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
The region is dotted with many old and no longer operational water-powered paper and pulp mills. Brick factory buildings are also easily found. This part of New England has a strong history in a huge variety of manufacturing and other types of production-related businesses from the original Frank Jones Brewery complex in downtown Portsmouth, to the Button Factory on the other side of Islington. The Schultz meat plant is geographically right between the two. And, is decaying, where the other two now house an athletic club and artist studios, respectively.
I asked a friend of mine who is very involved in Portsmouth New Hampshire politics (where I am sure this is a terrific embarrassment), and the owner seems to have no motivation to clean it up and make it serviceable to businesses, artists, etc. What a shame!!
And, I actually find that whole idea extremely short-sighted considering what the Button Factory charges for studio space, and the last time I checked they were full!! http://www.buttonfactorystudios.com/studio_availability.htm
I have friends who have studios in the 1 Washington Street Mill Building in Dover, New Hampshire. This is a multi-use building that serves a myriad of businesses like Terra Cotta Pasta, a few smaller galleries, framing studios, apparel retailers, and other concerns. Dover has at least three complexes that are all successful in renting to those who need space but maybe don’t need the street-level, strip mall type exposure.
The Rollinsford Mill is very much like the 1 Washington Street Mill except it is heavily rented as art studio space. They, like the Button Factory, host open-studio events where the public is invited to come and experience the art at the Mill and purchase it outside the pretty gallery setting, directly from the artists.
In my travels taking pictures and just reveling in the spring sunshine, I drove (for no reason) to Sanford, Maine. In Sanford, there is a mill complex that looks a lot like the Schultz Factory.
No apparent recon is going on with this site, yet it is on a terrific piece of property with a great view. I took a few minutes to walk along this side of the building, and the front and shot this for art.
But, I wasn’t through wandering-the weather was not allowing this cabin-fevered child to be inside all day!
I went home, and lost the New Balance and socks to Tevas. Yes, and toes are happy! But, I was not done finding new treasures.
Gonic is a non-incorporated town that is really part of Rochester, but, like East Rochester, there is a different personality. I got here quite by accident, and found another mill building. But one I didn’t know about. And, one that has been restored, but hasn’t become trendy yet. Uh-oh!
This one has huge spaces, and though I haven’t seen them yet, they could be possibly rented as a group and sub-divided. Rents are crazy-cheap! Like they should be for a studio!
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.
The Rochester Museum of Fine Art owes much to the area libraries since we own nothing more than art. And, what a great thing to own-but only if you have a place to put it up!! We are getting more permanent space at the Gafffney Library.
I stopped at the RPL, hoping to map out my next show there, as well as to see the show on the 1st floor, and the new show at the Carnegie Gallery, on the 2nd.
First, the student show on the 1st floor is superb!!
I was really taken by this piece, but there are really nice 2-d pieces that just didn’t photo well of because of lighting. Really nice, Spaulding High School!!
Upstairs, in the Carnegie Gallery, we just hung Benjamin Cook.
More pop-ups will happen soon!! Benjamin Cook is next!
I have a one-person show up though the end of the month at Timeless Framing in Rochester. NH. I stopped to see it next on my “art around the area”.
These are all of the recent “Portraits”, and a few of the transitional works.
The opening reception for this is next Friday, from 5-7.
If you are interested, please visit my website at http://www.dadartthurst.com and Friend me on Facebook at Daryl-Ann Hurst Studio.
After hanging a show, I usually have time to get a few shots to post-not Thursday!! I hung right until the librarians had their coats on and they were ready to lock me in!
The BAA is presenting its 4th show that I have coordinated. It’s a small one and I hung everything that was left for me, even though two artists dropped off more than one piece. The show includes Victoria Lloyd, Christy Bruna, Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, Beth Wittenberg, Jane Lissner, Anne Vaughan, Jean Coughlin, Bob Farrell, Rita Mick-Fuller, Janet Ciechon, MaryAnne O’Mara, Ruth Bleau, Auralie Copp, Chris Kfoury, Michael Bramlett, Roseann Meserve.
Again, a really amazing array of work that is being created by some very talented people in this area! I am really proud to be able to coordinate these shows!
And, more to come-I think I have gotten us a great opportunity for October!! More to come on that!!
Art and politics works…sometimes. Most of the time, the art should be on the poster of the cause, and left there. But, not always.
I am of the mindset that political and social consciousness should be an underlying part, but hitting someone over the head with it…not my game.
I read an article yesterday in the Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/teenage-jihad-inside-the-world-of-american-kids-seduced-by-isis-20150325 This is incredibly chilling and scary.
It has obviously been brewing in my brain, because this was created today:
I don’t need to swear, wave a tampon in your face, ask you to eat me, or whatever.
I need to make you think, and hard, about what ISIS is doing to “Some of my Sisters”. And, yours.
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!
The questions have made the rounds for many years in my head as to how much do I have to spend to do this? Being an artist is one thing, and the costs for that are strictly what I need to purchase supplies. Framing is optional. I can hang the finished work with tacks or nails or tape.
And, then I entered the world of showing the work. Now, I had to make sure the work was “ready-to-hang”, and learned to read the fine print as to what that means. Framing was no longer optional, and I had to learn to putty corners and repaint frames. I also learned early-on that as much as I love museum glass, I was going to use commercial glass, and hope that my patrons loved the work enough to protect it from UV light.
Since I entered the professional world, I have also become a certified framer, and own a decent mat cutter, and know my way around putting together paper pieces without horribly upsetting the budget. But, that is mainly because I can take care of the labor, and I don’t go for the best frames, just something reasonable. Everything that comes in direct contact with the work, like mat board and foam core, though, is acid-free.
Most of my work is oil-based, and on canvas. Skinny stretcher bars warp, so I make it a point to get the thick stretcher bars for big work, ie. larger than 16″ x 20″.
All of the above is fine and predictable. What I was never taught in school is what the marketing would cost. When I set out in 1987 to really start to make “my name”, I found myself spending more on slides and postage. Then, there was a trip to New York so I could do what was known then as the “humility shuffle”-complete with a two-night stay in a Manhattan hotel, food, etc. It was considered a mini-vaca, but I still worked one solid afternoon with my late husband canvasing the galleries before I actually approached them. I did get a slot in a group show. Then, I shelled out shipping and insurance to not sell anything.
The Internet has eliminated the need for the slides, but not for an occasional disc, and the related postage. But, it has not completely negated any expenses that may not have been anticipated.
Enter the required website. The web universe is free unless you don’t code. And, even then, space needs to be purchased. And, then there is that pesky domain name.
I have done well so far with this blog, and I even picked up a gallery and two sales through it. I am on it enough that I get a fair Google share through my name. But, Tuesday night, even though I have a few half-assed attempts at building a site out in Internet land, I had a curator who really wanted more than I had posted on a site, and not to have to wade through all of the 2014 posts here.
On Wednesday, I found a web builder that appeared to be low-cost, with a free domain name included, for the first year. Ah, I signed up, without a way to find the true cost after the introductory one-month $1.95. Yikes!! It was $21.95 per month!! I called them to cancel, and talked to a very nice rep who presumably set me up with a site for $9.95 plus their security fee which is an additional $1.95. So, I worked for the last three days to build a great looking site, and the platform is a delight to work. But, this afternoon, I checked my billing info and I am set up to be billed for $21.95 next month. REALLY??
I set out after that to resurrect the weebly site, and though it isn’t great, it’s free. If I want to add my domain name I can, but that puts into a more premium status and hence, I pay for the domain and the right to eliminate their name from my present one with them.
So, Monday, I will find out if I am out $3.90 and some time-I just hope I have two now working web sites!
I was trying to post daily, and I got really good at posting something…
and then this last period happened…
so, here I am again, to show off today, and the opening reception at the Gafney.
I loved today. A perfect flow where everything actually made sense. Huh?
I delivered 2 pieces to the Gallery at 100 Market, and the curator was there early, knowing I needed to be in Sanbornville at 9:30. Amazingly, I got to the Gafney much earlier than I expected. So, the food display was artful, too.
My compadre, Steffanie Antonio was there right after 10. That really set the pace for the reception! Anne and Niles showed up not 10 minutes later…
As Anne Vaughan wanted a real tour, I needed to break for a whole new set of arrivals. I am waiting for the rest of the images that other people shot today, because once things got rolling, I “lost” my camera.
Amy Regan, who is one of the founders of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art came and we discussed not only some of my art-making history, but also some of the mechanics of this show, and how I work.
I guess for some, putting together a show this size might be a retro…for me, the oldest piece in the show is September of 2013. About 40 of the 49 pieces on display are from 2014.
It will be up through next Saturday-check for the library hours on their website.