Gen Art Debuts Lounge at Scope Art Fair; Artists Wrap Smart Cars

By Jana Schiowitz December 6, 2011, 11:52 AM EST

Photo: Juerg Schreiter for BizBash

Gen Art decided to debut its lounge environment dubbed “Gen Art Detour Presented by Smart” at the Scope Art Fair in the Wynwood District because of the fair's support for emerging artists. “Like Gen Art [Scope] started out small and has organically grown through the support of their constituents,” said Jeffrey Abramson co-president of Gen Art. “While their scale and production is very buttoned-up, they maintain an edgy and accessible undercurrent, which is important to Gen Art.”

The 4,550-square-foot lounge featured five installations created by emerging artists from varying backgrounds: drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, and jazz. The artists each worked within a 12- by 12-foot space, where they displayed their artwork wrapped around a Smart car. The lounge, which ran from November 30 through December 4, also displayed a community art project where visitors let out creative steam using colored Sharpies to make their mark on a 15-foot vinyl wall pre-created by Billy the Artist. “The installations provoke the thought that art can exist anywhere in our lives, even our daily commutes, and breaks down the sometimes perceived barrier between commercial and artistic intent,” said Abramson.

To create the relaxed space, staffers laid down sod and positioned Adirondack chairs. Palm trees and foliage decorated the lounge for a tropical feel, and at night, music and soft ambient lighting helped to change the mood. When visitors weren't engaging in drawing on Smart cars, they were test-driving them to experience the vehicles first hand. While relaxing in the lounge, guests were treated to gourmet ice cream sandwiches in edible Gen Art-branded potato paper wrappers from the CoolHaus ice cream truck.

This is Gen Art's second time wrapping Smart cars. A recent Fresh Faces in Fashion event in Los Angeles featured the cars wrapped in designs inspired by fashion designers and their spring collections, and several of those cars went on to tour at other events, including the Fun Fun Fun Festival in Austin and the Los Angeles Auto Show. “The interest is so strong in the wraps that the auto-maker is interested in forging a stronger relationship with the artist to make it available to the public,” said Abramson. “We hope this will be the case with the cars from this event as well.”

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