A Q&A with Jacek Gancarz and Ryan Messing

Collaboration is a key part of the creative process whether you’re scoring a hit musical, nailing the “pas de deux,” or completing a work of art together. The Council’s newest exhibition, “Art & Décor,” paired eight professional Palm Beach County artists with interior designers, tasking them to create a vignette based on the artist’s work.

We spoke with one of the duos (artist member Jacek Gancarz and Ryan Messing of Patrick Killian Inc.) to see what inspired them to create their cozy Arctic room. To learn more about them and to see what they said, click the link below.

What’s your professional background?

Ryan Messing (RM): My background in design includes Patrick Killian Inc. and The Home Shopping Network, specifically with a focus in set design.

Jacek Gancarz (JG): After noticing my fascination with National Geographic and Life magazines, my father gifted me a camera when I was 12. I never stopped photographing and experimenting.

What inspired you to take these photos, at the time?

JG: Greenland’s glaciers are ground zero for measuring the rate of global warming. I hired a retired fisherman to take me out on his motor-powered skiff to photograph icebergs near the Ilulissat Icefjord. It was after the sun set, in the melancholy bluish light, that the icebergs evoked a feeling of loss and urgency as they live out their existence. Having been part of a glacier, each iceberg is over 10,000 years old. They hold Earth’s history and I tried to capture their character. To me, these photographs are more like portraits rather than landscape scenes.

How did your work with each other to make this room come together?

RM: We wanted you to feel like you were in Greenland! Warm and welcoming textiles to contrast the icy/cooler images portrayed in Jacek’s photography of glaciers and local arctic landscapes.  

JG: It all began with my photography of an iceberg. Ryan loved it. I gave him some background on my experience in Greenland. He did some research and came up with some designs based on that image. After the initial sketch, we picked three architectural images of the town in Greenland, also photographed after midnight in the twilight, to complement his design aesthetics.

If there were one piece of décor from this room that you could take home—what would it be?

RM: The Club Chairs.  They feel like cushioned clouds!

JG: I know my assistant and a couple of friends love [the stuffed arctic fox] Foxy Federikke, but I like the “slice of a log” end table.

Can’t get enough of “Art & Décor? RSVP today for “The Art of Design” lectures on April 5, 12 and 19 »