End of Taste, Beginning of a three week break

TASTE comes down tomorrow. Between the opening reception and all of the vents we had, we had a lot of traffic for this show. I hate when shows come down. By the end of each show, I know each piece intimately and hate to see them go.

The past year had been crazy hectic with the start of Arts After Hours, a continuous stream of exhibits, and life in general. The next few weeks I am taking some time off, kind of.

Day One of my "Time Off"

Sunday starts with the first NOBAS (North of Boston Art Salon), at the gallery at 10am. Then at one, I am heading over to Nest Forward's opening at their new office in Nahant. (Note to artists: Realtors are your friends. Eventually, you will need to use one. The owner of Nest Forward, Soraya, is very artist friendly.) After visiting the beautiful office building, I will be chasing my children all over the beaches for a couple hours and hopefully taking some new photos of them for my office, then I attending the state of the city address at the Lynn Museum and meeting with the museum director about potentially bringing programming for artists to the museum.

Day Two
Mama is a taxi cab. Finishing first draft of article on artist Jeff Fioravanti.

Day Three
Meetings in search of a new gallery space and separate studio space for me. Working on article.

Day Four
Meeting with design firm, Elissa Von Letkemann Art & Design. Awesome new business cards, check.

Day Five
Ad book for Arts After Hour's First Musical, 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, and pr and Marketing for our next event, SWING! And drumming at Walnut Street

Day Six
Booking line up for artists, workshops, P.S.S. and Movie series. Working on article.

Day Seven
a.m. artist studio visit. Full on assault on the new and improved business plan.

Not to mention I plan to bring my children to the beach every day possible and start my new exercise regime. I hate Nordstrom mirrors. 

That's what my "weeks off" look like.

The next week I am taking it slow. I am talking at Brandeis about motherhood and the arts, and following up on all of the other things I started the week before.

Week three:
Heading to a three day conference on how to draw people into the downtown.

Someday, I am truly going to pack my bags and get on a plane and go somewhere where there is no art in sight, leave my laptop home, and just sit still.

Nah, that's not going to happen. But please, for the next three weeks, be kind to me for not returning your email right away. I'm taking a much deserved break.


NOBAS: North of Boston Art Salon @ TLGUTS

Donna Dodson, Squirrel
For a few years, I used to drop in one Sunday a month at Donna Dodson's Art Salon Boston. Every time I went, I left with enough good energy to last me a month and to keep me focused on my work.  I first met Donna when she showed in one of our earlier exhibitions, Goddess.  I was struck the quality of her work, by her professionalism, and her enthusiasm.

Being an artist is an often lonely practice. You are an entrepreneur, and unless you have a staff doing your work for you, which few of us do, you are running your own marketing department, coming up with new innovative ideas, manufacturing your product (that sounds horrible, but there it is), finding clients and vendors, keeping inventory records, financial records, etc. It's a lot more work than most people understand.

Donna's  salon brought artists of various modalities- dancers, writers, visual artists of all sorts, architects, musicians, art teachers, etc. together to talk about current topics of relevance to the arts: housing, grants, techniques, support for the lifestyle, marketing, new technologies, new literature, etc. They were like a monthly work meeting for artists and creative people to get out of their studios, network, and feed each other's need to communicate about the issues they face as artists.

I hosted a couple of Donna's meetings here once she started moving them around so that we could get a look at different galleries and venues, talk to various experts in the field, etc.A while back, the meetings stopped as Donna become quite busy with her own shows, so we are going to start having salons here at TLGUTS on the first Sunday of each month. 

Sarah Ashodian and I talked about starting NOBAS a while back and moving it around on the North Shore once it is established. This Sunday, May 1st, is the first run. We will be meeting at TLGUTS at 10am - noon.

We start with brief introductions, go on to throw around topics, pick one, talk for a while, then share news about upcoming events and opportunities, work, etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing this take off. If you haven't been to a salon before, come on down! Sometimes there's a few people, sometimes it's packed, but it's always a good time!


TONIGHT!!! Word Art at Walnut Street Cafe!

So I've been lax about my own visual work for a long time. The image above is about, oh, 15 years old. Printed in a wet darkroom. That's about how long its been since I have really put my head down and developed a body of work.

I've been so focused on dividing my time between helping at LynnArts and running the gallery for the past going on eight years (minus the past six months which has been focused on the gallery and community work)... I just let my own visual art work fall to the wayside. I have, however, been writing.

I started keeping a journal in the third grade. I have countless journals hidden somewhere in my house which I should probably burn now that my kids are teenagerish people. Writing has kept me sane through all those moments in life that are devastating or ridiculously happy.

Tonight I will be sharing some of my writing at the Walnut Street Cafe in Lynn, MA. This little "hot spot" has become my new favorite place. With Speak Up on Wednesday nights, run by the infamous Don White,  Jeff Pearlstein's drum circle on Thursday nights, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and Don's Open Mic on Sunday nights, there's always something gong on.

What I love the most about Walnut Street, besides it's full line up of arts programming, and the fire pit,  is the people. There's a community of thinkers, tinkerers, musicians, writers, visual artists, activists, etc. that have found their place over at Walnut Street. It's a place in the city where I can go to fill my cup with inspiration, other than the gallery or Turbine.

It's good to have options. I wish there were more options in the city for visual artists. I think that's about to happen. I have been hearing a lot of buzz about people starting different spaces which will focus on the visual arts and I look forward to having more people around participating in a visual dialog.

Meanwhile, come on down to Walnut Street tonight. I go on at 8:30pm, but come earlier to hear the other performers. I'll paint you a picture or two with my words.

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Walnut Street
Lynn, MA 01905-1168
(781) 596-1690

facebook event page for tonight!



La-di-da-di, we like to party
We don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody - Slick Rick

The past six months have been crazy here. Apparently, I have been "resisting", according to the book I am reading, which will remain nameless until I finish my review. We get to points in our careers where we have to move on to the next level of challenge. I am there.

The space where TLGUTS is located has been good to me. It gave me legs. However, there are obvious issues that keep growth stunted. For instance, some of my very favorite artists like to work big, and the little gallery can't support a show of many of their works. So I was looking for a new home. One with higher walls, more wall space, and street level visibility; a new space that will fit all the programs I run through the gallery and room to grow.

I look forward to finding this new space, and but we are months and months away from this becoming a reality.  In the meanwhile, TLGUTS will remain where it is. I thought about taking a break for the summer as an alternative, but there's just too much that I want to do, too many artists to show, too many things going on, too many people who meet up here on the regular. If I stopped cold turkey, I would lose my mind. Bringing people together is like a drug to me. The more people, the merrier I am. So, there is the news I have been holding back on. I was hoping to be able to release a new address, but we don't have one - and its looking like it may take a while.

Meanwhile, we are going to move forward. 

The Spring Swing, sponsored by Arts After Hours, is going to be held on May 28th, a Saturday evening. Upstairs we will have swing music, a little something something from Turbine Wine Bar, a few cool inspired interludes throughout the evening, and downstairs, at TLGUTS, or the VIP room, we will have an opening reception for a very special artist.

Next week, we have our film screening of Herb and Dorothy. For more info, check out our website.

This Spring Swing is also TLGUTS five year birthday party. We will have a cake, yes. And we will have dancing, and we will have all sorts of fun... most of all, we hope to have you there. More info to come. If you want to be on our volunteer staff for the evening, let me know!

Meanwhile, come see TASTE! It's only up for another week, and there are still pieces that need homes.

Artists include: Jennifer Adler, John C. Bennard, Jane Von Letkemann Coder,
Susan Funk, Fran Gardino, Christine McShane, Kim Sabella,
R. Peri Sossaman, Sandra Winter, Cate Woolner, Christy Yates