Artists are a community. We try to suck up enthusiasm, camaraderie and nerve from each other. On Saturday I attended the openings of 2 Allentown Art Guild members. One was in Bordentown and the other in Asbury Park.
Let me back track a little. On Wednesday night I met Sandy Sandy (yes, that's her name) http://www.sandysandy.com/ in Medford at the Chairville School Community Art Show where we were both exhibiting work for the main purpose of teaching and inspiring the children (grades K - 5). Her illustrative style work incorporates soft flowing watercolors with nature and animals. She encouraged me to use all the internet net working that is available including Facebook, blogs, and web sites. She maintains a huge list of such venues.
I had already made plans to have dinner Saturday in Bordentown City with an old high school friend (who lives in Va.) at Oliver A Bistro. Afterwards I went to the Artful Deposit Gallery, http://www.artfuldeposit.com/ to see a group show which included the work of my friend Ericka O'Rourke, http://www.elmstudio.com/. She had a series of small winter landscapes skillfully executed with a loose brush stroke style and photographs. The town was hopping and the gallery was packed. It was good to see my friend CJ, the gallery owner, whose gallery began in Allentown in the '80's, and who was the previous tenant of my space, Off the Wall Craft Gallery, at the old mill in Allentown.
Then after a quick stop in Allentown to pick up my husband, Bill, we were off to the Mattison Gallery http://www.mattisongallery.com/ in Asbury Park. What a wonderful solo show we saw of the paintings of Jude Harzer http://www.judeharzerfineart.com/. Her subject matter includes children in most of her work with interesting blocks of space, quilt like, with symbolic elements of flying like feathers, birds, wind, and so much more. Some of the pieces were very large and varied with mixed media, metal strips, and more. There was also some amazing stained glass art displayed in the gallery by Ted Ricchiuti, http://www.tedsartglass.com/. His craftsmanship is superb and his graphics and painted glass techniques amazing. I am reminded that I have a lot to learn. I should try to find out if Ted teaches. It was First Saturday in Asbury Park, and with the weather so warm, the town was full of people and everything was open. I chanced upon a shop in an old arcade building where Anthony Primo, http://www.primoglass.com/ was selling his own art glass - fused, slumped, lamp worked, supplemented with some other quality pieces, mostly glass. After some coffee and a walk on the boardwalk near The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen got his start, we headed home.
Being with other artists, encouraging each other, sharing concerns and technical tips is so inspiring. Marketing work is a real challenge. The topic of making art from the soul versus making art that people will want to buy is an age old question. I believe if you stay true to yourself, success will follow. Vincent Van Gogh may disagree or maybe not?!!