Wednesday, October 07, 2009
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Friday was a great fall evening, and a great way to start it off was a visit to Bernie Carreño's studio and gallery grand opening. Located just a block south of the Stutz at 901 N. Senate, in the back of the welding business, Bernie had plenty of friends helping him out. With a shelter set up against the building the party took place in the alley. The atmosphere was pure fun and Hoosier hospitality.
The gallery itself is amusingly ironic. It's the tiniest gallery space I've ever been in. About the size of a walk-in closet with several of Bernie's small metal sculptures displayed against the walls, I find it an interesting display for someone known for his huge metal public sculptures. As Bernie explained, he didn't want to carve out too much space from his studio to house exhibits. He'll rotate the shows monthly.
Carreno's work has the finesse and quality evident from his years of experience. A hint of his humor is also present at times.
It was an easy walk up to ArtBox for "Parables in Black and White" by Ted Stanuga. I got so busy talking with Jason Myers, artist and ArtBox owner; and Paula Dalton, artist from Anderson, that I didn't get around to shooting any video. Myers reported Stanuga wasn't able to attend his opening due to illness falling upon him that morning. It's a shame when something like that happens. Missing an opening at a place like the ArtBox must have been a double whammy.
Stanuga's predominantly black and white charcoal and oils on canvas hearken back to Robert Motherwell but with a freer blurring of line and shape. I can easily see how Stanuga's work would fit well in a corporate setting.
My goal was to visit Mt. Comfort at State St. and English Ave. As I drove north on State a happening event was visible on the corner. Before even getting in the door I knew this was going to be a fun adventure. People were casual and intermingling in little groups, the atmosphere was thick with burgeoning creative types, the walls were peeling and stripped of multiple layers of paint with the exposed brick peeking out in places, and bare bulbs were the only illumination.
It took awhile for me to find out Mt. Comfort was across the street and I had wandered into the Bootleg Exhibit, a guerrilla show that might have been up for just that weekend. The art was frivolous and original from the thick collection of pine cones coalescing from the middle beam like a back country stalactite to the "Splat" of a silvered skeleton.
"Zobac" by sculptor Aaron Thornburg was my favorite. The natural branches forming the legs and structure contrasted with the highly finished/polished wood body and head. It's jaunty angles seem friendly and inviting.
First Friday was finished off with a visit to Dorman Street where Ellie Siskind and I shared stories while waiting for Wug and Nancy Lee to show up. They brought photographer Paul D'Andrea, who is showing this month at Wug's. What a pleasant way to debrief and wind down.
It would be a pleasure to read about your First Friday experiences.