Come Mingle With the Lions of Classicism

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The 2014 Classical Tradition Conference (CTC) in Salt Lake City was a high point of the past year – one reason being that was where the dramatic plan for rebuilding McKim’s original Penn Station was unveiled. Following on that success, the second annual CTC is taking place Feb. 6-7, 2015, at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

The unique program provides two days of immersion in the totality of the Classical ideal. Organized under the aegis of the Utah Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, the conference program covers far more than just Classical architecture. Instead, the two-day symposium is built around the foundational principle of Classicism: The interrelationship of ALL the Classical arts. Thus the presenters will be examining architecture’s links to mural painting, sculpture, stone carving, decorative painting, metalwork, mosaics and woodworking – all of the allied arts. The designer’s ultimate goal is to fuse all of these arts into a unified, beautiful whole.

The Conference comes at a particularly challenging time in the world of architecture. Even as Traditionalism and Classicism are gaining greater acceptance as valid contemporary styles, this success is generating vigorous push-back from the architectural establishment. Most worrisome is evidence that the majority of clients and building committees are still captives of Modernist ideology.

One recent troubling example: The stewards of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a magnificent Romanesque synagogue in Los Angeles, are planning a 55,000-sq.ft. addition – and insist that the new wing “must establish an iconic profile.” Several starchitecture firms have been invited to submit their visions for the “iconic” addition. (Be very afraid for the historic building!)

The CTC program is designed to arm participants with theory and practice to prove to clients that there are beautiful alternatives to bizarre, transgressive architecture. I will be on hand in Salt Lake City serving as moderator of the extraordinary 15-speaker program.

Classical lions Allan Greenberg and Demetri Porphyrios are keynoting the proceedings; Greenberg on Friday and Porphyrios on Saturday. Among the other presenters are: Thomas Jayne, interior designer, Mary Kay Lanzillotta, architect, Jean Wiart, architectural metalsmith, John Ike, architect, D. Jeffrey Mims, artist and muralist, Phillip Dodd, architect, Brent Hull, architectural woodworker, Michael Scheiner, glass sculptor, Michael Imber, architect, Erik Evens, architect, Patrick Webb, ornamental plasterer, Elizabeth McNicholas, architect and interior designer.

This convocation in Salt Lake City will constitute the largest collection of Classical brainpower you’ll be able to tap into all year. I hope to see you there; it’s a great opportunity to network and to get charged up with new ideas You can register here.