2023 Summit Salons are being planned now. Please check back soon for more information.
In the first quarter of this 21st Century, we are witness to a Realist Art Movement that is gaining traction. As an Imaginative Realist painter, I am excited to reintroduce The Salon Experience in my professional art studio. I am offering two versions of The Salon Experience; a private / individual, or small group showing. The private version is for anyone interested in viewing and purchasing my artwork, the group event is to be shared and will be lead by a scholar, poet, author, artist, musician, scientist or philosopher.
The Group Salon Experience began in February of 2020 as a monthly event, but because of the pandemic we had to postpone scheduled events and reduce the amount of people in the Salon. Our first event introduced a local scholar who wrote two books on poetry and his philosophy on life. The response to his lively and engaging discussion was encouraging in addition to having a stimulating environment in which to view and discuss my latest artwork.
If you are interested in participating as a speaker, or as a guest please contact my advocate, Joy Wolfe of Fine Art Advocates, 612-644-0756 or email her at Advocateforartists@gmail.com to schedule an in person showing or small group experience.
Previous Summit Salons
Chamber Music with Elise Meichels Parker and Jane Cords-O'Hara
We were thrilled to have violinist Elise Meichels Parker and cellist Jane Cords-O'Hara for this special chamber music event. Join us as they fill the Griggs Mansion with timeless classics from Baroque to Beethoven and everything in between.
Elise Meichels Parker is a member of the faculty of Augsburg University, assistant principal second violin of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, and a core member of Jamison Ensemble, which specializes in chamber music.
She has performed as a guest artist for several local ensembles and has performed, recorded, or both with the Guthrie Theater, STRINGenius, the Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Sinfonia and the Loring String Quartet.
Jane Cords-O’Hara is freelance cellist who performs with groups around the U.S. She is a member of The Knights, a NYC based chamber orchestra, as well as the Memphis based Iris Orchestra and Ladyslipper Ensemble in Minneapolis.
Over the years, she has performed, toured and recorded with individuals and groups ranging Yo Yo Ma to the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Argento and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She is currently a member of the faculty of Augsburg University.
History of the Griggs: Arts and Culturewith Fitzgerald, Chauncey Griggs and Other Prominent Characters
One of the most culturally significant buildings in St. Paul, the Chauncey Griggs mansion at 476 Summit Avenue has ties to ghosts, the Playboy “Femlin,” the St. Paul Winter Carnival, arts and culture and of course, St. Paul’s literary wunderkind F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Dave Page, a former instructor in English and journalism, is a well-known expert both on the life and times of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Civil War.
He has been writing and lecturing about F. Scott Fitzgerald since 1982, when City Pages published his article, “F. Scott & Zelda in St. Paul.” He has made presentations on Fitzgerald in venues ranging from Irish Fairs to the 15th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference in Toulouse, France in 2019.
He has appeared on C-Span along with George Plimpton and on stage with Garrison Keillor at the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 100th Birthday Celebration in St. Paul. He is currently working with F. Scott Fitzgerald's grandson on a few projects.
In 2017, Dave authored F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home. Dave served as a board member of the non-profit Fitzgerald in St. Paul until it merged with The Friends of the St. Paul Library in January 2020.
It's As Simple As That: Words of Wisdom to Live By
Vernon Pollard started our Salon series in February 2020 with his sold-out reading from and discussion of his new book, "It's As Simple As That: Words of Wisdom to Live By."
"For as long as I can remember, I have heard the words over and over again . . . 'You really need to write a book, let me know when it is available.' Being more of a thinker than a grinder, I owe a debt of gratitude for the grinders who spent countless hours pulling together years of thoughts scribbled on everything from napkins to envelopes."
– Vernon Pollard
With over 35 years of business experience, Vernon Pollard has held senior management positions in finance, U.S. and global marketing, sales, customer service, logistics, product development and contract negotiation with Xerox, Ryder System and Jostens.
His political experience includes serving as an executive assistant to a U.S. Congressman from Illinois.
He is the founder of Quiet Remembrance Group and holds a patent on the International Symbol of Remembrance. He is also the CEO of New Product Concepts, a think tank.
At the University of Northwestern St. Paul, he has taught in the FOCUS program and has been a lecturer in the business department since 2008. He currently teaches at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
In the Beginning
The first fully developed salon is generally held to be that founded by Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet, in the 1630s at her home, the Hôtel de Rambouillet, in Paris. In her chambre bleue she orchestrated light entertainments, poetry readings, serious discussions, even dramatic productions. (1)
France – the Enlightenment and the Intellectual Run Up to the French Revolution
In 18th century France, salons were organized gatherings hosted in private homes, usually by prominent women. Individuals who attended often discussed literature or shared their views and opinions on topics from science to politics. The salons consequently became an important source of political ideas and revolutionary sentiment. (2)
French Salons, the Enlightenment, and Room for Women to Intellectually Maneuver (4)
Early French salons served as a sort of haven for exchanging and receiving information. [However,] salons were more than just a place for the exchange of information. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France was still under much male dominance. Salons served as a place for women to escape the tight structuring of French society, and seek out a place of freedom. Salons were a place where French women could not only show off their beauty and seduce others, but a place where they could also [boost] their intellectuality. (5)
Salons had a long history in Paris’ intellectual culture. These gatherings first became popular during the 17th and 18th century as a product of the French Enlightenment movement. They provided a place for scholarly discourse on philosophical and artistic topics.
Gertrude and Leon Stein, the Lost Generation, and the Studio at Montparnasse
After moving to Paris in 1903, Stein and her brother Leo settled in Montparnasse where they gathered an art collection that would become distinguished, including works from Cezanne, Renoir, Delacroix, Matisse, Picasso, and Gaugin. Stein had a unique ability to detect talent; as Henry McBride, a well-known art critic put it, “she collected geniuses, not just masterpieces.” As a result, both of the Stein siblings quickly became prominent in the art world, and her apartment became famous for its salons, gatherings that brought together confluences of talent and thinking that would help define modernism in literature and art.
These salons first began as a result of her art collection: People would come to her apartment unannounced to see artworks by Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne; after reaching her wits end with these impromptu visitors, Stein set Saturday evening as the fixed time for these gatherings so she could continue her own writing without being constantly interrupted by unannounced guests. Frequent attendees at the Saturday night events included Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, Henri Matisse, and Earnest Hemingway, whom Stein mentored. These congregations could be seen as the epicenter for the Lost Generation, a place where artistic and literary ideas germinated and disseminated. (6)
(3) Id., showing Ben Franklin in attendance
(4) In this context, “women” means solely women from the upper crust of society.
The History of Salons
The Chauncey Griggs Mansion
476 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102