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.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Art Gets You Through the Dog Days of August

We are definitely in the dog days of August- excessive heat, humidity, unbearable traffic through town especially on Saturdays.  So why not treat yourself to some beautiful art in our nice cool space?

Right now our front room gallery holds an exhibition called "Dog Days of August", and I think you can guess the subject of the art.  The show includes 38 artworks that deal with the concept of dogs.  A portion of the artist entry fees goes to Rescue Ridge, an animal shelter in Spring Lake.  There is no fee for visitors to see the show, though if you have an urge to donate to an animal shelter they will probably welcome it.

Meanwhile, the gallery in the back room features the photographs of Kah-Wai Lin.  Not so many dogs, but a mix of mostly exteriors and interiors, often with rich saturated colors.  The walls are filled, so wherever you look, you'll likely see something interesting.  Below are some examples, but to get the best effect, one should see it in person.

Both exhibitions remain on display during regular gallery hours through September 8, 2017.  The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm, and admission in free.

photos provided by Rebecca Szabo

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 Bird Art Show Opens

Tonight the Boatworks saw the reception for our latest exhibition- the 2017 Bird Art Show.  It's obvious what this one is about.  Many artists seem to have an interest in birds, which are found in great numbers around the shore region.  Over 120 works were submitted for this show, from which juror Frederick Brusen selected 70 pieces for the show.

As with most of our shows, a wide range of mediums were represented in the submitted and selected works- paintings, drawings, prints, photos, sculptures, fabrics, mixed media, etc.  The show occupies both front and back galleries, and before long a large crowd found their way to the Boatworks, a challenge on a summer Saturday in Belmar.

Curator Sue Crosby, a huge fan of birds in general, read a statement about the idea behind the show before reading the list of award winners.

The following pieces were chosen for awards by Frederick Brusen:

Best in Show
Jill Alexander
Todies in Finales

And the following were awarded
Honorable Mention

Kirsten Birdsey
Stone Harbor Glossy Ibis

Jerry Deutsch
Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Lora Marie Durr

Cheryl Bomba
Owl in Machine

Sheila Kramer

The 2017 Bird Art Show is already planned to be back for 2018.   However, you can still see this one during regular gallery hours through August 4, 2017.  Admission is free.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Life in an Enchanted Garden

Our latest show at the Boatworks is a little different from any other show in recent memory.  Called "An Enchanted Garden", the proposal called for such options as beautiful flowers, waterfalls, fairies and gnomes, even live plants could be submitted.

These wide ranging options seem to have worked for participants, as we ended up with over 80 submissions to this show.  The small sculptures above and paintings below demonstrate how the artists met the challenge.

This show was organized by Alison Bowie and Louise Krasniewicz, shown above dressed for the occasion as Alice and the Mad Hatter, posing with the Queen of Hearts.  The Lewis Carroll thing was not necessarily part of the show, but it certainly seemed compatible with the art and atmosphere.  The Queen threatened to cut off our heads a few times, but everyone survived the event intact.  And for a change of pace from the usual wine and cheese reception, it was decided to make today's reception a "Mad Hatter Tea Party."  Yes, there was tea.

Normally this is the point in a blog post where we show the prize winning pieces in the show, but this time around the prizes didn't go to submitted works, but to elaborate hats that some in attendance chose to wear.

The above pink hat won the first prize in the hat competition, but you can see many other worthy exotic hats, often involving just as much work as the paintings, drawings, sculptures and works of art entered in the exhibition.  The consensus seemed to be that this was one of the funnest art receptions we've ever held.

The Enchanted Garden exhibition remains on display during regular gallery hours through July 7, 2017.  The hats may not be there, but visitors retain the option of wearing one when they come to the gallery.  Admission is free, as always.