Saturday, September 29, 2012

Art of Autism Reception

This evening the Boatworks hosted the opening reception for our new Art of Autism exhibition.  The show features art made by individuals with autism, and will benefit future such programs.

The front room includes over 80 artworks, created from many artistic mediums.  The majority of the work was created by children participating in the Beach Bash, a two day event run by Surfers Healing, a non-profit dedicated to teaching autistic children to surf.  Earlier this month 300 children were part of the event on Belmar's beach, where they got to enjoy the waves with the help of experienced surfers.

Jane Magovern was a big help in organizing artistic activities at the Beach Bash, getting more than four dozen people involved.  For the occasion, many of the resulting artworks are surfboard shaped.

In addition to the art show in the front room, there was a different show in the back room.  Musician Cliff Bloodgood sang and played for the crowd, while a continuous slide show of scenes from the Beach Bash played on the screen on the back wall.  Plus we had our typical assortment of refreshments.   Donations from local businesses Taylor Hardware, Klein's Waterside Cafe, and the 9th Avenue Pier helped make the reception possible.  Several dozen were in attendance during the reception, with most hanging around until the end.

Almost all the work is for sale, the vast majority priced at only $10.  To help with the fundraising, the reception also included a 50/50 and a silent auction of work donated by BAC members.  Ten of the donated works sold during the reception.  The other 19 pieces, a mix of paintings, sculptures, photos, etc, will remain in our side gallery for the duration of the show, so future visitors can bid on them.

The Art of Autism exhibition remains on display at the Boatworks through November 2, 2012.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm.  Admission is free.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Artists United at the Boatworks

This morning the Boatworks hosted an unusual event related to the current Unite Collaborative Exhibition.  The show, which opened three weeks ago, invited submissions from artists working in groups of two or more to create the artwork.  The combinations could include pairs of visual artists, but in many cases the works are the result of pairings of writers and visual artists.  Today the show's participants, and anyone else who might be interested, were invited to be part of a discussion of the collaboration process- for these specific works and in general.  The discussion was led by Rachel Zantarski (above) and Sandy Cook (below), who were both part of the Noble Prose writers group that also encouraged collaborations between writers and visual artists.

About a dozen artists (and one very happy little dog) were part of the discussion.  We started by talking about the different approaches the various participants took to get to their artworks- how collaborators were picked, how ideas were developed, how communication occurred through the process, and reactions to the resulting work.  It turns out that there were as many strategies as there were artists, but it demonstrated that there are potentially many paths to creativity.

In the second half of the event, we turned on the lights, got out of the chairs, and walked around so that the artists could talk about some of their specific works and give details about their role in the creative process.

The discussion was vary lively and informative, and left the group excited about the possibility of another collaborative exhibition in the future.  Meanwhile, the current Unite show is up through September 21st, so if you haven't seen it yet, make a point to get to the Boatworks soon.