Saturday, July 28, 2012

Learn Woodblock Printing in Belmar

Since last fall, the Belmar Arts Council has been offering classes in Woodblock Printing.  The course is taught by longtime BAC member Paul Bonelli, whose award winning woodcut prints have been seen many times on the walls of the Boatworks.  The artist brings his years of teaching experience and decades of woodcutting experience to the class, which covers the basics of relief printmaking.  It's an ancient process that requires only a table and a few simple cutting and printing tools to produce boldly graphic art.

 After an introductory discussion of the many possibilities offered by the medium of woodcut, the participants are given wood and tools and start working on cutting designs into the block.

Once cutting is finished, the blocks are ready to be printed.  The class provides instruction in preparing the relief ink and using brayers to apply it to the wood block.

While woodcuts can be printed on a press, we do it the old fashioned way- hand printing with wooden spoons and other inexpensive easy-to-find implements.

 Below are some prints from the participants, all first time woodcutters, of the class session that just finished last week.

The class had such a good time learning about woodcutting and making prints that they want to continue, so we have scheduled a new four week session to begin in early August.  Beginners are welcome to join the group.  The class will meet on Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 pm, on August 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th.  The price is $120 for members, $150 for non-members, and includes wood, basic print paper, water based ink in a variety of colors, and use of cutting and printing tools during class.  Participants will learn safe and effective use of tools and basic printing techniques.  Advice will be provided as to the best way to convert individual artistic vision into a woodcut print, but as seen above, each artist bring his or her own subject and visual style to the resulting print.  No specific assignments- everyone works at their own pace.  Everyone who has taken the class has finished at least one print in the four weeks, and most have done more.

For more information about the class, to sign up, or to contact the instructor with any questions, go to the Woodblock Printing page in the Classes/Workshops section of the BAC main website.  Can't be part of it this time?  Keep an eye on the website for information about an autumn session.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Animal Spirits Opening Reception

Today the Boatworks hosted the opening reception for the Belmar Arts Council's new Animal Spirits exhibition, sponsored by the generosity of Carol Stillwell and Maryann Larkin.  Besides the art show, this is also a benefit for the Associated Humane Society of Tinton Falls, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the show.

 When people first arrived, many were drawn to the tent canopy set up outside by the Humane Society.  They had brought a variety of adoptable animals with them, along with information about the organization.

Above, a crate full of cats for potential owners to pick up and meet.  Below, some of the many dogs who were brought to Belmar for the occasion.  At least one application for adoption was turned in during the reception.

The other attraction, the artwork, filled all three rooms inside, all of it inspired by animals.  We ended up with 72 pieces submitted, a typical mix of paintings, drawings, photos, prints, sculptures, and ceramics.

As always, the back room becomes a popular spot for people to hang out during the reception, which was very well attended.

For this occasion, Hutch brought out his money grabbing machine, which took in cash donations for the Humane Society.

Another part of the reception was a raffle and people's choice vote for best artwork.  The door prize was an original framed artwork by our own Bonnie Smith, which is reproduced on our sign at the top of this post.  (reproductions were also available for sale)  People could vote for their favorite three works, and the top 5 received awards.

1st Prize
Blue Grass
Pat Griffin

2nd Prize
Terry Grewen

3rd Prize
Pick Me
Jean Malizia

Honorable Mention
Two Cats on a Rug
Carolyn Tisher Bartlett

Honorable Mention
Jeanine Nagrod

The Animal Spirits exhibition remains on display through August 17, 2012.  Gallery hours are Wed to Sat, 1 to 5 pm.  Admission is free.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back To The Grind

Old timers in the BAC (anyone who's been around more than 6 years or so) may remember that before we had the Boatworks to be our all purpose headquarters, we held our monthly member meetings in a coffee house on Main Street in Belmar.  That place is long gone, and the Boatworks is doing just fine, but our July member meeting revisited those roots in a way, held at Turnstile Coffee Roasters on route 71.  After the business part of the meeting, we turned things over to our guest speaker, sculptor David Robert Cellitti.  He brought some friends (see above) as part of his talk.  Cellitti has an extensive background in sculpture, and for many years specialized in working with wax, producing work for museums and special effects related pieces for the film industry.

We had a very nice crowd present for his fascinating presentation.  He provided a lot of technical information related to the process and materials involved in the traditional wax sculpting methods he was trained in.  He also shared many interesting behind the scenes stories of some of the famous films he worked on and how his talents were used in them.

Those who came to the presentation got a close up look at examples of the kinds of 3D objects he has produced over the years.

Look for information about future meetings and guest speakers on the BAC main website.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Steel Rail Blues Come Through Belmar

The Belmar Arts Council welcomed some old friends tonight, Chris Turner and Steel Rail Blues.  They  had previously sold out the Boatworks a while back, so this time they were bringing their family friendly outlaw country music to a much bigger space- an outdoor concert in Pyanoe Plaza in downtown Belmar.  The concert was free, sponsored by the Don Crocker Support Center for Non-Profit Management, with the help of Belmar's Tourism Commission and the Department of Public Works.

People started gathering before the show, and by the time the band started, there were dozens of people in the plaza, and more arriving all the time.

Unfortunately, a major thunderstorm also arrived, causing an early end to the entertainment.  We hope to have this popular and busy band back to town in the near future.  Meanwhile, we have more music scheduled as part of our ongoing Performance series at the Boatworks (where we have a very nice roof), details available on our main website.

Update- A make up show is now scheduled for August 18th.