Sunday, September 09, 2018

Show Opens in Ocean Grove

I had a dream shortly before waking for the last time this morning, in which I was talking to a bunch of Intro art students (none that I actually know, just symbolic characters), who were fascinated with some examples of student art on a table in the classroom.  The pieces looked like examples of student projects from my 3D class, made with found objects, and the Intro students were excited by the possibilities of making art like this.  I pointed out that the works were from a higher level class, but that we had a number of scheduled assignments that could make use of such materials- late in the semester, since we had more basic stuff to do first.  But there would be times we could make use of such things....Of course I had to wake up eventually.  Too bad, as students that interested in art are few and far between in those Intro classes.  This could all relate to a conversation I was part of a few days ago.  One of my former 3D students is finally having his BA show, a requirement for graduation.  So he did those same projects, none particularly memorable.  But that same semester he was taking introductory printmaking, which includes woodcut, and like many of my art students, he occasionally brought other things to class to work on in spare moments.  They get cheap old tools to use in that class, and relatively little instruction, so I told him a thing or two, and showed him what better tools could do (the ones I use in my local class, not the top level ones I use for my own work) and where they could be acquired.  Before long he had bought some of his own.  A few semesters later he saw me in the hallway and asked if I could work with him to prepare for his show.  He's a dedicated art student, so I didn't have to convince him to work, just showed him a medium that he could do well with and gave advice when asked.  I recent years they have given me Friday classes, and the galleries are often locked up, but he has a key to his space and plans to keep it open for the duration of his show.  So we're in there talking about his art and a couple of young college students are standing in the hallway looking in, very excited, so we invite them in.  One is taking the Intro class that day (not my section) and showed us things she had done in the past- photos on them on her phone of course.  It's a tiny space, and my former student often works large, so no room for his traditional woodcuts, but with my blessing he had included large sections of woodcut on his painted canvases, and these pieces have proved popular.  These young students had no idea what a woodcut was, but they really liked those pieces and I let the artist explain what he had done.  Woodcut doesn't grab everyone, but when an artist likes it, they don't want to let go.

Today was the official first day of the Tenant Art show at the Jersey Shore Arts Center, something put together relatively quickly from among the artists working there, filling all those big walls on the main floor.  And also promoting us, too.  No official reception today we were told, but the building would be open to the public, lights on, labels up, artist statements in a book.  Decided it would be good to be there in case people had questions.

Above is a better shot of my wall, from today.  Below is Molly's installation, a mix of silkscreened and sculpted forms.  Other walls included paintings, photographs.  But when I arrived this morning (during the official open time) I found no labels, no statements, and no visitors or artists.  At least it was all hung and the lights were on.

Decided to hang around a while and see if anything happened.  Just a few visitors, one of whom was looking for a business in the building that hadn't opened as promised, and one who was wanting to know more about painting.  (spent a lot of time looking at the big paintings on the wall, and also my Eddie piece.  as with those young college students, woodcuts can be a mystery and a draw) Our director returned from an errand and filled in some more information.  She wanted to get the work up first, and hopes to have the labels and statements on view this coming week.  A formal reception may be in the works, perhaps later this month or in October.  The painting guy asked about possible studio space and classes.  To the former, nothing available right now and a waiting list exists, and the latter is something they are working on.  (reminded her that I've taught many workshops around the state and she should talk to me when she's ready) I pointed out to the guy that there are arts spaces all over, but they come and go, since it's a hard business to make money in.  A web search may find him what he's looking for.

Since not much was going on there today, I decided to split and go watch the first Giants game of the season.  But I'll be meeting with the director over a curating thing later this week.  If I hear about a regular reception, I'll post the information here.  Meanwhile, the show is open whenever the building is, at least through November 11, 2018.


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