Clear your calendar for the evening of Friday November 7th. You will not want to miss this. We've got 35 amazing artists from around the country participating in our first annual ITTY/BITTY Invitational. All the artists have made original work that is 9"x9" or less (in some cases far, far less. Like Justin Richel's ridiculously wee 1"x2" painting of a stack of cakes) and the pieces are all... drum roll please... LESS than $495. Super affordable and super beautiful. I dare say it's my favorite combo. Participating artists include some tried and true YES favorites such as Rachel Austin, Jenni Freidman, and Sarah Symes, as well as some esteemed guests like Trey Speegle, Yellena James, Susan Schwake, and Julianna Swaney. Soon I'll be posting a Flickr page with images of all the work, so if you can't get here you can at least take advantage of this unique opportunity. As usual, 5% of our proceeds go to non-profits and for this show we're pleased to support RI Citizens for the Arts. The show runs through December 21st. For more information call (401) 245-7174 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a chance to chat with my friend and fellow artist Tom McAleer (pronounced mac-uh-leer) recently about his artwork, which by the way is still featured in our current Pure/Play exhibition. In fact, Tom's doing a PAINTING DEMO AT THE GALLERY THIS SUNDAY 10/26 FROM 2-5 p.m. This guy is an inspiration to me - completely disciplined in his process, yet playful and carefree in his execution. There are hundreds and hundreds of paintings in his house. I dare say he's an addict. Let's see what he has to say...
YES: What is your first memory around making art?
Tom McAleer: I always made art, but no one ever called it art. Not until high school did anyone call it art. Art always just seemed to be there.
YES: Tell me about your process.
TM: Man, this can be hard to explain. It's like a meditation. I quickly get myself to this place with some help, with music - R&B dance music- and eyes closed. Opening my eyes I see my subject, hear my breathing, my heart beat, the wind, the stillness of it all. Then it becomes like a blast off. Everything flows in rhythm with the music, my breathing, my heart, all of it, the paint landing on the canvas becomes part of all of that. It all becomes a great high.
YES: What is it about oil paint and canvas that draws you in?
TM: It's fast. It's easy. I can do it wherever I am, take it with me. I love the smell of it. I think its makes me look so cool.
YES: How do you choose your subject matter?
TM: That's easy, when I look at something and say with surprise, "Oh my God, look at that." That happens a lot. If I can paint it then I will, if not I return later.
YES: Why is art important to the world?
TM: The power of art is amazing. It changes people, changes communities, helps us understand each other, bridges that gap.
YES: Are you a full-time artist?
TM: What is full-time? The amount of work or the amount of time? Is it what you do for a living? Many people work full-time, but that's not who they are. This painting thing is me full time. I look at everything in relationship to painting.
YES: What else do you do in your spare time?
TM: I love spending time with my family and friends. I need them badly to tell me how great I am. I love to sail and ski. I love being outdoors.
YES: What do you consider your greatest achievement as an artist?
TM: [Founding] The Top Drawer Art Center. It changed my life, my art. Working with artist with disabilities is amazing. There is so much to learn from them.
YES: Any personal philosophy or quotes to live by?
TM: Love this man - Martin Luther King. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
YES: Inspiring interview. Thanks Tom!
Clear your calendar for Sunday October 19th because you're going to want to spend the whole day in Warren. The 5th Annual Warren Walkabout is going to be groovier than ever. You can stroll our quaint, historic town on the water while perusing artist open studios, sampling our restaurants at the "Taste of Warren", and listening to great live music at the Town Wharf, not to mention the sales and specials by area businesses, and a trolley ride around town to bring you wherever you want to go. The studios and shops are open 12-5, the "Taste of Warren" from 12-3, and music at the Wharf from 1-7 p.m. And it's all free! What better way to spend a New England fall day?? For directions to Warren click here or, for more information call us at (401) 245-7174.
Pure/Play opens this Friday October 3rd and features the work of two wild and crazy guys, Tom McAleer and Doug Desjardins. It will be a fun reunion as Tom, Doug and I all used to show together at Mixed Media Gallery on Block Island. The two of them are playful, prolific artists who have mastered the art of putting aside self-consciousness and letting pure expression flow through. Their colors, brushstroke and subject matter offer a real visual treat for the viewer, and inspire the artist in all of us. Hope to see you there! P.S. It's from 6:00-8:30 and, as always, will be a great party. For more info contact email@example.com or by phone at (401) 245-7174.