Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Art

Summer has definitely arrived in Belmar.  Sun, heat, lots of traffic jams on the Parkway and on all the local roads, parking very difficult to find- all pretty much what you'd expect on a summer weekend.  However, summer also brings art to Belmar and we have two new shows right now in the Boatworks.

In the front gallery we have the Summer Solstice Artisan Market.  Whole bunches of local artists are displaying examples of their creative output, a very wide variety of items for sale.  There are baskets, ceramics, jewelry, hand made soaps, small paintings and photos, fabric based items, and other interesting crafts.

The summer solstice may have come and gone, but this Artisan Market will continue through August 6, 2016.  The days will gradually be growing shorter, yet the gallery will still be open Wednesday to Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm.  Artists are encouraged to replace items as they are sold, so you'll want to come back often and see what new items are on display and for sale. Admission is free.

Fiber Art for Our Eyes

This summer BelmarArts continues the tradition of Solo X2.  Back in the spring we sought submissions for solo exhibitions in our back gallery.  A committee of experienced arts professionals (David Levy, Anna Wainwright, and Douglas Ferrari) chose two artists to be part of our summer schedule.

The first of the summer solo shows opened tonight- "My Eyes Are Down Here" by Juliet Martin.  The artist works with fibers, a mixed combination.  The pieces involve weaving, using a traditional Japanese process, but get a bit unusual after that.

The pieces in this show can be grouped into some basic shapes (bodies, torsos, pillows), but within each piece the colors and textures are more freeform.  Colors can come from commercially produced yarns, or materials she has dyed herself.  Combinations are often atypical, yet form pleasing mixes of colors in the final piece.  Construction can include weaving, embroidery, and attaching pieces by sewing them together.  The works make reference to clothing, bodies, and the male gaze, besides the more formal issues of color and texture.  The pieces end up being a mix of representation and abstraction, of conceptual and the literal.  A show not quite like any we have ever had here before.

The individual pieces and the whole show are best appreciated in person, rather than from photos, so if this kind of artwork appeals to you, bring yourself to the gallery before the show closes on July 15, 2016.  Summer hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 1 to 5 pm.  Admission is free.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Show and Tell, Belmar Style

Tonight BelmarArts held a Member Meeting and Ice Cream Social.  The format for the meeting was a  Show and Tell, with all participants invited to bring in examples of their work to share with the others.  This could be work in progress or even just processes and materials being experimented with.  Meanwhile, a table on the side had an assortment of cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream cups.  Those in attendance got to see examples of fabric arts. wood relief prints, carved and polished wood, wax encaustic painting, writing projects, among other things.

For example, John Hutchinson talked about LED lights and motion sensitive switches.  The technology goes back decades, but in recent years it has become much less expensive and easily adaptable to computers.  He has used it for decorating the exterior of the Boatworks, and for some of his many creations, like our most popular member, Alan the Robot.  Above he showed us how any computer could be used to program sequences of light and color, such as with the blue light in his hand.  But that wasn't all.  Later he switched from high-tech to low, and cranked out a significant section of this jigsaw puzzle below.  Our Hutch is a true Renaissance man and we are lucky to have him.

As for the member meetings, I'm told that the Show and Tell format may return in the future, when we don't have another special topic planned.  Information is always available on the calendar page of the Belmar Arts main website.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Old Masters Come to Belmar

Last night the Boatworks hosted the opening reception for the latest exhibition from BelmarArts- Old Masters.  The show, curated by Stacy AS Pritchard, includes over 40 works of art, many of which may seem quite familiar.   That's because everything in this show is inspired by the works of "Old Masters," however the participants defined that.  Everyone who is an artist got into it because they saw something they liked and aspired to making themselves.  We can't take classes from famous painters of the Renaissance, and the great artists of the Modern period are no longer with us, but we can copy their works, or take ideas from their works, and in doing so, maybe learn a thing or two.

The influential artists span the history of fine art, and represent many parts of the world.  In some cases you may instantly recognize the source of the inspiration, but if not, that information is included in the labels for the pieces.  Don't be surprised if you find yourself inspired by either the historic artists being referenced or the contemporary artists in this show.

The reception was not as crowded as some we've had, but we estimate about 75 people came through over the course of the evening, and many were impressed and excited by what we have on the walls, or as in the case below, on pedestals.

The Old Masters exhibition is open through June 24, 2016.  Summer hours are now in effect, so the gallery will be open 1:00 to 5:00 on Wednesday through Sunday (except holidays).  Admission is free as always.