Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lego Workshop

This morning the Boatworks hosted a new art class for the first time- building with Lego.

Instructor Maureen Ennis brought an interesting assortment of Lego pieces, and building experience, to this initial workshop of what is expected to be an ongoing series.

Instructions were provided to show how to build some holiday themed items- tree ornaments, poinsettias, even a mini-Santa Claus.  Sculptures were made from a mix of standard pieces and some specialty pieces that are available if you look in the right places.

After the participants were done making the holiday themed items, they had the option of exploring their master builder side and making unique creations of their own.

Based on the success of this class and the enthusiasm of the participants, it is expected to run again in early 2015.  Check the main website for details next month.  The plan is to be building some cheeseburgers, among other things.

additional story and photos courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Something New at the Boatworks

Back in May, the Belmar Arts Council announced plans to replace our front door with an electric one.  A door that opens automatically gets us closer to being fully accessible, plus it will make it easier for everyone moving big bulky items in and out, as we artists often need to do.  A fundraising campaign was started.

Today the process took a big step forward.  Workmen arrived in the early afternoon on this very chilly day and removed our legendary purple door.  Then I had to go take care of some other stuff, and when I came back it was dark, but we had a beautiful new glass door.

The transition isn't over quite yet.  It turns out that the people who make the technology for opening the door are not the same people who install doors, and we won't be seeing them here until sometime in 2015. So the next time you come to the Boatworks you will likely still need to reach for the handle.  But now we are halfway there.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fiber Fridays for the Holidays

Yesterday was the latest gathering for Fiber Fridays.  Between the WUF show and the temperatures, there are plenty of indications right now that we into the holiday season, so the group decided to go along in that spirit and make large snowflakes out of cut and folded paper.

A large supply of embellishing materials was also made available, to be used for decorating the snowflakes, or for making holiday cards.  Some people took their snowflakes home, but others were added to the Boatworks decorations, to go along with WUF in the front room, or to be part of the holiday party coming up on December 14th.

It looks like this will be the last Fiber Friday of 2014, but look out for news of more activities next year.

photos courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

WUF Opening Reception

Three sure signs that winter is arriving in Belmar.  One is the temperatures start dipping down close to freezing.  Another is that it's already dark when our art receptions start.  And the third is that the annual WUF show is open for business.

As usual, the annual Wearable Usable Functional show has brought a wide variety of hand made goods to the Boatworks, the creations of over 30 of our members.  We're talking about jewelry, ceramics, books, cards, ornaments, home decor, accessories, and fabric products, among other things.

Almost 60 people came to the reception. Some brought their money and have already gotten a head start on their holiday shopping.  Others enjoyed checking out the wares in the front room and the fine art (from our Silver and Gold level Art Partners) in the back room, sampling refreshments provided by the artists, and the live music of the BAC Beach Bums.

The gallery will be open special hours for this sale, 1 to 5 pm from Wednesday to Sunday through December 21st.  All purchases may be taken home immediately, so expect the artists to replenish the stock on a regular basis.

The reception officially ended at 7:00 pm, but the Boatworks remained open for another activity.  The Jersey Shore Writers held a book launch party for "Darkness Falls at the Jersey Shore."  A few dozen were in attendance to hear the involved authors read their works.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

WUF Is On The Way

Today was the intake day for the next exhibition at the Boatworks.  It's time for the annual Wearable, Usable, Functional show, or what we just like to call WUF.  Dozens of members have provided unique original artisan creations that fit one or more of the descriptive words in the show title, and all of it will be for sale.  Lots of ceramics, jewelry, clothing, plus some holiday related items, and even some pet accessories showed up today.  There will be a preview sale starting Wednesday at 1:00 pm, as things will be for sale during the gallery's regular open hours this week.  There will be an opening reception on Saturday, November 15th, from 5 to 7 pm, and special Sunday hours through the end of the show on December 21st.  Participating artists will be able to replace sold items during the run of the show, so it may be worth making more than one visit.  Plus, free gift wrapping is available.

 Meanwhile the back room has a separate show, an invitational featuring artwork from the BelmarArts Parters Silver and Gold, also running through December 21st.  Admission to both exhibitions is free.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Writer Returns to Belmar

On this beautiful Sunday afternoon in Belmar we had a book event going on at the Boatworks.  Author Mick Bennett grew up here, before going to Pennsylvania for college and establishing a life in Gettysburg, also a town that sees its share of tourists in the summer.  Times at the beach gave way to writing, but now the two have come together.  He was here in town today to promote his first published novel, "Missing You in Belmar, NJ."  The story and characters are pure fiction, but the setting is based on his experiences growing up in Belmar.  This book, set in the 1980's, is the first novel of a planned trilogy built around the central character.  Above, Mick Bennett with his book, below, the crowd enjoys hearing him read an excerpt from the opening chapter.  Those in attendance were very excited by what they heard and are looking forward to future installments.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Grass Roots Opening

Tonight the Boatworks hosted a show unlike any we've ever had before.  This exhibition consists solely of work from participants in classes, workshops, and shared interest groups offered by the Belmar Arts Council, work all from 2014.  This building is busy almost every day of the week, so it's no surprise that we ended up with over 50 pieces representing the variety of what can be found here.

Starting in the front room, visitors to this show can find

photography from both the photo interest group (above) and from the many photography workshops (below),

paintings and drawings from participants in those long running classes,

work including text from participants in the writers group,

and examples of the kinds of things covered in the embellished surfaces workshop series.

And then as visitors move into the back gallery, they will see paintings from the summer's watercolor class,

several relief prints from the woodblock printmaking class,

various products of the Fiber Fridays special interest group,

and paintings and drawings from participants in the Wednesday evening costumed figure drawing group, plus one item from the landscape painting class.

Sure, many of our art receptions include live musical performances, and we had a few people (above) providing that for us tonight, but we also had a reading (below) from a member who not only took the self publishing workshop series, but then published her book.

We had the usual big crowd at the opening, including much of the refreshments provided by members.

The Grass Roots exhibition will remain on display through November 7, 2014 during regular gallery hours, with the Bob Steeler Solo Exhibition running in the side gallery through October 10th.  Admission is free.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Going Back Under Water

It's been months since we had a mural being worked on in Belmar, and it's late in the year to start a new one, so we're doing the next best thing- working on an old one.  It's been seven years since we finished our first mural on the side of the Boatworks, so long ago we didn't have this blog going yet, though we published highlights from that process in 2008.  Considering some of the natural disasters that have happened around these parts in recent years, it has held up surprisingly well for house paint on a concrete wall.  There has been noticeable fading (it's a broad wall facing south) and it was decided to add some new paint to bring back some of the boldness of the original look.  The underwater blue was redone last week, along with some of the mysteries of what may be found below.  Today we had more people continuing work on it, repainting plants, sea creatures, and other items.  It's a big wall (about 30' by 12') and so there is a lot of work to go.  There is no advance schedule, but if you are a member and receive the weekly newsletter, there will be reminders there when the crew will be out.  About 10 people have been part of the process so far in 2014.  If you have painting skills and don't mind climbing a ladder, we could probably use your help.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fiber Fridays and Beads

With artworks from the just concluding Fiber, Fabric, & Paper Arts show still on the walls, thirteen members of the Fiber Fridays group convened at the Boatworks today to make paper and fabric beads.

Strips of fabric and paper are wound around a wood skewer (above) and held in place with a dab of glue, then can be embellished with beads, yarn, or thread.  The resulting pieces can be used in a wide variety of projects.  Below, BelmarArts Plus member Tiffany Musser put some to use in a beautiful double strand necklace.

Besides the participants, several other fiber artists passed through the gallery while picking up their works from the recent show, and were reportedly sorry they couldn't stay to make some themselves.  The best way to avoid that kind of problem is to plan ahead and show up on time to the next meeting, November 21st, from 12:30 to 2:30.  Medium and process to be determined.

photos and story courtesy of Rebecca Szabo

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bob Steeler Double Feature

Today the Boatworks hosted Bob Steeler's Solo Art Exhibition.  Bob is probably best known as a musician, having served as the drummer for the well known band Hot Tuna for several years.  When there was interest in bringing him in to perform, he told us he was concentrating on the visual arts now, and he wasn't kidding.  He has an established career as a painter and sculptor in the New York/New Jersey region, describing his current painting style as a form of absurd surrealism.   So he was invited to be here as a visual artist, and our side room gallery is currently filled with his art.  Above and below are some photos of the space.

As with most shows, attendance at the opening reception started with just a few people and then built up into a crowd.  The official door count was over 80 visitors, not including the BAC regulars there to run the reception.  Bob Steeler is the tall man in the center of the above photo, and his art gave viewers much to talk to him about.

The artist's paintings are for sale, and a few originals have already been sold, but also available were a variety of small reproductions of his paintings and drawings.

Like most of our receptions, we had the usual wine and cheese refreshments, and live background music, today provided by area musician Chris Turner.   Combined with the beautiful sunny day it made for a pleasant late afternoon.

After the reception officially ended and all the visual arts discussions were over, it was time for music.  Were we going to have Bob Steeler in for an event and not have him perform?  Not if we could help it. Word is that the Bob Steeler Band is a work in progress, but to those of us at the Boatworks, they sounded just fine.

The Bob Steeler exhibition will continue in our side gallery through October 17, 2014, running along side the Fiber, Fabric, and Paper Arts show for the next week, then along with the upcoming Grass Roots show featuring art from participants in 2014 BelmarArts classes and workshops starting October 4th.  Details are available on our main website.  Admission is free.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts Opening

Tonight was the opening reception for the Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts exhibition.  The front and back galleries are filled with a wide variety of art reflecting the possibilities of the show.  If it involves something that can be woven as the main material, it was the kind of thing we were looking for.

A good crowd showed up from the start, with at least 120 passing through over the course of the evening.

Participants in the show were asked to bring in food for the reception and as typically happens in such situations, they brought plenty.  The food table would eventually grow more full than seen above.

No prizes for this show yet, but we're working on it.  Visitors have the opportunity to vote for two awards.  Members of the Fibers Fridays shared interest group participated in a t-shirt challenge- a competition among themselves to convert an old Belmar Arts Council t-shirt into something new, and the entries are shown above.  Voting has been going on for several days, but more t-shirts are available for anyone who would like to join the contest.  Plus, there's a people's choice contest for the favorite piece overall in the whole show, with the votes open for the duration of the exhibition.

The Fabric, Fibers & Paper Arts show remains on display through September 26, 2014.  Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, and there are extended summer hours through Labor Day weekend, 5 to 7 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 on Sundays.  Admission is free.