Friday, November 24, 2017

Back to Spring Lake

I believe I mentioned a little while ago about an upcoming group show in Spring Lake, details to follow once I delivered the work.  That happened today, so here is the story.

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Pat Hutchinson of BelmarArts, with an attached announcement about a show she was recruiting me for- thought I was a good fit.  The show is in the Spring Lake Community House, that large brick building on 3rd Ave that currently holds a theater, the town library, and upstairs has some large meeting rooms that have held art shows in the last year.  I was in two such shows.  Two minor negatives- the deadline for entry had passed a few days before I even received the mail, but Pat was the organizer, so I figured if she was ok with it, I was in.  Second was that the show is called "Activism through Art" and they were seeking art of an activist nature.  As a general rule I avoid specifically political art, figuring what appeals to the most people is better than something that only appeals to select people.  So I replied that I'd think about possible works at my job that night, but meanwhile if she could pass on what piece(s) of mine made her think I was ideal for this show, it could help.

I never did get her response in that area, but I thought of several pieces that could fit the criteria, and sent jpegs and the stories behind them.  She chose two of those she liked, and said they could use both if they were available.  (a general e-mail in between had requested second pieces from those who had previously had one accepted)  After a quick search I found that I had both pieces in my possession, already in frames, making it easy.  The only thing I had to do before today was produce a more detailed statement for each and a large file size image, and send them to her via e-mail, which was done earlier this week.  Here are the pieces she ended up requesting:

Moving Day ended up in its second show of the year, not bad for a piece that dates back to the last century.  This one actually does have a political link- made for a show celebrating our then governor's plan to permanently set aside about half of the remaining open space in the state and keep it that way. I actually made two prints, this one and a color piece about the frequent conversions of local farms into housing developments.  Both pieces were accepted into the show, and the farm one was going to be used in the free magazine advertisement we were offered for the show, until the magazine banned it for fear of offending real estate developers who were their biggest advertisers.  (this is one of the reasons I avoid these kind of battles) Not the last time I'd be censored by a business out of fear.

The other piece she selected was the above piece from my Ecclesiastes series, not specifically political, but it could be related to a cause.  Who can straighten what God has made crooked? is based on a biblical quote and was meant to relate to mental illness, but Pat thought it could relate to the current opioid crisis, very much in the news.  The drug of concern when I made this was Prozac, but the problem of opiates is also real, so I don't mind if this piece sparks a discussion in that area.

Normally on Fridays I am up at Kean all day, but today I am off for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the drive to Spring Lake is a lot better than my usual Friday commute. Wrapped in bubble wrap, I got both pieces into my large BelmarArts tote bag, and made a stop there this morning.  The gallery space is at the top of a very tall flight of stairs in a building with no elevators, so being able to carry them in a bag with secure handles was a big help.

Above is the space that will hold the show.  Only a few artists had checked in this morning before me, so I guess there's a lot more art to come.

Still a lot I'm not sure about.  Some internet research revealed that this show had started as a summer/autumn show in Asbury, it looks like in response to what had gone on in Charlottesville, with those artists invited to be in this one, but obviously additional artists, too.  I don't know how many artists or artworks will be in the show.  It wasn't organized through BelmarArts.  I did find a press release about the Asbury version which listed 15 names, 9 of which I know from Belmar, but Pat wasn't one of them, so I don't know if she had anything to do with organizing the original exhibition, or was just asked to help this one happen.  One thing I do know is that the opening reception is on Sunday, December 3rd, from 10:00 am to noon.  (I was told that there were too many conflicts with holiday activities to schedule an evening one)  And I think it will be up until sometime in March, but I can verify that well before then.


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