On Saturday, February 4, 2017, I had an art three-in-one day. I visited the Poetry in Motion Exhibit at BJ Spoke Gallery, (299 Main Street, Huntington, NY), where I met with poet/artist, Kelly Powell. She runs the poetry reading program at the gallery. Kevin Larkin, the abstract painter surprised me with deep, sensitive, profoundly thoughtful poetry that complemented his jazz-like paintings. I had no idea he heard the literary muse! Artists’ work was paired by each artist with a poem that was especially selected. As a poet, who hasn’t written a poem since I was in my 20’s (and published and promoted my book, Confrontations & Surrealistic Number One, a collection of my poems). Ms Powell was persuasive and I have a feeling I am going to attend one of the open readings, as a listener/appreciator, before I take the plunge and write a new poem.I was in adolescent and late adolescent/early adult angst, when I was moved to express myself in poetry. I am much more settled and happier. I wonder what will move me now to pen such artistry with words.The poetry readings are on Friday nights. I didn’t jot down the schedule, but Ms. Powell said by putting my name (you can do it too),she’ll notify me.
The exhibition is inspirational. I was impressed with the quality of the art and of the poetry It was a hybrid exhibit. Reminds me of when I was a high school teacher (second career) and I would prepare and teach interdisciplinary lessons, which became the norm, not the exception in public education.
Artists represented included Liz Erlichman, Lorraine Nuzzo, Phillis Baron, Katherine Criss (one of my all time favorite artists) and other talented people. It is certainly worth a look.
Then off to the Huntington Arts Council, where the photography exhibit, “The Human Condition” is on display. Marc Joslofff was the Juror. I had just missed the reception on Friday night, Feb. 3. The show runs through to Feb. 25 and the photographers include: Alex Atkinson, Shain Bard, James Dima, Ken Farrell, Stan Mehlman, Wendy Curtis, Doris Diamond and other very talented people. Check it out.
Next stop, The Art League of Long Island in neighboring Dix Hills, where I toured the brilliant art and photographs of advanced placement high school students, entitled “GO APE” and a huge ape sculpture welcomed me at the gallery’s entrance. The high school students certainly could pass for skilled and talented adults, in my opinion.
Another Great Lecture
… On February 13, I attended another in-depth presentation by Vivian Gordon, art historian, who had been with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The artists and works she discussed were contrasting in styles, Ingres and Delacroix. Both artists mid-1800s were pre-impressionists. Ingres was neoclassical and a romanticist and Delacroix painted numerous action and war scenes. His strokes were looser, more expressive than the constrained, tighter style of the elder Ingres.
Ingres’ Napoleon on his imperial throne, 1806
Ms. Gordon explained that Ingres’ work received a lot of criticism, especially his portrait of Napoleon, which was painted not on commission, and not from a sitting, but for the purpose of self-promotion, which failed to win him the acclaim he sought. Delacroix sketched and painted from the sidelines, and he was exhibited in the Salons, yet Delacroix received the French Legion of Honor Award for his ferocious, energetic work.
While at the free public lecture, in the Peninsula Library in Lawrence, NY, I observed the artwork of Sarah Haskell, a very talented high school student, who like me at that age, had a “one woman show” as an art student in a special program. I related to her and wanted to showcase her work, but I didn’t have permission, and I hesitated trying to contact a kid on Facebook. (Wouldn’t that seem weird?)
Later in the week, I attended a live model drawing session at the Art Guild of Port Washington, and took a look around at the photography exhibit. I know these excursions to shows that you might not be in can be an effort, but often it’s inspirational and makes you think about aspects of the visual process with its triggers. The exhibit is certainly worth a look. An example of a trigger was that the winner of first place had incorporate new technology, and that made me think, maybe there should be two categories in photography shows. I spoke with another artist about it, who agreed. The photographs that are “pure” photography without the use of Photoshop (or other applications) should be judged as a separate category. It doesn’t seem fair to judge all photography in one group without distinction. Both are as different as a watercolor painting and an oil painting. Each requires different degrees and types of skill, technique, and talent. Each should be judged in its own category. I wouldn’t dare try to enter an acrylic painting on canvas stretcher in the paper exhibit coming up. It would be unrealistic. The photographs and enhanced works were outstanding and I did take photos. With respect for the photographers, I am showing no closeups. You are welcome to see the show.
…Next day, (after recovering exhaustion from four hours of drawing), I and pal ventured to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I saw the German Expressionist “Max Beckmann in New York” exhibit as well as the just opened the Pointillism pioneer, Georges Seurat‘s “Circus Sideshow” exhibit. I had no idea both would coincide. Serendipity! That could have the title for the day. When I was in the Max Beckman exhibit, I was stunned, breathless, the energy, emotion, power overwhelmed me. I was enlivened, as if his energy and excitement was contagious. I found my (new to me) favorite painter alongside Picasso, Dali, and a handful of others. WOW!
What a day, Wednesday, February 22 has been.
A guy in a truck with a trailer reversed into the front end of my car, while my partner and I were wedged in between vehicles in a traffic jam at a red light. I wasn’t at the wheel, but it wasn’t my partner’s fault either. It was the other driver (named Vincent and in his mid -forties with movie star good looks). I was starving, at 2:15 PM fantasizing about Wendy’s Chili with a plain baked potato, just right for my calorie allowance, and then SMASH -CRUNCH! Fortunately, the damage wasn’t major, although it does require costly repair to the hood and bumper. We couldn’t find the other driver’s insurance co. information on the accident report and this was distressing. My insurance company ran his plate and it is listed with unknown insurance! Thinking of bills to come with the deductible I will have to pay for damage I didn’t do.
I went online to check email, and there was the message that turned my day around, “…very pleased to inform you that your painting “MAMA” has been accepted…also pleased to inform you that the art contest judges have given your artwork the Honorable Mention prize in the show.”
It’s the Town of North Hempstead Winter 2017 Multi-Cultural Art Exhibit at North Hempstead Town Hall, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset , NY which runs February 28-April 28, 2017.
Please be sure to see all of the artwork in the exhibition.
In March, Long Island Artists Exhibition which includes the unique figurative artist and art instructor, Joyce Kubat, and other talented people at the Art League of LI in Dix Hills,
and there’s the EXPO 36 at the BJ Spoke Gallery, in Huntington, NY. It’s opening reception is the same day as my reception. (You know which one to attend?) I wondered why the number 36 was used and today I found out. It was Expo 35 last year and it’ll be Expo 37 next year. It goes up each year in by single digits. Puzzle solved!
Although I am not in that show at BJ Spoke, the great news is…after submitting samples of my work to the member jury, I was informed that the decision was unanimous to accept me as a new member. I’m on “Cloud 9,” because I love that innovative and hopping contemporary gallery and the artists associated with it.
There are a couple of exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art I’m looking forward to seeing. One highly recommended is of the abstract painter, Picabia, which will be closing soon and another is of Russian avante-guarde art.
Something else to look forward to … annual Armory Art Show is coming to NYC, March 2-5.