Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bob Steeler Double Feature

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 10, 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

Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts Opening

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

Fibers Loving Crowds

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

Summer Watercolor Class

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

Sip & See in the Summertime

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

Beware of Yarn

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

Everyday People Come to Belmar

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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Beginner Gourd Art Workshop

Interesting new artistic materials continue to show up at the Boatworks.  Today there was a one day workshop in Beginner Gourd Art.  Shore area artist Marcie Falconetti has an extensive background working with gourds and shared that with a group of students this afternoon.  The gourds are hand chosen by the artist from a farm in Amish Country, then individually hand drilled, sanded, cleaned, and washed.  Above, the artist and some examples of the process.  Below, the artist demonstrates using a brush to add another layer of color.  All materials and tools were included in the workshop fee.

The surface embellishment is done with leather dyes.  Students applied these with brushes (above) or dabbing them on (below).  Tape and rubber bands were used to mask areas in preparation for secondary layers of color.

Spray bottles of alcohol were used to dissolve and blend the colors of dye, creating an interesting surface sheen.  Below are the three pieces created by today's students.  Start to finish in three hours.

Common approaches are to create such things as planters, vases, or birdhouses, but every gourd is different and the artist can let those shapes be an inspiration.  Right now the expectation is to run this workshop again in the fall, so if you are intrigued, keep an eye on the website or our weekly newsletter, and sign up when you see it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No Summer Vacation for Artists

The longest running class we have at BelmarArts is Drawing and Beyond.  Launched in 2009 by Sven Widen and Lizzie Schippert, the focus of the class is on still life, whether the interest is in portfolio prep (high school or college) or just improving one's skills.  Students sign up for 6 week segments and can explore a variety of media.  For example, today there was an elaborate and colorful still life set up in the back room of the Boatworks for artists working with paint or pastels. The side room had a group of teens using pencil in exercises involving both simple geometric and complex organic shapes.

The class meets almost every Thursday, is open to teens and adults, and can be attended as either a two or three hour class.  For more information, check out the class page on our main website, or contact the main office during regular business hours.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Two Bands for the Price of None

Summer marches on through Belmar, and the BAC will be hosting live music in Pyanoe Plaza every week.  Tonight was one of the biggest crowds we ever got for one of these.  Maybe that's because we had a beauitful evening, or maybe because we had two bands.  Our artist tonight was Musicians on a Mission, a group that does fund raising for non profits, and they were raising funds for us.  We had two band set ups, each with its own drums, microphones, and speakers.  And the two bands were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  Well, not the real bands, but two good cover bands, alternating turns playing a few hits at a time from the acts they represented.  Below are the Stones imitators.

Above, the "Beatles" are performing in the background, while the "Stones" are in the foreground waiting their turn.  Below, a view of the "Stones" from backstage (sidewalk along Main Street), showing our huge crowd.

At various times we had volunteers circulating through the audience (estimated at 400 people) with labelled buckets, allowing the spectators to vote for their favorite band with their donated money.  An hour into the competition, it was still too close to call.  The sure winners were the audience, enjoying great renditions of favorite tunes.

And we're just three weeks into our summer of free live music in the middle of Belmar.  The rest of the schedule can be seen here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Jersey Shore Moments Opening Reception

Beautiful weather on this Fourth of July weekend brought a huge crowd to Belmar today, and at least some of that crowd found its way to the Boatworks for the opening reception of the Jersey Shore Moments Fine Art & Artisan Crafts Market sale and exhibition.  We are estimating that about 175 people passed though during the hours of the reception.

Art and crafts filled the front and back galleries.  Reflecting our location and the season, the framed fine art is all of a Shore theme.  The craft items are very diverse, though some do fit the beach theme.

Considering that the majority of people in Belmar this time of year are out of town visitors, everything in this show is for immediate sale- pay for it and you take it home immediately.  And artists whose work sells during the show can replace them with new works, so expect the merchandise to be updated over the course of the exhibition.

Our back room was filled with more Jersey Shore inspired art.  The refreshment table in the side gallery was also replenished throughout the reception.

Visitors in the back room could also enjoy the live entertainment that was arranged.  First, Tim McCorry on piano, then later Dave Doyle on guitar.

The reception is now over, but the sale will be going on.  And once again we have instituted expanded summer hours.  The gallery will be open 1 to 5pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 1 to 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays.  This show is sponsored by the Jersey Shore Moments Art Gallery and Custom Framing of Manasquan and will be on display through August 15, 2014.  Admission is free.