It’s 4:45 on a Friday afternoon, and I am getting very
anxious. In fifteen minutes the
classroom I am currently taking Randy McIver’s ecorche intensive course in will
become a massive and extraordinarily intricate game of painting storage Tetris
and I am not convinced everything will fit.
It is time to prepare for Tribeca Ball.
An event the Academy hosts right here in the Academy, and we only have
one little weekend to whip the building into shape. There is nothing else like it, as a student
that walks these halls daily, it boggles my mind how unrecognizable it becomes.
This year I wanted to dive right in and get really involved
to see just how this project works from start to finish. You would not believe the team of people that
work day in and day out to make this event happen. I was lucky enough to work with one of the
teams and help create the paper garden lounge in the basement. I spent hours
during the week proceeding the event cutting folding and glue-gunning as many
little paper flowers as I could produce… which turned out not to be all that
many, but it was an eye opener for me to realize how much work goes into some
of the elaborate decorations we see scattered about New York on a regular
basis. It was an incredible experience
that has really opened my eyes to some of the different possibilities for me in
So now let’s get on with the event. I am sitting on this old
recycled trunk in my studio, fidgeting and full of nerves, no idea what to
expect. The first thirty minutes go by
and all I have successfully done is nervously stuff my face with tiny turkey
sausages. Then everything picked
up. The halls were crowded with people
and the conversations and excitement began.
It was so exhilarating when I realized that people were actually
interested in these paintings I’ve been working so hard on for the last two
years. I even sold a few, which is
really just icing on the cake. It opens
up a whole new world for us as young artists to work day in and day out into
the wee hours of the night and then to be given this unbelievable opportunity
as students to show our stuff to an incredible audience of people.
Then suddenly three hours have flown by, and its time for
the dinner. I actually had the
miraculous privilege of attending the dinner, which really summed up an already
fantastic night. Catered by the notable chef
Daniel Boulud, the food was absolutely delicious! But, my favorite part was the
little flower headdresses and boutonnières they provided at every seat for each
of the guests. It really brought the
whole floral, garden theme full circle.
After we ate we got to the dancing with the fiery DJ Kiss. The Van Cleef & Arpels models we had seen
throughout the night appeared with amazing, giant paper flower
headdresses. My dad took pictures with
them and it made him look famous.
Wouldn’t you know those girls could dance too! Each had a bodyguard though to make sure they
didn’t lose any of the lavish jewels they were dawning for the event.
Once all is said in done, the students reunited at one of
the usual hang outs to celebrate the survival of yet another Tribeca Ball. This year our fantastic little after party
was held at the Tribeca Tavern. Good
friends and good fun made this years ball a great success! We hope to see you
all there for our next event, OPEN STUDIOS from 6:00 to 9:00 at the Academy, April 25; also my 25th birthday (shameless plug!) can’t wait to see
For more information on Helen Strickler please visit helenstricklerartist.com. To visit her studio in person, come to the Academy's Open Studios event on April 25th from 6-9pm where Helen and all of the Academy's artists-in-residence will open their creative spaces to the public and be on hand to discuss their work.