This weekend brings us the South End Open Studios. I am embarrassed to admit that I have never attended one of these. And I've lived here ten years now. I know, I know. I am not a fan of crowds or people or bad art. At the spur of the moment, first thing this morning as I sipped my coffee, I decided that I needed to go. Was I glad I did? Yes and no.
It is good to have these events. Artists get exposure and people who would never think of entering a gallery or buy art can actually interact with them and perhaps expand their horizons. Having said that I must say that I was less than impressed with the quality of a lot of the work. There were some bright spots amongst the craft work and coffee shop art.
I really liked Kathy Halamka's charcoal drawings on wood. They were subtle, well crafted and evocative of Japanese landscape painting. Nice.
Brett Angell's Cigarette Pack Collages were awesome. The Miracle Five's space was quite crowded (a good sign) and the work was great. I might have to go back as there really was a lot of people there and it made for difficult viewing.
One of my favourites was Mitch Glassman's paintings. They were engaging yet understated. And, or course, Ria Brodell's work (that is her The Bleeding Whale Goes Home below). It made for a nice finish to my day.
Overall, I am glad I went. There was a lot to see and it is pretty great that the studio culture is vibrant and enthusiastic. Alas, you do have to sift through work that, at its best, comes across as dillettantism. Perhaps the problem is seeing work in process? Anyway, it is up and running tomorrow from 11-6 PM. Check it out.