August 22, 2013

Very Bohemian

Bookshelves floor to ceiling via Moon to Moon

Photos from Moon to Moon my new favorite blog. Very bohemian.

I've had a theory ever since I finished reading Night Studio by Musa Mayer. In the book the author, daughter of great American painter Philip Guston, talks about how different she felt growing up.

more from Moon to Moon
     "We were different, that was it. Our life was bohemian, romantic. An adventure".

She talks about the importance of meeting other kids she could relate to, who had artwork hanging and bookshelves lining their living rooms.

Bohemian bookshelf via Moon to Moon
In my wrestling and restless search for a more cultural environment to live in, I've decided to pay particular attention to those who live with or without bookshelves in their homes.

I'm on a mission to make friends with as many book loving bohemians I can find.



My own meager bookshelf
more meager bookshelves

my house






August 21, 2013

Introducing The Art House Gallery Archives



I'm about to delete the web site for my art gallery that has been closed since July. After spending almost two years working my butt off on that thing I've decided to not let it go completely to waste. Introducing The Art House Gallery Archives! Whether you find out-of-date art gallery files interesting or not, I can find no better place to store this history, at least for now
We did hang some good artwork and put on some cool shows you might enjoy looking at.

*for now: an expression that was unabashedly overused at the Art House during the first few months of it's existence. All of us who were involved in organizing work tables, display shelves, front desks, merchandise, office equipment, etc. used the phrase as a sad excuse for not really knowing what to do with anything. Let's just leave it like this for now. Let's hang this here for now. Let's not bother with that...for now. For the future, not a very trustworthy phrase. If you find yourself using it too much, take a step back and figure it out first!

 Building Nests, Climbing Ladders

site-specific installation of Building Nests, Climbing Ladders

The Art House had three main gallery spaces for solo and group exhibitions. Our goal was to bring innovative contemporary fine art to the local public community of Manahawkin, NJ. The focus was always on the quality, originality and presentation of the artwork.
To facilitate our goal, the Art House encouraged a creative atmosphere by presenting interactive, collaborative work, and on-site artist projects. We also hosted regular public events such as opening receptions, lecture series, happenings, performances, artist talks and poetry readings.

Detail Building Nests, Climbing Ladders
Besides gallery space for monthly exhibits, the Art House also had a gift shop and a classroom. The gift shop was the original location of what was the Lounge. The Lounge, equipped with a comfortable couch, cafe tables, a coffee and snack bar, sheepskin rugs, group photographs and an old TV that played black and white silent movies, is where we hosted monthly open mic nights, sewing circles, artist meetings and other miscellaneous artistic events. It later morphed into the more organized gift shop mostly because the same 5 people showed up to all our artistic events and the chips from the snack bar eventually went stale. 
The gift shop was its own work of art. Fun, interesting, useful merchandise was carefully displayed and lovingly shoved into every illuminated crevice of the cozy space. It's also where one of the few built-in speakers that came with the building cranked out a wide variety of unexpected music from my husband's ipod, anything from the Violent Femmes to Zap Mama to Charlie Mingus to Charlie Brown's Christmas. Walking through the galleries into the eclectic mix of changing merchandise, display decor, the wafting aroma of Nag Champa incense, and music overhead made the space pretty fun to come back to. At least I thought so!

View of the gift shop, fall 2012
The Lounge following our first Holiday Party, 2011
The classroom, which was a steep flight of stairs up, was one of the brightest rooms in the house, and perfectly suitable for one long folding table with 8 plastic stools, a wall full of storage shelves and another wall full of black chalkboard paint. Some reference books, a cardboard file box full of lesson plans, and 4 aluminum easels later, we had ourselves an art school! That was the idea! Everything at the Art House was prepared for them coming once we had built it. There were students from week one until the end, just not enough of them.

Overall the Art House was a great idea, it just needed more involvement and support, like all things artistic. Here are some pics from our first exhibition...

Sculpture by Matt Burton, Photography by Hena Tayeb, Watercolor by Joanne Dozer
Photography by Steven Shattuck
Photography by Hena Tayeb, Watercolor  by Joanne Dozer and Oil Painting by Samantha Palmeri




   

August 12, 2013

A Photo Exhibition by Jon Slackman

For the past two weeks my family has been fascinated by a nocturnal visitor we call Lady. Each night she spins her web outside of our kitchen door directly over the glass window pane and each morning she is gone. We've discovered Lady is a Barn spider (Araneus cavaticus) and is the same species as Charlotte from Charlotte's Web, which makes us very happy. She is amazing to watch, swinging from her spidey spokes from one woven glob in the center, then meticulously sewing each strand across the spokes with the precision of an Ultrasonic Singer Sewing Machine. When she's done with the web she looks like she's taking a nice nap at the center of her orb. You would think she'd need one after all that work, but she's actually lying in wait for her dinner. We imagine we're helping by leaving the outside light on to attract the bugs, but she seems to do just fine without us! 

The following images titled "Canopies", are photographs by Jon Slackman taken last fall in our yard probably around the same time Lady was being hatched.























 If you'd like information on purchasing any of the images please contact sammysue222@yahoo.com



What makes you think you're an artist?

Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein

Why is it that some people who create art consider themselves artists and some do not?

I've met some very talented artists who spend a good portion of their lives working on their art yet would never consider themselves artists. Before moving to this small town I'd never come across this. I can't quite figure it out. Where I'm from everyone thinks they're an artist even if they're not, and here it's the opposite.

I wonder if this is just my experience around here or if this is everywhere outside major cities in the country. I haven't lived in too many places but I can tell you that this particular town; half resort, half pineland, half fisherman's wharf, half blue collar boondocks, is a mystery to me.

Some of the greatest and coolest artists I've met here, I consider more dedicated and passionate about what they do than I am, however these same artists wouldn't dream of showing their artwork in my local art gallery.

David Hockney
David Hockney
Now that my gallery has closed, I see some of these artists coming out of the woodwork for some of the most trivial local art events. It makes me wonder. Besides being frustrated that my gallery wasn't able to completely connect with the community, why would so many sell themselves so short? Why is it okay to sell your artwork like a common vendor anywhere around town except at the actual art gallery?

There's one thing about graduating from art school; they never talk about interacting with other communities outside the insulated art world community. You learn one language and one standard of quality and communication. Once you move away you find that no one else has ever heard of this special language.

My question is, what makes someone consider themselves an artist?





August 9, 2013

The Quarter-Acre Farm

I've just finished reading a wonderful book,
The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for a Year by Spring Warren, 2011.
I'm hoping to read more from this witty and informative writer. The book reads very much like a blog/journal with each chapter a new conquest in home farming. The recipes are amazing, and her recount of the geese, the bunnies and the kids is hilarious. Some of her garden antics are so funny they had me laughing out loud.

I was so inspired by her story I immediately started weeding out my own veggie garden. Only a few years ago it was a lovely patch of fenced in gravel and antique brick-bordered beds of homemade compost, flowers, and vegetables galore.

2010

2010































It has since fallen way way to the wayside.

2013
I've only gotten half way through the weeds and haven't even begun to tackle the actual beds, but being able to see the gravel again is reassuring!

Even if I can't grow anything edible in my garden of weeds, I still took a couple of cues from Ms. Warren this week. Instead of letting the beautiful organic peppers I spent an arm and a leg for in Shoprite rot away in the refrigerator drawer, I decided to cut them up and pack them in the freezer. I also indulged in incredible homemade sun dried tomatoes. Every crispy juicy sweet and savory bite was well worth having to heat up the house all day with the oven for! While I was at it I roasted some sweet potatoes and zucchini with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.


Cut up fresh tomatoes 1/4" thick. Spread out on pans
(these are lined with parchment paper). Sprinkle with salt,
pepper, olive oil and crushed red pepper (optional).
Bake at 250 degrees for 3-4 hours.
My trip to the Manahawkin Farmer's Market this morning sealed the deal that we need more good stuff like this in the world. I may not be ripping out the front lawn yet, but I felt darn good about spending my last $12 in support of the real farmers around here...

For more inspiration, check out Food Not Lawns, a global community of avant gardeners turning yards into gardens and neighborhoods into communities.
http://www.foodnotlawns.com/about-us.html