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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Widowed Bijous

My poor widowed sparkler
Michael Lichtenstein at Arts League of Lowell.
Michael Lichtenstein
It never fails. I buy a sweet bauble, usually a pair of earrings, a memento of my visit to  somewhere new (or new-ish) and then I lose one. Often enough, the earring goes fugitive on the very first wearing.


This little, singleton beauty (the mate may have done its runner while I was triking about yesterday) is by Stefanie Wolf of Stefanie Wolf Designs.

 I imagine I could buy a replacement but I’m more inclined to add this lonely bijou to the necklace I’m creating. Yes, it’s a chain holding all the widows of pairs I’ve inadvertently and unfortunately broken up.

Mega sigh.

As it turns out, she’s a Martha’s Vineyard artist, not a Lowellian.

Perhaps I should make a wee Vineyard trip, eh?

When I got to Lowell last Friday, my buddy Gene recommended that, in addition to the museums I was headed for, I take in The Brush Art Gallery and Studios and the Arts League of Lowell. Both joints had a LOT of great work on display though the Brush seemed a bit more cohesive. That is, the League’s show had amateurs as well as pros whereas the Brush artists were all pro level.
Jay Hungate

A website quibble — while the League has a ton of members listed with links at each person's name, precious few of those lead to clear examples of the artist’s work. More often than not this is what I found:
Visual Arts

Write a bit about who you are.
Write about your art.
Chrissy Theo Hungate
You know, I get it. This is a member run org — there’s not some paid gallery worker bee who runs around collecting JPGs, bios and URLs to post at each person’s name link. So it’s up to each artist to post. And most have not or so it seems. What this translates into is this — a visitor (me fer example) wants to look at what everyone does, wants to peruse and possibly find paintings or sculptures to purchase (OK, not me. I just wanna goggle). After clicking through half a dozen names and finding nada, I’m disinclined to stick around.


For those who’ve at least posted a brief statement and their web address — good on ya but ADD A PIC! I need a hook, something to snag me into clicking on your URL.

Generally speaking, us visual artist types are pretentious as all fuck when it comes to stringing the old lexemes together. I’ve fallen in love with wild ceramic sculptor's work only to take three serious steps back after reading what they have to say about their creative process.

So then, ADD A DAMNED PIC. You're a visual artist NOT a writer so give me a solid visual reason to be interested in your work!

One woman had a photo up of her cat. Mind you, I’m a sucker for cat snaps (duh) but the first medium she claims is clay. Yup, no sculpture or pottery on display. Have an image that actually relates to your creations. K?
Chrissy Theo Hungate

I had better luck at the Brush site. The only person I clicked on without results was Chrissy Theo Hungate. I truly loved the work of hers that I saw and am really sorry there’s not a way to see more now from home.

Her husband/brother/cousin/unrelated-male-with-same-last-name, Jay Hungate also shows his work at the Brush but isn't listed on the website. LOVE his work but then, y’all know that I’m a sucker for gryphons and gargoyles. They’re like cats only...em...not.

Fabric artist/weaver Cynthia Hughs is at The Brush too. It took a tremendous amount of self control to keep myself from buying one of her scarves.

From June through September, every first Thursday of the month Lowell has, essentially, an open house. It's called, appropriately enough, Downtown Lowell First Thursdays and runs from five to nine PM.
Downtown Lowell First Thursdays is a coalition of museums, galleries, businesses, and the Lowell National Historical Park, united to offer a monthly evening of fun and culture downtown. In the tradition of "gallery nights" held in many arty cities, the idea is to encourage workers to linger, visitors to stay longer and residents to explore the many special happenings on First Thursday nights. Galleries will be open with performances, demonstrations and refreshments. Museums are offering free or discounted admissions and tours or other special features. Restaurants will have interesting art related specials, and businesses will participate too.
 The last one for the season is this week. Go, go, explore!


  1. Enjoyed reading --- know full well about the earring debacle BUT what a novel idea :-) create something else with these baubles.