I attended the East Hampton, Guild Hall 79th Annual Member Exhibition on Saturday, April 8, 2017. True to what I was told to expect, it was very crowded.I visited each gallery very slowly and examined each piece of work. They were presented salon style, there were two rows of paintings along each of the many walls. It seemed a continuous flow of aesthetic styles that were choreographed by the curator (s). Well done!
Joyce Kubat, a modern, innovative figurative artist with a style all her own, and who knew and worked with Betty Holiday, whom my mother studied with, and Joyce, who is the directs my drawing with live nude model sessions won Top Honors! It may mean she will have a solo show at the prestigious Guild Hall.
While there to see my own painting, “Blue Rhapsody,” I saw other artists’ work whom I was familiar with. Katherine Criss was in the show, as was Caroline Kapolowitz and I will include photos in a minute. I was particularly excited to meet the great granddaughter of the artist who created “Betty Boop” and other famous cartoon characters of my mother’s era. My mother was (Betty B. Kirshner), our “Betty Boop” and although she had no middle name, I was certain the middle initial “B.” she often used on her paintings was for “Boop” and only later she informed me it was for her maiden name. She was so much like the cartoon character with curly dark locks and slim figure, that she became affectionately referred to as “Mrs. Boop.”
Betty Boop’s creator Max Fleisher, had a first assistant artist who married Fleisher’s daughter Ruth and the family line of artists continues to this day. The granddaughter is Karin Kneitel, and artist with a heart of gold. She does a lot of charitable creative work, using her gift as an artist, especially with soft sculpture work. She had a humorous, set of characters living in a bra, which she had sold at Auction for a Breast Cancer Cure Event at Adelphi University and she told me does many projects to help organizations fundraise. I believed she should have won a prize. I cannot figure out how judges make their decisions, each is subjective and different from exhibition to exhibition. It isn’t about the awards, it is about being there, being in it, putting your art on the walls. This wasn’t on the wall, but showcased, like a sculpture should be.
…On Sunday April 9, 2017, I attended the Opening Reception for Kate Kelly’s Retrospective and Bert Winsburg’s “This and That” art exhibitions. Again, people seem to be hungry for art. The BJ Spoke Gallery in Huntington was filled to capacity. Bert’s wife explained the places and the pictures created and sold me on the watercolor of their boat ride in Thailand. But I couldn’t fit another medium to large painting on my walls right now. His prices were well under what they were worth. He’s a humble gentle man with lots of family and friends enamored with his talent. It is talent and I appreciated his mastery, as did many admirers. I especially liked a painting of a group of rabbis. It was ideal for a Jewish home at Passover time. Maybe it sold today. Then there was the popular and entertaining poet/artist Kate Kelly, who read from her poetry book and spoke about what motivated her to create her extraordinary and prolific artwork, including answering a question that helped me gain insight, about her digital creations. No it isn’t a quickie type of art, she uses many layer and spends many hours and days on each perfected image. She pointed out that it isn’t as easy as people tend to believe in their prejudices about it vs. physical canvas and paint. I loved one of her creations entitled “A house is not a home,” which reminded me of Marc Chagall in the feeling it conveyed and dreamlike imagery. I must confess, I bought it, as well as the sensitive collection of her poems. I am a writer/poet and its a heart to heart connection I felt for a kindred spirit. It is the highest compliment in my opinion, when a fellow artist appreciates your work.
After the packed reception, I enjoyed meeting the interesting people there, Although I took some photos, especially of Bert and Kate. I am encountering difficulties transferring them to my website tonight, so I will try again tomorrow.