Saturday, March 7, 2015

People Come to Belmar

Belmar is a great place to go people watching.  The beach, the boardwalk, the marina, Main Street, they all can be very exciting in the warm weather.  Unfortunately the weather has been quite frigid the past few months and the summer is still months away.  However there is one place you can go right now to get your fix of people, and that's the Boatworks, which is hosting PEOPLE A Juried Photography Exhibition.   Show jurors Robert and Elizabeth McKay have chosen 46 photographs to be part of this exhibition, which opened tonight.

Two consecutive days without new snow is reason enough to go out, but tonight's crowd, estimated at around 135, was also very interested to see the artwork.

This exhibition fills all three of our galleries.  Many different styles and settings, both color and black and white, but all have in common a portrayal of humanity.

The following are the works chosen for awards by the McKays:

Best in Show
Freddy Clark

Merit Award
just about laughter
Gina Cioffi

Merit Award
Corn Dog Princess
Catherine Trapani

Honorable Mention
Domenic Creaco

Honorable Mention
sori Gottdenker

Honorable Mention
A Bride, her Maids, and a Private Joke
Jill Langlais

Honorable Mention Youth
I Walk Alone
Cali Pearce

PEOPLE A Juried Photography Exhibition remains on display at the Boatworks during regular gallery hours through April 10, 2015.  Admission is free.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Printmaking Without a Press

These days the Boatworks is bustling with classes, a mix of old favorites and brand new ones.  Recent Jersey shore transplant Catherine Trapani launched another new class today, "Printmaking Without a Press".  The idea of printmaking without a press is not completely new to BelmarArts (the woodcut class has been doing it for years), but this class is introducing a wide variety of low-tech processes that will encourage all kinds of creativity.  Above, the instructor works on inking a plate, creating the design by applying printing ink with brushes and other tools.  Below, a registration system will be useful for the creation of a multi-layered artwork.

In an initial demonstration a monotype was printed from a metal plate.  Above, the plate is on the right and the proof that came from it is on the left.  A simple hand held tool was used the transfer the ink from the plate to the paper.  (a ghost print of the plate would soon follow)  Below, the students get to work on their own.

There are five more weeks of this class to go, and plans include photo transfer, altered paper, pochoir, and many other processes.  To learn more, check out the class web page on our main site.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Bloody Mary Sunday Tradition

Today BelmarArts held its second annual Bloody Mary Sunday fundraiser event.  The purpose this year was to continue raising money for our new automatic front door.  Back in the late spring of 2014 we began the fund raising process,  and in December a new glass door of the type that will work for this was installed, but now we need to acquire and install the mechanism that will open it.  So before the superbowl, before the third predicted winter storm of the week, we had a party.  Anyone who came today and provided a donation received drink tickets and food, and could enjoy the fun of live music and the friendly atmosphere.  So how did we do?

Well, a lot of food got eaten...

...and a lot of drinks were consumed...

....and the combination of the take at the door and the 50/50 brought in a nice chunk of money...

...and we're estimating about 100 people were there over the 4 hour event.  A mysterious group of musicians was revealed to be called Forty Winks. and was enjoyed by the crowd.    Don't have the money totals here, but it looks like we got ourselves much closer to finishing our door.  If you missed today, but still wish to donate, just contact our office and they'll help you out.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Creating on an iPad

Today the Boatworks saw the first meeting of a new class taught by Catherine Trapani, who comes to us after having lived and worked in such places as Seattle and Santa Fe.  Back in New Jersey for a while, she is planning a variety of winter classes through BelmarArts.  This afternoon was the first session in a class called "Let's Create with iPad."  Participants will be encouraged to unleash their creativity, drawing and mixing and layering colors using the tools provided by the Paper 53 app, as seen below.

Each workshop covers basics and provides cues to enhance mastery and enjoyment of this process.  For example, in this opening session Catherine and the participants played a couple of rounds of the classic Surrealist game Exquisite Corpse.

The three artists each took a part of the body and independently produced a colorful digital drawing.  These were sent directly to our office printer, and once printed everyone could finally see what the others produced, as well as the results when all the parts were joined together.  Below are the two composite artworks.

There are three more scheduled meetings for this class, and it's possible to sign up for them individually, so it's not too late to join the fun.  Details are available on the class's page on our main website, where you'll also find information about her planned classes in February and March covering "Modern Master Techniques" and "Printmaking without a Press."  Get involved before it's too late.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Abstractions by Zol

The side gallery at the Boatworks currently features an exhibition of abstract painting by Zolbayar Uguumursaikhan, who is kind enough to let us call him Zol.  The opening reception was held tonight and drew a pretty good crowd, many of whom wanted to know about the work.  The artist is originally from St Petersburg, with stops in Moscow and Mongolia on his way to this country, where he arrived at age 13.

Zol uses his work to explore his interest in the process of creation, seeing a link between what he does as a visual artist and the earth's never ending cycle of life.

The use of the natural materials, minerals, and elements of the earth makes him both part of a tradition that has followed humanity from ancient cave art to the painting of the Renaissance to today, and also part of billions of years of geology and biology.  The full version of his artist statement is currently posted on the main website for those who want to know more.

Providing entertainment for the reception was BelmarArts favorite Thomas Wesley Stern, whose music has nothing specifically to do with Zol's artistic philosophy, but was equally enjoyed by the crowd.  In typical fashion, the crowd gradually drifted away from the art in the front and side galleries gather around the food and music.

The Abstractions by Zol exhibition remains on display during regular gallery hours through February 6, 2015.

No Sew Fleece Blankets from Fiber Fridays

Yesterday the Boatworks hosted the latest meeting my the Fiber Fridays shared interest group.  Attendance was light, but those present made quick work of the fleece provided by Blankie Depot to create eleven no-sew blankets.  All handmade blankets and comfort items donated to Blankie Depot go directly to children in crisis through hospitals, first aid squads, and other service centers.

Greg Insetto, the organization's new executive director, was there to introduce himself and the mission. He recently taught himself to crochet, so expect to see the results during "show and tell" at a future group meeting.

BelmarArts will be a drop off location for any donations of handmade blankets or other items for Blankie Depot.  Check the organization's web site to learn more and what they are looking for.

The next Fiber Fridays group meeting will be on Friday, March 27th, where they will be "hand knitting" scarves from t-shirts.

photos and story courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You Are What You Eat opens in Belmar

2015 is here and the Belmar Arts Council is back open for business.  As in recent years, we started the new year with a member salon exhibition.  All current members could pay the fee and place one or two pieces in the show, which has the title and theme "You Are What You Eat."  We had 23 member artists decide to participate, providing 31 food themed artworks that fill our front gallery.  As usual, there is incredible diversity in the represented mediums- painting, collage, photography, mixed media, fibers, pastels, ink drawing, printmaking, and found objects/trash.

Because this is a Salon style show, as part of the opening reception each artist was invited to speak for a few minutes about their piece- the story behind it, process, etc.  They could also take questions if any came their way.

Art about food is fairly common- it's part of our daily lives- but many of the artists were able to discuss personal and cultural connections to the subjects of their pieces.  If nothing else, food subjects can provide means to explore color, shape, texture, pattern, and other formal artistic issues, plus maybe provide a snack when you're done.

We are estimating that we had a little over 100 people in attendance, which is more than we would typically expect for a winter show with 23 artists, but part of this show was that the participants were asked to bring food related to that depicted in their artworks.  Spam, Mac & Cheese, and Tomato Soup can be seen in both the art above, and the food table below.   Put out free food and people will show up.

Meanwhile, the back room is displaying favorite works from some long time members, part of a nice atmosphere enjoyed by many after the Salon portion of the evening was over.

The You Are What You Eat exhibition will remain on display through February 27, 2015.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, and admission is free.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lego Workshop

This morning the Boatworks hosted a new art class for the first time- building with Lego.

Instructor Maureen Ennis brought an interesting assortment of Lego pieces, and building experience, to this initial workshop of what is expected to be an ongoing series.

Instructions were provided to show how to build some holiday themed items- tree ornaments, poinsettias, even a mini-Santa Claus.  Sculptures were made from a mix of standard pieces and some specialty pieces that are available if you look in the right places.

After the participants were done making the holiday themed items, they had the option of exploring their master builder side and making unique creations of their own.

Based on the success of this class and the enthusiasm of the participants, it is expected to run again in early 2015.  Check the main website for details next month.  The plan is to be building some cheeseburgers, among other things.

additional story and photos courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Something New at the Boatworks

Back in May, the Belmar Arts Council announced plans to replace our front door with an electric one.  A door that opens automatically gets us closer to being fully accessible, plus it will make it easier for everyone moving big bulky items in and out, as we artists often need to do.  A fundraising campaign was started.

Today the process took a big step forward.  Workmen arrived in the early afternoon on this very chilly day and removed our legendary purple door.  Then I had to go take care of some other stuff, and when I came back it was dark, but we had a beautiful new glass door.

The transition isn't over quite yet.  It turns out that the people who make the technology for opening the door are not the same people who install doors, and we won't be seeing them here until sometime in 2015. So the next time you come to the Boatworks you will likely still need to reach for the handle.  But now we are halfway there.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fiber Fridays for the Holidays

Yesterday was the latest gathering for Fiber Fridays.  Between the WUF show and the temperatures, there are plenty of indications right now that we into the holiday season, so the group decided to go along in that spirit and make large snowflakes out of cut and folded paper.

A large supply of embellishing materials was also made available, to be used for decorating the snowflakes, or for making holiday cards.  Some people took their snowflakes home, but others were added to the Boatworks decorations, to go along with WUF in the front room, or to be part of the holiday party coming up on December 14th.

It looks like this will be the last Fiber Friday of 2014, but look out for news of more activities next year.

photos courtesy of Rebecca Szabo