“Third Annual Whimsy” Preview

With Thanksgiving 2015 in the books and the calendar flipped to December (some old school paper product irony since this has been rough-drafted on my phone), the Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Avenue, will see the opening reception of “Third Annual Whimsy” during Pittsfield‘s “First Fridays Artswalk.”

As mentioned in a previous post, Tammara Leminen and I are excited to be beginning curating shows at the Whit in both of its galleries, and we think this exhibit will really kick off the endeavor in a big way.

Part of what we hope to do for most shows is to do, as I have done in the past, studio visits and/or brief highlights of some of the artists involved with the shows.  (Remember “Respringenation”?)

"Respringenation"

We began this time out with a visit to the West Housatonic Street studio of Michael Vincent Bushy.  As artists, we all work incredibly hard at what we do, and I think most arts community folks would agree that Bushy is one of the hardest working we know.

Michael Vincent Bushy

An Art Educator at Hillcrest Education Centers, Bushy is also Vice President of the Berkshire Art Association, as well as an active member of several other regional creative organizations.  He is a tireless arts advocate and a professional artist that works equally well in several mediums, including drawing, painting, book making, and print making.

Michael Vincent Bushy

Michael Vincent Bushy

Michael Vincent Bushy

For this exhibit, Bushy will be showing a fine selection from his minaret series, as well as having available smaller examples of his exquisitely produced handcrafted books.

Michael Vincent Bushy

We stopped in for a visit to Berkshire Community College for a chat with Art Department Chair Lisa Griffith just before this post went to WordPress.

Lisa Griffith

Lisa Griffith

Lisa Griffith

Griffith will be doing a fabulous installation of a life-size paper machete dress for the show.  The piece is painted as a sky and includes a flowing backdrop painted in similar fashion; a certain eye-catcher that will great visitors from the bay window alcove portion of Gallery W.  Griffith will also be showing a selection of mono prints of dresses.

Lisa Griffith

Lisa Griffith

In a nice chunk of serendipity, Karl Mullen did a recent weekend-long open studio event for his fantastic studio-in-a-barn on Green River Road in Williamstown.  Mullen, as some might recall, was one of the artists featured in “Respringenation”, and we’re very pleased that he will be joining us for this show.

Karl Mullen

Over cups of warm cider we chatted and enjoyed having a look at some of Mullen’s latest work.  Always filled with exuberance, his art and thoroughly synced approach results in fun-filled explosions of color and rhythm on a panorama of surfaces.

Karl Mullen

Karl Mullen

Mullen, also a consummate folk music artist, will be well represented with some large pieces, as well as some of his altered book pages.

Karl Mullen

Following up on her highly touted debut solo show at Unusual Wedding Rings and More, arts indie‘s own Tammara Leminen will be hanging a wonderful selection of her graphite drawings and, like Mullen, is also an alumni of “Respringenation.”

Tammara Leminen

Tammar Leminen

Leminen and I share studio space in a former roadside store in New Ashford.  Below we see her making a start on a piece she contributed by invitation to the big Berkshire Art Association summer show, “Reimagined!  An International Show of Cartoon and Comic Art.”

Tammara Leminen

It was also during warmer weather that we made first acquaintance with New York City-based assemblage stylist Purely Patricia at the Hillsdale Artswalk.  We were so enchanted with her work at the time, and as curators, made special notes to our selves to work with her on a project.

Purely Patricia

Purely Patricia

A purely natural for “Whimsy”, we were thoroughly delighted when she agreed to take part.  Patricia will be effervescent at the reception with a delightful display of her work.

Purely Patricia

Also based in the Hudson River Valley, but further north in Hudson proper, Ryder Cooley, we are thrilled to announce, will be the latest artist to be featured in the Colt Gallery.  Cooley, an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and performer, will have a whimsical installation of new work, as well as select favorites, in the eclectic old world parlor setting of the Colt.

Ryder Cooley

Ryder Cooley

The night of the opening, Cooley and her bandmates, the Dust Bowl Faeries, will be performing at the Artswalk After Party beginning at 8PM.  We are so looking forward to this!  The show will be an absolute spectacle with sights, sounds, and performance unlike most anything most folks have ever experienced.  You just don’t want to miss this!

Ryder Cooley

Ryder Cooley

And, returning to this edition of “Whimsy”, will be perennial favorites Linda Graves and Gary Lippincott.  Their fantasy art illustrations will warm your heart and lighten your spirit, just perfect to transition for another joyful tour around the sun.

Linda Graves

 

“Third Annual Whimsy”

[PITTSFIELD, MA] They say “third time’s a charm”, and that seems particularly apropos to this year’s continuance of a Whitney Center for the Arts Holiday tradition; the gallery is pleased to announce the “Third Annual Whimsy” art show will open with a reception from 5-8PM on Friday, December 4, during Pittsfield’s “First Fridays Artswalk.”

An After Party will follow from 8-10PM with a very special performance by Ryder Cooley and the Dust Bowl Faeries.

“Third Annual Whimsy” marks the return of curating couple Leo Mazzeo and Tammara Leminen to the Whit, located at 42 Wendell Avenue in the heart of downtown Pittsfield.  The show will span both Gallery W and the Colt Gallery.  With “whimsy” as the general theme of the exhibit, Mazzeo and Leminen hope to capture some of the special (and often times elusive) magic of this festive season, as well as (in a much broader sense) the universal magic inherent in much of our daily lives, if we can manage to approach it with open hearts and minds.

“Third Annual Whimsy” will be a group show drawn from a select cadre of artists, working locally and in the Hudson Valley; the work of the participating artists incorporates a vast array of mediums and genres, ranging from sculpture to silk-screen printing.  Included in this year’s “Whimsy” will be the work of New York City-based assemblage stylist Purely Patricia; Michael Vincent Bushy (Berkshire Art Association Vice President); Ryder Cooley (Hudson visual and performing artist); Williamstown’s renowned Primitive artist Karl Mullen; Lisa Griffith (Berkshire
Community College Art Department Chair); and a series of graphite illustrations from the Whit’s own Tammara Leminen.  Returning to this third edition will also be perennial favorites Linda Graves and Gary Lippincott.

“Third Annual Whimsy” will continue through January and can be viewed at the Whitney Center for the Arts during gallery hours, Wed.-Fri., 3-7PM and Sat., 12-5PM.

"Third Annual Whimsy"

Image by Tammara Leminen.

 

Happy Holidays friends!  Hope to see you at the show!

Article by Leo Mazzeo.  Photographs and images by Leo Mazzeo except where indicated.