Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Art Bomb and!!!

May in Greenville, SC is the vanguard of the arts season and it opens with a bang.  First there is Artisphere, the major arts festival held downtown near the Liberty Bridge and in Falls Park featuring international artists, live music, mimes, extreme circus performers, performance art with Brian Olson, glass blowing and blacksmith's demonstrations and even an aerial act on the Main St. Bridge.  It's a sensory experience from one end to the other and gets larger every year. Inspiration is unavoidable as Mark, Gail, Lindy and I witnessed the most progressive, talented artists around.  At every booth we were in awe and surprise and I came home in a rush of ideas geared to work and create in new ways.  I'd already branched out this year with new mediums and techniques but now it was time to try new approaches, concepts, layouts and visual angles. 
The trends of the festival changes every year and while last year was the first to feature so many collage artists, this year featured collage artists using odd materials: metals, plastic, friction, movement, glass, water, light.  Artisphere is like walking into an Artist's Disney Land which we don't want to leave.  Of course, there were lots of mediums, textiles, wood, clay, glass, oil,s watercolor, photography but I was drawn to the collage art, the history keeping art collage, including one of my favorite pieces by John Charbonneau of Santa Fe, NM (pictured above).
My only wish is that Artisphere would feature more local artists.  We have a number of artists of this level who have achieved national and international recognition, but few are juried into the show each year. 
Then there was the ten year anniversary of The Art Bomb and wow!!  Once again ground breaking works and experiences and as ever a packed house.  This year The Art Bomb featured live music with The Fine Art Ramblers outdoors in the now very much grown herb garden.  I remember my first time there (will never forget, it was like being transported to New York) and the garden was just started, now the trees offer shade and the area is lush with foliage, flowers, aromas and sights. Mark, Gail and I went and then were joined by Shaggy, ran into Frank and Dabney and spoke with some of our favorite artists who reside there., watched an amazing indie film installation on silk screen complete with theater seating - WOW!
So, Shaggy and I plotted an planned and then I spent a good bit of the weekend, mixed up among lobster, and shopping and excursions and reading, I finishing up and added to collages and framed a good many pieces. And the fun's not over yet. Friday the 27th, will be The Opening Show at Shaggy and Justin's studio followed by the show at Fatso's of Valentine Wolfe and IFB with my friend, Ben. 

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