Bob Cornelis: Studio Visits
The art of photographing artist’s in their studios is always intriguing and insightful. California photographer, Bob Cornelis has created 50 environmental portraits of Sonoma County artists in their studios for a book project in partnership with the Arts Council of Sonoma County. The 130 page book, enriched by essays on related topics, will be sold to support the Arts Education Alliance that supports art programs in K-12 schools. 100% of the monies generated from the sale of the book will go to the program.
Bob is a fine art photographer who has focused his attention at various times on the landscape, the figure, abstraction and the portrait as subject matter. He has a particular interest in fine art printmaking and alternative photographic processes. His artwork is held in private and public collections across the United States. In 1998 he founded Color Folio, a fine art printmaking studio and since then has been collaborating with photographers and other artists to make the finest prints possible.
It is fascinating to see the wide range of environments within which art gets created – as wide a range as that of the personalities of the artists themselves. The studios are filled with talismans, artifacts, curios and symbolic objects that both inspire and represent the artist. There is often music, furniture on which to relax and reflect, space for pets, a way to make a cup of coffee and never enough storage. Some spaces are filled with light, others are cavelike. Some are large and expansive, some are small and constrained. For some, a messy environment filled with stimulating clutter makes the creative juices flow, while for others a disciplined order is required. The studios, like the art and the artists, come in many forms.
Soon the realities of turning the project into a book came into focus. The critical decision about how many artists to include in the project had to be made along with who those artists would be. At the end, this is but a snapshot of the current art scene in Sonoma County, one that necessarily leaves out those who by all rights could have been included. In order to add additional dimension to the project, three essays were commissioned to add additional context for the photographs.
In addition to my personal goals for the STUDIO project, it was my aim to find ways to share the work with the community. Both through this book and print exhibits of the work, our local community will gain new insight into the art scene in Sonoma County.
The other opportunity was one in which not only I, but all of the artists in the book, could participate. Many studies have shown the critical importance of introducing young children to art and artmaking at an early age. The correlation of that exposure to higher levels of achievement in school and life is profound. At the same time, most of the art education programs in our schools have been eliminated due to budget cuts. I formed a partnership with the Arts Education (AEA) which, under the umbrella of the Arts Council of Sonoma County, advocates for arts education in our schools and community through collaboration, leadership, and a passion for the arts. All proceeds of the sales of this book are being donated to the AEA to fund their important efforts in our community.
You can take part in this project either by donating money to print more books or by purchasing copies of the book. The project has official non-profit status so donations are tax deductible. For more information on how to help in either of these ways please visit www.studio50artists.com.
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