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To-Do Tonight: ArtHop

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In Thursday’s Life section I offer some picks for tonight’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of studios and galleries in the downtown and Tower District areas. Top on my list is Ramiro Martinez’s Anvil Gallery & Studio, which has just opened in Manchester Center mall — an unlikely spot for an ArtHop venue. From my story:

The gallery is the first of its kind in the shopping center, but Martinez says he doesn’t feel artistically lonely. He hopes that more galleries will follow.

“It’s a way to bring more art to a community that normally doesn’t have a lot of art around them,” he says. The artist, a familiar name at Arte Américas, already has noticed more daytime foot traffic at his new location, something he says invigorates his own creative process. People wander in to look at the art and watch him if he’s working on a painting.

It’s an interesting location for a new gallery, and an exciting one. Can you imagine if three or four galleries joined Martinez’s to create a nice little ArtHop destination? It could become a new unlikely hot spot.

Also on my picks list: Ed Gillum’s show at Spectrum Art Gallery; and exhibitions by Barbara Van Arnam and Nanete Maki-Dearsan at Gallery 25. What are your ArtHop plans tonight?

On the jump: details about Anvil Gallery’s official opening on Saturday, plus more ArtHop images.

Bee photo / Mark Crosse

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Barbara Van Arnam’s new exhibition at Gallery 25 is titled “The Daedalus Suite.”

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Amy Kohl’s new exhibition, titled “Raw Expressions,” opens tonight at the Chris Sorensen Studio.

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Ed Gillum’s exhibition “Testing 1 2 3″ opens tonight at Spectrum Art Gallery.

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Marij Bouwmans’ “Things That Last” opens tonight at Fig Tree Gallery.

Responses to "To-Do Tonight: ArtHop"

ArtHop always invigorates me. So much new input, so much to process. As a visual artist, I find it essential to my growth and a great shot in the arm to keep going. Since many of the exhibiting artists are also my friends, it is a great time to check in, see what they’re up to and talk art. Starting at Gallery 25, I was pleasantly surprised to see the way Barbara Van Arnam incorporated new materials into her painted work. Usually her heavily painted pieces stand on their own, but to add the other items such as feathers, shells, etc. into the mix gave a new texture to her art. Nanete Maki-Dearsan’s very impressive show of her horses easily command attention in the gallery. I’m moved by how powerful they are individually and as a group, and not just because of their size, but the detail and emotion that has gone into each one will cause you to stop and look carefully at how she makes you feel empathy for them. The idea behind them of feeling bound can especially resonate with us as we reflect on ways that we feel the same.
On to Fig Tree Gallery and a memorable show featuring the combined creations of Marij Bouwman
and the video work of Jonathan Mathis. “Things That Last” conveys a feeling of being inside the
work as its focus of skin wraps its many incarnations around you. Well, at least that’s how I felt. The latex work was particularly compelling and evoked interesting memories of film for me. I also very much enjoyed the lit pieces allowing you to see the way light affects the textures covering it. The video piece also worked to feed my mind with overwhelming voices that easily take over ones thoughts. It’s interesting to see which words come forward as you listen. I love a show that can take you to another place completely.
Then onto Corridor 2122 and a group show “Pattern”. It’s always appealing to me to see how one word or theme is interpreted by different artists, and this show demonstrates that variety clearly. I was immediately drawn to one piece in particular, (and please forgive me I can’t recall who the artist was), that had a great graphic arts/pop appeal and included images of dress patterns. I think because I have used these images in my own work this last year influenced by my recently passed aunt’s collection of patterns for clothes and stuffed animals she would make for us, this piece has a comforting familiarity with me. Other pieces in this show likewise draw upon the individual artist’s stake in both memory and expression of how patterns form in our lives.
Our next visit to Chris Sorensen’s Studio is a welcome to a place where you can always feel relaxed and enjoy the happy chaos atmosphere of so much going on in one place. First, greeted by my friend and one of the Arthop stakeholders, Chris Sorensen, I immediately know I’m among old friends. This is a WORKING studio and the clutter of materials you see, remind you that being an artist is WORK. Getting the chance to visit with my friend Amy Kohl and introducing new people to her work is fun. She really knows her materials and is able to conjure up some amazing new realities where once there was just stuff. I admire her fearlessness and I enjoy our great discussions. Beyond the gallery itself there is a labyrinth of other artist spaces in this continually expanding warehouse, giving you so much to explore. An added bonus to your exploration is the path that leads you to the Kliszewski Glass Studio. We were lucky enough to arrive at a time when two men were doing a glass blowing demonstration. I always appreciate the warmth of the kiln during the cold month visits, and it’s always amazing to see the talented glass blowers at work. So much careful attention goes into this art. Years of experience are necessary for what appears to be an easy process to us. Once they begin on a piece, it’s a non-stop
process to keep forming the glass while it remains at the right temperature. They frequently must put
the piece back in the fire to keep it flexible and when the movement of the glass is suddenly big and the colors emerge it’s the same excitement as live theater.
Leaving this venue, I headed out to Spectrum Gallery to see the work of my friend Ed Gillum. Although Spectrum is primarily a photography gallery, Ed incorporated some sculptural elements as well. Using metals, light, video, even astroturf (and there’s a fun story behind that), along with photographed/digital images, Ed explained he is exploring the ideas behind the interchange of words. The word Cloud(y) plays a prominent part on one wall, while he explores the changing meaning as it now exists also as that out there somewhere place where computer data is stored in comparison to its many other uses as a word describing something else entirely. The opposite wall displays a series of aluminum rectangles covered with images and words that have minimal letter changes but yet evoke completely different meanings. The images peeking from the background and in the letters sometimes contradict and/or challenge us in the way we understand the words. As he explained further, Ed wants us to recognize the connection between such little change in the words, be it in how we read them, understand them or choose to believe in what they stand for. It is an interesting contemplation and led to our further discussion of how this also exists for how different cultures, languages and even non verbal gestures can mean something completely different to the next person. There’s definitely more than meets the eye here in Ed’s show. I recommend you take a look.
And as I was leaving for home I decided to make one more stop at Studio 74. Featured artists for this month are Valerie Greene and Judy DeRosa. This is an emotionally raw and sometimes psychologically difficult display of work – and I mean that in the best way. Under the title “Imagine Having Nothing to Hide”, the art of these two ladies and the other people Judy has coordinated from a painting therapy class, serve
to provide an outlet for some very hurtful events involving domestic violence and other forms of violence toward a human being. It is a reminder to anyone who views the work, that these harmful events are real, that no one is alone in knowing or experiencing these life altering events and that with art to express the emotions, life can
go on, there is no shame. It is moving to see what is shared, how it is manifested into visual form and witnessing the power of healing through expelling those demons of memory.
Another great night of art. Thank you to Marty Berry, Donald Munro and Shane Moreman for inviting me to join you as we ArtHopped the night away. Glad to have met some new friends and always great to check in with my old friends. I also have video of some of the night’s activities. I’ll be getting that done today.
Until next time . . .

Aileen.