PinchukArtCenter is an international art center for modern art of 21st century, which is located in Kiev, Ukraine. What’s interesting about this art center is that it brings national identity and international challenge. And that is what the current exhibition in this art center is about. It’s called “Future Generation Art Prize shortlisted artists 2014” where the exhibition is focused on new artworks produced by the nominees. There are 21 artists represented on this exhibition and every one of them has something unique in their artworks, as they all came from different countries and therefore brought that uniqueness with them from their places of birth. Some of their art pieces are shown below.

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Prague is a city brimming with quaint culture and fascinating history. Though the Czech Republic’s history has been dark, the architecture, art and tourist life displays the city’s determination to overcome the past and start afresh. While traveling, I attempted to capture a variety of snaps that I would later sort through to choose one topic to blog about. It’s stressful to review the shots and choose one theme that best portrays the darling culture of Prague.  I’ve chosen to conjure a medley of pictures that I hope best captures the enchanting city, talented street artists, intricate architecture and array of quick shots that tell more about Prague than words can describe.

hayley prague

This is a view over looking the city. The dark building in the upper center is connected to St. Charles Bridge, one of the city’s most important tourist attractions. Named for the infamous King Charles IV, this bridge was teeming with street artists, musicians and tourists strolling and enjoying the views of the city in autumn.

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St.Petersburg is one of the best places to live, in my opinion, just because of it’s unique beauty. My hometown is most known because of it’s architecture, which is believed to be very special and even magic. This Russian town is full of various cathedrals, palaces and just ordinary houses, which look like a piece of art. All of the buildings, monuments and bridges carry a significant historical importance as well. For example “The Winter Palace” was one of the most famous King and Queen residence during the winter time, where all the upper classes of Russia were gathered. The building has hundreds of rooms with unique interiors which are still preserved nowadays for the visitors. The second name of “The Winter Palace” is “Hermitage”, which was given to the palace when it became a museum. This museum still works nowadays and is always welcome for any visitors to come and see not only the royal interiors, but lots of sculptures and paintings done by famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Manet, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, and many many others.

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Personally, I think, that the most beautiful building in St.P is “The Church of the Savior on Blood”. This Church doesn’t look like any others in the whole world, it has its own style and own “character”. This church is dedicated to the memory of assassinated Tsar Aleksandr II, who died exactly at the place where the church was built. That’s why it has its name, however most of the English-speakers tend to call it “Spilled Blood”, which actually carries exactly the same meaning. 


Hey guys! I’ve seen that the brochures for this year’s Les Tapies program are starting to be shown to students, and thought that this would be a good time to share with everyone my experience last summer and how influential it was for not just me, but for my artwork. Whether you’re interested in Drawing & Painting, Photography, or Architecture, the program has classes for everyone’s interests. A professional photographer was the teacher last year, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all you photo students.

The view from the main outdoor patio.

The view from the main outdoor patio.


art students on their way to paint in the south of france, TASIS summer program

On our way to paint en plein air!


architecture students putting in a stone terrace

The design and build group putting in a new stone patio.


figure drawing   a student working on a woodcut print

Life figure drawing, featuring Mr. Smalley and a student working on a woodcut print.


One of the Wednesday excursions, to the Pont Du Gard. The Pont Du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct from the 1st Century AD. It is a raised channel used to carry water from mountains into cities. In this case, it carried water to Nimes.


student collaborative figure drawings

Figure studies during Drawing & Painting. In the background, hung up on the wall, are drawings done in an exercise of switching seats with one another every five minutes and working on each other’s drawing of the same figure at different angles.

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A bit of a recap here on our summer Arts + Architecture program in the South of France. Drawing and Painting is the last major area of study that I was not able to cover in-depth during the program. High school students in this program explore considerable materials and techniques including observational drawing and painting exercises, painting en plein air (in the landscape) with both oil and acrylic, portraiture and self-portraiture, figure drawing from a life model and multiple types of printmaking (to name a few). Below is a collection of images from all of our drawing and painting classes this summer. Thanks to Alyssa DeLaBruere, our visiting artist this summer, for taking many of the fantastic photos in this post. We were very lucky to have Alyssa, an artist and arts-educator based in Vermont. Alyssa has been teaching visual arts for many years and recently opened her own studios for private art instruction. You can find out more about Alyssa’s program here – www.atelierartstudio.com


student painting en plein air - summer drawing + painting program

figure drawing session with models

students outside observational drawing exercise

students in a group critique of portrait paintings

Students in a group critique with their portrait paintings

visiting artist working with students in the landscape

Visiting Artist Alyssa DeLaBruere working outside with students in the landscape

summer drawing + painting program students working in the landscape

drawing and painting exercise - drawing with both hands

art studio objects

summer drawing + painting program students in the landscape

studio work - drawing of a french village

painting demonstration

gallery space at les tapies

A view of our art gallery at Les Tapies

summer drawing + painting program students working in the studio

Students working in the studio

On their way to paint en plein air

student woodcut prints - self portraits

Student woodcut prints – self portraits

en plein air painting

painting supplies

painting class en plein air france - st. pierreville

Painting excursion by the river in St. Pierreville

Visiting Artist Alyssa DeLaBruere

Visiting Artist Alyssa DeLaBruere

After a busy summer of travel, I’m finally back in London and getting ready to start another exciting school year in just a few days. Although I have a lot more to post from the end of our summer program in France, I figured I’d take a quick detour to highlight some of the amazing summer art exhibitions that I’ve been fortunate enough to see over the past few weeks.

Having not been back to the United States since moving to England two years ago, I was really looking forward to getting into NYC to see some shows. I was not disappointed. My first stop was a trip to the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Guggenheim currently has an exhibition of installation / light artist James Turrell. As is the case with many artists, there really is no comparison with actually viewing the work firsthand. Turrell takes the simple concept of modifying the light and the interior environment to produce quite an incredible effect. Critics talk about alpha waves and ‘the thingness of light’ but viewing Turrell’s work firsthand, it really does allow you to access something close to a meditational state.

Read more about Turrell and his work here: How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet


james turrell at the guggenheim

viewers of aten reign - james turrell at the guggenheim summer art exhibitions

james turrell prints


Just a few blocks down from The Guggenheim, I decided to stop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which had a fantastic exhibition up of early photography documenting the American Civil War. The show is massive and includes powerful images of battlefields and bloodshed and haunting portraits of soldiers and emancipated slaves. I didn’t expect to be that taken with the subject but I found the show to be quite extraordinary. It certainly was a great showcase of early photography and there was something mesmerizing about looking through a window into this other time. It was also hard to avoid the graphic nature of war exposed and laid bare in the images. See the great CBS Sunday Morning segment below for a bit more context on the show.


metropolitan museum of art civil war photography

A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – July 1863

metropolitan museum of art civil war photography


My next trip in to the city included a stop at the Museum of Modern Art. I was excited to see the 75th anniversary exhibition of Walker Evans’ American Photographs. Although it wasn’t a huge show, it was fantastic getting to see many of the original images from this very important photography exhibit. I was also quite impressed with the Bill Brandt show also up at MOMA.


evans brandt

Walker Evans (left) and Bill Brandt (right) summer art exhibitions at MOMA


I also had a chance to view MOMA’s much-hyped Rain Room exhibit. Fortunately, I didn’t end up waiting in line for 8 hours (which is how long I was told it would be to get in). Instead, I chose the much faster viewing platform. Although I didn’t get to experience ‘walking between raindrops’ I’m really not sure why people are waiting this long to experience the installation. Yes it was cool, but I’d take my 15 minute wait to see it on the side viewing platform any day.


rain room moma

Outside and inside MOMA’s Rain Room


Before leaving, I also managed to squeeze in a quick stop to Chelsea, which is the major area for art galleries in New York City. Two of the shows that stood out were Rosalind Solomon’s penetrating portraits of aids victims from the 1980’s and the Gagosian Gallery’s fantastic exhibit of architect Renzo Piano’s building fragments. 


Rosalind Solomon - aids portraits

Rosalind Solomon


renzo piano

Renzo Piano at the Gagosian Gallery

The Les Tapies summer architecture program for high school students enables students to take on the role of a professional architect through a variety of dynamic projects including conceptual designs, technical drawings and renderings, and model making. Students study the vernacular architecture of Southern France and learn about the function and design of local hamlets, towns and monasteries. The hamlet at Les Tapies, in its spectacular hillside setting, is a living model of this vernacular heritage and presents an incredible opportunity for architecture students to engage with.

For their first assignment in the program, architecture students were tasked with designing a ‘summer kitchen’ for our very friendly neighbors, the Chalancones. The exciting part about this project is that the family intends to actually build this structure in the near future. The design parameters included being able to seat their extended family (up to 18 people), having an indoor and outdoor eating space, and all of the necessary parts of a kitchen/dining area. Students learned about the vernacular architecture of the region and put great effort into integrating their designs into the surrounding buildings and landscape. Architecture students interviewed the family and worked in teams to take measurements, develop their ideas, and produce several technical drawings. The project culminated in a charrette presentation in which the Chalancones had a front row seat to review the student architect’s designs.


summer architecture program for high school students - measuring the site for their first assignment

Architecture students recording measurements and notes on site after speaking with their client, Jeannette Chalancone

student architects taking measurements on site

Taking measurements

student architects meeting with their client for our summer architecture program in france

Speaking with Jeannette about her ideas for the kitchen

discussing student design parameters

architectural studio

student architectural designs and technical drawings

Working on designs

architecture students taking measurements and notes

Taking measurements around the hamlet

architecture students taking notes

architecture design materials

As a compliment to the architecture major, the Design + Build elective course offers students the chance to design and construct a new project on the Les Tapies hamlet. This summer, we worked on several building projects including a new studio/exhibition space underneath spoon terrace, a new stone patio in front of Pont (the architectural studio space). We also added a chimney and extended a roof to cover the existing bread oven connected to the terrace. Students helped to plan out the deisgns and made the decision to add a window to brighten the interior studio space.

design and build students after mixing cement and pointing

The design and build team ready to do some pointing!

design and build architecture students working on a new studio space

Working on the interior space

the team laying stones for the new terrace

Laying stones and pointing the new terrace


Our summer photography program for high school students is based on traditional black and white film photography. Students here at Les Tapies have been exploring many different types of cameras and film formats these past few weeks. Working with visiting photographer Sally Gall, students have learned a range of technical processes and camera functions. They have been producing a substantial body of work and they are currently gearing up for the final presentation, which will culminate the program. Photography majors also had the opportunity yesterday to take a group trip to Recontres d’Arles an annual photographic exhibition just south of us where we were able to spend the day viewing some incredible exhibitions from world renowned photographers. 

visiting photographer sally gall teaches at our summer photography program for high school students

Sally Gall explaining the Hasselblad to Kyle.

photography student at our summer program in france
reviewing contact sheets

photography group critique with sally gall

Reviewing prints in a class critique

sally gall discussing student work in a photography class critique

Discussing work in a critique

photography trip to arles france

Inside one of the exhibition spaces at Arles.

photography students in arles, france

Les Rencontres d'Arles - photography exhibition

hiroshi sugimoto arles

We were all blown away by the scale and technical quality of the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibition

photography students eating lunch in arles france

The group after a great lunch in Arles

roman amphitheatre arles france

After lunch, we also visited a Roman amphitheatre dating from 90 AD

Les Rencontres d'Arles photography exhibition space

arno minkkinen - arles france

Arno Rafael Minkkinen

photography students

photography student with her camera

minniken arles france


Last week’s excursion took us to Avignon, also known as ‘city of the popes’. Students visited contemporary and historical art exhibitions at the Palais des Papes (seen below) and the Petite Palais. After a delicious lunch, we also had a chance to explore the rest of the city. Afterward, we visited the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct built in the 1st century AD, where we did some sketching and jumped in for a swim!

Palais des papes avignon france  art students on our avignon trip in front of the palais des papes

inside the palais des papes - avignon

Inside the Palais des Pape

art student renaissance painting france

Nicole viewing a painting in the Petite Palais

contemporary artist kiki smith avignon france

A Kiki Smith installation piece in the Palais des Pape 

art student sketching at the pont du gard

Julia sketching at the Pont du Gard 

art and architecture students sketching

Sketching at the Pont du Gard

swimming at the pont du gard

Our first really hot day – students jumping in for a swim at the Pont du Gard

students from the summer arts + architecture program in france

arts and architecture students sketching in france

The Les Tapies Student Arts + Architecture Summer Program is a three week intensive study in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, and photography all located in the incredibly picturesque Ardèche region in the South of France. We’ve just kicked off this year’s arts summer program here at the hamlet. This program is an intensive three week study in studio-based fine arts and architecture for high school students aged 14-18. We have a wonderful group this year. Students have just arrived from countries all over the world. I’m going to do my best to document our program this summer with regular updates here on the blog so check back often. Here are a few photos from the first several days to get us started. Enjoy!

panoramic view of the les tapies hamlet - summer arts and architecture program

The Les Tapies Hamlet as viewed from above – this is where we are! Click the image for an enlarged panoramic view!


art students picking cherries

The cherries are perfect this summer. Kyle and Maddie climbed up to get some good ones 

les tapies summer art + architecture program chefs with cake

We had a birthday on the very first night. Happy birthday Gloria!!! Our fantastic chefs Perrin and Beezy prepare the cake 

les tapies arts program - swimming pool

Students relaxing by the pool 

Students Arts + Architecture Summer Program - photography lab

Preparing the photo lab for photography students. Almost ready!

Students Arts + Architecture Summer Program - printmaking studio

Our printmaking studio is looking good!

summer architecture program - architecture students check out the studio 

architectural model of buildings on the hamlet

An architectural model of the entire hamlet built entirely to scale

student excursion

After arrivals on Sunday, students made a walking excursion to the nearby town of Saint Pierreville

from our trip to saint pierreville

Our trip to Saint Pierreville 

cheese and meat tasting on shepard's terrace

We followed with a taste of the Ardeche – a cheese and meat tasting!


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