Monday, January 26, 2009

Food for Thought

Had a great evening last Thursday at the Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts & Sciences in Loveladies, NJ
I was invited to speak at the first of a series of Artist Potluck Dinners. Not quite knowing what to expect, I loaded up my car with some new works in progress, and some works that I thought would help put these new pieces in a context.

Drove the 2 hours on a beautiful sunny day, the trip was a breeze! Snacks in the car, no traffic, and two hours door to door. Boy, I love my GPS!

The room was set up with tables for dinner and conversation. And, as a show had recently come down, the walls were mine. I quickly went to work hanging and installing the pieces.

People began arriving with their dishes, grabbing name tags and mingling. We did an hour or so of eating and chatting. Some people knew each other, but clearly there were a lot of new faces to the Foundation. Chris Seiz, the Executive Director of the Foundation, welcomed everyone, told us a little about himself and the idea behind these Artist Potlucks. He asked us to introduce ourselves and offer input on what they would like to see these venues offer. After we went around the room and found out a little about each other I began to talk about my work and my process. We talked quite a bit about walking the tightrope of being an artist- working in solitude and the value of a community of artists, as well as the balance of trusting where you are when you may be uncertain where it is that you are going.

The feedback and conversation was wonderful- and insightful. It is always to good to check in and I met some new people and reconnected with Karen Smith, an artist who I met years ago when I first returned from Hawaii.

The LBI Foundation is a wonderful resource for artists and the community at large. Nice exhibition spaces, great classes, workshops, and work spaces. They also have many opportunities for artists so check our their web page and see what they are up.

The staff there couldn't be more supportive, the beach is beautiful any time of the year. I saw a seal on the beach the next morning during a long walk!

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