On the Walls

Both arts indie principals are pleased and honored to have work hanging in two very big Berkshire County cultural happenings.  Tammara Leminen was invited to contribute work to “Reimagined!  An International Show of Comic and Cartoon Art”, now being shown at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, MA through August 29, while I myself have a piece included in the Fresh Paint Gallery at the Berkshire Artist Museum in North Adams, MA.  This exhibit is one of three shows currently on display at the museum, in addition to the permanent exhibit of Eric Rudd’s work.

Reimagined

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Art Association.

BAM

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Artist Museum.

Thursday, July 30 was a big red-letter day for me.  In addition to the opening that evening at BAM, I enjoyed an afternoon of helping friend and fellow artist, Scott Taylor, hang the “Reimagined!” show at the Lichtenstein.  Presented by the Berkshire Art Association (BAA) and the New York-based Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA), the show is curated by MoCCA Founder and BAA Board Member, Lawrence Klein, and includes a fantastic selection of pieces by some of the top artists exhibited in a show Klein previously put together in Lisbon, Portugal, as well as a few top regional artists Klein invited.  Artists from the Lisbon show include Juan Cavia, Ricardo Drummond, Henrik Rehr, Joe Staton, and Santiago Villa.  Local artists include Eric Korenman, Tammara Leminen, and Scott Taylor.

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

The show has a wonderful museum-like feel, as well as a more traditional art show look and is delightfully appealing to a broad range of interests.  Serious comics aficionados, artwork appreciators, and folks that are looking for a learning experience will enjoy the work here.

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

After the show was on the walls and a brief interlude at the home-base of arts indie in New Ashford, it was a drive north and east to the Berkshire Artist Museum in North Adams for the multi-opening taking place that evening as part of the popular monthly summer arts event, DownStreet Art.

"Then and Now"

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Artist Museum.

Berkshire Classics Gallery

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Artist Museum.

Fresh Paint Gallery

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Artist Museum.

Despite a somewhat warm…ok, very hot and muggy evening…attendance was really good in the venue and a steady stream of visitors stopped in to see what was on the walls of BAM.  “Then and Now”, the main attraction of the new work, is a companion show to “That 70’s Show” and now hangs as a recent work juxtaposition to the pieces created 40 years ago by the same group of elite Berkshire artists.

"Then and Now"

As mentioned in a previous post, the artists here include:  Benigna Chilla, Peter Dudek, Warner Friedman, Gene Flores, Mike Glier, Joe Goodwin, Julio Granda, Stephen Hannock, Robert Henriquez, Thomas Hoadley, Matuschka, William Oberst, Jim Peters, Sarah Sutro, and David Zaig.

"Then and Now"

"Then and Now"

"Then and Now"

One facet immediately apparent in the new work, beyond the obvious significant difference that 40 years makes, is that, with some exceptions, the artists, at least seen by way of BAM Director Dr. Keith Shaw’s curation, have moved in directions that emphasize line as a dominant factor in their compositions.  Color relationships, though a strong factor in all the work, almost chat with line from the back seat and let line do most of the driving.  Narrative sits watchful in the shotgun seat here, while interactivity makes a fun appearance in the hinged work of Gene Flores.

"Then and Now"

"Then and Now"

Besides the main event, two side rooms provide wall space for two smaller exhibits.  The newly christened Berkshire Classics Gallery features a solo exhibit of Grier Horner’s work.  Horner is on quite the roll in the County, with this show coming soon after the fabulous retrospective displayed at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts during the month of June.

Berkshire Classics Gallery

Here, we see a couple of selections from his powerful cathedral series; an almost forgotten portrait of his friend and colleague, Linda Baker-Cimini; a hand-standing action portrait of his mother; one from his series on the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany; and one he specifically painted for a food-based exhibit I curated that was shown at the Marketplace Café in Pittsfield last spring.  Great, sir!  Congrats!

Berkshire Classics Gallery

Berkshire Classics Gallery

Berkshire Classics Gallery

Berkshire Classics Gallery

I am very happy to be a part of the other small exhibit at this venue.  Every month during the warmer season, the Fresh Paint Gallery will feature recent work by four new artists.  This month, my piece, “Censorship Hypocrisy”, is hung with work by Kathline Carr, Debi Pendell, and Rebecca Weinman.

Fresh Paint Gallery

Fresh Paint Gallery

Fresh Paint Gallery

And then at the Lichtenstein on Saturday, the eagerly awaited “Reimagined!” opened.  A previous commitment didn’t allow me to attend, but I’m told the opening was fabulous, with a virtual plethora of happenings going on at once.  A live band, face-painting, and folks in optional costumes were all part of the afternoon fun.  Joe Staton created drawings of superheroes by request in exchange for a donation to benefit the BAA and will return to do so again on 3rd Thursday. Here below, we have a super look via the superhero lens of photographer Karen Schiltz:

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

"Reimagined!"

All photographs in this section (c)Karen Schiltz.

To close this piece, as has been recent custom, I leave off with a look at what’s been happening in the arts indie studio in New Ashford, MA.  In addition to her wondrous piece in the Lichtenstein show, Tammara Leminen has another WIP well on its way forward:

Tammara Leminen

Myself, I finished my own WIP between the last post and this and look to finish another large piece in the near future:

"And Their Dramas"

“And Their Dramas”, oil on canvas, 36″x48″.  (c)Leo Mazzeo.

Leo Mazzeo

So, all for now.  Hope your summer has been thoroughly enjoyable to this point.  Maybe we’ll see you at something soon?

Tammara Leminen

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