Saturday, May 26, 2018

Summertime Summertime is Here

Well, technically the summer doesn't begin until mid to late June, or so says my calendar.  But we certainly have some summer type weather around here, and the thousands of visitors that showed up in all the shore towns the past few days tell us otherwise.  Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and that means summer has come to the shore.

In honor of the important occasion, BelmarArts has a new show opening this week- Summertime, Summertime.  It's an all media show, curated by Hillary Binder-Klein, with about 60 artworks.  The theme is, obviously, summertime and whatever that means to people who live around here.

Summer is a big deal in Belmar, and crowds come from far and wide this week to enjoy some summer in this town.  The art is heavy on beach scenes, but it's anything to do with summer, and we seem to be in thick of it right now.  Despite reported parking issues tonight and holiday weekend activities, we got a respectable crowd at the Boatworks- people came and went but around 30-40 in attendance most of the reception.

If you are asking yourself why all the food tables are in the back gallery instead of the education room/side gallery where they usually are set up, there was a reason.  There was an activity set up in the side gallery.  

About a month ago the Boatworks was the headquarters for the Belmar ArtWalk, an annual event where artists set up around town and display what they do to any visitors that wander by.  In our own parking lot that day we had a community involvement activity, where visitors were invited to participate in the creation of a mosaic mural, one with a beach/ocean theme.  Progress was made, but there is a ways to go.  There is a goal that the finished piece will be an outdoor artwork as part of the labyrinth/garden piece being created on the side of the Boatworks, set to be officially dedicated June 2nd, just a week from today.   So today that community project was set up in our side room, complete with the cement and a large supply of pieces of tile, and visitors to the reception were invited to add to it.  The rumor is that it may stay out a bit more in case we can get some further volunteers.

As for the Summertime, Summertime show, those 60 works fill both the front and back galleries and will be on display through June 22, 2018.  As usual, the gallery is open Wed-Sat from 1 to 5 pm and admission in free.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

From Their Perspective

For a few years now we have been doing Youth art shows at BelmarArts.  Lots of good reasons for this.  All organizations need new blood now and then if they are going to survive.  And anyone who works with children, or has some, knows that they very much like making art.  Skills and knowledge vary, but the desire is there, and they enjoy the process.  Some are even surprisingly creative.  Probably the biggest obstacle for young artists is finding places to show art, or even learning how to go about finding exhibition opportunities.

At BelmarArts we can't solve every problem, but we can help with this one.  We tend to enlist the help of people with more experience.  The organizers of this year's Youth show are Amy Lepping and Kristen Lanfrank, two teachers out of the Rumson area.  They in turn got help from many other school teachers. All of the artists in this show are from 5th grade through high school, chosen up to 6 at a time by their various school teachers.   This is an opportunity for those teachers to get to know each other, but most important is a chance for potential artists to learn what it's like to be part of a show outside their school, as well as learn a little bit about what artists need to do outside an academic setting.  The 8 year range of ages provides further mixing for the young artists.  Most of the  approximately 50 artists are from the Monmouth County area, though a few are from further parts of the state, another way they get to interact.

This year's exhibition theme is "From My Perspective" and like all good themes, it allows for many possibilities.  There are a lot of self portraits, probably not surprising in a group show that includes the "selfie" generation.  However, there are many other subjects and other interpretations of the perspectives.  As is typical, there are paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, sculptures, mixed media pieces, etc.

Tonight was the official opening reception for the show.  Early on attendance was sparse, as can happen when most of the participants have never been to the Boatworks before.  Some computerized directions still believe we are located in the middle of the route 35 overpass over the Shark River inlet.  But the participants started arriving.  People came and went, but through most of the event we had 40-50 people present.

Award winners for this exhibition were chosen by our Trustees.  Here are the award winning pieces for this year and the artists who created them:

Kayla Mitchell
grade 12
Monmouth Regional High School

Logan Rettino
grade 5
Canvas Studio Art

Izzie Rosa
grade 11
Rumson Fair Haven

Sofia Scandariato
grade 8
Forrestdale School

"From My Perspective" will be on display at the Boatworks during regular gallery hours (Wed-Sat 1-5 pm) through May 18, 2018.  Admission is free.