First Friday #23

Is been a while since I’ve blogged, and so I thought that I’d get back in the swing of things by going over this last First Friday. This last Friday was a beautiful day and I think that had an effect on our crowds. They continue to be somewhat small. I think Banana Factory artists probably need to step in an address the attendance issues with this open house more directly in partnership with the ArtsQuest administration. The summer tends to be a slow time here at Banana so I’m expecting attendance to be low here until September.

This Friday’s open house began for me in Darrel George’s studio where we talked about my recent vacation to Sandy Hook for a camping trip. Darrel grew up near Sandy Hook and told me about all these activities that we should have done had we known. Asbury Park for example is very close to Sandy Hook, and had we known that we could have stopped by. Now that I know all the things we can do at the shore I’ll definitely check them out the next time we go to the beach.

As the night began I went to Michelle Neifert’s studio and meet Judy Reinford, a wonderful photographer who will be subletting Michelle’s studio over the summer. I decided to adopt Judy and took her all around the building to introduce her to her potential studio mates. Judy is actually applying to be a permanent artist resident in the building and I highly endorse her joining our crew. I love her energy.

After talking with Darrell and showing Judy around I went to Olaf Starorypinski studio. Olaf always has nice cocktails and interesting guests in his space for First Friday, and this time around was no different. While there I enjoyed a nice shot of whiskey and met a friend of his named Erica Harris. Erica works for a local talent agency and I was keen to get her card to pass it on to my actor friend Troy Brokenshire, who just finished a brilliant run as Louis in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America at Civic Theater in Allentown. Erica is also a Unitarian and she enticed me to come by her local church to check them out, which I think I’d like to try.

As the night went on I received visitors interested in the drawing for Pilot #7, visited Stephanie Smith’s studio, where we talked about the Banana Factory artists who are leaving the building, and visited Melissa Perhamus’s studio where I had a very uncomfortable run in with a right wing fanatic. Now on this last encounter I have to say that I was extremely disturbed because the visitor went into a very loud rant about how we need to protect our borders and get rid of Muslims from the country. Another visitor Liz Mango also witnessed this rant and we came back to my studio to escape and discuss what we just experienced. Liz is an artist living in Berlin, Germany and she gave me some interesting perspectives on this political moment in America from her vantage as an ex-patriot. The evening closed with Liz encouraging me to apply to residencies in Europe to explore the world and my art through the lenses of a foreign culture. To travel abroad doing my work is a dream of mine that I hope to one day experience.

Here’s what my studio space looked like this First Friday, featured are the drawing and under painting of Pilot #7:

My musical tastes continue to skew towards old R&B music which I’m choosing to think is a symptom of my age and my longing for good relaxing music. And so today I have “Love Ballad” from LTD for your listening pleasure.

Okay that’s it for this post. Next I think I will write about my progress on painting Pilot #7, which I think is at the one-third complete stage right now. Until then do be well.

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