Tonight the Belmar Arts Council kicked off the new year with a pair of events that showed the variety of arts that are part of our mission. The weather wasn't great, but it wasn't frozen either, so the crowds came out on a wet Saturday night to see some of what we have to offer.
The evening began with what has become our annual tradition this time of year, a member salon. All members are invited to include a work in the show, and then to present their piece to the assembled crowd at the reception. This year the theme was Whimsy, and all the paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed media pieces indeed included whimsical subjects and styles. Most of the 35 artists with work in the front gallery were present to discuss and answer questions about their art. There are also another 21 pieces in the back from those same artists for everyone to enjoy.
The Whimsy show will remain on display through February 1, 2014 during regular gallery hours. Admission is free.
At 7:00 pm the Salon was finished, but we weren't done yet. Tom Brennan provided some musical entertainment while we set up more tables and chairs and restocked the refreshments tables. By 7:15 we were ready for the next event, a book launch party.
Merry Brennan took the stage briefly to start the event. Last fall Merry decided to offer a weekly class on the topic of self publishing, which she had recently had success with. We've had other writer groups meeting at the Boatworks in recent years, so it was no surprise that her classes quickly filled up. Even better, two of those students have already taken the process as far as publishing books. We had a standing room only crowd in the back, many of whom were first time visitors.
After Merry's introductory remarks, our two new authors each took a turn at the microphone to read passages from their new books. Above, Lauren Kehoe read from her novel The Numb. Below, Pat Heaney gave a reading from her novel Mean Sea Level.
After the readings, each author took a seat and autographed copies of their books for their fans in attendance. Don't worry if you missed tonight's event- both books are available for sale through Amazon.
And if tonight's book launch party has you wondering how you can become an author yourself, Merry Brennan's Self Publishing series is starting up again this week. The six week course covers everything from perfecting the manuscript to marketing the published book. The class meets on Tuesday nights from 7:00 to 9:00 pm starting January 14th. People may sign up for any individual session(s) or save a little money by taking all six classes. More information is available on our main website.
So tonight we had visual art, music, and literature. Looks like it could be the start of a good year for arts in Belmar.