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The Art of

Catalogue of art exhibitions in partnership with The Representational Art Conference 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture California Lutheran University Carnegie Museum of Art Vita Gallery Tool Room Gallery Museum of Ventura County

Copyright Š 2015 California Lutheran University All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, with out the prior written permission California Lutheran University. Edited by Rachel Schmid and Michael Lynn Adams Book design by Michael Lynn Adams

Contents 4 Acknowledgements 5 The Representational Art Conference The Exhibitions

7 TRAC2015 Invitational

The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

47 Transmission: Secret of the Studio William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art

85 Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture

95 Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk California Lutheran University

105 Subjective Truths

Carnegie Museum of Art

149 John Nava

Vita Art Center

155 Something To Cry About: Pamela Wilson Tool Room Gallery

159 In Art We Trust

Museum of Ventura County

172 Index of Artists

Acknowledgments Thank you to the TRAC2015 Sponsors and Partners: Platinum Level Art Renewal Center Keystone Galleries Coppini Academy of Fine Art Gold Level The Florence Academy of Art Silver Level TOLD Corporation Bronze Level Studio Incamminati Exhibitors Kline Academy Rosemary & Co Michael Harding Artist Oil Colours RayMar Art Newington Cropsey Cultural Studies Center Partners Fine Art Connoisseur Western Art & Architecture Museu Europeu d’Art Modern Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art Carnegie Art Museum Museum of Ventura County

In a conference dedicated to the pleasure gained from visual experience, it is of course fitting that we include multiple opportunities for the indulgent act of looking at well-crafted art. We organized an exhibition within the conference hotel’s rooms and halls for this reason, then partnered with several other community-based art spaces. The Art of TRAC2015 is a way to make permanent in public memory the images that provided us with a shared experience over the course of several days in Ventura, California. As the movement for representational art grows, we hope this memento serves as a visual archive of a very small survey of the superlative work being created in our time. Creating this catalogue was an endeavor made possible only through the hard work of many individuals. Special thanks to Gerald Zwers for championing the book–he and Cindy Keitel invested much time in bridging important community relationships and their achievements paid off. Michael Lynn Adams designed the catalogue and then devoted many hours with Rachel Schmid in editing. Many curators worked tirelessly to assemble and produce material, including Michael Pearce and Rachel Schmid from Cal Lutheran University, Mel Ahlborn of Richard MacDonald Studios, Carnegie Art Museum Director Suzanne Bellah, Mary Perez of the Vita Art Center, and Museum of Ventura County Curator of Exhibits & Collections Anna Bermudez. We are indebted also to writers who contributed their efforts to this publication, including David Molesky, Michael Pearce, and John Seed. Dozens of artists and a good many galleries and private collectors have contributed the highest quality photographs of their work and allowed for them to be reproduced here. We are also pleased to acknowledge our publication underwriters. Information about each is located at the conclusion of the catalogue entries. And lastly, we thank you, the reader of this catalogue, who supported us and encouraged us to continue to make TRAC the absolute best it could be. We never could have succeeded without you. –The Committee for The Representational Art Conference 2015


The Art of TRAC2015

The Representational Art Conference The Representational Art Conference 2015 (TRAC2015) is the premier international art conference focused on the philosophical underpinnings of representational art in the 21st Century. Although representational art inspires deep affection and enjoys broad democratic appeal, until The Representational Art Conference was created there was a thorough lack of academic attention to the work of traditionally trained artists in the 21st century. Michael Pearce and Michael Adams put together the first conference in 2012 to create a place for the discussion of the philosophy and practice of artists involved in the universities, colleges, ateliers, and private studios where the techniques of the old masters are still taught and used in the present day. The California Lutheran University administration led by President Chris Kimball enthusiastically endorsed the idea, providing underwriting for the conference. TRAC provides a platform for discussion. It does not aspire to establishing a single monolithic aesthetic for representational art, but to identify commonalities, to help to understand the unique possibilities of representational art, and perhaps provide some illumination about future directions. Lectures, panel discussions, visits to exhibition spaces, and studio art demonstrations will explore the direction of 21st-century representational art, through portrayal of recognizable people, places and objects. Keynote addresses by Fred Ross, Founder and Chairman of the Art Renewal Center; Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London; Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Moors Cabot Chair of the Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; and Richard MacDonald, sculptor extraordinaire. The Representational Art Conference 2015 is an international cultural event presented by the California Lutheran University Arts Initiative.



The Art of TRAC2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

October 22 – November 22, 2015 Featuring the work of: Michael Lynn Adams Carlos Bautista Kathiucia Dias Felicia Forte Tanja Gant Max Ginsburg Justin Hess Paul Keysar Scott Kiche Nan Liu Ricky Mujica Annie Murphy-Robinson Teresa Oaxaca Deborah Paris Michael Pearce Janvier Rollande Che Smith Patricia Watwood Lea Colie Wight Pamela Wilson Aihua Zhou Curated by Rachel Schmid and Michael Lynn Adams Installation Design by Gerald Zwers

Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach 450 East Harbor Blvd Ventura, CA 93001 800 842-0800

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Aihua Zhou

Butterfly Pastel and white chalk on toned paper 24” x 17.5” 2014


The Art of TRAC2015

Annie Murphy-Robinson

Casey, Top Hat and Shadows Sanded pastel on paper 20” x 26” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Annie Murphy-Robinson

Picture Clown 1 Sanded charcoal on paper 25” x 33” 2010

10 The Art of TRAC2015

Carlos Bautista

Little Lion Man 1 Oil on canvas 44” x 38” 2014

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Che Smith

Sara Oil 20” x 13” 2015 Courtesy of Abend Gallery, Denver

12 The Art of TRAC2015

Deborah Paris

Morning Light Oil on linen 20” x 36” 2012 Courtesy of the Dave and Mallory Agerton Collection

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Deborah Paris

Dusk Edge of the Woods Oil on linen 26” x 32” 2014 Courtesy of the Dave and Mallory Agerton Collection

14 The Art of TRAC2015

Deborah Paris

Aspen Light Oil on linen 47” x 41” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Felicia Forte

And then there was so much more time Oil on panel 24” x 30” 2015 Courtesy of Abend Gallery, Denver

16 The Art of TRAC2015

Felicia Forte

Time Machine Oil on panel 20” x 24” 2015 Courtesy of Abend Gallery, Denver

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Janvier Rollande

Adieu, Maman Graphite on Fabriano hotpress paper 19” x 23.75” 2009

18 The Art of TRAC2015

Justin Hess

Gnossienne Oil on linen 40” x 50” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Justin Hess

Virgil’s Lute Oil on linen laid on paper 36” x 44” 2015

20 The Art of TRAC2015

Kathiucia Dias

Chatsworth, Study Oil on panel 9” x 11” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Kathiucia Dias

Toes Pen and ink on rice paper 9” x 11” 2015

22 The Art of TRAC2015

Kathiucia Dias

Molino, II Oil on canvas 15” x 30” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Lea Colie Wight

Lauren M Oil on linen 52” x 32” 2011

24 The Art of TRAC2015

Lea Colie Wight

Beaton’s Boatshed Oil on linen 26” x 28” 2010

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Max Ginsburg

Unemployment on Line Oil on canvas 45” x 85” 2015

26 The Art of TRAC2015

Michael Lynn Adams

Baby Bok Choy Oil on canvas 10” x 20” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Michael Pearce

Cloud Nine Oil on canvas 38” x 28.5” 2015

28 The Art of TRAC2015

Nan Liu

Old Man Wu Nie Etching 36” x 30” 2002

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Nan Liu

Grandma’s Table Oil on canvas 30” x 38” 2014

30 The Art of TRAC2015

Pamela Wilson

Underwater Oil on canvas 31” x 31” 2014

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Patricia Watwood

Fallen Angel Oil on canvas 30” x 30” 2013

32 The Art of TRAC2015

Paul Keysar

In Hope of Spring Oil on linen 24.25” x 20.25” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Paul Keysar

Jacob in Winter Oil on board 24.125” x 26.125” 2014

34 The Art of TRAC2015

Ricky Mujica

Mother Courage Oil on canvas 50” x 38” 2014

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Ricky Mujica

Evening Ritual Oil on canvas 34” x 36” 2013

36 The Art of TRAC2015

Ricky Mujica

Tia Ana Folding Baby Clothes Oil on canvas 26” x 28” 2013

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Scott Kiche

My Favorite Tune Charcoal on paper 18” x 24” 2015

38 The Art of TRAC2015

Scott Kiche

Artist’s Wife in Garden Oil on aluminum panel 12” x 12” 2015

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Tanja Gant

Scarlet Colored pencil 16.5” x 13” 2012

40 The Art of TRAC2015

Tanja Gant

Galen Colored pencil 20.5” x 32” 2009

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Teresa Oaxaca

Crown of Flowers Charcoal heightened with white on paper 20” x 30” 2015

42 The Art of TRAC2015

Teresa Oaxaca

Allegory of Tea Oil on canvas 41” x 32” 2014

TRAC2015 Invitational Show | Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Tanja Gant

Waiting Graphite 23”x 30” 2012

44 The Art of TRAC2015

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio

William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art October 30, 2015 –January 21, 2016 The secrets of the studio are passed between artists, in a gradual sharing of technique and encouragement. This exhibit reveals the relationships between contemporary representational painters and sculptors and their inspirations in 19th-century artists through their work and in their own words. The exhibit surveys paintings, drawings, and sculptures, featuring work by: William-Adolphe Bouguereau Lynn Christopher Alexandre Falguière Giambologna (Jean Boulogne) Adrien Êntienne Jean-Léon Gérôme Daniel Graves Luke Hillestad Regina Jacobson Brad Kunkle Hüicho Lé Richard MacDonald Antonin Mercié David Molesky Odd Nerdrum Michael Pearce Alicia Ponzio Jon Swihart Ruth Weisberg Gary Weisman Lea Colie Wight Pamela Wilson

William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art California Lutheran University 60 West Olsen Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 callutheran.edu/rolland

Generous loans were provided by the artists and: CoproGallery, Santa Monica Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles Koplin del Rio, Culver City The Tes Manley Collection The Fred and Sherry Ross Collection

Curated by Michael Pearce

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


46 The Art of TRAC2015

The hot fire at the heart of representational art in the 21st century didn’t come out of nothing–this is a fire that has risen from embers, after it was almost extinguished by a flood of modernist aesthetics that dominated the 20th century until the 1980s. A few painters and sculptors refused to submit to the ideology that threatened them and tended the inner heat that burned in their hearts for making works that appealed to emotion, nurturing technical mastery and emulating the old masters. In the face of the modern tide, this embrace of the old seemed almost like madness–but they persisted, and by finding quiet places where they could fulfill their desire to paint and sculpt they kept the embers warm. Now, in the postmodern age, the flame burns more brightly, and those of us who embrace traditional painting techniques and the pre-occupations of representational art owe a debt to the craftsmen and women who embraced their relationship with the past masters and maintained their techniques. But this exhibit is not intended to offer a comprehensive survey of the passing of the torch from one generation to the next. Transmission is far from that. We would need to show works by Andrew Wyeth, Nelson Shanks, Pietro Annigoni, Lucien Freud, Charles Spencer, Saul Bellows, to name only a few of the artists who continued the tradition during the flood–and it’s a measure of their present stature that acquiring such works is beyond the reach of this modest gallery. And we are lacking works by Juliette Aristides, Graydon Parrish, Charles Cecil, Mark Bama, Richard Lack, Ives Gammell, Sadie Valeri, Jacob Collins, and numerous other leaders of the atelier movement. Perhaps one day in the future we will see a comprehensive exhibit in a major museum that includes these artists.

A Toast to the Masters By Michael Pearce, Ph.D.

Instead of attempting a survey of all these lions I put together the artists in this show to celebrate emulation, by offering a small but revealing glimpse of continued lineages among some of the artists associated with The Representational Art Conference and to rejoice in both the similarities and the differences between the old and the new. One such lineage was the connection between artists of the 19th century and of the present, with lovely little paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme alongside contemporary works by Jon Swihart and Brad Kunkle. It is impossible to confuse Kunkle’s Gilded Wilderness painting with Alma-Tadema’s The Roses of Heliogabalus, for Kunkle’s wonderful work is decidedly contemporary, and we would never mistake

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


it for a 19th-century painting. But while his lush, golden paintings stand firmly within the canon of 21st-century representation, Kunkle’s roots are firmly embedded in the past and he acknowledges his debt to Alma-Tadema by closely following the Victorian painter’s lead. And it is here, in acknowledging our debt to the work of past masters, that we become most aware of emulation–the act of building upon the work of the past, of standing on the shoulders of giants to gaze into the future. Kunkle’s teaching lineage stretches back into the past too–he studied under George Sorrels, who was a student of a pupil of Bouguereau. Consequently, I was particularly happy to borrow paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau from the Fred and Sherry Ross Family Collection, for the profound influence of Bouguereau upon many of the artists at the Representational Art Conference is undeniable. The presence of Gérôme’s drawings and paintings beside Jon Swihart’s acknowledge a deep bond between the two painters, although a century lies between them. Daniel Graves, who is the Director of the Florence Academy, is another painter whose debt to Gérôme is profound-Graves studied under Nerina Simi, the daughter of Filadelfo Simi, who was in turn a student of Gérôme. In some instances I chose to reveal the lineage between living teachers and students–here are paintings by David Molesky and Luke Hillestad alongside a wonderful painting and a rare serigraph from the hands of their master Odd Nerdrum. And elsewhere we have sculpture by Alicia Ponzio, who studied with Gary Weisman, while Richard MacDonald’s superbly poised sculptures stand beside a marvelously balanced Hermes by Giambologna. Emulation is not the same as imitation. To emulate is to honor our past masters and go forward from what they achieved. Michael Pearce, Ph.D. is an associate professor of art at California Lutheran University, curator of the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture, Co-Chair with Michael Lynn Adams of The Representational Art Conference, and a practicing artist. His most recent publication, Art in the Age of Emergence, investigates emergent aesthetics and representational art in the 21st century.

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Jon Swihart, a Santa Monica artist known for his highly refined figurative paintings, has a genuine obsession with the painter Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). In revering Gérôme, a largely forgotten 19th century French academician, Swihart has chosen an obscure master who most contemporary critics feel was a reactionary of the worst sort. As Swihart’s friend and fellow artist Peter Zokosky notes: “When Jon discovered Gérôme, he couldn’t have found a more out-of-fashion artist, so you know the connection has to be real.” In his review of “The Spectacular Art of Jean-Leon Gérôme,” on view at the Getty Center in Los Angeles in the fall of 2010, LA Times art critic Christopher Knight portrays Gérôme as a wrong-headed artist, a lingering academician in a world tilting towards modernism who “didn’t have a clue.” This is the accepted view of most contemporary critics. Knight, who discounts the illusionism and technical virtuosity that made Gérôme famous in his own time, reminds his readers that “From Manet to Cezanne, every artist we revere today was on the other side of Gérôme’s fight.” Gérôme was indeed a vehement opponent of the Impressionists who refused to attend a memorial for Manet in 1884. After all, Gérôme felt that Manet, a pioneering Impressionist, had “...chosen to be the apostle of decadent fashion, the art of the fragment...” Just how did Swihart, a Californian born 50 years after Gérôme ‘s death, manage to choose such an iron-clad reactionary as his artistic role model? The answer begins with a tragedy.

Jon Swihart: Jean-Léon Gérôme Is His Master By John Seed

Jon Swihart’s parents were both Sunday painters, so art was around him from an early age. He was part of a happy family until the late 1960s when his mother became seriously ill. When she died in 1970 the family was “destroyed” and in short order Swihart’s two older brothers were drafted into military service. What had once been a warm family home felt deserted and sad. Swihart, then 15, began to spend many hours in his room alone, and at the Santa Monica library where he lost himself in art books. Art gave him a feeling of being connected to his mother -- and to his grieving father -and provided a distraction he desperately needed. The images that attracted him most were by 18th and 19th century artists. J.M.W. Turner and Claude

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Lorrain were briefly favorites, but one day a catalog of an exhibition by Gérôme appeared. How the catalog, published in 1972 by the Dayton Art Institute, made its way into the Santa Monica library is something Swihart wonders about to this day. From the frontispiece on he was hooked: Gérôme’s remote, burnished images engaged him, spoke to him. The artist’s subjects -- slave auctions, Muezzins calling from minarets, nude statues coming to life to kiss their creators, triumphant gladiators -- were heady stuff for a teenager from Santa Monica. His art was “...different, exotic, strange, photographic, perverse,” Swihart recalls. Those very qualities had once made Gérôme and his equally popular peer Bouguereau the best known, and wealthiest artists in France. The two academicians, stars of state sanctioned salons, were enemies of the avant-garde, emboldened by public acclaim and financial success. Bouguereau, who the modernist Matisse famously studied with, and despised, once bragged that “Every time I piss I lose five francs.” Remarks like that helped put the nails in the art historical coffins of the late 19th century academics, who were seen a few decades later as colonialist pimps, chauvinists, and aristocratic lackeys. The Impressionists, once outcasts, became the heroes of the bourgeois class whose lives they celebrated with glowing patches of complimentary color. Both characterizations were flawed, but over time they persisted. Gérôme, whose father-in-law art dealer Adolphe Goupil was a marketing genius, became wealthy by having reproductions of his work mass-marketed. During his lifetime the artist’s works were printed in every size, from playing card size on up, and for the right price he even made copies of his own works. Over time the overexposure of Gérôme’s work has been one of the factors in the decline of his reputation with critics and art historians. One recent commentator, who must have known something about Gérôme’s marketing, but not much about his art, quipped that “The similarities to (Thomas) Kinkade especially are almost endless.” At the time he discovered the Gérôme, Jon Swihart certainly had no concerns about the man’s tainted place in art history: he was a figure to be idolized. Poring over and re-reading the Gérôme catalog endless times, he noticed that one of the authors was a “Gerald Ackerman.” He was shocked to find that Mr. Ackerman was professor of art history at Pomona College, just an hour

50 The Art of TRAC2015

away. Mustering up his courage he called Ackerman on the phone, and that phone call initiated a 38 year friendship based on a shared fascination. When he entered Cal State Northridge, Swihart took his first art classes and found only one instructor, a photo-realist named Bruce Everett, who was sympathetic to his singular approach. Swihart was already an unorthodox figure, who quietly noted that most other students and many of the instructors “simply couldn’t draw.” Abstract painting was the academy of the moment. Everett watched Swihart, a shy student at first, develop a series of paintings based on rituals and situations gleaned from Renaissance paintings. Often mistakenly viewed as religious paintings, Swihart’s Northridge works helped him make friends with other students who often posed for him. They also allowed him to display both his wry sense of humor and an agnostic fascination with the drawing power of rites and religious symbolism. As Bruce Everett recalls, after a certain point he had little left to teach Swihart, who was already very much a connoisseur, a man charting his own course. After completing college, earning a BA in 1979 and an MA in 1982, both in art, Swihart was moving against the grain of the contemporary art world. Despite his diplomas he was to some degree a self-taught artist whose most important lessons had come from conversations with a living art historian and a dead French academician. In 1988 Swihart was selected to live and work at Claude Monet’s newly restored home and gardens in Giverny, France. Spending nine months in France, which Swihart recalls as the “greatest period of his life,” he spent his free time “Gérômeing,” his personal term for seeking out every trace of the artist he could find. On his first day in Paris, Swihart visited Gérôme’s tomb in the Montmartre Cemetery. There, he found that the cast of “Sorrow,” a grieving figure that Gérôme had made in response to the death of his son Jean in 1891 had been removed from the grave site. It had been covered with pigeon shit after an overpass had been erected overhead some years before. He also worked hard to locate the site of Gérôme’s studio, which had been destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. Pigeon shit, bombing raids and hostile critics, it turns out, had all taken their toll on the legacy of the artist Swihart so deeply admired.

There is tremendous irony in the fact that an artist living in Monet’s home spent so much time researching the life of the “sword and sandals” painter who had scorned Impressionism. The paintings Swihart made while in France -- sober, precise landscapes with leaden skies -have none of the vivid colors or excited brushwork that living in Monet’s home might have inspired in another artist. During his time in France, and on a second trip five years later, Swihart tracked down and traded stories with the descendants of Gérôme’s three daughters, located and took photos of his homes, and amassed a “treasure trove” of material. Today, Jon Swihart lives and paints in the same home that he grew up in, surrounded by his Gérôme treasure trove which now includes 4 oils, 13 drawings, 3 bronzes, 65 or so letters, and a number of original photos of the artist. Also on display at Swihart’s home -- which feels like a boutique museum -- are his own works, a painting by Gérôme’s son-in-law Aime Morot, an oil by Ernest Meissonier, and a bust of Gérôme by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. A partial list of other items on display -- antique casts, Russian icons, gladiator helmets and a reproduction of a 3.2 million year old human skull -gives some idea of Swihart’s collecting impulses. Swihart has also been collecting friends. Once a month his backyard fills up with artists, art historians and anyone else who cares to come, for a potluck barbeque followed by a guest lecture by one of Jon’s art world friends. Sometimes there is entertainment as well. Towards the end of one potluck a few years ago a group of fire-spitters imported from the Venice Boardwalk literally stopped traffic in front of Swihart’s house. It was a spectacle that Gérôme would have admired. He also would have admired Swihart’s recent paintings: callipygian female nudes, with no traces of visible brushwork. They are the artistic descendants of the statue who came to life in Gérôme’s “Pygmalion” and the alabaster-skinned women who stood on the block in his “Slave Auctions.” Swihart, over time, has been able to create figures of jaw-dropping smoothness that have a hint of immortality about them. Swihart, modestly enough, is careful to state that he is “not even close” to his master, and is reticent to compare his abilities to Gérôme’s. On August 21st, 2010 Swihart and his friends gathered at his home to honor Gerald Ackerman who was cele-

brating his 82nd birthday. Ackerman, who is credited by the curators of the Getty Gérôme exhibition with “nearly single-handedly” keeping Gérôme scholarship alive for the past 30 years, spoke about the Getty Gérôme exhibition and about Gérôme’s work. Jon Swihart, who viewed the Getty exhibition seven times, thought it was “tremendous” and that nearly every work on display showed the artist at his best. At the Getty bookstore, “Reconsidering Gérôme,” a book of ten essays meant to help scrape the critical pigeon shit off of Gérôme’s reputation, remains on sale for $27.50. However, the store did not stock a unique gift item that Jon Swihart says is the very first thing he would grab if his house caught on fire. It is an uncanny object: A Gérôme “Action Figure” created by Peter Zokosky as a birthday gift for Jon Swihart. If art history had gone differently, maybe factories in China would be cranking these dolls out, and aspiring young artists across the world would be playing with them, setting them up at plastic easels and offering them tiny baguettes and molded wine bottles. It would be a world where prodigies would be called “Mini- Gérômes,” not “Mini-Monets.” Swihart says that when the figure was first presented to him, he freaked out a bit: he had a Pygmalion moment when for a split second the figure seemed almost alive. There, staring at him from behind a cellophane window was the reincarnation of his “master,” the man who in artistic terms gave him “everything.” As strange as it sounds, Gérôme really is a living presence in Swihart’s life. There simply wasn’t anyone alive who could teach him what he needed to know. “Jon’s a great painter,” says Peter Zokosky, “and he learned most of what he knows from Gérôme.” Somehow, across the barriers of time and public opinion, they reached out to each other and started a very intense conversation that isn’t over yet. Having that connection has remained essential, giving Swihart a critical anchor while the art world hems and haws, anointing new idols and dispensing with previous ones. Peter Zokosky puts it this way: “The academy never goes away, it just shifts, and there’s always an approved academic style: today the academy loves Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.”

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Towards the end of his career Gérôme softened his views on Impressionism, stating that “...it was not so bad as I thought”. Perhaps Gérôme wasn’t so bad as we thought either. Just the printed images of his paintings on a catalog page were enough to soften a young man’s grief and lead him towards his future. Note: The original version of this article originally appeared in the HuffingtonPost on August 12, 2010 John Seed is a professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. Seed has written about art and artists for Arts of Asia, Art Ltd., Catamaran, Harvard Magazine, Hyperallergic.com, International Artist, The HuffingtonPost and Poets and Artists.

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Aesthetic and philosophical principles transmit through the craft of visual arts and writing. These lineages can span centuries, skipping past generations to land in a new era of influence. We can recognize this phenomenon in the concept of Recurrent Classicism, emerging in Ancient Greece and resurfacing during the Roman Empire, and then again in the Italian Renaissance. There is a sense of sibling-hood that artists feel towards those who influence them. Whether we find them working today or deep in history, like-minded artists accord a sense of shared experience and understanding, a feeling akin to a longtime friendship. This is how transmission occurs. Since I began painting at age 14, I have developed through my influences; Munch, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt were huge sources of inspiration for me and my gaggle of budding painter pals. We shared discoveries of palettes and compositions and soon we developed in a spirit of cooperative competition. Mr. Bartman was our fearless art teacher, his enthusiasm was wildly contagious, and he was a magician: in his classroom, there was nothing separating what we were doing and what could be seen at the National Gallery. He located us in the books of our heroes. We were all painting in oils with a youthful confidence that only can exist when you are completely naïve of The Art World. Michael Ross was my closest friend and it was in his parents’ living room that I was first exposed to Odd Nerdrum. His work contained the bold brushstrokes of Van Gogh, the mystery of Munch, and the humanity of Rembrandt.

Transmission: The Odd Fodder By David Molesky

Throughout college, my paintings mirrored the developmental path of modernism in the early 20th century (post impressionism became abstraction became purely unrecognizable). This path quickly led me to action painting and non-representational painting, and I began to develop signs of premature apathy, soullessness, and a rash. Longing for life, I decided to make an abrupt turn towards Classism with a series of drawings and paintings guided by Greco-Roman aesthetics. Since age 14, I’ve referred to myself as a painter, never as an artist. In my late 20s when I discovered that Odd Nerdrum also rejected that label, I sent him a letter inquiring about an apprenticeship. I was first and foremost attracted to his paintings and how unusual it was that they simultaneously conveyed a richly textured surface and the illusion of volume and space. I attempted to

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


emulate his technique, or what I could gather of it, and he offered me the apprenticeship. When I first arrived at Nerdrum’s, I continued working on a series of paintings of water that I had started in California. Immediately this felt surprisingly uncomfortable: my normal palette and approach were inappropriate now. To receive transmission of his mastery, I would need to replant my roots into this new Odd soil. I learned to paint in the same language as Nerdrum, a language he constructed from past masters. He encouraged me to soften my edges and subdue the saturation of my colors. The result was a pictorial effect that appeared darkened, like a room romanticized by a dimmer switch. My perception was also altered by the dim Nordic atmosphere, the kind you would typically associate with a dream or mythological ambiance. In an old squeaky house in Iceland, I sat alone with my new teacher as he smoked his cigar and told me, “go into a dark cave and look for a small dark flame.” I interpreted this as an encouragement to find inspiration from within the depths of my own imagination and subconscious. To fully receive transmission is to be in conflict with one’s own identity. I carried Nerdrum’s transmission with me, back to the San Francisco Bay area, where the misty light was much more luminous than the Far North. The pictures I made in Norway seemed perfectly representative of that local light, but when shown in California they appeared dark and murky. The galleries I’d worked with prior to my apprenticeship with Nerdrum all encouraged me to turn my back on that darkness. They said it wasn’t my work; they labeled it as “Molesky under the influence of Nerdrum” and requested work that was purely my own. I acquiesced by returning to the track I had left before I departed for Norway, and turned again to my California subject matter of turbulent water. This time, however, I imbued it with Nerdrum’s transmission and began searching for an aesthetic that spoke to contemporary events like ocean pollution, forest fires, and the Kiev riots. At the same time, other galleries encouraged me to revisit the Nordic series I had made while working with Nerdrum. What became clear to me was the conflict, both internally and externally, inherent in transmission.

54 The Art of TRAC2015

I am still heavily affected by the gravitational pull of Nerdrum; in many ways to be influenced by him is to be influenced by the greatest masters of histories. He is the living torchbearer of my transmission into the dark caves of the past, of Rembrandt, Titian, and Da Vinci, in which I work into the future, fanning the small dark flame. David Molesky is an internationally exhibited painter known for his landscapes and figurative works and regular contributor to Juxtapoz Magazine.

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Head study for Le Gué Oil on canvas 16.26” x 13” 1895 Collection, Fred and Sherry Ross

56 The Art of TRAC2015

Lynn Christopher

The Rabbit King Fired Terra Cotta 62.5” x 18” x 9” 2012


Jean-Léon Gérôme

Study of a Seated Musician Playing a Kemenegh Graphite on paper 9” x 12” circa 1875 Courtesy of the Jon Swihart Collection

58 The Art of TRAC2015

Jean-Léon Gérôme

Compositional study for The Sentinel at the Sultans Tomb Graphite on paper 8.5” x 6.25” circa 1880 Courtesy of the Jon Swihart Collection

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Jean-Léon Gérôme

Lion in the Desert Oil sketch 11.5” x 16” circa 1885 Courtesy of the Jon Swihart Collection

60 The Art of TRAC2015

Daniel Graves

Tomara Oil on canvas 23.5” x 19.75” 2006

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


F. Scott Hess

Lift Oil and Egg tempera on aluminium panel 39’’ x 32’’ 2013 Courtesy of Koplin del Rio, Culver City

62 The Art of TRAC2015

Luke Hillestad

Severed Wing Oil on linen 78” x 99” 2014 Courtesy of CoproGallery, Santa Monica

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Regina Jacobson

Red Petticoat Oil on canvas 48’’ x 44.5’’ 2015

64 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle

Gilded Wilderness Oil, gold, and silver on linen panel 42� x 80� 2012


Hüicho Lé

Liberate Oil on Canvas 40’’ x 50’’ 2015

66 The Art of TRAC2015

David Molesky

Ultras Oil on Canvas 48” x 60” 2014 Courtesy of CoproGallery, Santa Monica

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


David Molesky

Garden Whispers Oil on Linen 26’’ x 29’’ 2008 Courtesy of CorpoGallery, Santa Monica

68 The Art of TRAC2015

Annie Murphy-Robinson

Emily Crying 2 Sanded pastel on paper 34.5” x 26” 2010

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Odd Nerdrum

Frenzied Women Oil on canvas Courtesy of CoproGallery, Santa Monica

70 The Art of TRAC2015

Odd Nerdrum

Portrait of David Molesky Silkscreen on paper 25” x 26.5” 2008

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Michael Pearce

Winter 2 Oil on canvas 35.5’’ x 23.5’’ 2015

72 The Art of TRAC2015

Michael Pearce

Winter 1 Oil on canvas 34.5’’ x 26’’ 2015

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Alicia Ponzio

Mr. Koch Plaster on wood 21” x 9” x 9” 2015

74 The Art of TRAC2015

Alicia Ponzio

Still in the Field Bronze on granite base 51” x 40” x 20’’ 2014

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Jon Swihart

Portrait of Don Bachary Oil on panel 11’’ x 8.5’’ 2013

76 The Art of TRAC2015

Jon Swihart

Portrait of Mark Ryden Oil on panel 18’’ x 12.75’’ 2015 Courtesy of CoproGallery, Santa Monica

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Ruth Weisberg

Reading Corot Oil and mixed media on unstretched canvas 68” x 59” 2009-12 Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles

78 The Art of TRAC2015

Ruth Weisberg

Ravished Oil and mixed media on unstretched canvas 67.5” x 57.5” 2011 Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Gary Weisman

reCover Bronze 9.5” x 24” x 7 “ 2015

80 The Art of TRAC2015

Gary Wiesman

unOffering Bronze and cherry wood 25.5” x 22” x 9” 2013

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Lea Colie Wight

Connie Oil on linen 20” x 24” 2013

82 The Art of TRAC2015

Lea Colie Wight

Chaos Oil on linen 38” x 24” 2014

Transmission: Secrets of the Studio | William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Pamela Wilson

A Hesitation Near East Jesus Oil on Canvas 48” x 60” 2013

84 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture October 6–November 6, 2015 Brad Kunkle, famous for his use of silver and gold leaf in mixed-media paintings of romantic figures and dreamy landscapes, takes up a month-long residency at Cal Lutheran. His paintings are gorgeous, rich fantasies of an autumn world. He’s rightly been compared to Gustav Klimt, and recently has begun to blend video and music with paintings in art installations. “The power and beauty of the feminine” are “constant in my ideology…” he says. “I think it’s time for a shift in our thinking of how humans treat one another.” Curated by Michael Pearce

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture California Lutheran University 60 West Olsen Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 www.callutheran.edu Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence | Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture


Brad Kunkle

Truce Oil and silver on wood 31” x 27” 2009

86 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle

Seer Oil, gold, and silver on linen panel 19� x 27� 2012

Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence | Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture


Brad Kunkle

The Orientation Oil, gold, and silver on linen 25” x 19” 2014

88 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle

July Oil, gold on wood 12” x 8” 2009

Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence | Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture


Brad Kunkle

Alchemy of Sleep (study) Oil and gold leaf on wood 8” x 10” 2010

90 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle

Where the Currents Meet Oil and gold on linen 32� x 51� 2014

Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence | Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture


Brad Kunkle

Candela Oil, silver on wood 32” x 33” 2011

92 The Art of TRAC2015

Brad Kunkle

The History of Nature Oil, gold, and silver on linen 46� x 70� 2014

Brad Kunkle Artist in Residence | Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture


Brad Kunkle

The Belonging Oil, gold, and silver on linen, video projection and sound installation 36� x 64� 2014

94 The Art of TRAC2015

Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk

California Lutheran University November 1–December 165 2015 SCULPTURE | WALK is a fine art installation of 12 heroic, life and half-life bronze sculptures by American sculptor Richard MacDonald (b. 1946). The exhibition spans a path on the campus of California Lutheran University, stretching between the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art and the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art & Culture, traversing Kingsmen Park. An Interactive Map and Audio Guide provide a Walking Tour of the exhibition, with details about the works and the artist. Additional information is available from Richard MacDonald Studios, info@richardmacdonald.com. Known for working exclusively with live models, MacDonald’s fascination with the human form and with mankind’s broad emotional range has inspired him to create dynamic, sensitive works that withstand the passage of time. From the latter part of the twentieth century until the present time, Richard MacDonald has forged a pivotal career as an artist of originality, energy, and far-reaching influence. List of Works in Sculpture | Walk, in alphabetical order: Elena III Guardian Half Life Gymnast Half Life Inspiratio Two-Thirds Life Joie de Femme Life Nightall Half Life Nureyev Heroic, Blanc Noir Orpheus Ascending SII Piper Heroic, Blanc Noir Ritual Column Sissone Half Life Study for Rose Half Life Three Graces Column Transcendance Two-Thirds Yin and Yang Column The following pages show selected works from the exhibition.

California Lutheran University 60 West Olsen Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Curated by Richard MacDonald

www.callutheran.edu Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk | California Lutheran University


Richard MacDonald

Elena III Bronze

96 The Art of TRAC2015

Richard MacDonald

Gymnast Half Life Size Bronze Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk | California Lutheran University


Richard MacDonald

Inspiratio Two-Thirds Life Size Bronze

98 The Art of TRAC2015

Richard MacDonald

Joie de Femme Life Size Bronze

Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk | California Lutheran University


Richard MacDonald

Nightall Half Life Size Bronze

100 The Art of TRAC2015

Richard MacDonald

Orpheus Ascending SII Bronze Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk | California Lutheran University


Richard MacDonald

Sissone Half Life Size Bronze

102 The Art of TRAC2015

Richard MacDonald

Guardian Half Life Size Bronze Richard MacDonald Sculpture Walk | California Lutheran University


Richard MacDonald

Three Graces Column Bronze

104 The Art of TRAC2015

Artist Index Adams, Michael Lynn 27 Arena, Terry 106,107 Bain, Jennifer 108,109 Bautista, Carlos 11 Bouguereau, William-Adolphe 56 Christopher, Lynn 57 Cooke, Melissa 110,111 Crookston, Nancy Seamons 143,144 Dias, Kathiucia 21, 22, 23,112-115 Emanuel, Lani 116,117 Forte, Felicia 16,17 Gant, Tanja 40, 41,44 Gérôme, Jean-Léon 58, 59, 60 Ginsburg, Max 26 Graves, Daniel 61 Hess, F. Scott 62 Hess, Justin 19, 20 Hillestad, Luke 63 Hogin, Laurie 118 Jacobson, Regina 64 Keysar, Paul 33, 34 Kiche, Scott 38, 39 Kitchel, Karen 119 Kunkle, Brad 65, 86-94 Lé, Hüicho 66 Lipking, Jeremy 171 Liu, Nan 29, 30 MacDonald, Richard 96-104 Manukyan, Alexandra 120,121

McChristian, Jennifer 122, 123 McGhee, Elizabeth 124-128 Molesky, David 67, 68 Moline-Kramer, Bobbie 129-132 Moseley, Rachel 133 Mujica, Ricky 35-37 Murphy, Courtney 134-136 Murphy-Robinson, Annie 9, 10, 69 Nava, John 150-154 Nerdrum, Odd 70, 71 Nimtz, Judy 147-139 Oaxaca, Teresa 42, 43 Paris, Deborah 13-15 Pearce, Michael 28, 72, 73 Ponzio, Alicia 74, 75 Pro, Tony 170 Roberts, Gail 140 Rohrbacher, Katherine 141, 142 Rollande, Janvier 18 Smith, Che 12 Steele, Alexey 160-164 Swihart, Jon 76, 77 Todorovitch, Joseph 165-169 Watwood, Patricia 32 Weisberg, Ruth 78, 79, 145, 146 Weisman, Gary 80, 81 Wight, Lea Colie 24, 25, 82, 83 Wilson, Pamela 36, 84, 147, 156-158 Zhou, Aihua 8

We thank our advertisers Alliance for the Arts Arcadia Contemporary Art Cantina Blessing Gallery California Lutheran University Carmel Visual Arts Center Carnegie Art Museum Center for Academic Study Cheryl Kline City of Ventura Coastal Eye Specialists Fine Art Connoisseur Golden State Atelier

172 The Art of TRAC2015

Haynes Galleries Plein Air Magazine Kline Academy Mary Garrish Michael Harding Artist Oil Colours Monarch Merchandising Newington Cropsey - American Art Quarterly Principle Galleries Raymar Art Rosemary & Co Studio Channel Islands TOLD Corporation


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© 2015 Arcadia Contemporary and Casey Baugh

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This new award-winning, bronze figurative composition (edition 1/3) can be seen along with other Alicia Ponzio works in Haynes Galleries’ “Celebrating Art of Women by Women” exhibition, Oct 9. to Nov. 7, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

H AY N E S G A L L E R I E S I N Q U I R I E S : G A RY H AY N E S @ H AY N E S G A L L E R I E S . C O M O R P H O N E 6 1 5 . 4 3 0 . 8 1 4 7 O R 2 0 7 . 3 5 4 . 0 6 0 5 . H AY N E S G A L L E R I E S . C O M GALLERIES: ON THE MUSIC ROW ROUNDABOUT IN NASHVILLE, T E N N E S S E E A N D S E A S O N A L LY I N T H O M A S T O N , M A I N E




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this ad only! Become a Member at the Contributor and above level and be entered into a drawing for two tickets to a show of your choosing. ** *Membership Lounge available at most CAP shows ** Must register and pay online prior to March 31, 2016

ome P aint Cin armel C Come to Carmel and discover the magic! Carmel Visual Arts is located in Carmel, CA on the Monterey Peninsula which is known for its unique place in the history of both painting and photography. Our workshops and classes are given in the studio and outdoors amid this coastal wonderland filled with inspiration.

Upcoming Workshops Peggi Kroll-Roberts (Studio) November 2015 Ray Roberts (Study to Studio) November David Gallup (Master Class) December Ruo Li (Studio Painting) February 2016 Aimee Erickson (Plein Air) February Michael Reardon (Watercolor) March Thomas Jefferson Kitts (Study to Studio) April Calvin Liang (Plein Air) May David Shevlino (Figurative) June Terri Ford (Pastel) June David Gallup (Master Class) July Randy Sexton (Plein Air & Figure) August Carolyn Lord (Watercolor) October Robert Liberace (Figurative) May 2017

Carmel Visual Arts 3728 The Barnyard, Studio G23 Carmel, CA 93923 http://carmelvisualarts.com Rich Brimer, Director 831.620.2955












Principle Gallery

would like to thank all of the

representational artists

for allowing us to help you

follow your passion

Casey Childs September 2015

Colin Fraser October 2015

Jeremy Mann November 2015

208 King St. Alexandria, VA 22314 info@principlegallery.com 703.739.9326 125 Meeting St. Charleston, SC 29401 art@principlecharleston.com 843.727.4500 Visit principlegallery.com to view oerings from both of our locations

Mary Garrish

“The mystery of a Full Moon” 24”x30” Oil on Linen

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Salmagundi Club Member

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American Arts Quarterly is available free of charge to artists, scholars and related professionals. If you would like to receive a one-year complimentary subscription, please complete and return the attached reply card. e-mail subscriptions: aaq@nccsc.net

Sir Alfred Gilbert, Icarus, 1884

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Where Creivity Connects TOLD Corporation Proudly supports the arts and we congratulate

The Representational Art Conference - TRAC 2015 for exploring representational art in the 21st Century and for attracting an international community of art enthusiasts to Ventura County.

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Visit our Municipal Gallery located in historic City Hall 501 Poli Street, in downtown Ventura

Experience Studio Channel Islands Visit Artists O en tudios irst aturda o ver onth 11 am- m As many as 40 of the area’s very best artists welcome you into their private studios.

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Patricia & Tom Post and Kerry Methner “Sweet Tensions” November 5 - 27, 2015

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aturda , ecem er 5th 11 am - 6 m blackboard gallery artist studios education & outreach

2222 Ventura Blvd, Old Town Camarillo, CA 93010 • 805-383-1368 • studiochannelislands.org A O A A

Michael Lynn Adams

Artichoke Trio | 10 x 20 inches | oil on canvas

MichaelLynnAdams.com 818 577-0147 artist@MichaelLynnAdams.com


Principle Gallery - Charleston, SC & Alexandra, VA The Lily Pad Gallery - Watch Hill, RI

contemporary realism revealing universal truths through personal perspectives

Prom, oil on canvas by Lani Emanuel, 2015. Courtesy Lora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica.

thru November 22, 2015 Terry Arena, Jennifer Bain, Melissa Cooke, Nancy Seamons Crookston,

Gigi (detail), oil on linen by Judy Nimtz, 2012. Courtesy Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City.

Kathiucia Dias, Lani Emanuel, Laurie Hogin, Karen Kitchel, Jennifer McChristian, Elizabeth McGhee, Alexandra Manukyan, Bobbie Moline-Kramer, Rachel Moseley, Courtney Murphy, Judy Nimtz, Gail Roberts, Katherine Rohrbacher, Ruth Weisberg and Pamela Wilson

Artist’s Talk-Karen Kitchel — November 5 6:30pm

CARNEGIE ART MUSEUM 424 South C Street • Oxnard, California 93030

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W. Lee Wan MD Meiya Liao OD Ruth Marquez OD

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www.michaelharding.co.uk Facebook: Michael Harding Oil Paints Twitter: @mhoilpaints

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The ART of TRAC 2015  

The ART of TRAC 2015