Saturday, January 27, 2018

Author and Friends Come to Belmar

Talk about BelmarArts and most people probably think first about visual arts.  After all, our gallery space is active year round, and we are responsible for murals found on walls from one end of town to the other.  Just last week the Boatworks was packed full of members presenting works as part of the annual Member Salon exhibition.  However our mission includes a wide variety of creative outlets and today we had in event that celebrated music and writing, leaving the visual arts to just the blue tinged pieces hanging on the walls all around.  Today the Boatworks hosted something called "Meet the Author & Friends, with D.M. Anderson", an afternoon of conversation and inspiration.  The event included just three artists, and not a paintbrush or pencil to be found.

Above are the three featured artists- from left to right Joanne Calabrese, Leticia Walker, and D. M. Anderson. Different specialties and stories, but all were story tellers today.

The organizer was D.M. "Dee" Anderson, a writer and busy writing coach, as the other two participants shared with those in attendance.  Dee introduced each of the other artists as their turn to talk came up.  First was Leticia Walker (above seated) who has experience as a musical performer and singer.  For now a physical ailment has limited her ability in those areas, so she shared some of her music in recorded form, and was here today to promote a book, "Never Lucy", in which she shares some of her many struggles.  She credits Dee's skills as a writing coach as being an important part of getting her book completed.

Next up was Joanne Calabrese,  who was able to take advantage of our stage for her performance.

Joanne is a musician, performing today on acoustic guitar hooked up to a small amplifier.  Did several songs for the crowd that was there.  Of the three artists, she was the only one not promoting a book, but in her talk it was revealed that she's working on one, with Dee acting in the role of writing coach.

Meanwhile, Dee also had a book to promote, "Peace in Love and Work", an autobiographical story, and she signed copies for those who requested it.

The afternoon also included refreshments, a raffle of books and recordings, and something that seemed to be a gathering of friends.  Some in attendance had never been to the Boatworks before, but I get the impression they intend to come back again.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Back in Blue

A new year is now here, which means time for a members Salon show.  This has been the tradition around here for several years.  These shows may or may not have a theme, but what is a given is that participants are invited to spend a few minutes presenting their piece to the crowd- talking about what gave them the idea, or about their process, the history of the piece- whatever they think is significant. The results can be very informative.  We had almost 50 pieces in this year's show, which filled both front and back galleries, with a mix of paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, prints, fabric pieces, and mixed media creations, all having the common element of "blue"

So what is blue?  We had a show in this same building last year, one of our Youth Art shows, that dealt with this same theme.  Too good a theme not to let the adults of the world take a crack at it.  For this show, it's any connotation that word has for you.  Could be the color, could be an emotional state, a form of music, or anything else.  The exhibited works show this variety of approaches, and the discussions in the Salon reflected all this.

The curator of this show is a BelmarArts member, Denise Van Dyke, who also functioned as the coordinator of tonight's Salon.  People started gradually drifting in and before long we were ready to go, all wearing our name tags made from blue painter's tape.

So we did get a good crowd.  The majority of pieces in the show were also represented with their creators present.  A lot of things were learned.

Most years we just stick with the work in the front room, maybe having artists talk about one or two things that were hung in the back, but this year the Salon included almost every work in the building.

Unfortunately, the Salon is over and all the artists went home.  The good news is that the show itself remains on display during regular gallery hours through February 16, 2018.  So if you are feeling blue, or want to feel blue, stop by the Boatworks and check out some cool colored artwork.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

SOLO number 2- Jude Harzer

The first SOLO show is now over and has been replaced with a new one- Look Into My Eyes, the work of Jude Harzer.  That new show opened up tonight in our rear gallery space.  This exhibition is the second in our annual series of solo shows that members can apply for.  Jude Harzer lives and works in Brick, and learned about BelmarArts when some of her students participated in one of the recent student shows.  Now she's a member and showing us her own work.

Early on the gallery space was fairly empty.  There was more going on in the side gallery, where our featured artist and her gang had put out quite a feast.  The crowd would eventually follow.

Jude Harzer is a painter, which she studied at Mt Holyoke and other places.  She's been regularly painting for about 9 years, although the approximately two dozen pieces in this exhibition are selected from the large number of works she has created over the past year and half.  Working in both oils and acrylics, the paintings are all figure based, mostly featuring young children, and mostly girls. The children are not smiling, but she assures us it's not about fear, but more the kids are on the edge of activities.  She sees these characters as busy observing adult behavior, perhaps expressing a loss of innocence, while absorbing information and figuring things out.  There is meant to be a lot of interaction between the subjects and the viewer, with their staring at us intended to get us to look back at them.

Her drawing and painting style reflects a general interest in figurative art, ranging from the renaissance to the modern era.  It is clear that she has studied the shapes of anatomy, and how artists have used light and shadow and color to show the form of face and body.

Attendance started slowly, as often happens when it's a solo show, and many of the guests have not ever been to the Boatworks.  (some GPS systems still don't know where our building is, but our staff is always willing to help all those who get lost on the way here)  Within an hour, the back room was pretty packed with friends and family, some of whom were also touring the Winter Artisan Market in the front room.  (Christmas is only about a week away)

Look Into My Eyes, the art of Jude Harzer will remain on display at the Boatworks through January 12, 2018.  Holidays are coming, so check the website for hours and days, but don't miss it.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

SOLO number 1- Brittany James

We have had a tradition here in recent years, solo shows awarded to individuals who go through a competitive application process, two per year.  This year's first such show opened tonight- the work of local artist Brittany James.

The artist earned her BFA at Montclair State University, but has since relocated to Asbury Park, where she lives and makes her art.  Her medium is oil paint, as one might guess from the glow that seems to come from within the images.

In this body of work (which represents the past few years) the compositions are mostly built around central figures, though much detail is included in the space around them.  She mentioned an interest in lucid dreaming, and that idea of the link between a dream state and reality seems to inform her work.  She sometimes refers to the work as being about escaping reality.  (in fact, the name of the exhibition is "Escaping Reality") Surrealism and fantasy, psychology and mythology, all seem to be playing a part in the creation of these paintings, as well as skills in rendering and use of color.

Apparently she is not done working in this way or with this subject and has paintings going right now, so don't be surprised to see more like this in future group shows.  After all, this solo show competition is available to paid members.

This thought provoking and visually interesting exhibition will remain on display in the back gallery through December 14, 2017.  Admission is free.  At the same time you can check out the new Winter Solstice Artisan show and sale- handmade items from our members, filling the front room gallery, also very popular this evening.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm.  The second solo show will open on the 16th of that month, but we'll talk about that after it's up on these walls.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Winter Solstice Market is Back

The air is getting a bit chilly of late, and the days are getting shorter.  Most stores are decorated with all the things associated with Christmas.  One exception is the Boatworks, home to the annual Winter Solstice Artisan Market.  Once again our front gallery space is loaded with handmade crafts from our members, all in time for your holiday shopping needs, yet with a minimum of evergreen trees, red ribbons, and other things that some stores will try to overload you with.  At BelmarArts, we just give you things you may want to see, and maybe purchase, as gifts for others, or for yourself.

Click on any photo to enlarge, or better yet, just come by to get a better look at the displays.

What do we got?  What don't we got?  A quick walk around the room revealed handbags, book covers, tea wallets, hair clips, all kinds of jewelry, handmade baskets, soaps, bath salts, greeting cards, ceramics, items made from glass, ornaments- just to name a few things.  There are small artworks that can hang on walls.  There are candy and cookies for both people and dogs, made by the same place.  A list of the artisans represented can be found here.  Plus we still have stuff in the display case in the back room.  And as our custom, the artists are encouraged to replace anything that sells with new items, and even have the option to replace something that doesn't sell with something else, so returning regularly during the duration of the market is encouraged.

The Winter Solstice Artisan Market opened today, and will remain open through January 12, 2018.  It will be open during the regular gallery hours, so Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, and sometimes when there are events going on in the space, such as tomorrow night's gallery reception.  Parking and admission are free as always, so come browse, and maybe find something exciting.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Getting Together in Belmar

Time advances in Belmar.  Days are cooler.  Night comes earlier.  And there's a new show in the gallery.  Time for Togetherness.  Our new show is one of collaborations, with two or more artists involved in the creation of each piece.  Collaboration allows an artist to make something they might not ever make all on their own, which can be exciting.  There are about 40 pieces in the gallery, filling both front and back rooms, and with multiple creators attached to each piece, that makes for a lot of artists represented.

A wide variety of mediums were represented.  No theme, other than two or more people participating in the creation of each piece.

Not our largest crowd ever, but respectable.  There were a lot of Halloween events going on the area tonight, which may have impacted our event.  We had many familiar faces, and some first time visitors, too.

This show was curated by Jim Aberle and Frank Parisi.  All in attendance at the opening had the option of voting for a people's choice award- the favorite piece in the whole show.

And the winner turned out to be Eventide, an acrylic painting by Diane Castelli Hurford and Beverly Sirianni.  The winning piece can be seen above between the two artists who created it.

The opening reception is over now, but the exhibition will remain on display through November 17, 2017 during regular gallery hours.  Admission in free.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Up and Running

Once again we seem to have a functioning main website.  Information is being gradually added, but already there's a lot of important stuff to be found there, and more will come.  If you don't remember the address, this blog has a link, high up on the right.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Danger in Belmar

Hurricanes are causing issues right now with beaches in the Atlantic, though other than the red flags you might not realize it from the summer like weather.  But there is another danger, and that's to your computer.  If you tried to get onto the BelmarArts website over the last few days you saw a big scary warning to stay away.  A new site is being worked on, and security will be beefed up to make sure that visitors will not be subject to viruses and other attacks when they come to us on the internet.  We are all hoping that will be ready soon.

However, there is some good news.  This blog is not actually part of the website, so this site is perfectly safe to visit.  More good news- the e-mail system is on a separate server and we are being told that it is also safe, so if you need to contact BelmarArts, send stuff, etc- no problem.  And the office will be open during regular gallery hours and the phone works fine, so you have a bunch of options for getting and receiving information until we have a website up and running again.

Fiber Arts Show in Belmar

Fall is finally here, though the weather was almost summer like today.  However, a hurricane far offshore was enough to restrict beach access today, which may have resulted in the relatively small number if cars parked around the Boatworks on a sunny Saturday.  But a far away storm was not going to restrict visitors to the new Fiber Arts Show and Salon happening today.

The new Fiber Arts Show includes 32 artworks made from cloth and other fiber based materials.  BelmarArts member Deb Stanley was the curator.  It fills the whole front gallery.

Have you ever seen a representation of a peacock made entirely out of neckties?  If not you owe it to yourself to come to BelmarArts and check out this large piece from Lisa Bagwell.

One thing you won't be able to do on a future visit to our gallery is get detailed explanations of how and why pieces were made, directly from the artists.  This was one of our salon style shows, where all participating artists were invited to talk to the crowd, providing information about a medium that many of our members may not be completely knowledgeable about.  Many of the artists actually concentrate their work in other mediums, but they certainly knew enough to create some very enjoyable art.  We are estimating about 60 visitors were present through the reception, to see the artwork and learn some of the process behind them.

The new Fiber Arts Show remains on display during regular gallery hours- Wednesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 pm, through October 13, 2017.  No more salon, but the art will be there, and as usual there is no admission fee.  Also running at the same time is the show of photography from Dr. Kai Wai Lin, in the back room, also through October 13th.