ASiF 2017 Student & Teacher Show showcase opens in Grass Valley |

ASiF 2017 Student & Teacher Show showcase opens in Grass Valley

Patty Eacobacci's “March Forth” is an 8-foot long wall mounted figurative ceramic art work consisting of a uniformed drum major followed by seven marching children.
Submitted photo |


WHO: Over 30 Student Artists & Teachers

WHAT: Gallery Show & Artists’ Reception

WHERE: 940 Idaho Maryland Road, Grass Valley, CA 95959

WHEN: Friday July 14, 5 to 7 p.m.

On Friday, July 14, the Artists’ Studio in the Foothills (ASiF) invites the public to celebrate its 2017 Student & Teacher Show.

The event will feature a gallery exhibition of artworks in a wide range of media by over 30 students and their teachers. Join the artists at ASiF this Friday for a wine and food reception in the center’s main gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.

Each year ASiF gives students an opportunity to exhibit their art with their instructors in a gallery setting. Many of the students in these shows have been studying with their teachers for several years and are thriving in what has become much like a mentor program for advanced students.

The exhibit showcases works created in ASiF programs such as The Mud Hut & ARTsCOOL, the ASiF Painters’ Guild, Figure Drawing and Figure Sculpture and media based classes with resident instructors Eileen Blodgett in acrylic painting, drawing, mixed media and printmaking; Cheri Guerrette in watercolor and mixed media; Dani Grimes in figure drawing; Sharon Griffiths in encaustic painting; Claudia Jeffers in figurative ceramic sculpture and Denise Wey in acrylics, drawing and ceramics.

“It’s wonderful to see the progression of our students and to support them as they become more confident and comfortable with the idea of ‘putting it out there’ for the public to see,” said Amanda Paoletti, ASiF owner and director. “I am stunned by the work in the show this year… Our students are creating art that is seriously gallery worthy.”

Shining star

One student artwork in particular, is that of ceramic sculpture student, Patty Eacobacci with her piece, “March Forth”. The 8-foot long wall mounted figurative ceramic art work consisting of a uniformed drum major followed by seven marching children. The piece depicts the famous 1950 Life Magazine photograph entitled, “The Drum Major” by Alfred Eisenstadt. People from around the world know the photo from its feature in the 1955 New York Museum of Modern Art “Family of Man” Exhibition and soft cover catalogue that so many of us grew up with on our living room coffee tables.

Eacobacci first saw Eisenstaedt’s “The Drum Major” as an 8-year-old child in the “Family of Man” catalogue. She remembers countless hours pouring over the images, and the visceral experience of them. Eisenstadt’s “The Drum Major” was the photo that inspired her in particular and is the one that would continue to influence her work throughout her life as an amateur photographer, videographer, and now as a ceramic sculptor.

It is no surprise that this photo by Eisenstaedt captured the imagination of a child all those years ago. Eisenstaedt was a photographer known for his uncanny ability to capture candid expressions and moments of sentimentality, passion or dismay — creating some of the most storied photos of all time. The photo caught the attention of many over the years, including former President Bill Clinton, who when offered any Eisenstaedt print as thanks for a sitting he and his wife and daughter granted the then-94-year-old photographer on Martha’s Vineyard in 1993, the president reportedly chose this one.

Eacobacci’s “March Forth” sculpture perfectly captures the spirit of this timeless photograph… A band of joyous children marching, squinty eyed after the Drum Major toward the sun. Upon further inspection of the sculpture one can see that the she has perfectly captured the spirit of each and every one of the eight marching characters depicted in the photo. And while one may assume that the black, plank-like background on which the artist has chosen to mount the sculpted characters to be an arbitrary decision, it was in fact a careful choice by the artist in an effort to create contrast between the sheer joy of the scene and the darkness from which the characters march. This choice brings the artist’s own narrative to the piece and expresses the importance and power the photograph holds for her.

“It speaks of the innocence of children, their bright faith, confidence of true leadership and the beauty the two emote when combined”, said Eacobacci. “Though through a personal witnessing of the healing of one’s ‘child self’, this sculpture is about the beginning of a journey from out of the darkness, into the light.”

Eacobacci began her work as a student at ASiF early last year, participating in a day long Mixed Media Art Workshop with Blodgett. She then joined Jeffers and Wey in their team taught, “Get Your Clay On” Workshop at which point she realized quickly that clay and sculpture was her “thing”. She continued her work in clay with Jeffers’ three part series of instruction on figurative sculpture, a series beginning in the fall with “Sculpting the Male and Female Torso”, in the winter, “Sculpting the Face and Head”, and in the spring, “Creating Action in the Clay Figure”.

Through her figurative clay work with Jeffers’ at ASiF, Eacobacci has jumped into sculpting whole heartedly and recently began participating in ASiF’s weekly Figure Drawing classes offered by Grimes. “It’s been a wonderful experience to have teachers and mentors such as Claudia, Dani and the other teachers at ASiF to nurture and encourage me through this never ending process of self expression, healing and growth as an artist”, said Eacobacci.

“March Forth” is one of over 75 artworks by more than 30 featured students and their teachers. The Student & Teacher show will be on display through Aug. 5th.

ASiF Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Visit the current exhibits page at for a full list of participating artists.

For more information, contact Amanda Paoletti 530-210-3162

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