Saturday, February 9, 2019

Clay's the Thing Ceramic Invitational Opening

Tonight saw the opening of the newest BAC exhibition at the Boatworks.  It's called "the Clay's the Thing Ceramic Invitational".  It shouldn't surprise anyone that it is all about ceramics, covering many different approaches, processes, and subjects.

The exhibition features 9 ceramics artists: Jim Aberle, Nell Ryan, Bruce England, Paul Blejwas, Don Bradford, Mil Weller, Debbie Bitterly, K.Dorsey Lucas, and Marlis Schlegal.

Each of the featured artists had their own display set up, allowing visitors to get a good overview of their work.

The show was organized by Jim Aberle and K. Dorsey Lucas, with the latter doing most of the setting  up of the galleries.  The exhibition fills both the front and back rooms, with the above visual history of ceramics as part of the front gallery display.  

As a special bonus for those attending the opening reception, there would be a ceramic demonstration by organizer K. Dorsey Lucas. The table was set up from the beginning, leaving just the challenge of getting the crowd to quiet down, but after a lot of shouting, they did.

There's no way for an artist to provide a lifetime's worth of experience and knowledge in just a few minutes, but Dorsey shared quite a bit with those in attendance.  For one thing, she often makes use of household items as tools, such as the rolling pin above, and at times a wooden spoon, and there were multiple mentions of pork chop bones, though this last item never made an appearance.  She also talked about the history of the material, a natural substance that has been used in art for many thousands of years.

After flattening her slab of clay a little more, she used an ordinary pencil to draw her design.  In this case, not so much making marks with graphite, but using the pencil point to incise lines in the surface.

With the excess cut away, she draped the face she had created over the top of a turtle back, a form she created to allow her convex creation to be properly supported while she worked on it, including gradually building form with additional bits of clay properly attached to what was there.

Dorsey also took a few minutes to show how clay can be rolled into snake like forms and made into coils, which can be used to build larger clay sculptures, such as some from her display on the adjacent wall.  Of course, this was all just a tiny taste of what is involved in ceramics- if you want to know more or try it yourself, any of these artists could answer questions or point you in the right direction.

Meanwhile, this display of ceramics by nine experienced artists will remain on display during gallery hours through February 28, 2019.  As always, admission is free.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New Year and Other New Stuff

We have some changes going on around here, in our building, but also here on the internet.  This blog, no, that is pretty much the same as ever.  The blog is its own site, so while the main websites for this organization come and go, the blog goes on and on.  But a few things were revealed at the Humor show opening a few days ago, and now they are official.

First of all, we have a brand new website.  It's been in progress for a little while, but it went online earlier today as planned.  Good news- it's the same address we've always had, so if you knew how to get to the previous website, you know how to get to this one, and old links to it should still work. For example, the link to the main website in the column to the right will now get you to this new one.  It's brighter and more colorful than the last one had been, or the temporary site that was operating just before this new one.  But so far it seems to have all the important stuff- information about events, exhibitions, classes, groups, etc.  Make sure to check it out.

Another big announcement over the weekend is that the organization will go back to referring to itself as the BAC, as we had done back in the old days.  Back then it was understood that those letters stood for the Belmar Arts Council, and I guess they still could.  More importantly, they stand for us and what we are doing now.  We have a new logo to go along with all this, and eventually they will send a copy here so I can post it as part of this site.  Meanwhile, we are still headquartered in the Boatworks in Belmar, still involved in many aspects of art.  As one of my old professors said, "Art is Forever."

Saturday, January 12, 2019

LOL: The Humor Show

It's now 2019, and with a new year comes a new schedule of exhibitions at the Boatworks, and it has been tradition for several years that we kick off those years with a Salon style show.  That means a members show, where the opening reception invites all participants to spend a few minutes presenting their work- talking about where the idea came from, materials used, or anything else they think is relevant to the piece.  There is not always an overall theme, but this year there is.  This is LOL: The Humor Show.  What constitutes humor can vary from person to person, but words commonly thrown around here included funny, light, amusing, get the idea.  Welcome to the Humor Show.

The over two dozen works include paintings, prints, photographs, fiber based art, sculptures, books- the whole range of two and three dimensional artwork.

The curator of the show is our own Jim Aberle, shown above on the right, talking art with two visitors.

The whole exhibition fills both galleries, but when the events were ready to begin tonight, most of the crowd was in the back room, near the food and the bar.  So it was decided to start the Salon part of the evening back there.

Our current gallery director Louise Krasniewicz (who also helped to hang this particular show) was on hand to get things started, talk a little about works whose artists were not present, and about her work when we came around to it in the gallery.

As expected, we had a fairly large crowd of people there for the event, listening as each artist shared the story behind their work.  At this event it is always fascinating to hear these stories, which illuminate each piece, and this being a humor show, often came with a bit of fun.

With the back room artists all done, we moved the event to the front room and heard from all those artists.  And with that completed, it became a regular party.

The LOL Humor reception has now passed, and all the stories now just part of our collected memories, but the show will remain on display for the rest of the month.  Come see art that explores the lighter side of life, while still being art that doesn't ignore the rest of life, or art.  The work will remain on display through February 1, 2019 during regular gallery hours. Admission and parking are free as always.

Before the night was over, we were told of changes coming to the organization, including a new website possibly as soon as next week (the blog isn't going anywhere), a new logo, and other fun changes.  Check back here for more details.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Affordable Art and Member Showcase

Tonight we had another double opening reception at the Boatworks.  In the front room we had Affordable Art, A Holiday Sales Exhibition.  Participants were given some space to show some "affordable art", which was limited to things no larger than 11"x14" and with a price of no more than $100.  Most of it turned out to be paintings, hung in clusters representing each artist (participants could have up to 5 items on display), but we also had some groupings of ceramics.  This is a cash and carry show, meaning that anyone who makes a purchase can take it home immediately, without waiting until the end of the exhibition.  In fact, some things left the wall tonight, but the artists will have the ability to replace them with new items, so make sure to come back often over the month.

Meanwhile, the back gallery has a very different show, a Members' Showcase: Three Artists.  Interested artists had the opportunity to apply for this exhibition and a committee of members of the Board of Trustees selected three of those applicants to share the space: Lisa Bagwell, Hillary Binder-Klein, and Andy Carvalhais.  All three have in common that their images include recognizable subjects.  Beyond that it's a fairly diverse group.

Lisa has been a member for many years and is known far and wide for her use of cast off materials in the creation of her sculptures.  The pieces in this show are made from such things as small plastic cigar mouthpieces, disposable plastic eating utensils, small bottles, plastic disposable cup lids, discarded bits of toys- someone throws it away and she has art material.  And she has a remarkable ability to turn the colors, shapes, and textures of garbage into things and creatures we easily recognize and want to look at.

Also in this show is Hillary Binder-Klein, a little more traditional.  The paintings are typically landscapes, portrayed in colors that match our expectations of landscape painting.  The mats and frames are very tasteful.  Her preferred material is acrylic paint on a heavy paper with the texture of canvas, a texture that remains very visible through the paint, and the glass they sit behind.  The style is modern, but the feel fits within the long and respected tradition of landscape painting.

The third member of this showcase group is Andy Carvalhais.  His work is also representative, matted and framed, and makes use of color, but after that very different from the other flat works hanging on the adjacent walls.  His preferred medium is drawing, making use of pencil, charcoals, pastels, all in very bold colors.  The compositions are very complex and mix figure, objects, and graphics, making regular use of items of popular culture.  The intended response varies from piece to piece, but psychology and expressive emotion are common elements.

So, affordable art in the front, member showcase in the back, all on view through December 28, 2018, with no admission fee.  The side room is a work in progress right now (receiving complements from many who viewed it tonight), but we'll save the report of that until it is done.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Celebrate the ARTS, Belmar Style

New Jersey was just hit with the worst November winter storm in more than 80 years.  Belmar was spared the major snowfall some other areas received, but we had the wind and the cold, and still do.  All of this before we even got to have any turkey.  It certainly feels like the holidays are getting close, so a good time for BelmarArts to Celebrate the Arts, with a Holiday Market.  There will be more events to come, but for one day we had a nice little celebration.  Food, entertainment, lots of art for sale, and not a snowflake in sight to get in our way.

Not a huge feast, but a nice assortment of tasty treats were available for all who came by.  Also a series of musicians providing live entertainment- the woman shown below was the second performer of the day.

But most of all it was a place for makers of art to sell their creations, and a place for shoppers to get a head start on filling those lists of presents, for others or for themselves.

We had more than 15 vendors set up in both front and back, with a classic assortment of ceramics, baskets, jewelry, fine art, and all the other things one expects to find at one of our artisan market sales.

As I had said, the fun continued into the back, where there was more art for sale, as well as the live entertainment.

The day also included crafts, and even massages were available in the side room.  That's a lot to be found in one place in a town like Belmar, well after the summer season and a bit before the official holiday season begins.

Unfortunately, this Holiday Market is now done, just a one day taste of what we have to offer.  But don't worry, because a much larger holiday market and sale will be coming soon, with an emphasis on   small and affordable products, and that one will last from November 28 to December 28, 2018.  The deadline to be an exhibiting artist at that show is just a few days away, so if you are interested, go to the Main website of BelmarArts really soon.  And if you are just interested in visiting the market and maybe buying something, the official reception is on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 5 to 7 pm, plus whatever other hours it is open.