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.