Naples Art Presents “Driven by Karen Barrow with Artists Karen Shapiro, Jennifer Graylock, and Shah Hadjebi.”
It is said that art is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it is a beautiful design or the dreamy lines of a super car, there is no question that great art comes in all forms. Automobiles have long been a niche love affair for art collectors and car enthusiasts – a tale as old as time, if you will.
For some, it is the deep rumble of a V12 engine, and for others it is the chrome detailing that perfectly accents a slick paint job.
Naples Art – a celebrated organization and beacon of creativity in Naples, Florida – wanted to illustrate just how beautiful different kinds of art and their mediums could be when centered around one platform – cars.
Thus, the art hub reached out to gallery owner and art connoisseur, Lauren Greenough, to revitalize an exhibit that would usher in the new year on a major scale. “We wanted the grand reopening of our venue to be immersive, fast, and powerful. We are going to reach the community beyond ink and paper with an exhibition everyone can enjoy,” says Rich Cacace, Event Producer and Fundraising Manager for Naples Art.
So, with a plan in place, and artists at the ready, Naples Art dove in head-first to produce an artist showcase that brings together automobile and art collectors and celebrates the artists’ love affair with the auto industry.
Join us as we go behind the scenes and put the pedal to the metal with Naples Art, which is happy to present “Driven by Karen Barrow with Artists Karen Shapiro, Jennifer Graylock, and Shah Hadjebi”.
WHERE IT BEGAN
“Driven,” as the show is titled, was started by Artist Karen Barrow two years ago – with the help of the tenacious Lauren and Emily Greenough of HW Gallery, and Tom O’Riordan, President of the Naples Ferrari Club, and the driving force behind Cars on 5th.
They sought to rev the engines of the community and get people excited about cars and their extraordinary beauty. “We wanted to get the car enthusiasts out there and see cars brought to life though a variety of mediums,” says Barrow. “Being able to use my work to do good in the community is very important to me.”
Lauren Greenough, a powerhouse with a signature bold pink lip, was a major component of this project. Her business, HW Gallery, is a small yet incomparable space, meticulously arranged to provide the client an immersive experience.
When we walked into the gallery on a recent morning, we found ourselves surrounded by the works of talented artisans who expressed their passions through a variety of mediums. It was a warm and inviting atmosphere that begged us to walk around and admire each piece, so lovingly displayed.
It was when Lauren entered, dressed in all black with that fabulous pink lip and smiled at us with genuine excitement, that we got our first glimpse of her radiant energy, and we knew we needed to know more.
We were in luck, as we’d have our chance right then and there to sit and learn from the source. Soon joined by Lauren’s daughter, Emily, also a proprietor of HW Gallery, as well as Karen Barrow, we were able to chat about the exhibit and the event, and learn more about how it started and where it’s going.
As it turned out, the table at which we were sitting for our chat was the very spot where “Driven” was dreamed up two years ago – an idea that has since grown into the Jewel that will adorn Naples Art’s crown for their grand re-opening.
We proceeded to talk all things cars and art, and this is when we truly realized how intertwined the Naples community is with luxury cars and luxury art. We knew that Naples Art and these fine businesswomen and artists were onto something magnetic and magical, and we saw first-hand how they’re singularly bringing together automobile collectors, art collectors, and the community at large for this original showcase.
We discussed their vision for the exhibition and learned more about Karen herself, as well as the three artists that would be joining her on this momentous occasion.
Karen Barrow is a glowing fixture in the automobile industry, due to her exquisite work. Photographs from her travels to auto races and vintage car shows provide the bulk of her inspiration.
Focusing on shadow and shape, she reinvents the images on her computer, using a variety of programs. Sometimes images are hand-colored after they are printed.
Her signature grid pattern has been part of her work for many years. Originally inspired by flying over Midwestern farmland, it represents the sharp edges of human presence in an organic world.
For Barrow, it is not just about the cars she paints. She has a different feel. One of her inspirations comes from growing up in the Midwest, alongside the auto manufacturing industry.
She began creating Oldsmobile pieces, and people would tell her all their stories about their cars. “It fascinated me. I realized, your car is more like a historical touchstone. There are memories in these cars. So, when I start working on a piece, it is more than just the car. It is what is the story of the car, the family, or the history. It gives me a different perspective, and I feel very privileged.”
An interesting fact about Barrow is that she actually started out as a volunteer for Naples Art years ago and worked on their first Gator project. She loved working in art so much, that she started taking classes there, and then went onto art school.
“It feels like coming home. All those years ago, and now here we are.” The first Gator Barrow ever worked on now sits outside of Yabba restaurant on 5th Ave South in Naples, Florida – a memento to the beginning of this illustrious artist’s genesis in the community.
The sheer love and joy you can feel radiating from her is impactful. Get Lauren, Emily, and Karen together, and it is the most vivacious conversation filled with memory and respect. This is a family, and this is what art is meant to be.
Shah Hadjebi, a brilliant water colorist from Sanibel Island, Florida, will be lending his whimsical skill and paintings to “Driven”.
“When I was younger, my mother took me to MOMA in New York City. This is where I fell in love with watercolors and details. The color looked like candy and ever since then, I have nurtured and grown my skills. There is something about watercolor. It has a mind of its own, and you need to plan and work with the piece.”
Hadjebi’s subjects range from beautiful animals to still life, and realism such as cars in their magnificent glory. His love for details drives him to challenge himself on one extraordinary detail in particular that we all love on vehicles – chrome. Hadjebi notes that he hopes for people in the community to see watercolor and how it can be applied differently and uniquely.
Karen Shapiro is a celebrated artist and pop art icon who chooses to work in clay. Raku is her choice, and it is a soft, glazed, hand-built earthenware, with its origins in the tea ceremony of ancient Japan.
Shapiro derives her art from what’s already there – it doesn’t have to be interpreted or understood. Shapiro’s ceramics represent items that are used and speak to an era or a season, an event, or a time when the item belonged in the life of the viewer. Her beautiful work comes in the form of oil cans, crayons, Band-Aid tins, and even old dog food cans. The objects are nostalgic and connect with the viewer on an intimate level through her expression.
“In earlier years, my emphasis was on abstract form – believing, of course, that I was redefining the perfect form. Upon re-entering the ceramic studio at the College of Marin, under the tutelage of the ever-inspiring energy and talent of Anne Peet Carrington, I naturally tried to take up where I had left off many years ago. I was immediately frustrated and disappointed to see that those “perfect” forms would no longer come from my hands,” she says.
“Instead, I was drawn to the form of a milk carton; then, to my espresso pot from Italy; and next, to an artichoke from the market. In other words, I found an inexhaustible source of fascinating shapes and forms staring at me from all sides.”
Jennifer Graylock, a titan in the photography industry – has photographed distinguished and famous subjects from all corners of the cinematic and political scope. Her famous portraits include the likes of Madonna; Adele; Justin Bieber; Jennifer Lopez; Nicole Kidman; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate); Kate Hudson; Sophia Loren; Chloe Moritz; President’s Obama, Clinton, Bush and Trump; and many more exciting figures.
Jennifer Graylock is deeply inspired by fine art and black and white photography. Her images are free-flowing, lyrical combinations of style and professional sensibilities. She brings her distinct eye for detail and composition to her custom-built chairs featuring stunning cars in designs that leave collectors begging for more. Her contribution to “Driven” brings flare, class, and a distinct eye for fashion.
Naples Art has curated a jaw dropping experience that will appeal to all age groups and enthusiasts. The event will take place at Naples Art in the Watson Gallery where the stunning works of these illustrious artists will be displayed from January 15th – February 7th, segueing to the adrenaline-pumping event – Cars on 5th – held on 5th Avenue South in Downtown Naples.
Our own LUXYKIDS™ – ranging from five to eleven – are just as revved up for the event, excitedly chatting up school friends and their parents to experience “Driven” in all its fast and furious glory.
We invite you, LUXYMOMs®, to join us at “Driven” and experience this celebration of luxury art, automobiles, and community.