Monday, June 24, 2013

School's In For Summer

Summer is here and most schools have begun their summer vacations, but at the Belmar Arts Council we run classes for all ages year round.  Above are a few photos from today's first day of Susanna Anastasia's new six week oil painting workshop.  Today she started with some instruction in the basics of effective composition, after which the students started sketching.  Over the next five weeks, they will each develop and complete a landscape painting.  Susanna will also be teaching a four day watercolor workshop in July.

Other offerings for this summer include Learn To Be An Artist Art Camp,  a daytime class which has sessions for both ages 7 to 10 and ages 11 to 14;  Drawing and Beyond / Portfolio Prep from Sven and Lizzie, an ongoing six week program featuring instruction in still life in a variety of media for teens and adults;  Jewelry Classes with Kelly Previte, with workshops in beads, precious metals clay, preserved objects and coiled wire;  Sugar Arts with Gerrie Vergona, where you can learn how to work with fondant and gum paste to create fancy decorations for cakes, etc;  Visions Photographic Workshops, instruction in many aspects of photography led by Michael S. Miller, and Woodblock Printmaking, in which Paul Bonelli teaches the basics of carving designs in wood for printing on paper.

Details about each class, including what is covered, materials, fees, days and times, etc, can be found on the BAC main website.  Go to the home page, and to the tab at the top of the page that says Classes, or stop by the Boatworks during our regular hours.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shore Shot Show Opens at the Boatworks

Tonight was the opening reception for the Shore Shot exhibition, a juried show of photography.  The BAC has held photography shows before, but this one was different in that it required that all the work be submitted digitally through our web site.  A total of 115 images were submitted, and an initial jurying on the computer reduced this number to 51 photographs.  These were brought in for a second round of judging, which resulted in a total of 37 photographs in the exhibition.

As is often the case, visitors were slow to arrive, but the crowds did come.  By the time the awards were announced the front and back rooms were filled up with people enjoying the art.

The two jurors, Lewis Bloom and Michael S. Miller, selected the following seven photographs for awards.  All images are courtesy of the artists.

Best of Show
Eva Savage
A Warm Winter Day

Merit Award
Carol Albers

Merit Award
Sori Gottdenker
Gathering Calm

Merit Award
Pat McCarthy
Magnificent Morning

Honorable Mention
Pat McCarthy

Honorable Mention
Russ Meseroll
Allenhurst Boardwalk

Under 18 Merit Award
Finn Wright
Sun Over Dune

The Shore Shot exhibition will remain on display through July 19 2013.  The Boatworks will have special extended hours this summer, giving even more opportunities to see it.  Those new hours are 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and 1:00 to 7:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.  Admission is free as always.

Friday, June 21, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours

The floods of last year and recent torrential rains have done structural damage to the Boatworks, the home of the Belmar Arts Council.  After consultation with Belmar borough officials, we will be taking down and rebuilding the stage area of the building.  BelmarArts will remain open during the construction, and we will work to keep any disruption of normal activity to a minimum.  BelmarArts is a membership organization that finances its activities through membership dues, donations, and grants.  This new challenge will significantly stretch our 2013 budget.  We hope that you will be generous with your support and contributions.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Working in the Yard part 3

Our BAC volunteer crew put in hours of hard labor planting the area in front of the building.  Looks good now, and will look even better as those plants grow.  The adults were completely worn out, so the  kids took over.  Brownie Troop #1351 of Wall, led by Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay, planted a bed of colorful flowers at the base of one of the walls of our addition.  Come check it out on your next visit to the Boatworks.

Working in the Yard part 2

Last month a group of BAC volunteers spent several hours doing some outdoor improvements to the grounds around the Boatworks.  A general clean up, weeding, and some plants were added to old and new beds.  However, that still left a lot of empty space around the building, and today we continued that improvement process.

Prior to today's effort, Rutgers NJ Agricultural Station was contacted to get recommendations for native plants that would be more likely to survive the somewhat challenging environmental conditions that come with this piece of property.  A truckload of plants was delivered this morning and carried to places around the building.

Several plants were put in the ground alongside the building, just under our postcard mural,  but most were brought around to the front.

The plants were arranged in the spaces on either side of our front walk, then our crew began to prepare the ground.  This is one of the last remnants of our old gravel parking area, which had served the same function for previous occupants of the building.  We started by raking as much of that surface gravel up as possible before digging holes.

Unfortunately, we found that gravel was just as abundant below the surface, mixed with the dense packed sand.  For extra fun, we occasionally found layers of concrete and asphalt a few inches down, and had to cut through that.  Several swings with a big pick helped get these holes started, after which shovels could have an effect.

Most of the plants went into deep holes in the rocky ground, but both sides of the path also now have sand dunes, planted with grasses and other small plants.

There is still more work to be done in these areas, but great progress was made today.  Results of all this planting can be seen above and below.

Many thanks to the following individuals, who contributed plants, or their hard labor, or both, to today's  latest round of improvements:  Paul Bonelli, Mike Carroll, Dana Cohoon, Pat and John Hutchinson, Pat Knight, Art Nelson, Glorianne Parisi, Richard Rappleyea, Rochelle Ritacco, Bill Ross, Richard Salls, Gerri Vergona, and Tom Volker.  Don't feel bad if you missed out on today's fun- there's still more work to do.  Contact the BAC to find out when and where we will need help again.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

BAC June Meeting

Tonight the Boatworks hosted the June monthly members meeting.  We always hold them on the first Thursday of the month, and since July's first Thursday happens to be Independence Day, we'll be skipping it that month.  Therefore, we got in a celebration of our nation's birthday tonight with cup cakes and ice cream on these patriotic plates.

The first part of the meeting was BAC business.  Dana discussed our new website, dates for the current show and information about upcoming summer shows, the summer concert series in Pyanoe Plaza, some of the new summer classes, and our plans to continue landscaping our grounds.  Then Beverly Miller took over and discussed some of the BAC interest groups- those ongoing and some that we've held in the past and would be happy to start up again if there are enough interested people.

The last half of the meeting was a presentation about the BAC Photo Group led by group leader Jim Aberle.  Jim told us about the group and what they do, then we saw a DVD presentation (put together by Dana) featuring examples of photographs from members of the group.  The Photo Group meets at the Boatworks on the first Monday of every month, for those who would like to find out more.

The next BAC member meeting will be Thursday August 1st beginning at 7:00 pm.  It will include a presentation by the BAC Creative Writing Group.  Admission is free, as always.

Belmar Arts Online

The BAC has seen a lot of work going on in 2013.  First, we had to repair and rebuild the interior of the Boatworks, following the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.  Then Belmar completed its long in planning changes to the property, providing us with a far superior road and parking area.  More recently we began an effort to fix up the grounds themselves.  (the next phase of planting is expected to continue on June 15th- those interested in helping out should contact the BAC for more information)  But our improvement efforts would not be complete without a major update to our online presence.

We've had a website from our beginnings as an organization, though the earliest ones were relatively primitive.  Of course, back then we didn't have a building, just one major show per year and a few other events, no regular interest groups, and no regular class schedule.  The BAC has grown incredibly in the years since we moved into the Boatworks, and our web presence has evolved at the same time.  In recent years our own John "Hutch" Hutchinson has been singlehandedly running our comprehensive main site, which required extremely frequent updates to keep up with our crowded schedule of exhibitions, classes, and performances.  This spring it was decided to build a whole new website that would include everything important from the old, adding more new functions like the online exhibition entry forms we started using a few months ago, giving it a clean new look, and spreading the responsibility for maintaing it to more people.  At the same time we updated our other online sites, and even created new ones, to unify our look and encompass more of the digital experiences of our members.

The site will be a work in progress, but it's close enough that we decided to launch it yesterday.  The following people were significantly involved in the effort.  Roy Childress was instrumental to designing  the new site and to building the main structure.  The rest of the committee included Dana Cohoon, Joe Villa, Michael Miller, Paul Bonelli, Rebecca Szabo, Sally Behler, and Zach Szabo.  All contributed suggestions to the overall look, organization, functions of the site.  In particular, Michael provided photos and graphics (including the new header at the top of this blog) and helped build some pages, Paul also contributed photos and graphics, and Rebecca and Sally spent countless hours sitting at that computer above transferring content from the old site to the new one, as well as building and updating BAC sites on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

How can you find this fabulous new site?  Simple, it's the same address as the old one, so however you got there, you can still get there, including clicking the link in the right side column on this blog.