Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week 11: Opening Reception

   Artists are always making things. Paintings, pottery, sculpture, books... Whatever is the medium, there is always the work of making the work. Eventually, the work is put on display... for sale or view to the public... When there's a new exhibit of artworks, there is always an Opening Reception. That is the title of this week's book-of-the-week.
The cover: title plate and card of a vessel by potter Cynthia Bringle
This little book is a collection of postcards for artists' receptions. These postcards come in the mail... or are posted on bulletin boards in art centers... or on countertops and wall boards in galleries. Their lifespan is short, but the work that goes into these exhibits... and onto the postcards... may take a lifetime.

Thoughtfulness, social consciousness, and craftsmanship might be the focus of the exhibition. One teacher I had said all original art is initially viewed as insanity. Uh oh.

Another mentor said, to be authentically creative... we often need to retrieve our childhood playfulness and openness... to respond to our inner voice and not adapt it to social norms. Uh oh.

One teacher said that art is simply communication... with materials. I like that.

So I try to find the story in every piece of artwork I see, whether it's a painting, a poster, or a pot.

   In North Carolina... and everywhere, artists are making their work. They are thinking about the world as landscape or as shadow box. They are telling their personal stories in poetry and in pottery. They are using clay, glass, yarn, wood, iron, paper, and a world of materials to express ideas and issues. It's all there to see at the Opening Reception.