“As a full time working faculty member at Denison University and a full time gallery artist …the hours I have in a week to myself are extremely limited. I feel like the days spent in Prague and Pilsen were worth the time spent away from my daily schedule. To see and understand the Czech artists and burgeoning art scene have left an impression, and hopefully will create opportunities for my students in the future.”
In September of 2016, artist and college professor Christian Faur traveled to Prague at the invitation of Ambassador Schapiro. The Ambassador and his wife Tamar Neuberger selected Faur’s work Parrish (2012), for the Art in Embassies exhibition at their Residence. Parrish consists of four panels of hand cast encaustic crayons. Faur begins his artistic process with the deconstruction of a single image into its most basic elements of color, form, and resolution. Using traditional artists’ pigments and an encaustic medium, Faur mixes and casts the exact colors and quantities needed for each of the crayons used in a particular work. The highly manipulated image is then reconstructed with these individually cast wax “pixels.” The finished works vary from photo-realistic landscapes and portraits to completely abstracted forms.
The four-day program started with a visit to Vaclav Hollar Art College, where Faur received a tour of the school that allowed him to see the students’ work, after which he presented a short talk in a classroom setting. In addition to attending a reception at the Residence, where Faur was able to meet with artists, curators, and other representatives from the art world in Prague, the artist travelled to other locations to conduct lectures and presentations about his unique work. This included a fifty minute lecture for about a hundred students and faculty members at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in Pilsen, where he was welcomed by Dean Josef Mistera and the director of the Art Camp Summer School, Lenka Kodytkova.
Faur observed that “… for me, what was extremely exciting was to see the art programs being developed in a country and a city where freedom of expression had been suppressed during the Russian occupation. The type of work that artists are currently making in the Czech Republic speaks to this history while at the same time having work that focuses on the future.” As a professor at Denison, Faur is working on creating connections between art programs at Denison and the art programs in the Czech Republic “… with the hope that a student exchange or visit might take place in the future.” Currently, Faur is working with the Ladislav Sutnar University of Design and Art to host a traveling poster exhibition Ladislav Sutnar – Europe, Culture in January of 2017 at the contemporary art gallery on the Denison University campus, with the intent that this exhibition “… will give students and faculty on our campus a bit of a window into the wonderful work going on in Ladislav Sutnar (in Pilsen) and help to start students thinking about the Czech Republic as a place to visit and see interesting art.” On the last day of the program, Faur was able to visit a series of galleries in Prague, which included Hunt Kastner Gallery, Nau Gallery and Meet Factory, where he had a chance to meet with local curators and artists.