Category Archives: Blackbird Studio and Gallery
The season has opened with a bang in the area, and I have gotten quite a bit of attention. That does not bother me or hurt my feelings, but it does change priorities!
Last Monday, I was able to secure the June slot at the Gallery 280, which is part of Portsmouth Public TV in Portsmouth, NH. I had submitted twice before, and heard nothing back. They changed directors, and I met with the new one last Monday. This will be a two-person show and includes a half-hour interview segment, which will air every Thursday during the month of June. Cool and intimidating!! (I will have about enough room for 20 of the ReDeFine series). That show will open June 4th.
I also have 4 pieces in an upcoming show at artstream gallery in Dover, NH called “Love Letters”. These are all postcard-sized pieces. That show opens late in May.
The Gallery at 100 Market Street submission is due very soon, but the curator has expressed interest in the “Portrait” series. That show will open early June.
Blackbird Studio and Gallery reopened with resounding success with the Carolyn Chute visit and book-signing. We had our first official reception last week-end and had a good turn-out and sales!! Our next opening reception will be May 30, and I plan on having NO work on the walls. I am starting to install a very large installation piece on the property over Memorial Day, and I am developing it daily!
Oh yeah, and the high point, and the reason for this post…I have been nominated in the “Outstanding Painter, Non Traditional” category for the Seacoast Spotlight Awards Editors’ Choice and I am also on the Readers’ Choice ballot. This nomination alone is a huge validation for hard work! And, the group I am “against” are really good painters and I am friends with one of them for the Editors’ Choice. I am friends with several for the Readers’ Choice.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150507/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150509688/101164/ENTERTAINMENT This is the explanation, and listing for the Editors’ Choice.
For the Readers’ Choice ballot, please visit this link: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150507/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150509688/101164/ENTERTAINMENT. In the third paragraph, it says click “here” and that takes you to the survey/ballot. And, this will be very hotly contested, so I’d love as much help as possible!! Thanks!!
My show at the Rochester Library looks awesome too. That runs through the end of May.
Thanks for being here!!
Rick Burns approached Carolyn Chute, who is a personal friend of his, to be part of the Berwick Art Association events. Carolyn Chute wrote “The Beans of Egypt, Maine” and has an incredibly well-reviewed book that was released over the summer called “Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves.” The event he had in mind was at the North Berwick Library, a BAA show opening, but it was scheduled too early for him to pick her up and get her there by 10AM. I was contacted about the library possibility first. Since it was already arranged and the library closes at 1, the next alternative was Blackbird Studio and Gallery. 17 of the 18 members of BAA are also part of this great little collaborative in North Berwick. It all made sense to all parties involved, and what an event it became.
For the first hour, people lined up and had books signed. She also gave interviews to Bob Keyes from the Portland Press Herald and Erin Duquette who has the art blog MODspoke, and is also a member of Blackbird. Erin also filmed some of the event.
From about 2:00 to 2:45, she answered questions from the attendants.
Carolyn Chute is an incredibly warm person. As real as real comes. I am so heart-warmed by her honesty that I almost feel like I need all of her books.
Nice way to kick off our new show which also looks incredible!
The next Blackbird Gallery event, which is our grand opening celebration is on May 2. Please join us.
What a way to reopen!
Blackbird Studio and Gallery is very honored to host our reopening for 2015 with a special guest author, Carolyn Chute, who will give a talk and book-signing next Saturday, April 18, from 1-3 pm.
I stopped by today, to see the new ceiling. We will be ready.
The gallery officially reopens on Wednesday.
We are planning a variety of events throughout the season, so please visit blackbirdmaine.org
I have a favorite new work of mine.
As I am allowing myself to explore, reinvent, and recombine that which I’ve done before-none of this is new territory if you know my entire body of work-but I continue to surprise myself.
I am far more comfortable in a larger format on canvas than on paper, but that is changing.
“The Folly of Sentiment” is another flex of my artistic muscle where I am employing some of the new things that I am seeing, but more so, utilizing materials and techniques, palettes, etc that I have in the past and combining them in different ways. “Valentine”, presently at the BUOY Gallery in Kittery, Maine, was the first of the “Portraits” to include assemblage elements, with bits of magazine photos. I found foil paper and a plastic mesh “bag” (which I cut apart and stretched) to integrate into this piece.
The last Blackbird Studio and Gallery newsletter reiterated something that I said at an opening, but I am not entirely sure it is 100% correct. It said that I am being “influenced” by whose working around me. I don’t doubt that that is happening but this little piece, painted just after I broke my leg, might show that the “Portraits” have always been there.
The “Portrait” series actually has an even earlier ancestor in a series called “Everyman”, which dates back to 1990. So, it really is too soon to say the influences come from Blackbird, which isn’t a bad thing, but more that those influences have awakened other muses within me, that were just dormant. I don’t have digital images of the “Everyman” series yet, but they are also the predecessors of the large 2014 canvas “Chasing the Sun”.
This and a few other new pieces will be in the opening exhibit at Blackbird Studio and Gallery. We are also very proud to be hosting a visit by Carolyn Chute, author of “The Beans of Egypt, Maine”. Please join us for this event on April 18, from 1-3.
So, as a young buck, I sucked up the intellectualism that surrounded me. I embraced “Concept” (with a capital “C”) very tightly. But, hey, I was in LA.
Almost 30 years since I left my home town, I have faced an exhibit that seems so totally out of context, and yet, right on my fingertips and so ready to be here. Carly Glovinski is the cause, and 3S is the platform.
“Huh? Ok? And, why”. I am not really intrigued any more by this work than the work I came “of age” with- NOW. I totally get it. But, again I grew up in LA.
But, my fundamental question in all of this is the question of process. There is little “human” presence in this work-foibles and mistakes aren’t noticeable. Let’s revisit concept and Larry Bell. Laddie Dill and all those folks that had artworks built for them. So, I am dealing with process…why? Because I have gotten older and I have been here for 30 years.
I believe Glovinski actually fabricates her own work. Cleanly, and well.
She defines space, and forces her audience to recognize that space. She made me explain to friends why a large floor piece does not allow a piece on the wall. The show made me explain the value of scale.
Eva Hesse did much with a floor. And,I see that here, as well. But, I think the best thing about this show is she doesn’t stick exclusively to one perameter-determiner, but actually strikes out to say, “Yeah, but?”
But, the fun thing with this show is we see more modes of expression. “Evolving Coast” a wood book on a lawn chair says I’m not about space and minimalism. Once again challenging the viewer to scratch their heads.
And, as artists, we do get to make people do that.
Part III. Beyond Process
The best work I have ever seen was created by Ed Kienholz for making people rethink their space. And, change behavior.
It really doesn’t take some of the methods being used in some of the most controversial art from last year. It really doesn’t take vulgarity, profanity, or even sex.
One of my recent personal favorite artists whom I am very honored and privileged to show with is Rick Burns. He has shown work at Blackbird Studio and Gallery that also asks people to participate. He doesn’t take over a floor space, but he asks for thought, and gets it.
He doesn’t necessarily question space, but he does create work that invites the viewer to also be a participant in his work, and change it.
This piece invited the viewer/participant to tighten/loosen the bolts. And, many did, begging again the question of “Who is the artist?
I’ll continue to call myself one, but I think we need to give more credit to our audience.
And, I am sure I will continue with this subject.
The next couple of months will be very big for the visual arts in the area. Events are starting to overlap, and I can only be in so many places at once!!
This is my contribution to artwork offerings.
I hope all can attend!
Blackbird Studio and Gallery is closed for the season. I have been trying to get there since Tuesday to pick up my work since the temperatures have been very frigid and tonight promises to break records. About half of the work is gone now, and I got sort of a melancholy feeling as I locked the door.
It was a good first season. We learned a lot in the process, and I am sure next year will be even better.
I am not hibernating though. I have a mega-solo scheduled for next month in Sanbornville at the Gafney Library, so having all of this work from Sole City and Blackbird home now is only a temporary phenomenon.
Can’t wait ’til Blackbird reopens and spring is here. It’s already been a weird cold, icy winter.
This whole corridor of southeastern Maine and New Hampshire, including the Berwicks, York and Kittery in Maine, and Dover, Somersworth, Rollinsford, and Rochester in New Hampshire have literally come alive since I moved back to the area in 2005. I have become very involved in two of the art associations, and the I am Show Coordinator for one, as well as on the curatorial board of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art.
The area has not kept up with gallery creation, and the economy still doesn’t support that kind of a venture without a “safety net”, but there are many great supportive venues like the libraries in the area.
I have shown five times at the Rochester Library in the new wing, where Peggy Trout arranges monthly shows with local artists and art groups. The old wing, or the Carnegie wing, displays some of the permanent collection of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art on the main floor. The Carnegie Gallery on the 2nd floor, is where the rotating and borrowed exhibits are hung.
Beth Wittenberg is on display on the main floor. Beth is a very active member of the Berwick Art Association and also a member of Blackbird Studio and Gallery, so we have shared lots of walls together. Beth and I also share a very special connection with art-making, where it seems neither of us have to rely on a muse, inspiration or even a good cup of coffee to need to make art.
What I love about Beth’s work is there is always more than meets the eye. In these pieces from 2013 and 2014, she works very splattered and loose watercolor abstracts into pen-ink fantasy characters, that have color. As an abstract painter, I get lost in looking at the paint below the ink, and then float back to the finished work, appreciating it on multiple levels.
Upstairs, in the Carnegie Gallery are a collection of Dawn Boyer’s oils. Until I brush on my critiquing skills, I will respond as I have to Beth’s-as it relates to my work. Though she is responding to florals, I am looking beyond that again at paint and color. The brush work is solid and experienced. There isn’t hesitation. Nor, is there any immaturity in the palette-it is also self-assured.
Both of these shows will be up through the end of the month.
And, I will probably need to expand the corridor as I described it because I have been invited to show at the Gafney Library in Sanbornville, New Hampshire next month. Another 20 miles north of here.
I stopped by Blackbird Studio today because a good friend wanted to check out the new show-and show her support by making a few small purchases.
As we sat drinking our beverages and gossiping in the gallery, the light snow fell softly outside. We watched it through the window, rimmed with a pine cone swag, as the fire crackled in the wood stove.
Yes, a very different kind of gallery and Christmas shopping sort of experience.
As Steffanie was about to leave, I was going to make an exit as well, but a car pulled into the lot, so I decided to stick around. A family had driven from Canterbury, New Hampshire-quite a hike from North Berwick, Maine, to visit.
I hope more people like them take the time to pay a visit as well.
Thanksgiving week was all about prep for Red Saturday, the Berwick Art Association art fair and the hanging of the Sole City show. And, to make all of that happen, I took the end of my vacation time to make sure it did.
Now, in the meantime I met a very nice man online who lives an hour away…oh yeah, and did I mention the snowstorm that arrived on Thanksgiving Eve…I think by now you are getting the point. The vacation time was not a guarantee that I would see the Escher show at the Currier with George, make lots of wonderful product that would sell, and actually have a day or two to goof off.
Actually the part that DID happen was making lots of good product. All of that product will go to Blackbird Studios on Saturday. (When I define something as “product”, I am talking about wares other than pure fine art.) I finished a number of hand-beaded purses this last week.
The wear-and-tear of an art fair is tiring at best. Ten hours and the boiler in the building was out. Back to the snowstorm that made it impossible for a lot of this area to cook on Thanksgiving…so they had their turkey when we had our fair.
The snowstorm kept me from physically meeting my friend, much less seeing the exhibit.
Sunday, I felt like I had worked. But, the car needed to be unloaded and reloaded to hang the Sole City show, the gem of the year.
Monday, that show went up-and quickly! Joanne, who arranges their shows, was a tremendous help and I am so excited to see all of this work up together. By late Monday afternoon, I felt like that milestone birthday I am approaching is real.
And, I am gearing up for my 2nd show as the Show Coordinator of the BAA-that opening is on Friday.
Erin Duquette thinks I have five clones, and I want to find one for a back massage.
Happy art making!