Saturday, January 27, 2018

Author and Friends Come to Belmar

Talk about BelmarArts and most people probably think first about visual arts.  After all, our gallery space is active year round, and we are responsible for murals found on walls from one end of town to the other.  Just last week the Boatworks was packed full of members presenting works as part of the annual Member Salon exhibition.  However our mission includes a wide variety of creative outlets and today we had in event that celebrated music and writing, leaving the visual arts to just the blue tinged pieces hanging on the walls all around.  Today the Boatworks hosted something called "Meet the Author & Friends, with D.M. Anderson", an afternoon of conversation and inspiration.  The event included just three artists, and not a paintbrush or pencil to be found.

Above are the three featured artists- from left to right Joanne Calabrese, Leticia Walker, and D. M. Anderson. Different specialties and stories, but all were story tellers today.

The organizer was D.M. "Dee" Anderson, a writer and busy writing coach, as the other two participants shared with those in attendance.  Dee introduced each of the other artists as their turn to talk came up.  First was Leticia Walker (above seated) who has experience as a musical performer and singer.  For now a physical ailment has limited her ability in those areas, so she shared some of her music in recorded form, and was here today to promote a book, "Never Lucy", in which she shares some of her many struggles.  She credits Dee's skills as a writing coach as being an important part of getting her book completed.

Next up was Joanne Calabrese,  who was able to take advantage of our stage for her performance.

Joanne is a musician, performing today on acoustic guitar hooked up to a small amplifier.  Did several songs for the crowd that was there.  Of the three artists, she was the only one not promoting a book, but in her talk it was revealed that she's working on one, with Dee acting in the role of writing coach.

Meanwhile, Dee also had a book to promote, "Peace in Love and Work", an autobiographical story, and she signed copies for those who requested it.

The afternoon also included refreshments, a raffle of books and recordings, and something that seemed to be a gathering of friends.  Some in attendance had never been to the Boatworks before, but I get the impression they intend to come back again.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Back in Blue

A new year is now here, which means time for a members Salon show.  This has been the tradition around here for several years.  These shows may or may not have a theme, but what is a given is that participants are invited to spend a few minutes presenting their piece to the crowd- talking about what gave them the idea, or about their process, the history of the piece- whatever they think is significant. The results can be very informative.  We had almost 50 pieces in this year's show, which filled both front and back galleries, with a mix of paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, prints, fabric pieces, and mixed media creations, all having the common element of "blue"

So what is blue?  We had a show in this same building last year, one of our Youth Art shows, that dealt with this same theme.  Too good a theme not to let the adults of the world take a crack at it.  For this show, it's any connotation that word has for you.  Could be the color, could be an emotional state, a form of music, or anything else.  The exhibited works show this variety of approaches, and the discussions in the Salon reflected all this.

The curator of this show is a BelmarArts member, Denise Van Dyke, who also functioned as the coordinator of tonight's Salon.  People started gradually drifting in and before long we were ready to go, all wearing our name tags made from blue painter's tape.

So we did get a good crowd.  The majority of pieces in the show were also represented with their creators present.  A lot of things were learned.

Most years we just stick with the work in the front room, maybe having artists talk about one or two things that were hung in the back, but this year the Salon included almost every work in the building.

Unfortunately, the Salon is over and all the artists went home.  The good news is that the show itself remains on display during regular gallery hours through February 16, 2018.  So if you are feeling blue, or want to feel blue, stop by the Boatworks and check out some cool colored artwork.