Sunday, October 26, 2008

a gorgeous day for an art walk

This was the last day of Newark (NJ's) Annual Open Doors and Gallery crawl - and what a day it was! Glorious - sunny, warm but not too hot - perfect walking weather. The streets were quiet and there was time to wax nostalgic over this empty but gorgeous building that was the most elegant department store in Newark. For the carriage trade, built in 1901, It had crystal chandeliers and a 4-story atrium. It should become artists' lofts but I suppose it will be upscale condos at some point. Newark was once a beautiful city and a very historic one. The infamous Newark has quite a burgeoning art scene and this weekend there were exhibits all over downtown. Too many to get to on foot in one afternoon, but we saw quite a few exhibits. Unfortunately, we were not able to get to a couple of major places we would have wanted to see, like City Without Walls, but I can get down to see it another time, since they are an ongoing gallery. Many of the exhibits were in temporary spaces. We saw a fair amount of edgy work - installations and such, some excellent work, and a lot of crap. No matter! There was lots of energy -- all of it positive. One of the first places we stopped was Red Saw Gallery for their invitational. This is a piece by Colleen Gutwein, who is primarily a photographer. BUT - this is thread on canvas - one of four small pieces she had in the show. As it happened, she was gallery sitting today and when I asked if I could photograph the work, she came over and introduced herself. The pieces were self-portraits she did with pencil while not looking at the paper (blind drawing??) She transferred them to painted canvas and thread-painted by hand. She said it took a couple of hours just to sew because it was hard to get through the painted canvas. Very nice. I also liked these two works. There was a third but maybe I wasn't crazy about the third one - I don't remember. The artist is Jamie Allen, but when I googled the name, I got almost zip: there is an artist of that name who graduated from RISD and is teaching watercolor for kids and 2-D design at one of the county colleges. No website, nothing. Hmmm... And finally, these, acrylic on cut paper. This one, called Consumption, made me smile. And this is called Power. The artist is Anonda Bell At the next gallery, I must admit this piece and its ilk failed to communicate with me. What am I missing? We walked and walked and walked and finally, desperate to sit down, we went into 27 Mix -- a charming little restaurant with a fabulous looking menu, great reveiws, a bar, VERY NOISY customers and VERY LOUD music. We were tempted to stay, but couldn't take the din. Are we old and crochety, or what? On the way back to the Newark Museum, where we had parked, we saw this delicious piece of street art, which I hope is permanent. A recycled oil tank!Too exhausted to look at the Impressionist exhibit, we fell into the car and picked up Chinese takeout on the way home. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

4 comments:

Del said...

Rayna - The Colleen Gutwein connection doesn't work. I'm loving "Tea Leaf"! Del

Rayna said...

This is what happens when I'm blogging at midnight. I fixed it. Thanks.

AmyB said...

Oh -- at Mix, go through to the garden in the back. It's an amazing oasis in the middle of the city. I can't imagine sitting indoors there...

Judy said...

what a fun day! and I love the tank!

xo