ART SEEN: Speakeasy hosts popcorn gallery
If you are buying a ticket to the Speakeasy Movie Theater, you can’t miss the art on display in the gallery waiting area. At any given time, the art at the Speakeasy is, as Forrest Gump said, “Like eating a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”Such is the case with the current show by local artists Steuart Bremner, Gere Baskin and Judy Skovlin. Organized by Baskin, the exhibit features new work by these three disparate artists. Using found wood, oil painting and mixed media, the trio has assembled an eclectic sampling of offbeat art.
Bremner, best known for his local public art and his soon-to-be completed bridge at the kayak park in Breckenridge, has created two pieces using tree branches, which he has painted yellow and then added a red paper ribbon. These in turn are affixed to a block of wood for stability. The most interesting aspect is the shadows they create on the walls.The aforementioned bridge project is on display as well. The miniature mock up, or maquette, used to present his idea to the town council is on view, as are his original concept sketches.As former curator of the Detroit Focus Artists’ Collaborative, Baskin seems to have forgotten some basic principles of communicating to the public. There are no descriptive notes under, on or near any of the work in the show, so the viewer has no idea who did what, what it represents, what the medium is or what to call it. There are a few price sheets available for each of the artists’ work describing them by name and number, medium and dimension, but there is no corresponding information near the work itself.
As for Baskin’s oil paintings, while she exhibits a nice sense of color, the canvases reflect questionable talent. She would be wise to take drawing lessons before attempting to exhibit elsewhere. Skovlin’s mixed media work is the best of what the show has to offer. Using numbers as a basic theme, she has produced interesting patterns and textures within the acrylic collages. It is only after studying the images closely that the viewer notices the numbers she has woven into the composition – along with the textural patterns that encompass the design.Although many use bright, almost Day-Glo colors, the darker more subdued works are the most successful. They are moody without being morbid.
It is commendable that the Speakeasy utilizes its space for the displaying of local art, and though the work may not always be top quality, it’s worth stopping in before or after the movie. It only takes one piece of art to stimulate, provoke and inspire, and besides, at what other gallery can you eat popcorn while you view artwork?Stew Mosberg holds a bachelor of design degree from the University of Florida, is the author of two books on design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He can be reached at: WrtrF@aol.com.
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