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 Whether you find out-of-date art gallery files interesting or not, I can find no better place to store this history, at least for now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



July 24, 2013

How to creatively hide the clutter while selling your house

Clutter is a nice word for what it really is.

Between my musician percussionist videographer husband, my 10 year old daughter who plays the cello, the clarinet, and the piano, and me, who has saved a lifetime of artwork, art supplies, and ideas scrawled on the backs of every little thing... there is so much stuff.

The conundrum of showing your house to potential buyers is that there's no where to hide it all. They want to see everything, your closets, cabinets, pantry and storage shed. They even look in your bathtub.

In the two months we've been 'selling' our house I've learned a few tricks. Any place can be a potential hiding place. So far my favorites are:

1)  under the computer desk
2)  behind the bookshelf
3)  in the car
4)  under the bed
5)  inside the hamper

It's no joke. A lovely piece of fabric hanging from a tension rod beneath the desk I'm sitting at nicely hides 3 boxes, a binder, a bag and a large paper cutter. That little space between the bookshelves and the wall perfectly fits two boxes of extra books I have no place for. Under the bed is pretty self explanatory. The car happened to be the perfect location for the


empty plastic bins that I don't need right now but will as soon as someone buys the house. The 100 degree weather this past week has most likely melted some of that pile permanently into the back seat, but, small price to pay. Last but not least, yes, I shoved our clean beach bag and blanket into the hamper the other day after a last minute visitor left us little time to clean.

Although we've been throwing stuff out like crazy, for borderline hoarders this could take a while...

Here's an important tip for artists.

If somewhere in the back of your mind you imagined a slew of biographers visiting your grandchildren wanting to see every morsel of art you ever created from kindergarten on, forget it. If you can't bring yourself to throw it out, hire a photographer, or get out your tripod, and photograph every lousy drawing and rolled up painting you have tucked away in every corner of your life, and then Throw It All Out!
The few shots that your biographer is ever going to need or actually use for the book are just not worth taking up all your space for. Nothing you did in college is ever going to resurface. And, as long as you have the photos all is not lost. You can take them out and ponder your artistic journey anytime you like. It's a lot easier than rummaging through 85 scrunched up rolls of unlabeled work from 25 years ago. Trust me, Keep the gems, get rid of the rest.
Just think about how many times you've read, say, a Francis Bacon biography or some other great artist and thought, Damn I'd rather be looking at those ugly paintings he destroyed.

But, I digress. Of the many piles of garbage accumulated in front of my house in the last few weeks, old artwork was just one. Here's some pics of items I photographed before I trashed them back when I was still sentimental... Obviously the bathroom closet was the first to go!






























May 2, 2013

"NOBODY LIKES COCKY"

While painting the kitchen last week with my husband, every time he got wall paint on the ceiling or ceiling paint on the fixtures he'd say, Oh I messed up, I got cocky. It was the running joke of the day. I kept saying things like nobody likes cocky, and clean up your own mess!

Facebook seems to be a breeding ground for these kind of catch-all phrases. People are always posting sayings like "Find your peace", "Make your bliss", etc. etc. Recently I even came across a list of 42 "life is too short" lessons by a 90 year old lady from Cleveland.

If I were to make my own list, it would be simple, three words. 
DON'T BE COCKY. 


If you think about it, it really covers a lot of ground. Don't be cocky like my husband painting the kitchen, meaning, focus on what you're doing and don't get ahead of yourself. It encompasses things like patience, endurance, and a couple other morale boosters I can think of. It mostly involves staying humble and not getting too big for your britches. The thesaurus lists cool words like swollen-headed and hotdogger. Apparently my computer never even heard of that one 'cause it thinks I'm spelling it wrong. 

When I think of the missteps I've taken along the way, I imagine those three words would've come in handy. Although hubristic sounds a lot more interesting, modesty and discretion go a lot further. 

After all, nobody likes cocky.

Less cocky, less mess to clean up...