at Massachusetts’ Lacoste Gallery space (#508). Ani’s ceramic and mixed media work takes their influence from nature as well as the nature of change. 

"Skyline", Ani Kasten, ceramic, reclaimed wood, plaster, photo by anythingphoto.net

Infused with a modern, minimal aesthetic, her - amazingly structured and unstructured at the same time - work references the built world as well as reminding one of a natural or ancient object exposed to the rigors of time.

Glass Artists Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis are both featured at Georgetown’s Maurine Littleton Gallery space (#408).

"Gecko Gets Told" Allegra Marquart, sandcarved fused glass and enamel, photo by anythingphoto.net

Allegra Marquarts’ colorful artwork delights in storytelling and mines fables and fairy tale for both content and imagery. Allegra sandcarves the panels of glass she fuses at the Washington Glass School, working on both sides of the glass slabs, playing with the translucent quality of the medium.

3 separate works - "Flying in Place", "Lessons Learned and Unlearned", "The Optimism of Language", Michael Janis, fused glass imagery, silver and steel, photo by anythingphoto.net

Michael Janis’ glass sculpture works are also at Maurine Littleton Gallery space His new works show how perceptions are based on perspective, where the mirrored glass cylinders refigure the distorted glass frit images into new shapes. 

"Flying in Place" Michael Janis, photo by anythingphoto.net

Both Allegra and Michael work from the Washington Glass School, located in Mount Rainier, MD. 

"21st Century Dadaism", Tim Tate, cast glass, video, electronics, photo by anythingphoto.net
detail "21st Century Dadaism", Tim Tate

Another Washington Glass School artist – Tim Tate – is featured at Michigan’s Habatat Galleries space (#1100). Tim’s incredible mixed media works exploit the beauty of glass and invests it with a narrative that takes the work to a new level. One work – “21st Century Dadaism” incorporates video projection onto cast glass components, with the effect of producing a disembodied human face, created from the disjointed. If Dadaism had occurred today, it might have resembled this. 

"Vegetable Peddler And Her Son", Tim Tate, cast and blown glass, photo by anythingphoto.net

His other sculpture works, from a series he calls his “Cabinet of Curiosities”, incorporate cast glass elements made from the “lost wax” process are a delight in creating surreal worlds. This is a breakout year for Tim, whose work is currently on exhibit at Mesa, Arizona’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

Tim Tate in front of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ.

SOFA Chicago 2012 - Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4; Preview Thursday, Nov 1.

For more info - visit the SOFA Chicago website

SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL

Report From SOFA Chicago

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Finally had a chance to catch my breath from a rushed viewing of the 18th Annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair (SOFA) held at Chicago’s Navy Pier!.
This year’s SOFA Chicago
featured more than 60 international art galleries and dealers presenting museum-quality artworks and design, as well as lecture and tour series.
SOFA CHICAGO 2011 highlights included:

Maurine Littleton Gallery
The Washington, DC gallery showcased the newest works by WGS artists Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart alongside some of the “glass superstar legends” like Harvey Littleton, Therman Statom and Ginny Ruffner.


Works shown include Colin Reed, John Littleton, Kate Vogel, Harvey Littleton, Michael Janis, Therman Staom, Allegra Marquart, Ginny Ruffner and Drew Storm Graham.


Allegra Marquart’s new narrative sandcarved glass panels (L) and Drew Storm Graham’s wood assemblages (R).


John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s cast glass artwork.

Michael Janis’ painterly fused glass artwork

Jane Sauer Gallery
The Santa Fe gallery had a strong mix of artists in a variety of media.

Tim Tate’s delicious new works – cast glass sweets! Tim also featured framed hand-colored prints of his imagery.


Tim Tate’s video reliquaries are always a show favorite.

Hawk Gallery
The Cincinnati gallery had a stunning solo show of cast glass work by Bertil Vallien.


A stunning cross-section of Bertil’s works.

Bertil’s ladle cast glass encases beautiful imagery.

Bullseye Gallery
The Portland, OR based gallery featured the new directions kilnformed glass is heading.


April Surgent’s cameo-etched work.

Silvia Levensen’s fun sculpture and fused glass panels.

Catherine Newell’s new fused glass panels.

Heller Gallery
Always a must-see, the New York gallery had some instant favorites.


Susan Taylor Glasgow’s “Communal Nest” -a large-scale assemblage consisting of glass twigs, real branches, a chair and a glass pillow. The work was built with help from the community and from artists around the world, all of whom contributed glass twigs to this “collective” nest. But despite these and other it-takes-a-village aspects — Susan’s work ultimately suggests a rather ironic view of home.

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s visions of domestic bliss.
Steffan Dam’s glass recalls scientific analysis.

Marc Petrovic’s roll-up process and stunning technique and aesthetic continues to amaze and impress.

Beth Lipman’s table of fish.

Duane Reed Gallery
The St Louis gallery featured some glass beauties.


Kari Russell Pool’s beautiful flameworked sculptures.


Cassandra Blackmore’s abstract glass panels.

Some works that also caught our eye:


Janis Miltenberger’s flamework sculpture at Thomas Riley Galleries.

Australia’s Beaver Gallery showed Jeremy Lepisto’s crate series.

Wexler Gallery showed how the simplicity of Sydney Cash’s work plays with the light.

Blue Rain showed the fun and beautiful work by Rik Allen. Here a glass spaceman floats amongst the glass.


The annual show was a great time to see the best of media-based artwork and meet some of the artists I’ve only read about.
Many thanks to Betty Py for the photos – for more of her images of glass art shown at SOFA – CLICK HERE to jump to the Flickr site she set up for Washington Glass School.

SOFA Chicago Opens Nov 3

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SOFA Chicago @ Navy Pier

The 18th Annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair, SOFA CHICAGO 2011, enjoys the prestigious position of being the largest and longest continually running international gallery-based art fair in Chicago. SOFA CHICAGO 2011 runs at Navy Pier Nov. 4 – Nov. 6. The SOFA CHICAGO and Intuit Show’s joint Opening Night Preview on Thursday, Nov. 3.

SOFA features more than 60 international art galleries and dealers presenting museum-quality art and design. SOFA galleries bridge a wide range of cultures, art movements and historical periods.

Our Tim Tate, Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis are representing in the Windy City.

Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis will be shown at Maurine Littleton Gallery – space #720


Maurine Littleton Gallery at SOFA Chicago 2010

Tim Tate will be featured at Jane Sauer Gallery – space # 307.
Tim’s new work features a new video & glass and a non-video series.


Tim Tate
The Silent Ode

blown & cast glass, original video, electronics

Below is the video that is incorporated into the artwork – where the singer is silently performing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – which is how Beethoven would have experienced the song – as he became deaf. The cast glass hands are the words to the song in sign language.

Untitled from Tim Tate on Vimeo.

Allegra Marquart’s Narrative Glass

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Allegra Marquart
The Deer, Mouse, Crow & Turtle
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″

Since 1976 Allegra Marquart has been a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art teaching printmaking. Allegra’s imagery continues to gain in visual complexity. Her narrative glass panels started using fables that were familiar to those who know Aesop, La Fontaine and old English rhymes, but now her stories include ones written by Kipling, Edward Lear and ones handed down through generations of American Indians. If you ask Allegra what she does she might say that she makes people stand still, think and smile. Each of these stories are enhanced with a personal drawing style and processes Allegra loves for both making etchings on paper and in the fabrication of glass panels. Allegra’s work is full of invention, humor and pain.


Allegra Marquart
The Blue Jackal
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″


From Allegra’s artist statement:

“For the over a decade my etchings have grown from my observations of city life, human foibles and old fables. About 6 years ago I experienced a kind of epiphany. My images needed to be made of glass! The glass would act as a metaphor for the transparency, fragility, strength, permanence and reflective power in all the moments I was describing. I imagined these pictures in low relief made of glass that would refer to stone carvings on columns and friezes that people in ancient times used to describe their daily life.

Allegra Marquart
The Elephant’s Trunk
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″


So sure was I of this revelation that I went to work immediately. I began with sand blasting deeply into the glass to create my first body of work in this medium that was so new to me. A class at Pilchuck with Paul Marioni taught me how sand casting could give my images even greater physicality and drama. Work at The Corning Studio and The Washington Glass School (in DC) expanded my casting experience.

Allegra is part of the faculty at the Washington Glass School, and she creates the multi-colored glass panels in the studio’s large kilns. Firing color atop color, Allegra creates a basis on which to deep sand carve her visual narratives.

Below is a glimpse into the steps she uses in the creation of the fantastic panels:

Allegra spreads out crushed colored glass (coarse frit) on top of a glass panel that has already been fired with a different color.

Prepping the kiln for another long panel to be loaded for fusing.


After the panel is fired, annealed and cooled, Allegra covers the glass with a thick vinyl resist.

Allegra transfers and draws her imagery onto the resist, later cutting away the elements to be exposed to a deep sand blast session.


The panel is then carved with a force fed media (deep sand blasted) that cuts through the various color layers of glass.
Allegra will repeat the process on both the front and back of a panel, allowing the mix of light and color to work with her imagery.


The SOFA Chicago Art Expo will feature Allegra’s work at Maurine Littleton Gallery‘ space (#720).

Click HERE to jump to Allegra Marquart’s website.

Washington Glass School Goes to SOFA Chicago

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SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier

S.O.F.A. Chicago 2010
Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is THE place to be for art from Nov. 5 – Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. Chicago’s much-anticipated art fair, the 17th Annual International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair: SOFA CHICAGO 2010 will feature 80 art galleries and dealers from 10 countries. It promises to be an exciting weekend of discovery and collecting for Chicago’s impassioned art audience and for the crowd of national and international attendees. WGS’ Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart will be featured at Maurine Littleton Gallery’s booth (#720), and Tim Tate will be have a major showcase with Marc Petrovic at Habatat Galleries’ space (#1200).

SOFA Chicago Navy Pier Festival Hall 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611


Allegra Marquart The Fox and The Crow


Tim Tate The Seven Waking Dreams Of Man



Michael Janis Somewhere I Have Never Traveled (detail)