Monday, October 16, 2006

First Hand Art


I've argued against art being a spectator sport. "No more second-hand art," I've said.

This past weekend, I got a demo of first hand art, at Miller's Community and Arts Center. Saturday evening was the opening for the most recent show there, featuring work by Joe Lee Davidson, Paula Strobel, Mike Ball, and Matthew Waddington.

Lee Grumman wrote in the invite "You don’t have to be a hoity, toity art connoisseur to enjoy this. It’s not about that at all, it’s about supporting and celebrating our folks close to home."

And what do you know? I arrived at the opening, expecting that I'd walk in and find Lee and the four artists standing around. To my surprise and delight, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Paula and I arrived to find the place mobbed. We had to hunt around for a place to park (this in a town without a stop light.) The opening was such a crowd that my crowdaphobia kicked in and I almost argued for blowing it off and going home. I'm glad I didn't.

And, to my delight, the artists' statements were not the usual psychobabble. My favorite line was "Viewers may note that all of the paintings were done in very similar light. This is because they were all painted about the same time - after work, and before dinner."

Yes, indeed - a series of paintings all done in single spot, after work and before dinner. Take it from me - this is not second-hand art. It's awfully nice to connect with such a nice arts community so close to home.

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