Monday, April 28, 2014

Pictures - Belmar Art Walk April 27, 2014

Artists welcome visitors up and down Main Street.

Pat Hutchinson demonstrates at the Belmar Cafe.

Joan Wallace welcomes visitors at Ma's Italian Specialties & Catering,

while other art lovers view her work inside.

Sandy Taylor paints at Valdimier's Salon,
and Dave Taylor plays in the background.

Class is held on the street by Michelle Ledinski in front of Refurb Timeless Treasures.

John Hutchinson (left), Joe Villa (center), and Nick Bryson (right) discuss the Art Walk at Serenity by the Sea.

Fiber art from Lise Gayle took over in front of the Styling Company

Federico's Pizza & Restaurant hosts photographer Tom Birardi.

Back at the Belmar Arts Council, Paul Bonelli shows his woodcarving expertise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2014 Belmar Art Walk

The past two days Belmar has seen the latest edition of its annual Art Walk.  Saturday was a preview day, with many of the locations having some of the art installed, and yesterday we had more than a few people stop by the Boatworks as part of the walk.  Generally the artists and performers weren't present, but there was art to be seen and some of the visitors to last night's Belmar and the Railroad reception reported having found many things to see during the day.

Today was the main event.  Another sunny day, so lots of people out walking the streets.  Several of our active members were at their locations around town, talking about their art and/or demonstrating their process.    BelmarArts member Dana Cohoon has posted a whole bunch of photos on a separate posting on this blog, showing the variety of art and mediums that were on display around town.   At the Boatworks our visitors were greeted by our large yellow sentry in the front, who posed for many pictures with people who came by.  Over the course of our special Sunday open gallery day, we had over 100 visitors come by as part of the Art Walk,  Some were old friends, but there were new faces, too.  They got to see art on the walls, a woodcut demonstration, and to enjoy some refreshments.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Train Has Arrived in Belmar

A process that started last summer with a proposal to create a mural for the train station in Belmar finally reached fruition today.  We spent several hours celebrating art and the railroad and Belmar, with a whole lot of people participating.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in a year that hasn't seen enough of those yet, so people were all around town.  It was the preview day for the 2014 Belmar Art Walk, so all afternoon we had visitors dropping by the Boatworks looking for art and for information about how to find more art.  However, the crowd grew rapidly as 3:00 approached, scheduled time for the day's first special event, a talk about the history of the railroad in Belmar.

One of our scheduled speakers couldn't make it, but Tom Gallo was able to handle the whole thing himself, with the aid of notes from our missing speaker.  It was standing room only, with visitors filling every folding chair we had.  He had a lot of interesting facts about the history of the railroad in Belmar, and in New Jersey in general.  It was all very interesting, and I think the audience would have been happy to hear it continue, but we had to call time so everyone would be able to get to our 4:00 event, the dedication of the new mural at the train station.

There had been some predictions of rain coming in during the late afternoon, but luckily the weather held and we were able to get in the dedication ceremony on the train station platform.  Above, artist Delia King is accompanied by Danielle Acerra of ArtHelps and the Monmouth County Arts Council, Sal Marchese of the Belmar Business Partnership, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, Belmar Councilwoman (and BelmarArts Trustee) Jennifer Nicolay, Councilwoman Janice Keown-Blackburn, Pat Hutchinson, Marilyn Baldi, and others in front of just a tiny piece of the whole mural.  (photo courtesy of Steve Lacko)  ArtHelps and the Belmar Business Partnership provided funding for the train station mural.  If you missed the dedication, don't worry, you can stop by the train station any time you want and see the giant bright colorful painting for yourself.

After the mural ceremony was finished, everyone quickly made their way back to the Boatworks for the opening reception for our Belmar and the Railroad show.  The crowd was there well before our scheduled 5:00 start time, but you can't keep a good party down.  We had a wide variety of refreshment provided by both our artist members and members of the Belmar Historical Society, which had proposed this show and had arranged for the earlier talk.

As always, most eventually gathered in the back, where the tables and refreshments are, and for the duration of this show, a reproduction of the new train station mural, at least as it looked a few weeks ago.

The Belmar and the Railroad show remains open through Friday, May 2 during regular gallery hours, which will include being open tomorrow from 11 to 6 as part of the Belmar Art Walk.  Admission is free.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Train Station Mural update

Work has continued on the train station mural this past week.  Though the walls were pretty much covered in the marathon of work over the initial weekend, there were a few sections to finish, and lots of details to work out.  Producing the mural in pieces made it possible to install it quickly, but making sure the whole image comes together can require seeing it all in place.  Our mural creator Delia King has been back in town again this week, working on the platform along with a few volunteers.  The rain has held off, but fierce winds tend to whip through the space by the tracks.  Still, a lot of work has been accomplished.  Shapes have been better defined, colors enhanced to unify the composition and build more space, and details that had been left open now being settled.  Delia is confident that all the painting will have been completed by the end of the day, leaving just the task of applying a sealer for tomorrow morning.

That's not the end of the story.  BelmarArts has a whole list of events set for Saturday, April 26th.  At 3:00 pm, the Boatworks will be hosting two guest speakers, Tom Gallo and Gary Crawford, who will be talking about the history and future of trains and Belmar.  Then at 4:00 pm, the action moves over to the train station (just a couple of blocks away, between 8th and 10th) for the official unveiling and dedication of the mural.  Everyone is invited to return to the Boatworks after that for the exhibition reception for our current Belmar and the Railroad exhibition, which includes more than three dozen artworks with train themes.  The reception is from 5 to 7 pm and will include the typical refreshments.  Visitors are welcome at one or all of the events, and admission is free.

Visti from the Arbors

There are a lot of different activities going on at the Boatworks, which brings a wide variety of people to the building.  Sometimes, having come here for one thing, they decided to return for something else.  A few weeks ago we hosted a visit of some residents from The Arbors, a residence for seniors in nearby Spring Lake.  The group was led by Mary Ellen Savage, who had come to the building previously for one of the many musical performances held there.  However, she was impressed by the quality of the art on the walls (our annual Juried Show), how accessible our facility is, and the fact that the gallery is free, and realized that it would be a great place for a recreational outing.  So she arrived with several visitors from the Arbors, who enjoyed looking at the art and talking to members who happened to be around.

Perhaps they will be back again soon.  We have another show up now in the gallery, featuring railroad themed art.  It's all in connection with the mural that has been created for the town's train station, which will be officially dedicated tomorrow at 4 pm.  The art exhibition continues through May 2nd, and admission remains free for all visitors.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ukrainian Egg Decorating in Belmar

If you've ever had an interest in learning the traditional Ukrainian art of egg decorating, but would prefer not to travel all the way to the Ukraine to do so, you are now in luck.  Today, for the first time, the Boatworks was host to a class in Ukrainian egg decoration.  Local artist and educator Jenny Santa Maria held a class this afternoon, providing eggs, dyes, wax, tools, and instruction on the technique of creating pysanky.  A dozen participants were there for this first session.

Everyone started with a fresh egg.  Above, the students used a special tool to draw thin lines and shapes of melted beeswax on the egg surfaces.  Once the first layer of design was complete, the egg was dunked in one of the many choices of colored dyes, then dried.  Another layer of wax drawing, then another bath in a new dye color.

Once the artist has finished creating the multicolor design, the last step is to remove the accumulated wax.  Below, we see the wax being melted with a candle flame, and carefully removed a little at a time.  With the layers of wax gone, all the color lines and shapes are revealed.  

Today's class proved so popular, that a second session has already been added.  The instructor will be back on Saturday, April 19th, teaching the same process from 10:00 to 12:30.  Suitable for ages 12 to adult, and no previous experience is required.  The fee, which includes all the materials and use of tools, is only $20 for BelmarArts members, and $25 for non-members.  Learn more and sign up in person at the Boatworks, or through the main website.  This first session sold out, so if you are interested, don't wait too long.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Train Station Mural part 2

Work continued this morning on the train station mural.  Before long all the remaining pre-painted panels were attached to the wall in their proper places and the effort shifted over to painting the design on the wall.  Some of this was about touching up, some was making corrections to the original design, and some was about filling the spaces from one piece to the next, especially the odd spaces over and around windows and doors.

Once again we started cleaning up around 4:00, but this time we had color on the wall from end to end.  Details will continue to be added, but now we have everything blocked in.

Above, a view of the whole wall as seen from across the tracks.  Below, closer views of the mural from each end of the building.

Considering that all this went up over the weekend, there may be a lot of confused and surprised commuters at and passing through the station tomorrow morning.  A happy surprise no doubt, to see this colorful display and the stories it tells replacing the plain white plywood that covered this wall just 48 hours ago.  Work will be continuing over the next few days, just details compared to what happened so far.  There will be a special dedication on April 26th, but since this is an outdoor public space, you can stop by anytime and check our progress.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Train Station Mural part 1

The process of creating a mural for the Belmar train station began last summer, with the first call for design suggestions.  Last fall, new plywood was prepared and attached to the station wall to create a suitable surface for the mural.  The last time we reported on it here on the blog was back in January, when the process of painting the design onto cloth was begun in the Boatworks.  The designing artist, Delia King, has been continuing work on the panels in her own studio since then.  The dedication of this mural is scheduled a few weeks from now, and we've just been waiting for the weather to be suitable for the process of completing this outdoor artwork

The plan was to start the installation yesterday, but that spring weather took another day off.  Delia and Pat used the opportunity to work indoors on some last minute painting.

Today was very windy, but otherwise the weather was much more suitable to our needs.  Warmer, sunny, a beautiful day.  Delia brought the painted pieces and all the other necessary supplies over to the train station platform in the morning.  We had several volunteers there to help, morning and afternoon shifts.

Work began on the right side of the building, where the design includes a view of Belmar's beach.  The first three panels were up on the wall by noon.

This installation process was pretty simple, not unlike putting up wallpaper, except that usually isn't done outdoors in constant 25 mph winds. First, she used a roller (above) to put a layer of acrylic gel glue up on the wall in the predetermined space.  The same roller was used to put more of the glue on the back of each panel (below), laid out flat and upside down on a drop cloth, held in place to keep it from blowing away.

After that, a group of our volunteers helped carry the painted cloth panel over the wall and began adhering it to the wall.  Hands and squeegees smoothed it to the wall, and razor blades were used to trim the pieces to fit the architecture of the building, with more glue added as needed.

Shortly before 4:00 we decided to call it a day.  Most of the larger panels had been installed, from the beach up to New York Harbor.  There are a few more large ones to add on the left side, and some smaller spaces to be filled in with a combination of glued panels and direct painting on the wall, and some touch ups will be needed all over.  But the majority of it is in place.  Above is a view of today's work from across the tracks, and below are closer views of how it looks at each end.

We are expecting nice weather again tomorrow, so the plan is for Delia to return early in the morning with more volunteers and to put in another day's work, creating this beautiful colorful scene to be enjoyed by people waiting for trains, people arriving in Belmar by train, and the hundreds of passengers who pass through the town every day.