Meet the artist: John Coburn

John Coburn began working at EverGreene shortly after finishing his MFA at the New York Academy of Fine Art in 1997. In Bring It On (2006), we witness an attack on a well-groomed subdivision, from a bird’s-eye-view, rendered in a flat, graphic style—as if it were a screenshot from a video game. Bombs hit their targets in, comic book-like “kaboom!” or “splat”, while a murky, aluminum leaf fog hovers above the community. The scene pits serious tragedy alongside light-hearted play—the video-game missiles affecting mass destruction in a recognizable residential community—to ultimately achieve a striking comment on the way our federal government regards our own wartime actions.

From the artist:

The title, “Bring It On,” is a reference to the now immortal words of George W. Bush.
As much a piece of light decoration as a political statement, this work was made in response to the War in Iraq, as a reflection on the lightness with which it was undertaken.

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EverGreene Celebrates America at Work

 

EverGreene_America at Work
It’s Labor Day weekend and that means squeezing the last few drops out of summer. Commonly regarded as a bitter-sweet ode to the close of the season, Labor Day was originally conceived by the Central Labor Union and implemented by the federal government to pay tribute to the workers who contributed to the economic and technological progress of the nation. America’s first Labor Day, in 1894, was marked with parades and festivals across the country. While there are fewer Labor Day parades these days, these seven historic sites display artwork celebrating those who have rolled up their sleeves to make this country what it is today.

Harlem Hospital Murals / New York City: Vertis Hayes, The Pursuit of Happiness, 1937.

Vertis Hayes created a series of 10 murals for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) documenting one family’s move from an ancestral African village to an American city. These murals, originally adorning the walls of the New Nurses Residence, now hang in the new Harlem Hospital Murals Pavilion. Among The Pursuit of Happiness series is one mural depicting a family overlooking their new metropolitan home, complete with an over-sized cog and crowning smoke stacks. Representing the move from agrarian roots to metropolitan dwelling for a better life, the mural’s narrative (within the larger arc of the series) is one common to the American worker at the turn of the 20th century. EverGreene conserved and relocated these murals, salvaging an element of Harlem’s rich African American narrative and history.

EverGreene_Kentucky State Capitol

Kentucky State Capitol / Frankfort: EverGreene, Industry, 2009.

In 2009 EverGreene artists designed and fabricated four pendentive murals for the interior of the Kentucky State Capitol dome. Each pendentive artwork is imbued with Kentucky-specific symbology celebrating various aspects of the commonwealth’s heritage and culture. Industry depicts the Kentucky River flowing behind the figure Mercury, who represents commerce and trade. The figure on the right is manipulating a barrel of bourbon, one of Kentucky’s most notable commodities. The central figure’s anvil and hammer solidifies the Commonwealth’s history of manual labor and craftsmanship. It pays tribute to both the natural resources and our ability to cultivate them for communal benefit.

EverGreene 30 Rockefeller Murals

Rockefeller Plaza / New York City: Josep Maria Sert, American Progress, 1937.

Rockefeller Center’s iconic Art Deco lobby contains some of the most impressive—in both size and artistry—murals in New York City. EverGreene cleaned and conserved these distinctive murals, including Josep Maria Sert’s monumental 16’ x 41’ American Progress. The work conveys the building of modern America; men align themselves in tiers of action, handing off monumental materials, Abraham Lincoln is pictured with his hand on the shoulder of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

EverGreene_Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol / Salt Lake City: Various Artists, Cyclorama Murals, 1934.

The artwork in the Utah State Capitol rotunda was funded by the WPA and completed in 1934. The cyclorama, designed by Utah artist Lee Greene Richards and executed by other local artists, articulates scenes from 19th century Utah life highlighting American progress in commerce and agriculture. In 2007 EverGreene restored the decorative paint in the impressive dome, working with others who restored the murals.

EverGreene_Cincinnati Murals

Union Terminal Mosaics / Cincinnati: Winold Reiss, 1933.

The Art Deco-style Union Terminal in Cincinnati was home to 10,000 square feet of WPA mosaics by Winold Reiss. While the mosaic in the main terminal remains, most of them were relocated to the Cincinnati International Airport. The mosaics depict various industries integral to Cincinnati’s rich history and thriving economy. From soap-making to piano-manufacturing; and from WLW, once the most powerful radio station in the nation, to the Aeronautical Corporation of America, each mural pays tribute to the Ohio industries that shaped Cincinnati in the 1930’s. EverGreene cleaned and restored the Reiss murals and aided in their relocation to the airport.

EverGreene_Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building / New York City: Edward Trumbull, 1931.

The iconic Chrysler building defines the Art Deco aesthetic both inside and out. Its lobby murals, designed by Edward Trumbull in 1931 depicts the Chrysler Building itself and memorializes the men who built it. EverGreene cleaned and conserved the mural, stabilizing and consolidating areas of loose paint and removing layers of post-historic varnish.

EverGreene U.S. Capitol Westward Expansion Murals

U.S. Capitol Building / Washington, DC: Jeff Greene, Westward Expansion Murals, 1993.

The Westward Expansion Corridor murals, by Alan Cox, detail the growth of the US from early exploration through the 1950s. From mountain men to railroad workers, each vault commemorates those who aided in America’s geographic expansion. In 1987, EverGreene President, Jeff Greene won the national competition to complete the murals in a style compatible with Cox’s original work. The mural “Golden Spike” depicts the ceremonial final spike which joined the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

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Meet The Artist: Gustavo Rojas

EverGreene Gustavo RojasGustavo Rojas has worked as an artist and designer with EverGreene for over 25 years. Originally from Colombia, Gustavo has exhibited internationally, including shows at the Bergen Museum of Art and Science, the Newark Museum and the Williams Center for the Arts. His work is a part of  Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection as well as the Library of Congress archives. In Nueva realidad en un mundo diferente (1986) we witness the artist grappling with his roots—through the use of abstracted pre-Colombian symbols—and his present, digital world. His use of color and form are simultaneously surreal and familiar (for those of us who dream in the language of Nintendo and Photoshop gradients). The dichotomy of past and present is further accentuated in his use of acrylics and aerograph technique; a traditional medium in the service of a contemporary mode. From the artist:

Through my work, I try to highlight the richness of the inherited and destroyed culture of my ancestors and achieve its continuity. I acknowledge it through symbols, color, form and space with an abstract style, joining the past with the present, distances and time, and thus I carry the message that satisfied my thirst for expression and achieves a communication with the spectator.

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Six Historic American Sites to Put You In a Patriotic Spirit!

 


Celebrate the Fourth by taking a peek at some of the nation’s architectural treasures! Restoring and preserving our heritage—from coast-to-coast—helps us understand our past and create a brighter future. Happy Fourth!

 

 

The Westward Expansion Corridor murals, by Alan Cox, detail the growth of the US from early exploration through the 1950s. Each vault features a map in the cartographic style appropriate to its historical period along with sketches. EverGreene President, Jeff Greene won the national competition to complete the murals in a style compatible with Cox’s original work. The corridor was dedicated on September 17, 1993.

 

 

The Bob Hope Patriotic Hall was constructed in 1926 to honor and provide resources to veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. It provided shelter for WWI soldiers and served as a processing center for the Army and Air Force during the Korean War. It has been restored and converted to a multipurpose facility with ample conference space for veterans and community members to meet. EverGreene cleaned and conserved original murals and decorative paint, marble and plaster in the entrance lobby and auditorium.

 

 

At 361’ high, The Illinois State Capitol is the tallest non-skyscraper capitol, surpassing even the United States Capitol. Designed and decorated by architect Alfred Henry Piquenard, it is an exemplary expression of the Renaissance Revival movement. EverGreene has helped to restore ornamental plaster, decorative painting, historic mural and specialty finishes in this ornate National Register building.

 

 

Built in 1713, The Old State House was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. It currently serves as a history museum and is one of the landmarks found on Boston’s Freedom Trail. EverGreene regilded the crowning dome with 23k double Italian gold, restoring the awe-inspiring gleam to this historic site.

 

 

During the Civil War Clara Barton used this property as her home and as a place to store the supplies she needed for the battlefield. By the efforts of her and her staff, they identified of more than 22,000 missing soldiers. EverGreene identified replicated the original wallpapers combining digital printing with traditional hand painting and silk screening techniques.

 

 

The Mission Concepción was established in 1716 and moved to San Antonio in 1731. On October 28th, 1835 Mexican troops led by Col. Ugartechea and Texan insurgents under James Bowie and James Fannin collided in what is called the “first major engagement of the Texas Revolution.” The oldest unrestored stone church in America, EverGreene performed extensive materials & methods testing to preserve the remaining paints, frescoes, and plaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet The Artist: Zinni Veshi

 

EverGreene_Zinni Vesi

Zinni Veshi moved to New York from Albania in 1998 to attend the MFA program at the Pratt Institute of Art and Design. In his twelve years at EverGreene, Zinni has created new artwork for churches, state capitols and commercial spaces. His own paintings are dynamic and arresting; vibrant swaths of color move the eye from stroke to stroke around the canvas, unable to rest on one single form. Zinni’s dripping, abstracted human forms echo the gestural brushwork of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

The Wall exemplifies Zinni’s keen eye for line and rhythm as well as his affinity for the abstracted human form and vivacious color. From the artist:

“My paintings are created to express, articulate, and bring to life deep feelings, ideas or impulses that are fundamental to my existence. There are three factors that comprise the essence of my works: oil paint as a material; non- descriptive means of expression; and the non-representational use of the human figure.

The paint and the figure, and their interchanging relationships, create a pictorial, shallow, and haptic space that is governed only by the immanent laws of painting. Other factors that contribute in the formation of this space are the superimposition of the brushstrokes over brushstrokes, and shapes over shapes, the employment of the expanding/contracting quality of color, the movement of forces in and out of the picture plane, and the geometrical nature of the composition.”

Click below to view The Wall. 

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Rediscovering Ecclesiastical Symbology: The Search for the Ultimate Self

 

EverGreene Grace Church Restoration
The restored ceiling at Grace Church, Brooklyn

Throughout history, people have communicated meaning through symbols, especially regarding ecclesiastic images. At the recently renewed Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, EverGreene designers and conservators worked to restore the historic decoration in the sanctuary and also its significance within the parochial canon.

A.W. Pugin , the 19th Century designer and architect, believed that Gothic design exemplified true Christian architecture. Grace Church, designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revivalist style, is an outstanding example: triumphant, pointed arches signify movement toward heaven; the central aisle guides visitors towards the altar (salvation); and intricate stained glass windows convey holy narratives. These are motifs and messages communicated through the stone and structure of Grace Church, but what sets this sacred site apart is the mindful interior ornament.

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Meet The Artist: Robin Roi

Robin Roi has been a Project Manager at EverGreene for more than 25 years. She has worked on EverGreene’s projects worldwide, from traditional marbleizing, to gilding, to inventing custom finishes and designs for hospitality, commercial and residential clients. .

She came to EverGreene after a successful career in New York City as a fine artist. Her work was widely exhibited and she was represented by the prestigious Barbara Gladstone Gallery. Previously, she had earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MFA from Claremont Graduate School in California.

Memento Mori  exemplifies Robin’s keen eye for pattern, line and material as well as her vast knowledge of art historical motifs. Created in 1980, this piece is currently on loan from a private collector. From the artist:

“A lifelong love of pattern and passion for story telling led me, in the 1980’s, to produce a body of work based on surface patterns with underlying narratives.  The pattern at the center of this painting was inspired by the linen wrapped mummies I saw at the Met. The painting is meant to represent the burial casing of a warrior.  Just as the Egyptian mummy casings told the story of the bodies inside with hieroglyphs and pictographs, I have done the same.  At the bottom are “Scenes from a Battle” –actually, the silhouette from Uccello’s famous painting signifying the warrior life of this hero.  At the top are scenes from his rich domestic life.  The two weeping willows at either end of the wrapping mourn his death while the hand shadows tell the story.”

Click below to view Memento Mori

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A Contemporary Finish; Acoustic Panels in the New Russian Lounge

The Russian Lounge in the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, in Washington, DC, opens next month. EverGreene artists and fabricators created more than 100 acoustic panels, with a custom plaster finish, to be installed in the newly reconstructed lounge donated by Russian philanthropist Vladimir Potanin. The Russian Lounge joins other reception rooms dedicated to other foreign entities such as Africa, China and Israel.

The artistic vision for the lounge reflects design elements and aesthetics found in contemporary Russian culture. In collaboration with Russian architect Sergey Skuratov, EverGreene’s plaster artisans, fabricated Venetian finishes to be placed onto acoustic panels. The panels absorb sound, creating a restorative environment that is ideal for hosting receptions and dinners.

The Russian Lounge is unique among EverGreene’s projects and complements our historic work. Here, we exercised our contemporary design aesthetic to serve the minimalism rendered in the architect’s plans. Our artisans, trained in traditional techniques of sculpture and well-versed in the practical requirements of plaster installation, met the design challenges to create and fabricate these 12’ x 5’ plaster panels.

To achieve this finish, additives were sprinkled into the panel mold after which the wet plaster was added. The additives react to the water within the plaster, which results in a fizzing, bubble-like pattern in the face coat, giving it a unique, textured finish. The integrally-colored panels also contain a variety of aggregate that causes a sleek metallic sheen to the plaster’s surface.  The look and texture of each panel contributes to Sergey Skuratov’s polished aesthetic for the Russian Lounge while ensuring an acoustically pleasant environment.

In the studio, artists sprinkle an additive into the plaster mold

In the studio, artists sprinkle an additive into the plaster mold 

 

The wet plaster is mixed and added to the mold containing the additive

 


The additives react to the water within the plaster, which results in a fizzing, bubble-like pattern in the panel’s face coat

 


The bubble-like pattern is smoothed and refined resulting in a finished look for the acoustic plaster 

 

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Meet the Artist: Tsering Phuntsok

Studio Artist Tsering Phuntsok

Tsering has been studying Tibetan arts since 1981. A third generation Thangka painter, Tsering was influenced by and learned this traditional art from his late father, Jampa Kalsang. He has created paintings for Potala Palace, as well as the Drepung, Sera, Ganden, Tashi Lunpho and Sakya monasteries in Lhasa, Tibet. He has also created custom art at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence and the Kalachakra Temple in Dharamsala, India. Tsering has produced many Thangka paintings for both government officials and private individuals.

His work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe. Tsering moved to the U.S. and joined EverGreene in 2003. He has contributed his expertise to many of the company’s mural, restoration and gilding projects.

“I’ve worked on murals, plasters, decorative painting, gilding, restorations, residential paintings and much more. One thing I could always love is that the work ethic here at EverGreene’s studio is very professional and friendly. We communicate well with each other, and that is immensely important to the success of the art we create.”

Here is an example of some of his work…
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In the New York Gilding Studio with Robin Roi

EverGreene Gilding Studio Tools

To get ready for the busy holiday season, the Van Cleef & Arpels Flagship Jewelry store on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street in New York City is getting gilt. Robin Roi, EverGreene’s Director of Decorative Finishes, walks us through our New York gilding studio to demonstrate the process of applying metallic leaf to frames that will soon be installed in the world-renowned jewelers as shadowbox display cases.

Nothing befits luxury quite like precious metals. For this project we used a very high-quality caplain gold leaf, which is a combination of palladium and gold. Palladium is a rare metal that is very similar to platinum, but known for its silvery-white quality, and polishes brighter than platinum. It is also harder and lighter than platinum, making it an ideal metal for leaf application.

The caplain leaf we used was processed by Florentine masters, Giusto Manetti Battiloro goldbeaters in Italy, the same firm that beat the gold we are using to gild the dome of the Colorado State Capitol. And at almost $1000 dollars for just a small box of leaf, it was important to waste nothing in the gilding process. Take a look as we walk you through the process of gilding-from the primed and ready frames sanded down to a perfectly smooth surface, all the way to the varnished and burnished final finish. The leaf was treated with a satin, luster effect that will appropriately showcase the gorgeous jewelry displayed inside of them.

Jewelry display case frames without leaf finish

Jewelry display case frames are primed, base coated, and sanded to a perfectly smooth surface prior to gilding.

Gilding with Caplain Leaf

Finishes expert Robin Roi is gilding with caplain leaf in a dust-free, contained environment. 

Applying a square of metallic leaf to adhesive

Each sheet of caplain leaf measures 3 3/8 inches square. The leaf is applied square after square; aligned to minimize the appearance seams.

Applying Caplain Leaf to Display Frames

Applying Caplain Leaf to Display Frames

Brushing away excess metallic leaf

Excess metallic leaf is brushed away with a soft squirrel hair brush, and t>he leaf is smoothed over with a cotton ball swab prior to varnish.

Varnishing the frames for a seamless effect

The frames receive several layers of a sealer coat to achieve the “satin” effect and protect during the delicate installation process.

Finished Gold Leafed frames drying in the Gilding Studio

Finished Gold Leafed frames drying in the Gilding Studio

The frames are set out to dry in the gilding studio, which is a dust-free, contained environment where the varnish can slowly cures for several days before transporting to their final locations. Each frame received two layers of sealer.

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