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 Whether you find out-of-date art gallery files interesting or not, I can find no better place to store this history, at least for now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




   

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