See My Work with Patty Lakinsmith for the ISGB/Bead and Button Convergence Exhibit

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gallery Musings...

I went to an opening at the Progress Energy Art Gallery in my town Friday night. This is the gallery where I've been putting some of my pieces and will be the featured artist in December. Anyway, this opening was unbelievable. The name of the show was Persona Obscura and featured incredible masks by Sergio Flores.

There were several other new young artists there, all having their first shows as well. The amazing talent showcased here Friday night was something to behold. But I need to give you a little background so you'll know why I'm so thrilled with what I saw.

This is a sleepy little town. It's been very slow to support the arts, though the elders have made several attempts to turn this into an artists' haven. It was, in fact, reputed to be the hideaway for some very famous movies stars back in the WWII days, and the town has put up murals on old building walls to depict the "good old days". The art gallery made several attempts to showcase local artists, but until recently, the focus for this little town has been the water, and all the accompanying activities. That changed when Karen Tolliver became the gallery director. Under her leadership, a legion of supporters has been steadily growing....though much of the works shown were oils and photos....lovely art, but somewhat quiet and staid. Recently, we've been showing more wearable art, and collage art...and we still have a long way to go...but we're getting there!

So...along comes Friday nite. Dark art, some even grotesque in it's own beautiful way, hung all over our little gallery. The artists, some with their models, dressed in black with multiple piercings, along with their fans, families and friends filled the place to the rafters. A large hearse, on loan from the local funeral home, was parked out front. Wine flowed generously. It was quite a sight, and I'm sure it set this town on its' ear. But for me, the real thrill was watching the older gallery "regulars" mix with these young, incredibly sweet, new artists. They embraced this new talent and welcomed them, they shared the thrills of the night as they all discovered how truly united they were in wanting to give the art it's proper recognition. I know that Karen and the artists were very nervous as the opening approached, worried about what kind of a reception this type of art would get. But I'm here to tell you...this was the best attended opening I've been to since I joined. It was a ball! (And I bought a mask and a digital painting for my art wall...)

This town is ready...and these new artists are just the shot in the arm we need to wake up everyone to let them know we're here to stay!


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