Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gallery Night in Wellfleet



I know, I know...the last time I wrote the sun was in Leo and now it's already moving into Virgo, almost a month later! It's hard to come back to the virtual world when it's full-throttle summer and there's so much happening in our Cape Cod world. And, unfortunately, it doesn't wind down gradually but tends to stop with a thud, literally on the Sunday eve of Labor Day.

But this has been a great summer for us weather-wise and culture-wise, lots of music, art and fresh food -- tomatoes, squashes and more from the gardens, bass and bluefish from the sea.

One of our artsy jaunts a few weeks ago -- actually the last Saturday in July, come to think of it -- was to Wellfleet. I wanted to catch Tomie dePaola's opening at the Cove Gallery during that weekend's gallery night. I'd missed him last year so marked my calendar this year. Problem was, having worked in libraries, read all my life and so on and so forth, many of the books, authors, illustrators and more get tangled up in my memory. So I had Tomie mixed up with Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are. But no matter -- Tomie's work is a joy, and while I observed him chatting happily with folks at his opening (he reminded me of a jovial grandpop sort of fellow), I did not introduce myself, nor chat with him. Sometimes I just like to see. 

We were going to return to the car as I wasn't in to checking galleries out we'd only recently been to, but we decided to wander further along before turning around.  When I noticed that Selina's gallery was open, I had to stop there. I have wanted to get into this gallery for some time now, but my timing hasn't worked out.

This particular evening it did, and I believe Tomie's opening was merely the vehicle to introduce me to Selina Trieff. Her studio (pictured above) overwhelmed us to say the least. It shows the hours of ceaseless dedication of one woman to her art -- I don't remember ever seeing a messier artist's studio -- it was sublime. Even more so, was sitting down on the front porch next to a frail older woman in a wheelchair, only to recognize Selina. I was in awe of this woman who had studied with the mid-Century masters of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Enthralled, I chatted with her, asking her questions, and telling her about the books I've been reading this summer -- on the Bohemian Greenwich Village of the 1900's to the 1950's.
Telling her how thrilled I was to be sitting in the shadow of a peer of Hans Hoffman, Mark Rothko and the likes. It's how I imagine feeling with Mary Oliver -- she's the closest I'll (hopefully) get to a living poet who was at one time in the shadow of another favorite of mine -- Edna St. Vincent Millay. I enjoy them for their own work, but also for the historical context I associate with them. Maybe they're my idea of muses, they're certainly my idea of celebrities. I intend to wander down that way again soon, to at least catch up with Selina one more time, if not the reclusive Mary.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OMA Gallery

Besides musical evenings, Marty and I have been doing gallery nights. Every week we check the Capeweek and the Arts Foundation for info on openings. We're always on the lookout for new and exciting discoveries. Oma Gallery was a recent find, a new gallery so named for its location -- Orleans, MA. We had eaten dinner at L'Alouette Bistro in Harwichport, which was adequate, but we should have just gone directly to the gallery. Openings generally have wine, soft beverages and munchies of some sort, but Oma outdid themselves -- on the art, the food, and the live music. There were massive shrimps for cocktail, bruschettas, fresh veggies and more, enough for a light summer supper!

 I particularly loved Eve Aspinwall's art -- her use of color, Jungian imagery (reminiscent of dreams and prehistory) and unusual choice of materials. While most of her pieces are Abstract  Expressionist, she does have still life and landscape paintings that would appeal to folks with less eclectic tastes. My favorite piece was Irish Ghost, a haunting figure painted on scrap metal found in a field in Ireland. We chatted with Eve briefly after admiring her art for some time, and Marty photographed her near some of her pieces. We're both looking forward to Oma's next reception, August 14 and I'm hoping to save up for a class or two with Eve.