Showing posts with label The Art House Gallery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Art House Gallery. Show all posts

March 14, 2014

the comfort zone: spaces we create in


I had a wonderful conversation last night with my amazing friend and writer Beth Mann about the spaces we create in. It is so nice to talk to artists of other disciplines because again and again it reiterates how those of us who spend our lives creating often face the same issues, the same challenges and play the same mind games with ourselves no matter what we're working on.

For example, where does an artist feel most comfortable working? 


You would imagine their own studio, at their own desk, their own space, their own computer - but

Louise Bourgeois
perhaps the most satisfying work isn't always done in the most comfortable setting. 

Sometimes faced with the challenge of working outside one's comfort zone, interesting things start to happen. Once you get used to a situation too much there tends to follow a period of predictable and often stale proceedings. You may be going with the flow, producing the same paintings you always have, writing the same stories you always have, but art needs to shake things up. 

Isn't that the criteria of art? 


In order to shake things up sometimes we as artists also need to be shaken up. This aint fun or easy. Comfortable and complacent is much cozier, however, look what happens when we leave that comfort zone.....we surprise ourselves. We discover something we hadn't discovered before, and it's EXCITing! This is what the viewer sees and the reader reads, they feel that excitement. 

In my case, if my life hadn't been shaken up with my last adventure in owning The Art House Gallery, I would've been in a serious creative rut by now. Because I was displaced temporarily using the gallery as my studio in between customers and classes, I started working on different and unexpected projects. I was able to make paintings that would've been way too large for my home studio, as well as work with materials that I wouldn't have ordinarily chosen. Now that I'm back in my home studio I'm continuing to work with some of these materials and loving it! 

Also shaking my world up is the fact that my house has been on the market for the past ten months. This has severely altered my work habits and process of making. Because we have people constantly coming to look at the house, I've wasted a lot of my time trying to keep a neat and tidy work space, which is an oxymoron at best. Psychologically feeling stifled in my own space has been extremely frustrating, but it surprisingly has also resulted in an exciting new direction for my work, including some risk taking I wasn't prepared for.

In the end, I'm so glad I was forced out of my comfort zone because it has led to some true creativity.




January 23, 2014

Art Wrestling in 2014

It's been just over one year that I've been publishing my blog.

After my recent two week interlude without a computer, of all the time sucking online activities I've decided to eliminate from my life, my blog, I'm happy to say, is not one of them.

What started as a simple way to connect myself to the ever growing online community has turned out to be a very fun and useful extension of my work and life.

When I began I was just entering my second year as the owner and director of The Art House Gallery. It was a huge part of what I was wrestling with on a daily basis. Part of my intention was to expose the experience of running a gallery, and part of it was to regularly share my artwork. In fact I think my first post (which has since been deleted) said something about making new artwork and writing something once a week to start.
That of course never really happened. I didn't even post any images in the beginning. If you've been paying attention you know that I'm much more naturally inclined toward the inconsistencies of life than in rigid routines. Most of what I publish comes directly from my writing journals which I've kept for years and which are generally all over the place.


I'm a juggler, a wrestler, a mother, an artist, a thinker, a worker. I've been a teacher, a curator, a director, an exhibitor. I balance food shopping each week with stretching canvas, cooking dinner with mixing paints, cleaning the house with organizing my art studio. This is what I do everyday. Occasionally I open up a shop or a gallery or start a group, but I always come back to my artwork.

The Art Wrestler is about all of this. It's about the balance between the everyday, mundane and repetitive; and the creative and sublime.

I know there are others who can relate.

Daybook by Anne Truitt is an inspiring book of this sculptor's published journals all about raising a family and being an artist


During a studio visit I conducted back in 1999, when I owned my first art gallery, Catherine Street Gallery, I met with a wonderful artist living in Brooklyn. She had a lovely detached home at the end of the block that she shared with her husband, her kids and her dog. Her studio was in the attic at the top of the third floor, and as we climbed the three flights of stairs we passed by all the commotion and mayhem that made up her life. I remember leaving there hoping that I'd never have to juggle that many things in life to be able to do my art and make a living.
Ha.....ha, ha. How naive I was to imagine I could escape the chaos of life while still being a part of it.

Another inspiring book. If you look to the right you'll see a quote from here that's become something of a mantra for me
   

I don't know who's reading this, but I hope you find it worthwhile enough to keep reading. This year I'd like to include some guest writers and artists to keep things interesting, perhaps a few interviews, and more behind the scenes from my art studio.

What are some other things you'd like to read about???? Send me your comments...

I often get comments that don't end up here either by email or facebook. If you comment directly to the blog at least we can all share in the conversation.







October 3, 2013

Art House Gallery Archives: REMIXED 2012

Third installment of The Art House Archives:



REMIXED: A site-specific collaborative entanglement of used electronics
by Jon Slackman & Samantha Palmeri
May 6 - June 2, 2012

Sparked by a random comment on facebook about what to do with unwanted electrical equipment, we put out a call for the local community to dump their rejected gear at the gallery. A few weeks later box loads arrived filled with television sets, printers, answering machines, extension cords, cameras, light fixtures, and other outdated contraptions. Armed with drop cloths, gallons of unused latex paint, and some good loud music to listen to, we were ready to get to work. We arranged and hung the objects first. Some of the wires were spray painted but we poured the gallons of paint directly onto most of the pieces. I painted shadow replicas of the wires directly onto the walls adding another dimension to the piece. 



Whatever plugs still worked were plugged in including the television which maintained a fuzzy non-picture throughout the show, Christmas lights, some blinking, and spot lights that were connected to the center piece. 

There's nothing like frolicking in gallons of wet paint! We had a blast. The hardest part of the whole thing was definitely the clean up. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this project.























September 12, 2013

Art House Gallery Archives: Some Urban in my Suburban Please


Second Installment of Art House Gallery Archives. 

Here is a show I curated in February 2012 titled

Some Urban in my
Suburban
Please

This was our first major show at the gallery and the most fun I had the whole time I was there. Four New York based artists were selected including painters Carmen Einfinger and Meghann Snow, graffiti artist Cram Concepts, and me. The concept was simply to bring some urban into a very suburban area, and I went about it by asking each artist to create their piece on site at the gallery over the course of a long winter weekend. There's nothing like creating artwork alongside other artists creating artwork!

Carmen was the first to arrive. We spent an excellent day together talking and working. There were measurements taken, trips to the hardware store, people coming in and out of the gallery, and me making sure everyone was fed and happy. She worked on her piece while I worked on mine. It was a long day that ended at my house with glasses of wine and good feelings all around.

me concentrating on spray foam

Carmen concentrating on measurements

Carmen Einfinger


Carmen Einfinger


Cram Concepts
Cram Concepts met us bright and early the next day to work on his graffiti mural which would eventually cover three large gallery walls in the next room. Everything was going smoothly. Carmen only had a few hours left of work, Cram was just getting going and I was midway through my piece. What we didn't anticipate was the smell from the spray paint! My attempts to stave off the stench with fans and plastic tarps was to no avail, and the 19th century nailed and painted shut windows weren't helping. We ended up working in our winter coats, 30 degree gusts coming from every open door and crevice we could manage. Cram took an extremely long cigarette break while Carmen finished her piece, and I spent the rest of the evening holed up in the upstairs office.


the beginning of a masterpiece!

Cram Concepts

the ventilator that could've come in handy for the rest of us
my daughter with the fumes
Carmen working in her winter coat

Carmen's finished piece "Fill in the Blanks"

Carmen Einfinger

Cram's finished mural "Purple People Dominator"


work in progress "Eat Me"
Finishing touches for the show were made all the following week including procuring a vintage gumball dispenser to go next to our gum wall, making sure all invitations and press went out on time, preparing for the opening, and, oh yes, finishing my artwork for the show. 


my "Grillz" (Golden Nuggets) in the making
 
Gum Balls

Meghann Snow

Meghann Snow was the last artist to participate as her performance piece would take place at the opening reception. Everyone who's put a show together knows that there are a ton of last minute things to do no matter how prepared you are. To put a snag in the process, Meghann called from the bus stop saying she missed the bus and needed to be picked up a half hour away from the gallery. Once she arrived she discovered a malfunction in the painting suit she had just had made specifically for her piece. When it came time for the performance Meghann walked out in an improvised bubble wrap and masking tape get-up that was both funny and clever! Her hip-hop body painting of a purple and yellow abstract city scape was a hit.
Meghann Snow during her performance
 



Overall Some Urban in my Suburban Please was a big success. We had a ton of people at the opening, a good write-up in the press, visitors who continued to interact with the artwork throughout the show, and an amazing artistic and personal experience for me. I'm thrilled that I got to do this work. Carmen especially taught me a valuable lesson about learning to go with the flow in my artwork and not be so stuck in my own head. Thanks Carmen! And thanks to everyone who participated in this event.


Installation view of Carmen's "Fill in the Blanks" and the brick wall



A visitor making his mark



Meghann's finished piece, Dance Painting #4 with her masking tape booties hanging on the wall

partial view of "Grillz" and Cram's "Ice Cream Clouds" with hall & stairway in background


Some Urban in my Suburban please 
A multi-media site-specific group exhibition with NY artists: 
Cram Concepts, Carmen Einfinger, Samantha Palmeri & Meghann Snow

Press Release
Manahawkin's newest arts space, The Art House Gallery, is pleased to present "Some Urban in my Suburban please", a site-specific group exhibition featuring four artists working in a variety of mixed media. The exhibit fills two main gallery spaces and includes graffiti art, sculpture, interactive painting, and performance art. With most of the work having been created on site at the gallery, collectively the space radiates with raw creative energy similar to the gritty push of a city street.
New York artist Carmen Einfinger, known for her paintings and public works of lively organic patterns, brings her particular harmony of color and playfulness to an interactive installation. Reversing the roles of the traditional artist with the street artist, she's painted her piece directly on the gallery wall, while the visitors of the gallery are left to "graffiti" the unfinished canvas that partially covers it.
New York multi media artist Meghann Snow, who uses dance to create visual art, will be performing a painting piece at the opening reception in which she'll use her body like a paintbrush. Dipping into gallons  of latex paint, neatness will definitely not be a factor here.
Co-owner of the gallery and curator of the show, Samantha Palmeri, contributes two pieces. A debris of colorful paint and mixed  media fills the space of what once was a window pane in the gallery, while a real brick wall is partially built between two rooms. Typical of the urban landscape, here the unfinished rubble brings vitality to the space.
New York graffiti artist Cram Concepts has masterfully spray painted two large murals on the gallery walls. 
A gum wall which visitors can add to on their way in or out completes the show, making "Some Urban in my Suburban please" an eventful and transformative artwork, alleviating most of the white box.

View more videos from Some Urban in my Suburban please here!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZLXEESF2iydiJ1_Gnn86pw




 

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