Sunday, June 29, 2014

Giant Glowing Fish Return to Belmar

Today was the second part of the workshop on creating Japanese paper lanterns.  Instructor Brian Elstein was back, along with all the supplies necessary for the participants to complete their own paper lanterns.

When things ended last week, the wire frames had been constructed, and the electrical wiring completed.  Today they started making the paper surface of the lanterns.  A pattern was used to cut pieces of Japanese washi into panels that could be used to make the surface.  One at a time they were glued to the wire frame.  Once dry, excess bits were trimmed away until the paper fit the shape like a skin.

More washi was cut to make the tails, which were glued to the pieces of wire extending off the back of the lantern.

With all the paper dry, the next step was to start the design.  Three different materials were used to create it.  The first step was to draw with black sumi ink.  People had the option of carefully pencilling the shapes first, though some just drew freehand with their brushes.

Next, melted wax was applied to part of the surface.  The carefully applied wax soaks into the paper, keeping the colorful dyes from sticking to those parts of the paper. Those areas will always remain white, and can keep the different colors from mixing together.  Above, our participants gathered around the communal pot of melted wax as they continued working on their designs.

The last step was to apply colors to the lanterns. Brian provided a water soluble dye imported from Japan, about half a dozen colors, and they could be mixed together to make additional hues.  Like the ink and wax, brushes were used to add the color.

Once the dye was dry, everyone plugged in their lanterns so we could see how they'll look when put to use.

Brian also showed everyone how to create fins out of white paper (similar to tissue) that they had the option of adding later.  Everyone seemed very pleased with their results, and planned to make more in the future.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Live @ Pyanoe Plaza is Back for Summer

We had a beautiful evening to kick off a season of live outdoor music in Belmar's Pyanoe Plaza.  The Belmar Arts Council is once again hosting this series, which will be every Saturday night at 7:00 pm, weather permitting.

Tonight's performance was from Matt Cook Seventy Five, featuring the keyboards and vocals of Spring Lake resident Matt Cook.  The crowd was small at the very start, but gradually grew, some likely being drawn in following dining in the many area restaurants.  If you missed tonight, there is a whole summer of music planned:

July 5th    Harper's Fellow w/special guest Alex English
July 12th  Karen Phillips Band
July 19th  Musicians on a Mission- Beatles vs. Stones
July 26th  Wonderlands- featuring Mike Askin and Jerzy Jung
Aug 2nd   Bruce Springsteen Tribute hosted by Pat Roddy
Aug 9th    Lightning Jar
Aug 16th  Thomas Wesley Stern w/special guest
                 16 year old finger style guitarist Matt Wong
Aug 23rd  Waynard and Rainbow Full of Sound
Aug 30th  Chris Turner and Steel Rail Blues (country & western night)

This concert series is free and open to the public.  Bring a chair and enjoy the show.  Pyanoe Plaza is located on Main Street, across from the 9th Avenue intersection.

More Fiber Fun

Yesterday the Boatworks hosted the latest meeting of the Fiber Fridays shared interest group.  The project for this meeting was Solvy Scarves.  Fibers of the artist's choosing (natural or synthetics) are laid out on pieces of Sulky Solvy, a water soluble stabilizer material.  More pieces go on top of the fibers, to create a sandwich.

After pinning the sandwich together, the artist can randomly sew through all the layers with a thread that complements the rest of the materials used.

Then the whole thing is rinsed in tepid water.  The soluble Sulky Solvy layers dissolve, leaving everything else in place.  Blot it dry and enjoy your results.

The weather getting a little too warm for scarves?  The same process can be used to put fibers together for other purposes, such as the book cover below.

The next Fiber Fridays meeting will be August 8th, from 12:30 to 2:30.  The topic and project will be Yarn Bombing, which shouldn't be nearly as dangerous as the name sounds.

Photos and story courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Way to Come See our Train Station Mural

Back in January we had an interesting day at the Boatworks.  As part of the process of creating a mural for the outside of the Belmar train station, we had 80 or so people come into our building to paint it.  The painting was done on pieces of cloth, already marked with a line sketch by mural designer Delia King.  Part of this day was recorded to create a video about the project as part of the MoCo Arts Corridor.  More footage was shot of the installation of the mural, and at the dedication.

The Jersey Shore region has as many people in the creative arts as any area you'll find outside of New York City.  That may not be a coincidence, with a train line that extends from the city and all through coastal Monmouth County.  The Garden State Parkway follows a similar path through the state.  The idea behind the MoCo Arts Corridor is to create partnerships between local governments, businesses, and our county's numerous and industrious arts groups.  It's a partnership where everyone benefits.  More information can be found on the MoCo website.

As for that video, it was produced by Synergy Productions, with some financial help from Visions Photographic Workshops, ArtHelps, and the Belmar Business Partnership.  And now it has been posted to YouTube, so you can click here to see it.  If you weren't there on the day painting started, it will give you a sense of the experience.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Something You Don't See Everyday

Today was the first day of a two part workshop on something brand new to the Belmar Arts Council, making traditional Japanese lanterns.  Local artist and educator Brian Elstein apprenticed to the award winning Yachi Nakka Nebuta float building team during his years living and working in Japan.  For the Nebuta festival, groups build giant illuminated sculptures, but today Brian shared those techniques on a smaller scale suitable for any indoor location.

Early on he showed some slides and videos of the process, then he quickly started leading the participants through the process.

The first step involved building a frame, using hoops of heavy gauge wire.  The circles (plus a few extending pieces that will eventually support the tail in the design) were assembled to create a stable three dimensional structure, a lightweight frame that will support everything attached inside and out.

The next step was a new frontier for BelmarArts.  In a poll taken among long time BAC members present in the Boatworks today, it was believed that this is the first time there has ever been a workshop that required participants to learn some basic electrical wiring skills.  Brian demonstrated how to take a length of standard lamp cord, and to insert an on/off switch within, and to add light bulb receptacles and  plugs to the ends.

The assembled electrical unit was then mounted to more framing wire and attached to the rest of the lantern frame.

Below, an example of where the process ended today, with a small electric bulb mounted in the center of the frame.

In part 2 of this workshop next week, Brian will show everyone how to complete a lantern exterior, using authentic and traditional Japanese paper and ink, as in the example at the top of this post.  We hope to have photos to post here of the completed lanterns.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Art on the Edge Opening Reception

This afternoon the Boatworks hosted the opening reception for the 2014 edition of the Art on the Edge exhibition.  We had some concerns about attendance coming into the weekend, as this is also the weekend for the annual Belmar Seafood Festival, an event that typically draws over 100,000 weekend visitors, and Belmar is a relatively small town.  So people were maybe a little later to reach the gallery, but eventually people were able to get to town and find a parking space, and we had a nice crowd.

The jurors for this year's Art on the Edge were Roddy Wildeman of torche' gallerie and Barry and Jeanna Petersen of Stay Gold Cafe and Lounge.  Both are on Main Street in Belmar and both locations have brought more art to the north end of town.  They selected 78 pieces for this show, the typical mix of paintings, drawings, prints, photos, sculptures, collages, ceramics, and fiber arts that we see in most of our shows.

Stay Gold Cafe and Three Brothers Pizza provided not only tables of food for today's reception, but also sponsored the cash prizes that went with today's show.

First Prize
Kathlyn Tilton
Acrylic on Canvas

Second Prize
Lynne Hollingsworth
Armed for Graffiti

Third Prize
Maxine King
Paper Dolls #1
Sumi Ink and Wash

Fourth Prize
Matthew Dunn
Wraith #2

Fifth Place
Marilyn Baldi

Honorable Mention
Alexandra Cummings
Stretching 1

Honorable Mention
Vince Matulewich
Orchid Man
Composite Photograph

Honorable Mention
Matthew Dunn
Masked Demon

Honorable Mention
Alexandra Martin
Mixed Media

The Art on the Edge exhibition will remain on display through June 27, 2014 during regular gallery hours.  The Boatworks is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 pm.  Admission is free.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Surface Embellishment Series

Today was the first meeting of another new summer workshop series- Surface Embellishment.  The two instructors, Beverly Hertler and Marie Maber, will be bringing their extensive experience with fabric arts to this workshop.  They opened today by showing many examples of their own work,  pointing out examples of some of the processes that will be covered in the coming weeks.  With various techniques, even a plain white piece of fabric and be made into an exciting design, and if you start with already printed fabric, there are many creative possibilities.

The focus for today's meeting was on beads.  Different types, different ways to use them, even different kinds of thread (it makes a difference).  After a few specific demonstrations, the workshop participants were given samples and materials to work with and started to have some fun.

This group will meet again at the Boatworks the next two Wednesday afternoons from 12:30 to 3:30.  Subjects in the coming weeks include relief printing on fabric and painting with stencils.  Workshop fees include materials.  People may sign up for single sessions, so if you think you are interested, go check out the class page on the main website, or contact Rebecca during regular office hours.

Week 2

The second week of Surface Embellishment class was a lot messier than the first week. Away went the needles and threads, and here came inks, paint sticks, and various things designed to create patterns and textures on cloth.

At the end of the day, quite a few surfaces had been embellished with colors and patterns. While some are nice as objects right now, most of these samples are destined to be raw materials for more finished work, perhaps for next week's final workshop in this series.

Week 3

In the third week of the Surface Embellishment workshop, the participants continued to elaborate on pieces started the previous weeks.  The focus this time was relief prints, using found objects, carved objects, even fruits and vegetables as sources of shape and texture.  Above, a large piece that instructor Marie Maber has been working on gained additional layers of shape and color, the design becoming more elaborate and intricate week by week.  Below, an assortment of participant cloths, with a variety of organic and geometric designs, drying on a railing.

The three week workshop is now complete, but don't be surprised if you see some of these embellished cloths being used in finished art objects, such as in the exhibition for class and workshop participants later this year.