Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hello Brooklyn, Hello BWAC

As a relatively new member, I continue to be amazed and delighted at what BWAC manages to pull off. The opening on Sunday, September 12, 2021 went smoothly and the exhibits were exciting and well presented. The crowds emphasized the success of the endeavors.

The three concurrent shows are The Threads that Bind and Recycle, national juried exhibits and the BWAC members show, Hello, Brooklyn. All three of these shows are multifaceted and substantive. The shows come down October 17th. Don’t miss this opportunity to see great art and expand your horizons. What follows is a brief introduction by way of a few of the pieces that really captured my attention on my first pass. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Threads That Bind

I was greeted (step two after showing my vaccination card) by Priscilla Stadler’s enticing Welcome to Fragile City:Red Hook. I came back later to digest her statement but my first impression was wow, these are the buildings I see all around me every day…but better somehow. Softer, flowing and great color. In addition to the hanging fiber, the water lines on the wall behind the flowing fabric mark past and predicted flooding in the building and Red Hook.

                        Priscilla Stadler, Welcome to Fragile City:Red Hook, installation

“In Welcome to Fragile City: Red Hook, not only is the architecture ephemeral, but the writing is on the wall - literally! When you read it, please keep in mind that while certain aspects of climate change are reversible, rising sea water levels are not.” From Priscilla’s statement. @priscillastudio

Donnelly Marks’ kinetic sculpture offered just the re-energizing I needed after the sober reminder of our environmental challenges; she has a related piece in Recycle.  Totem 2 stands about 7 feet tall and is quite dramatic. Festooned from crown to toe in black and white knotted strips of cloth and rope, deep blue cyanotype ritual flags, the flowing fabric along with hand beaded “milagros” and flower adorned crown create a mystical figure. When moving, there is a sense of regal presence. @donnellymarks

                            Donnelly Marks      Totem 2, mixed media

An added bonus of Threads That Bind is that I learned a new word, palimpsest. I had to look it up, do you? When I saw Pamela Simard’s garment, I immediately wanted  to take it off the wall and wear it. The writing was impossible to ignore although it did not compel me to read it. I was already (in my head) walking around sporting my new coat. @_pamelasimard

Pamela Simard, Palimpsest

Hello, Brooklyn 

The members show, Hello, Brooklyn has as many great finds as The Threads That Bind. I always enjoy seeing Ben Perini’s work. He has 6 reproductions mounted on small wooden panels, 6"x6"x2". This collection is varied in subject matter, look and feel. The birds captured my attention immediately but now as I study my photo of his work, I see how eyes play a prominent role in this grouping. In Ben's words, "The Lone Ship really stands alone as the birds and eyes seem so connected". @benperini


              Ben Perini

Susan Greaves' Angel Fragment, a mixed media assemblage transported me back to the Renaissance feeling like I should be recognizing a famous face. Richly decorated it radiates a serenity and beauty from another time. 

                        Susan Greaves, Angel Fragment, 14"x14"x2", mixed media

I had the pleasure of meeting Gene Dunn in person. He was one of the first artist interviews for BWAC Buzz but it was all done online. His work in Hello, Brooklyn is a masterful self portrait in oil. @gene_dunn_

                         Gene Dunn, Self-Portrait, oil on canvas, 18"x24"X1"


By the time I got to Recycle I was in advanced sensory overload. I definitely look forward to going back and taking a more careful look. One of the highlights of Recycle on Sunday was a conversation with John Kaiser, the juror of Recycle and Director of Education for Materials for the Arts. 

I was not familiar with the Materials for the Arts until I researched the juror. They provide NYC arts nonprofits, public schools and city agencies access to free materials. Keeping valuable materials out of a landfill (dear to my heart) they give unwanted items a chance to be reused and inspire new works. Their goal is to help people rethink how they see materials and waste.

It was clear in my conversation with John that he was very pleased with the quality of the work that was submitted for the exhibit.  “The Recycle Art show is a cutting edge exhibit that showcases how meaningful re-using materials can be in the arts. Each of these art pieces acknowledges the history and imbued meaning in the materials that where used to create the artwork.” He was impressed with the volume of work submitted and the many different perspectives and approaches that helped demonstrate the depth possible in this kind of work.

Collaboration came up frequently in our conversation. He has a unique definition of collaboration…with materials not just people, believing it adds to the depth of the creative experience. 


For me the stand out artwork of Recycle this assemblage. A long time cyclist, although not a golfer, I enjoyed this marriage of objects. The club legs rendered it horse-like for me emphasizing the transportation nature of the material

                    Manning      Amarillo Bull

Don't miss these exhibits that close on October 17th. BWAC is open from 1-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Bring proof of vaccination.

When you've seen it, let me know what you think.

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