Sunday, October 12, 2014
On this beautiful Sunday afternoon in Belmar we had a book event going on at the Boatworks. Author Mick Bennett grew up here, before going to Pennsylvania for college and establishing a life in Gettysburg, also a town that sees its share of tourists in the summer. Times at the beach gave way to writing, but now the two have come together. He was here in town today to promote his first published novel, "Missing You in Belmar, NJ." The story and characters are pure fiction, but the setting is based on his experiences growing up in Belmar. This book, set in the 1980's, is the first novel of a planned trilogy built around the central character. Above, Mick Bennett with his book, below, the crowd enjoys hearing him read an excerpt from the opening chapter. Those in attendance were very excited by what they heard and are looking forward to future installments.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Tonight the Boatworks hosted a show unlike any we've ever had before. This exhibition consists solely of work from participants in classes, workshops, and shared interest groups offered by the Belmar Arts Council, work all from 2014. This building is busy almost every day of the week, so it's no surprise that we ended up with over 50 pieces representing the variety of what can be found here.
Starting in the front room, visitors to this show can find
photography from both the photo interest group (above) and from the many photography workshops (below),
paintings and drawings from participants in those long running classes,
work including text from participants in the writers group,
and examples of the kinds of things covered in the embellished surfaces workshop series.
And then as visitors move into the back gallery, they will see paintings from the summer's watercolor class,
several relief prints from the woodblock printmaking class,
various products of the Fiber Fridays special interest group,
and paintings and drawings from participants in the Wednesday evening costumed figure drawing group, plus one item from the landscape painting class.
Sure, many of our art receptions include live musical performances, and we had a few people (above) providing that for us tonight, but we also had a reading (below) from a member who not only took the self publishing workshop series, but then published her book.
We had the usual big crowd at the opening, including much of the refreshments provided by members.
The Grass Roots exhibition will remain on display through November 7, 2014 during regular gallery hours, with the Bob Steeler Solo Exhibition running in the side gallery through October 10th. Admission is free.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
It's been months since we had a mural being worked on in Belmar, and it's late in the year to start a new one, so we're doing the next best thing- working on an old one. It's been seven years since we finished our first mural on the side of the Boatworks, so long ago we didn't have this blog going yet, though we published highlights from that process in 2008. Considering some of the natural disasters that have happened around these parts in recent years, it has held up surprisingly well for house paint on a concrete wall. There has been noticeable fading (it's a broad wall facing south) and it was decided to add some new paint to bring back some of the boldness of the original look. The underwater blue was redone last week, along with some of the mysteries of what may be found below. Today we had more people continuing work on it, repainting plants, sea creatures, and other items. It's a big wall (about 30' by 12') and so there is a lot of work to go. There is no advance schedule, but if you are a member and receive the weekly newsletter, there will be reminders there when the crew will be out. About 10 people have been part of the process so far in 2014. If you have painting skills and don't mind climbing a ladder, we could probably use your help.
Friday, September 26, 2014
With artworks from the just concluding Fiber, Fabric, & Paper Arts show still on the walls, thirteen members of the Fiber Fridays group convened at the Boatworks today to make paper and fabric beads.
Strips of fabric and paper are wound around a wood skewer (above) and held in place with a dab of glue, then can be embellished with beads, yarn, or thread. The resulting pieces can be used in a wide variety of projects. Below, BelmarArts Plus member Tiffany Musser put some to use in a beautiful double strand necklace.
Besides the participants, several other fiber artists passed through the gallery while picking up their works from the recent show, and were reportedly sorry they couldn't stay to make some themselves. The best way to avoid that kind of problem is to plan ahead and show up on time to the next meeting, November 21st, from 12:30 to 2:30. Medium and process to be determined.
photos and story courtesy of Rebecca Szabo
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Today the Boatworks hosted Bob Steeler's Solo Art Exhibition. Bob is probably best known as a musician, having served as the drummer for the well known band Hot Tuna for several years. When there was interest in bringing him in to perform, he told us he was concentrating on the visual arts now, and he wasn't kidding. He has an established career as a painter and sculptor in the New York/New Jersey region, describing his current painting style as a form of absurd surrealism. So he was invited to be here as a visual artist, and our side room gallery is currently filled with his art. Above and below are some photos of the space.
As with most shows, attendance at the opening reception started with just a few people and then built up into a crowd. The official door count was over 80 visitors, not including the BAC regulars there to run the reception. Bob Steeler is the tall man in the center of the above photo, and his art gave viewers much to talk to him about.
The artist's paintings are for sale, and a few originals have already been sold, but also available were a variety of small reproductions of his paintings and drawings.
Like most of our receptions, we had the usual wine and cheese refreshments, and live background music, today provided by area musician Chris Turner. Combined with the beautiful sunny day it made for a pleasant late afternoon.
After the reception officially ended and all the visual arts discussions were over, it was time for music. Were we going to have Bob Steeler in for an event and not have him perform? Not if we could help it. Word is that the Bob Steeler Band is a work in progress, but to those of us at the Boatworks, they sounded just fine.
The Bob Steeler exhibition will continue in our side gallery through October 17, 2014, running along side the Fiber, Fabric, and Paper Arts show for the next week, then along with the upcoming Grass Roots show featuring art from participants in 2014 BelmarArts classes and workshops starting October 4th. Details are available on our main website. Admission is free.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Tonight was the opening reception for the Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts exhibition. The front and back galleries are filled with a wide variety of art reflecting the possibilities of the show. If it involves something that can be woven as the main material, it was the kind of thing we were looking for.
A good crowd showed up from the start, with at least 120 passing through over the course of the evening.
Participants in the show were asked to bring in food for the reception and as typically happens in such situations, they brought plenty. The food table would eventually grow more full than seen above.
No prizes for this show yet, but we're working on it. Visitors have the opportunity to vote for two awards. Members of the Fibers Fridays shared interest group participated in a t-shirt challenge- a competition among themselves to convert an old Belmar Arts Council t-shirt into something new, and the entries are shown above. Voting has been going on for several days, but more t-shirts are available for anyone who would like to join the contest. Plus, there's a people's choice contest for the favorite piece overall in the whole show, with the votes open for the duration of the exhibition.
The Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts show remains on display through September 26, 2014. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, and there are extended summer hours through Labor Day weekend, 5 to 7 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 on Sundays. Admission is free.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Yesterday the Boatworks got a surprise visit from a bus full of fibers loving seniors from Jersey City. They had come down for visit to Belmar, but decided that the day would be incomplete without visiting the Belmar Arts Council and the current Fiber, Fabric & Paper Arts show. About 60 people poured out of that big white bus and came through the door, where they enjoyed this fun and colorful show.
We expect that we'll top that crowd this weekend at the exhibition's opening reception, Saturday August 23rd, from 5 to 7 pm. And the show will continue to be on display during regular gallery hours through September 26, 2014. Admission is free.
photo and information courtesy of Rebecca Szabo
Monday, August 11, 2014
Just like the rest of Belmar, the Boatworks has been busy all summer. One of the many classes offered this summer has been Water...Water..Watercolor with Sven. Around here that name can only mean Sven Widen, who has been teaching drawing and painting classes here for years. This new one specializes in watercolor, which has many specific qualities different from other types of painting. There was a three week session earlier this summer, and a new three week series began today.
If there is a demand, the class may meet again in the fall. If you are interested, check out the class page on our web site for more information or to contact the instructor.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Next summer, renowned Atlanta based artist Suzanne Hughes Sullivan will be offering a workshop at the Boatworks called Still Life Oil Painting in the Classical Realist Tradition. It will run two days, and cover such aspects of the process as choosing subjects and arranging the objects in the still life to create interesting compositions and patterns of light, then building the painting up from the traditional grisaille value underpainting to the oil glazes used by old masters for centuries.
But that's a year away. Meanwhile the artist happened to be in Belmar this week and decided to offer us a little preview. Last night a group joined her at the Boatworks to enjoy beverages and see a little demonstration of the process. If this sounds like the kind of workshop that would interest you, be sure to check out our class listings next summer.
photo by Rebecca Szabo
Friday, August 8, 2014
Some may have been concerned when the Fiber Fridays group announced that this month's meeting would include a Yarn Bombing event. However, a little research showed that this artistic process merely involves wrapping things completely in yarn, and no explosives are involved. It has its roots in conceptual/street art, but here in Belmar it was being practiced indoors today. The focus was on a bicycle. This is not the first time that the BAC has been involved in bicycle art, but this was certainly the fuzziest. Above and below are photos from early in the process, with some of the bike still visible.
Over the course of the day, eleven people were involved in the event, resulting in some colorful chaos.
Above, a group of yarn artists takes a break near the end to pose by their creation. Below, the finished bicycle, complete with yarn streamers on the handlebars.
This was more than just colorful fun. Part of this is to promote the next Boatworks exhibition- Fiber, Fabric, and Paper Arts. The show will feature such processes as basketry, bead work, clothing design, crochet, dying, felting, knitting, weaving, needle work, and paper art. And at least one bicycle. The opening reception will be Saturday, August 23, 2014, from 5 to 7 pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.
additional photos courtesy of Rebecca Szabo
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Tonight the Boatworks hosted a reception for a photography exhibition in our side gallery. The show features black and white photographs from Michael S. Miller's series Everyday People. The full series includes 40 photographs of everyday people on the street, taken in locations around the world over the past 20 years. This exhibition in Belmar includes 10 selections from that set, all of which were taken in Monmouth county shore towns, fitting well with the Jersey Shore Moments show currently in the front and back galleries.
We saw a steady flow of visitors over the course of the two hour reception.
The artist was present the whole time, answering technical questions about the photographs in the show, and sharing stories about the experiences that went along with collecting the images.
The Everyday People exhibition will be on display during regular gallery hours through August 16th. Admission is free.