Gallery Survival Guide

February 2, 2012

As we approach the opening for our annual Little Gems show this Friday evening, we thought we would share a Gallery Survival Guide that was written by one of our newer artists,, Rebecca Finch.  She put this together this gentle list of do’s and don’ts for some friends who may have been  intimidated by the prospect of attending a gallery opening.  Rebecca does a great job de-mystifying the gallery experience.  If you know someone who has never been to a gallery or an  opening, pass this on.  Thanks, Rebecca!

**************************

Gallery Survival Guide/ Rebecca Finch

So you think you might be attending your first gallery opening, and you’re not quite sure what to expect? Wipe the sweat from your forehead, get a tissue for your clammy hands, and breathe a deep sign of relief for we are here to help you.

Yes, sometimes a gallery is a place where people who know a lot about art, who love to drink wine and eat cheese, and who could easily purchase a wall full of expensive art, like to spout out long sophisticated words and keep the average Joe in the dust trying to figure out what just happened.

But I don’t think you will find this to be the norm at most galleries.

As you prepare for your excursion, here is a glimpse of the atmosphere you can expect to find at most gallery openings:

Rebecca Finch- Apple Solo

There might be a large group of people moving around the gallery.

 The structure is usually open house in which you may arrive at any time and leave when you wish

 Sometimes there is live music. Take it in and enjoy.

 Light refreshments are usually served.

 You may see the gallery director floating around making guests comfortable and being available for any questions or sales.

 The artists will usually be present and the well known ones will probably be in a perpetual conversation.

You will find people who genuinely love art, love to create it and love to talk about it.  That’s where you come in.  You don’t have to know a lot and you certainly don’t have to put on a front of art history knowledge.  Art is meant to be enjoyed, discussed and felt.  If you’re new to this, there’s no shame at all.  Just observe, ask questions, form your opinions, and enjoy.

There are a few common sense rules listed here but don’t be overwhelmed.  Remember that the goal is for you to enjoy yourself and not make you even more paranoid.

Gallery Etiquette:

Rebecca Finch- Bright Cloves

• Dress appropriately. Somewhere in between jeans and a T-shirt and a suit and tie is the appropriate dress for most galleries. You don’t have to be fancy, just don’t be a slob.

• Turn off your phone. This is not a place for phone calls or texting.

• Don’t head straight for the snackies. Enjoy some art first. And when you do hit the snacks remember they’re snacks. Not dinner.

• Please respect the paintings, sculpture, and glass by keeping a distance. It’s best not to touch art that you don’t own.

Refrain from making negative comments on a work of art because the artist, their friends or family could be in earshot. Share your critical comments over dessert or during the ride home.~

And here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to a gallery:

• Step inside and take in the whole space, noting the flow of traffic and the direction you would like to proceed.

• Begin observing the art. Making note of how you feel about the artwork. Do you like it? Why or why not? See if you can find something positive to say (just in case someone asks).

• Hunt for at least one piece of art that you like the most. Or, if it’s a group show, figure out who your favorite artist is.

• Try to find out something about your favorite artist. There are usually statements or bios nearby.

Rebecca Finch -Allegory For Love

• Ask yourself why you are drawn to certain pieces of art. Analyze your gut reactions. Is it the colors? Subjects? Style?

• Do you have questions about how the art is created? The subject matter? If you feel up to it, ask the director if they can point the artist out to you so you can ask your questions. Again, artists love to talk about their craft (even the humble ones – they are passionate, not cocky).  Try not to be afraid or intimidated.

Be sure to enjoy the atmosphere, the food, opportunity to learn something about art, the live music, and above all else enjoy seeing beauty.

Hopefully this little lesson will help you on your venture into the art world. Art appreciation can be as simple as enjoying something that you’re seeing. If you don’t have plans to attend a gallery opening, then make some. It makes for a great date night accessory in the middle of dinner and dessert. Bring some friends and talk about the show over something drippy and chocolatey.


Shed Your Blahs!

February 4, 2011

Pears With Green Teapot- Sheila Ortiz

If you’re feeling a little cabin fever and are looking for a break from the cold, we invite you to come out tonight to the Little Gems opening at the West End Gallery.  It’s always a great time with great miniature paintings by extraordinarily talented artists mixed in with a little wine and  some food, friends and music.  It will lift your wintertime blues!

The show starts at 5 PM and goes to 7:30 and is sponsored by JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph.  William Groome will treat the upstairs crowd with his guitar playing. 

HR Pufnstuf - David Higgins

If you’ve never been to an opening at the West End Gallery, don’t let that stop you.  It’s a very casual affair (no stuffy black ties here!) and is family friendly.  So don’t be shy and  if you have young artists-to-be , bring them along!  So throw on your coat, toss the kids in the car and come on out tonight.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Barn in Winter- Anne Bialke

Ham Radio- Wilson Ong

Gems Preview!

February 2, 2011

Cherry Blossoms- Bridget Bossart van Otterloo

We’re sure the wet and cold weather has us all wishing for the gray skies to clear and a little light to shine on us.  One way you can find a little light and warmth in these cold times is to head out to the West End Gallery this Friday evening, February 4th, for the opening of our annual Little Gems exhibit.  The exhibit features miniature paintings from our best artists and is always a great show and evening.

Curtis Rd. Hay Bales- Christopher O'Handley

The show this year is sponsored once a gain by a great friend of the gallery, JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph.  Music will be provided by the well-regarded guitarist William Groome.  The reception for the opening starts at 5 PM and runs until 7:30 PM.  The exhibit is currently hanging and is waiting for you take a stroll through.  Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this show!

Small World #9- GC Myers


Gallery Gems

February 4, 2010

Our annual exhibit of small paintings, Little Gems, opens tomorrow night.  This year’s offerings really makeup a wonderful group of work and the walls are filled with selections from nearly every gallery artist in a wide range of styles and subjects.

In other words, there is something interesting for just about anyone.

From Dustin Boutwell’s tiny still lifes, like his Tootsie above, to the whimsical creature characters, such as  Pig Brother shown here, from Wilson Ong, there are too many highlights to mention.  We, here at the gallery, think this might be the best all-around group of small paintings we’ve had in the sixteen years that Little Gems has been held.

Little Gems opens Friday evening, February 5th, with a reception that starts at 5 PM and runs until 7:30 PM.  We’ll be featuring the music of flute trio A.m.A. throughout the evening.  This year’s reception is generously sponsored by a great friend of the gallery, Jo Ann Bonady and her son Joseph Bonady.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Parnilla Carpenter: At Cornell Plantations

February 2, 2010

Parnilla Carpenter, Around The Bend
Colored Pencil, 3” x 4 ½”
Matted & framed to 5” x 7”
$150.00

The other day, my partner Mark asked how I felt about the phrase ‘comfort art’.  Was that okay?  Was I offended?  Yes, I said.  No, I said.  It’s a compliment. There’s too much dark and brooding in the world. Why not try to contribute a little comfort.

Around The Bend and Garden Gate are about the comfort of good memories: A sunny summer afternoon at Cornell University’s Plantations.  They’re a reminder (note to self too) that winter really doesn’t last forever, that flowers will bloom again soon.

Parnilla Carpenter, Garden Gate
Colored Pencil, 4 ½” x 3”
Matted & framed to 7” x 5”
$150.00

A little about how the Plantations drawings were done:

Unless I’m doing a calligraphy or portrait where another media is requested, I work mostly these days in colored pencil on smooth-surface Bristol Board. My layers of color and the pressure I apply to blend them will buckle lighter papers, but Strathmore’s Bristol provides a durable foundation.  I use Berol Prismacolor and Derwent pencils.

These drawings’ palette consists mostly of siennas, greens and earth tones coupled with vibrant reds, blues, and yellows to make the compositions glow and pop.  Layers and colors were blended with a white pencil.  I kept the shapes of the trees and flowers simple, impressionistic, let their bright colors do the talking.

Visit the Plantations’ Herb Garden on a warm June afternoon, and you can explore these places yourself.  The bloom cycle changes with every week of the growing season, and there’s always something new to enjoy.

Around The Bend, Garden Gate and other recent Parnilla drawings are available at West End Gallery.  Her drawing Purr is featured on the Little Gems invitation.

—————- Posted by Parnilla Carpenter


Little Gems from Marty Poole

January 29, 2010

We just received some new pieces for our upcoming Little Gems show, which opens next Friday.  It’s a beautiful group of small work from Marty Poole, one of the gallery’s most talented and popular artists for many years now.  We’re excited because Marty does not often work in such small sizes and this is a rare opportunity for savvy collectors.

Marty Poole, for those of you not familiar with his work, shows his wonderful oil paintings  in numerous galleries throughout the country and has a national and international following for his work.  We have been fortunate over the years to be able, as his hometown gallery, to show pieces, such as these Little Gems, that other galleries may not ever see.

His work is constantly moving forward and has evolved over the years into beautiful explorations of color and paint-handling.  These small pieces are great examples of the style and technique that typifies Marty Poole’s evocative work.  There are several figurative paintings, such as these three pieces shown here which are 6″ by 8″ in size and several still-lifes in similar sizes.

For more information on these Little Gems from Marty Poole or any of our other talented artists, please contact the West End Gallery at (607)-936-2011 or email us at info@westendgallery.net .  We’re anticipating great interest in these pieces, so don’t hesitate in giving us a call.

The Little Gems show opens Friday, February 5, with an opening with most of our gallery artists that runs from 5- 7:30 PM.   It is sponsored by JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph P. Bonady and will feature the music of flute trio A.m.A. It is open to the public and is always a great time.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

-




Mark Reep’s Chapel Bell

January 26, 2010

Mark Reep, Chapel Bell
Charcoal & Graphite drawing
3 1/2″ x 2″, matted & framed to 7″ x 5″
$450.00

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked this small and tight, and with West End’s annual Little Gems show coming up, a true miniature sounded like fun.  I began this drawing by laying out the chapel’s belltower on a clean sheet of Strathmore Bristol Board with a very sharp #3 Dixon Ticonderoga graphite pencil.  These pencils are a couple grades harder than the yellow #2s we all used in school, and create fine lines that erase cleanly.  With the layout established, I lightened the lines with a kneaded eraser, and shingled the brightly lit surface of the roof with the same pencil.  For the shadowed slope I switched to a very sharp, very hard HHH Wolf’s Carbon pencil that’s harder to keep sharp but produces marks a little darker than any of my graphites.  The deepest shadows were darkened with HB General Charcoal pencils.

For me, the process of stippling is about adding a little, taking a little away, adding more.  When a mark or area becomes too dark, I lighten it with a kneaded eraser shaped to a fine point- Essentially, stippling in the negative.  Not quick work, but continuing to build up and adjust marks as needed creates layered surfaces with texture and depth.

The chapel’s roof and walls were created the same way.  For the foreground evergreens I used a softer 6B General Charcoal pencil, lightening with a kneaded eraser, softening and blending with a Q-Tip, darkening again, definining further.  The foreground wall, bushes and ground cover were established with charcoal pencils, refined with graphite.  To create the effect of the farther trees receding into bright mist, I used only graphite pencils to keep values in those areas lighter.  The trees’ shapes and mist, the lawn and path were refined and smoothed with kneaded erasers, progressively harder graphite pencils, finishing with a Staedtler 6H.

I began the drawing’s remaining background by loading a cotton ball with powdered charcoal, scrubbing off most of it on scrap paper, then applying what was left very lightly, barely brushing the paper.  It’s a technique that borrows something from drybrush, creates a kind of dry wash that’s not as smooth as watercolor, but provides a good foundation for a somewhat similar effect.  I avoided the finished elements, and developed adjacent areas- along the chapel’s roofline, and at bottom left- with the Staedtler 6H.

And yes, I did remember to use my magnifier this time.

The thumbnail above should load an actual-size jpeg at most browser settings.  Here’s an enlargement.

Chapel Bell and other recent Mark Reep drawings will be available at West End Gallery’s Little Gems exhibit.  The show runs from February 5- March 12; opening reception is Friday, February 5, 5:00- 7:30.  If you’re interested, call Lin, Hedy or Bridget at 607.936.2011.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers