Visions of the Cosmic Take Form

In this exhibit we see David’s visions of the Cosmic take form. His colors merge and undulate like huge galaxies. This renowned African American artist believes that “The sign of a genuine work of art is that it can stir our unconscious feelings and past emotional experiences, while inspiring self-awareness and cultural integrity.” David is recognized as a major contributor to the art of the 21st century because of his brilliant manner in which he visualizes his objects and scenes.

Shekinah

Shekinah

He regards works done by legendary collagist, Romare Bearden, and European masters Pablo Picasso, Braque, and Henry Matisse in helping to inspire the unique style used in his paintings. Richard Watson–curator of African American Museum of Art states: “David Lawrence approaches the realm of cosmic influences as a point of departure for his creative platform. References to the ancient civilization of Kemet, the mysteries of the pyramids and the forces of nature are the threads by which he constructs his visions of creation and humanity”.

The Cosmos Is Within

The Cosmos Is Within

Stop by the gallery on Jan 12 5-8pm to meet the artist and experience his works.

If you missed the reception…

reception-the-artist-DorisPeterson

If you missed the reception on July 12, here are some photos of the delightful food table by Allisann Chavez of Elegant Creations, allisannapap@yahoo.com

reception-food1 reception-food2

the sign-in table and information about the artist

Reception-signin

It had a great turnout and Doris’ artwork was superb

"Equanimity", glass beads, acrylic, steel

“Equanimity”, glass beads, acrylic, steel

"Unity Strength in Numbers", 2013, glass beads, acrylic fiber

“Unity Strength in Numbers”, 2013, glass beads, acrylic fiber

 

 

Another time around

This exhibit gathers together in the gallery a diverse group of artists. Great works by painters, photographers and digital artwork grace the walls. To view their previous exhibits go to our previous exhibits page and click on the link for each artist.

On Tues Oct 13 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm you will have an opportunity to meet the artists and engage them in conversation about their past show and their current works.

Meet the Artists – Paul XO Pinkerman

Throughout the past 15 years of my artwork, I have often found myself creating work based on a sense of either nostalgia for the past or imaginings of how the past affects each of us.

In more recent years my works have focused on the point where identity and impermanence come together. Looking back over these memory based art works, I see that they, too, are about identity. How our past, how our memories of things mitigate and modify our experiences and choices, this over time, is what becomes our identity. Who we are is an almost an alchemical brew of things partly based on the actual and partly based on the vagueness of the remembered. I hope these works will give you pause to consider this in your own lives.

PXOPinkman  Auschwitz of  memory

PXOPinkman Auschwitz of memory

Meet the Artists – Heidi Sussman

Time has always been my obsession. I think about its infinite passage, how seconds grow into minutes, that become days, that add up to years that flas by in an instant. Albert Einstein said “time is an illusion”, leaving me to ponder whether or not it’s real or does it only exist in my imagination. Is it possible to determine that invisible line that exists in the nano-second between the past and the present? The essence of time is a concept I have addressed sins I first picked up a camera, often reworking images I’ve taken in the past while utilizing new processing techniques.

Taking photographs becomes my only way to capture a moment in time, where the present instantly becomes the past. Memory and mood allows the viewer to peek into a world where it’s impossible to determine if my work was created today or years ago. There is an ambiguity that leaves traces of reality or illusion, and in the pieces I have included in this show I try to evoke feelings of memory.

I use various papers and toning processes and the observer is never sure if the subjects exist in the past or present. In addition to my photography, I create photo-based mixed media pieces, combining various traditional and digital art media with my images. I print my images on an inkjet printer on natural fine art papers instead of traditional inkjet paper, and digitally tone them. Some are hand colored with art media like pastel and pencil, others are painted in the computer using digital brushes and paint. Additional media may be added including wax to create photo encaustics for a softer, more ethereal effect.

Ironically, I use current technological devices like my iPhone to create images reminiscent of vintage photos to look like they were created a hundred years ago. I like to have the viewer wonder where technology begins or ends.

Heidi -Sussman-Dream Wagon

Heidi -Sussman-Dream Wagon

Painting With Passion – Meet Dave Cubie

His canvases take over the gallery. Huge, colorful paintings, they make a bold statement about his inner world. This is what he says about himself in relation to the act of painting:

“I love painting. Paint is fabulously plastic and malleable to the imagination. I have been painting steadily for 28 years. I love experimenting within its parameters and I don’t care what is or isn’t popular. I don’t care about having a style or repeating myself in order to have a marketable product. At this point painting is integral to what I am. It started with drawing in childhood and blossomed into a full blown obsession in early adulthood. It metastasized and spread throughout my system, it is in my veins, my nerve endings, my synapses, my body chemistry; it is my pleasure and my pain. Painting is a symbiote, a strange rider I cannot escape.” 

Easy

Easy

No pretense here. No artist ego, just a gut felt truth, a passion that pulses in his veins. You can see the experimental side in paintings such as “Easy”,

Gardian

Gardian

the imagination part in “Guardian” 

no-name and the love of paint in the not named one and Blue Spatter.

Blue Spatter

Blue Spatter

His “Say What?” at 68” x 96” takes over the entire end wall of the gallery – a statement that the artist is not afraid of “putting it out there” for all to see.Say what?

Images on this website can’t do these justice. You have to see them up close to appreciate what Dave has achieved.  And also go close and look at the paint strokes themselves. Surprises abound on the micro level. So during the terribly dull cold days of this winter I’d recommend you stop down and be surrounded by color…your spirits will definitely be lifted!

Chase Away the Winter Blahs With Our New Exhibit

Come and view our latest exhibit of abstract paintings by Dave Cubie of Union, NJ. This unique show, full of color and energy, is guaranteed to cheer you up in the middle of winter!

guardian 

And don’t miss the chance to meet the artist behind this paintings. On Saturday February 1st, from 1-3 pm Dave will be in the gallery, available to discuss his works.

Alternate Gallery Spaces

In my blog post “The Value of the Contemporary Art Gallery” I described 3 types of galleries: The big galleries that exhibit only established artists (like the ones in NYC’s Chelsea district), the smaller non-profit types of which Les Malamut is an example, and the gallery/store that sells not only artworks but other items and/or does framing. There is also a fourth type that I am calling “alternate galleries” which exist in spaces that you wouldn’t normally consider as a gallery.

Many restaurants, bistros and cafes turn their walls into an art gallery so that their patrons have something visual to enjoy while dining. Some of these establishments actually “curate” what is shown over time and actively seek artists to exhibit. Two examples I’m quite familiar with are the Cosi franchise restaurants and the Rock’ N’ Joe coffee shops. They are bright open areas, ideally suited for hanging works of art. Another type of venue that displays art, are NJ town public libraries. The artwork is usually hung on open wall space between bookcases. Also you can see artwork hung in the public spaces of office building lobbies. Here either the landlord or one of the main tenants actively seeks artwork to decorate the space. And then there are really “alternate” spaces like vacant stores that become temporary “pop up” galleries, or sidewalk shows that last only a weekend.

If you are an artist looking for an exhibit opportunity, especially if you are just starting out or your resume is sparse, these can be jumping off points to building that exhibit list, getting recognized, and could lead to other professional exhibit opportunities. However, there are drawbacks. In some locations the lighting can be so poor that your artwork will not be shown to its best advantage. Some spaces don’t understand how to hang artwork, so the piece might be placed too high to see details or placed in an area where no one will notice it. You will also have to do all your own promoting from press releases to postcard takeaways. It is the rare venue that will mention what artist is currently exhibiting and on some walls it will be hard to affix labels for information. The benefits are that almost always no one will take a percent of any sales made, and your work will be viewed by individuals who tarry in the space instead of just walking through it.

For the lover of art, these alternate galleries present a wonderful variety of style, subject matter, and price. In my opinion, some of the most delightful or thoughtful or original artwork is by artists who haven’t made it into a “big” gallery. And yes, some professional artists will do shows in these spaces because they love the intimate atmosphere. Lastly, you can sit down for a couple of hours and “live” with the piece if you are contemplating buying it!

Sometimes alternate spaces become true galleries. There was one in Hoboken that started out in an old theatre and was a delightfully large open space great for exhibiting big paintings and having wonderful opening receptions. Unfortunately, the owner sold the property and the new owner chose to tear down the building. Then there is the Casano Community Center Art Gallery that I started in a high trafficked hallway. It’s birth was a result of my looking to exhibit some very special work I did about Ground Zero and I wanted to display it around a 9/11 anniversary. I received permission to hang it on the wall in that hallway. The center’s director and the town’s mayor found this such a fantastic idea, to have a gallery in their downtown community center, that now after 4 years and 24+ shows it has a professional hanging system, a sign, and is no longer considered an “alternate” space.

 I’d love to hear about some really strange alternate spaces out there. Or another success like my Community Center gallery.

 “Painting With Words” – Leona M Seufert

The Value of the Contemporary Art Gallery

Editor David Carrier writes in his current article “The Contemporary Art Gallery” in the Brooklyn Rail:   

“Artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, and critics—these are the essential components of a contemporary art world. Artists make the art that galleries display; this art is evaluated by critics and purchased by collectors or by curators for museums. Take any one of these components away, and our art world system would collapse. Galleries are admission free, unlike most museums. But the commodities they sell are not affordable by most art critics. The grandest galleries can afford more attractive displays than museums. But they have relatively small audiences and so feel more like private clubs than public spaces. There are a great many studies of the art museum. By contrast, the art gallery has inspired much less attention. That is surprising, for almost inevitably contemporary art goes from the gallery to the museum. Anyone who takes even a casual interest in contemporary visual art knows art galleries. Nowadays ubiquitous, because they are so familiar, we perhaps do not sufficiently realize how distinctive they are. We take them for granted.”

There really exist 3 types of galleries: The ones Carrier discusses in his article, the smaller non-profit types of which Les Malamut is an example, and the gallery/store that sells not only artworks but other items or does framing. Thus all of us who love art and love looking at art have a great number of choices when wanting to experience art or purchase art.

The big grand galleries that exist in NYC are a great way to spend time learning about contemporary art or seeing established well-known masters. They are also a great place to ask questions about the artworks and the artists. I have always found it enjoyable to chat with the gallery personnel as it’s their job to be knowledgeable about the current exhibit. But don’t even consider these galleries as places to purchase a piece. Prices are way beyond most of our means.

The second type of gallery, the non-profit one, has more affordable art. The artists are usually local residents, the quality of their works can be on par with NYC galleries, and  their prices are not only affordable but in most cases the money from a sale goes entirely to the artist. So here you are really supporting the artist, not the gallery! Many of these galleries are where artists starting out get their first chance and purchasing one of their works not only supports them economically but also psychologically!

The last type, the gallery/store can be a great place to visit and purchase art. These business people have a “stable” of artists that they promote with reasonable pricing. If you can make one of the exhibit receptions, you will also be able to talk to the artists themselves, ask questions of the business person about their other artists, and enjoy whatever else the store sells. Located in a town’s downtown they are a great place to stop in on a day of shopping and when looking for gifts. The only negative is that the shop gets a percentage of the selling price and in some stores the art is rather crammed together on the walls.

I’ll end with a list of some of Union County’s great non-profit galleries and a gallery/store that I personally like (and my artist friends represented by them would recommend)

Casano Community Center Art Gallery – exhibits only Roselle Park Residents  314 Chestnut St. Roselle Park, NJ

Tomasulo Art Gallery Union County College first floor of the Kenneth Campbell MacKay Library 1033 Springfield Avenue Cranford, NJ

Keane University Galleries: James Howe Gallery and the Nancy Dryfoos Gallery 1000 Morris Avenue, Union NJ

Pearl St Gallery – small gallery in an historic building 633 Pearl Street Elizabeth, NJ (908)558-2550

1978 Gallery – small downtown gallery they also offer art classes 1978 Springfield Avenue Maplewood, NJ

Visual Arts Center of NJ – private art school with 3 public galleries 68 Elm Street, Summit NJ

Arts Guild NJ – located in an historic building in downtown Rahway, they also offer art classes 1670 Irving Street Rahway, NJ

Barron Arts Center – located in an historic old library, they also offer art classes, poetry readings and other cultural events 582 Rahway Avenue Woodbridge, New Jersey

The Artist Framer – frame shop that showcases artwork, also hold classes on site 17 North Avenue East Cranford, NJ

                                            Painting With Words” – Leona M Seufert

Exploring the World of Dawn Gilmore

I was fortunate to be able to view Contradistinct while it physically hung in our gallery. Dawn Gilmore’s artworks are very personal, full of emotion and color. They reveal an expression of herself and her relationship with the world. She does acrylic paintings on Plexiglas, conte crayon and charcoal drawings on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper, photography, and construction. The first 3 were represented in this exhibit.

Dawn uses the creative process as a way to work through personal problems and feelings.

ahead        shag

She states “My paintings tend to deal with relationships ranging from crushes, falling in love, to break-ups, while others are about loneliness, longing, and changes in life.” The small acrylics are vivacious and colorful while her large paintings have an African Art feel about them. She uses plexiglas as her substrate because she loves the effect, never really liking canvas. 

together

Her conte crayon and charcoal drawings of faces, on the other hand, are dark and brooding. “My drawings are all self-portraits about identity and the struggle to feel comfortable in ones own skin”. She is currently moving into using color conte crayons, experimenting with the emotional effects she can produce.

The series of photographs, shot with a Pentax K-X digital SLR camera, is the most fun and spontaneous form of expression that she chooses to use. Each image is something that she had the pleasure of stumbling upon, exploring, and then shooting up close in natural lighting. Some photographs make you look twice to discover exactly what the image contains.

“I’m really a quite shy person but I love to create work that is bright with color that is ‘in your face’!”

Dawn has been inspired by contemporary artists Margaret Keane, Keith Haring, Frida Kalo, and Barbara Kruger.  

She attended DuCret School of the Arts, Plainfield, New Jersey Majoring in Fine Art, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey where she majored in Electronic Filmmaking and Digital Video Design Documentary-Feature-Corporate Track.

She has exhibited at the Ceres Gallery, New York, New York, Watchung Arts Center, Watchung, New Jersey, Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, New Jersey, Arts Guild, Rahway, New Jersey and has done window displays for Gallery U, Red Bank, New Jersey and  for the Juror/Window: The No Show – Show / No Lines, Art Alliance, Red Bank, New Jersey.

 You can view her work at http://www.dawngilmore.com
                      
Painting With Words” – Leona M Seufert