That sums up the vernissage (opening reception) for the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition that took place at Columbia Global Centers | Paris at Reid Hall on February 3, 2016.
Over 300 people came out for the event over the course of the evening. Art aficionados enjoyed refreshments in the Salle de Conferences, where many works are displayed. They flowed back and forth between this room and the Grande Salle, where more paintings and works on paper punctuate the rich wood paneling found there.
(1966) Oil on canvas
Among the notables in attendance were sculptor, poet, and novelist Barbara Chase-Riboud, photographer Florence Gruère, documentary filmmaker Louis Messiah, and author Jake Lamar.
Brune Biebuyck, administrative director of Reid Hall, opened the evening by welcoming attendees to the exhibition and introducing me. She spoke warmly about the collaboration between Columbia Global Center Paris, the Wells International Foundation, and Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, and expressed her pleasure at being able to host the exhibition in the magical place that is Reid Hall.
For my part, I told the story behind Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and shared how the idea for the exhibition was born. I welcomed a contingent of eleven (11) persons from Knoxville, TN — Beauford's hometown — who were among the crowd to honor Knoxville's native son. Several of them were from the Knoxville Museum of Art.
Then the Wells International Foundation's two strategic partners for education / study abroad came to the podium to explain the projects that they had conceived in conjunction with the exhibition.
Jacqueline Cofield, founder of J Rêve International, spoke passionately about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and the Global Educator Program that she has organized for February 15-20. Eight teachers will explore ways to incorporate the arts into their teaching practices for their respective disciplines with a focus on Beauford's life and art.
Professor Bryan Carter and six students from the University of Arizona introduced themselves and their Augmented Reality project. One of the students, Tripp Twyman, demonstrated the process of downloading the Blippar application from the App store onto smart devices and then scanning paintings to activate the app so that attendees could view the video augments and access Web links associated with roughly half of the paintings in the exhibition.
Watch the video of the presentation here.
Once the demonstration was over, attendees went around the exhibition rooms to test the app for themselves.
The atmosphere was exceptionally convivial and attendees were present until closing time.
The Blippar app also works for images in the exhibition catalog, which sold "like hotcakes" in the vestibule outside the Grande Salle. Come back next week to learn why this publication is the first of its kind!