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.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ancestors Reception

Tonight was the opening reception for our new current exhibition- Ancestors.  Participants were invited to create an image that celebrated their ancestors and their lives, their accomplishments, or their influence on their art.  In addition to a piece from the participating artist, everyone was invited to include some kind of family heirloom, photos, artworks, or crafts from the ancestor, with hopes that the combination of contemporary art and the ancestral creations would spark interesting dialogue about the influences of our ancestors on our creative lives.

The format for tonight's event was one of our salon style receptions, where each participating artist was invited to talk about the piece, their ancestor, and anything else relevant to that question of influences.

As part of the theme, the refreshments were labeled to play up their possible relationships to our ancestors.  The one incongruence this blogger felt was the large plastic bottle of Hawaiian Punch- in my past it only came in very large metal cans.  On the other hand, great effort was made to find things like Pop Rocks.

As things started around 5 pm, the crowd was small, but this was not unexpected, as this was a summer Saturday afternoon in Belmar, and Main Street was pretty much gridlocked.  And every parking space in the vicinity of the Boatworks was occupied by vehicles that had not brought people to the reception.  More than a few people had walked from other parts of town, or even from other towns.  Luckily, this is our last scheduled reception before Labor Day, and over time more people arrived from the distant parking space.  Over the course of the reception, about 40-50 people turned up to see the art and hear the stories.

Late in the 5:00 hour, the salon part of the reception was started, by BelmarArts chair Dana Cahoon  and exhibition curator Louise Krasniewicz.  The show occupies all of both the front and back galleries, so the crowd had to move around to catch all the stories.

One thing that many stories had in common was that the Ancestor often had demonstrated creative interests and skills, and often the ancestral artifact was an example of their creative activities- paintings, drawings, etc.  Even when these things did not seem to have a specific influence on the participants current art, they may have influenced many toward finding their own creative outlet for expressing themselves.

The Ancestors exhibition remains on display during regular gallery hours through September 7, 2018.    Admission is free, as is parking, though the latter may be at a premium on weekends.