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.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

2018 Photography Exhibition

Although the art has been up on the walls for a few days, tonight was the official reception for the current show, The Annual Photography Exhibition: A Juried Exhibit.  As the title indicates, this one is all about photography, all pieces a 19" x 13" standard size and framed identically, with no theme to limit the artists.

This is a juried show, and the starting point was 132 entries.  Jurors Merry Brennan and Freddy Clark had the task of cutting that down to the 50 pieces that were chosen for this exhibition. Both the front and back rooms were filled with art, and eventually with artists and viewers.

Not surprisingly, the bar area and the refreshment room were both places where a lot of people gathered.  Part of that may have been because there was no other place to stand once the crowds showed up.

Live entertainment was provided by John Falk.

See, it did get quite crowded in there.  At around 5:45, Beverly Miller gathered everyone to hear some important stuff, such as reminding everyone that all work in the show is for sale, at $99 per piece.  And thanks to sponsors, there are quite a few monetary prizes.  More workshops coming up soon.  Then she gave us the list of winners-  merit awards, honorable mentions, and the best-in-show.

Here are those prize winners, images taken by the artists and prize winner list provided by Beverly Miller:

Merit Award
David Colby
Purple Sky

Merit Award
Kevin Rau
Dream no. 2

Merit Award
Joanie Mansfield
Red Leaf

Honorable Mention
Marilyn Baldi
Ghost Town #2

Honorable Mention
Michael Greco
Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Bridge

Best In Show
Richard Stopa

 Of course, much better than seeing the pieces here on the internet would be to go to the gallery to see the show in person.  This photography exhibition will remain on display during gallery hours through November 16, 2018, and admission is free.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

And The Winners Are...

Anyone with roots in Belmar has memories of the Freedman's Bakery sign.  A classic example of space age architecture (sometimes called Googie, and Doo-Wop), a part of the Main Street landscape for many decades, part of the local scenery until the demise of the bakery itself several years ago.  After that the sign ended up in the possession of BelmarArts.  Parts of it even sat in our side yard a few years ago.

The decision was made earlier this year to raffle off the "Freedman's" part of the sign, and tickets for this purpose have been sold since the beginning of the summer, with a planned drawing to be held in September.  At last week's art reception, that went down as expected.

The name written on the ticket wasn't quite legible, but the phone number was, and the winner was confirmed that day.  Earlier today the winners came by to claim their prize.  It's Joe and Terry Halifko and now they own an iconic piece of Belmar history.

Rumor has it that in the future those large round letters that spelled out B A K E R Y will be made available to the public.  Keep an eye on this space to learn more.

winner photo provided by BelmarArts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Out of the Box

Well, maybe the long hot summer has finally ended.  Certainly fewer people in town than we've seen in a while, and better parking.  Time for BelmarArts to get back to the usual business.

But before we had another opening reception, a short membership meeting.  Having a non-profit arts organization is a lot of work and we want to keep having this one.  Two take-aways from this meeting:

1) a lot of people want to have a lot of activities, the kind of stuff we've been doing for years.
2) people are needed to organize and run these activities.

So if you have an idea for something you want us to do, talk to the board and you may get to do it.  We need money, volunteers, leadership, expertise, etc.

And with that taken care of, time for fun.  Right now in the Boatworks we have two shows, the first two new ones to open since early in the summer.  The front gallery features an exhibition called "Art Inside the Box."  The term "outside the box" is thrown around a lot in the art world, generally referring to work or artists who go against the usual in their art or ways of thinking.  Turns out that a box has nothing to do with limiting creativity, as this show has all kinds of art in boxes, involving many different materials and subjects.

Organized by Dug Smith and Louise Krasniewicz, there are about two dozen works, with the only thing in common being some kind of structure to partly contain it, but the ideas come bursting out anyway.

Meanwhile in the back gallery we have examples of work from the students of the International Center of Photography, an invitational exhibition.  The 30+ pieces are from members of the class of 2018, and examples from such programs as Creative Practices, Documentary Practice, Visual Journalism, and New Media Narratives.  It is curated by BelmarArts member and ICP grad Drew Leventhal.

And as a special bonus tonight, we had the raffle for the Friedman's sign, with Jim Aberle handling the drum of tickets.  The name on the winning ticket was a bit illegible, but there was a number and a phone call confirmed who the winner was.  When that information is shared with me, I'll post it here.

Both Art Inside a Box and the ICP exhibition run through Friday, October 12, 2018.  Admission is free.