Monday, April 29, 2013

Tennessee Williams' Cat on A Hot Tin Roof

Poster Design by Jana Kotysan

Essex Street Academy's production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was certainly a labor of love for both the actors at ESA (a public high school on the Lower East Side) and for a class of Parsons designers. 

I worked with about 10 others on the sets and props for the play. We started by learning to build set models at Professor John Jerard's Brooklyn studio.  Soon enough we were in the studio for our 6 hour class periods and Sundays building the sets! Mary, at Jerard Studios, taught us a variety of paint magic to transform our primarily cardboard sets into pieces of 'wooden' furniture, 'draped' curtains, and so forth.  We were very lucky to have the expertise of Jerard's Broadway set studio.  Finishing touches took place at Essex Street Academy on the Lower East Side, before the play goes on this week!

Workspace in the studio!
Learn more about our project and WATCH a great video on our Kickstarter page here! All donations are greatly appreciated and go towards helping the young and incredible theatre department at ESA!  

Come see ESA's Production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Wednesday, May 1st at 6:15pm at The Little Theatre (5 W 63rd St) or Thursday, May 2nd-Friday, May 3rd at 6:15pm at Essex Street Academy (350 Grand St).  It is sure to be a wonderful performance from these passionate, talented actors, and it should be fun to see our work up on the stage!

Margo Isadora

Ferry out to Jerard's Brooklyn Studio!

The set model that I worked on.

Cardboard creations... After much drawing, measuring, cutting, and gluing they are ready for paint!  

Cardboard French Doors
Charcoal Sketches

Window support in progress...

'Icing' our cake!

Finishing touches on the door supports

Most of the team! We finished in the studio :)

Bye Red Hook, Brooklyn! 

Painted and Moved to ESA!

ESA Finishing Touches!

The bed!

Get a taste of our project here on the Kickstarter page!
Makeup and Hair on Opening Night!

The incredible Director, Jackson!

The Talented Actors!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ilona Royce Smithkin: Portraits and Parsons!

Captured by Xenia Veryano
What a treat it was to have the spirited, fabulous, and inspiring 93 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin visit my portrait drawing class critique at Parsons! 
My relationship with Ilona began with these blind contour portraits, so when Kate Teale gave the portrait assignment in our Perception Drawing class this semester, I felt that choosing Ilona was only a proper progression.  

Captured by Xenia Veryano

However, I did not think that just one traditional portrait would adequately describe my colorful, lively, and wonderful friend. So, I sketched many different compositions, trying to get across her expressive nature.

Soon after I began my first painting of her...   

Her first finished portrait! 

The day of the crit finally came!  I walked with Ilona to Parsons.  Here she told me that she calls Pansies 'Mother-in-laws' because they each have different faces/expressions! 
I have to agree :) 

We arrived at the crit!

Some of the class' work...
Captured by Xenia Veryano

Below is Ilona in acrylic paint on the top and left, colored pencil on the right and in black thread and glue on the bottom.

Crit discussion...

My lovely teacher Kate Teale and Ilona!
See their linked names to view their stunning art.

Captured by Xenia Veryano

Preforming :) 

Captured by Xenia Veryano

Thank you for coming Ilona Royce Smithkin!
Captured by Xenia Veryano

Ilona enjoyed her visit immensely, and the class loved meeting her :) what a fun crit it was!

Enjoy the inspiring individuals in your life, 
Margo Isadora

See past posts with Ilona here, here, & here!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sanford Wurmfeld: Color Visions 1966-2013

I was sent to visit Sanford Wurmfeld: Color Visions 1966-2013 at Hunter College by my 'Color, Pattern, and Symmetry' teacher, Paul Corio, a former student of Wurmfeld's.  I expected an artist's retrospective of his color focused work, but was not at all prepared for Sanford Wurmfeld's INCREDIBLE span of color work.  His expansive wall canvases, irregularly shaped paintings, and sculptures teach one more about color that could ever really be learned in a class room. He brought to life for me all of the color theory that I've been learning.  Throughout his almost 50 year career he has explored color and its affects on our moods and visual perception to a positively scientific level.  The precision and effectiveness of visual perception that he has created took my breath away.

(Close up of above painting!)
This is a show not to MIS! If you are in New York visit the Hunter College Times Sq. Gallery (450 W 41st St, btw Dyer & 10th Ave) from 1-6pm TOMORROW (Sunday April 20th. It is the last day!

For those of you who do not have the opportunity to visit, these images can provide you with a taste of it, but certainly do not do his work justice.  Learn more about Sanford Wurmfeld and his work on his site!

Appreciate the power of COLOR,
Margo Isadora

Color Magic!
These seemingly black and white canvases are MUCH more than meets the eye. His addition of blues in very small doses to the grid made the bottoms of the black canvases glow blue, the white become multicolored after staring at them for a moment!

Every canvas was meticulously painted with stripes and squares of color to create these magic perceptual effects!

Dreamy Fades

Primary Color Plexi Sculptures created a maze of color theory!

A Continuum of Color

Color adds to the illusion of the canvas irregularity!

Color genius in sculpture!

Up close and personal with the rainbow expanse above!

Shelby recording the delicate details
of the seemingly 'lit' canvas!

The 'frame' seemingly disappears from a distance. Color Magic!

Get a look inside his '360 Degree Viewer' here!

Closing perfection...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ilona Royce Smithkin: Cabaret Queen

Ilona and I after the show!

What a treat it was to be transported to the Roaring 20’s with Zoe Lewis and the Bootleggers performance at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in Times Square.  I went to see my good friend, Ilona Royce Smithkin, sing in this hit Cabaret show from Provincetown. Boy, was I in for a treat!  Talented performers of all ages graced the stage, from 93 year old Ilona to a middle school girl.  The host of the evening, Zoe Lewis, gave an excellent performance and introduction to each one of these flappers and handsome gents. 

Join this golden night of the flapper with the images and videos below!

Margo Isadora

There were flapper women...

20's pairs...
dapper gents...
cute young flappers...
and even shirtless devils with bear pants!

See video of the devilish bear above! 

ILONA ROYCE SMITHKIN takes the stage!

See video of this 93 year old star here!
Love that telltale 3" long eyelash you can see!

The closing number to a memorable show.

Joyce Carpati and Ilona both ladies of Advanced Style
talking after the show!
These wonderful women were in the NY post earlier that day!

Ilona singing the night away...

The talented Ilona!