By Kelly MacConomy
The latest show at Del Ray Artisans opened Friday August 2nd with crowd-pleasing fanfare. “Fresh Meat” packed new and old members along with friends, family and patrons into the non-profit art space during the two-hour, full house reception.
The show has no theme, per se, other than inviting all new members to exhibit as well as current members who have recruited new members. All media was represented by the 120 accepted entries. The breadth of fresh talent demonstrated in this show is well worth a trip a little farther north down The Avenue.
Bill Cabrera, who is also married to DRA member Ellen Rosenthal, not only performed his original and contemporary music on the guitar throughout the reception but was also recruited as “fresh meat” and had three photographs on display. One image, “Mimo” is a compelling portrait of his own father, a Cuban emigre, in profile sporting brightly-colored cheetah print glasses looking proudly defiant yet vulnerable, a walker discarded in the background. The unusual framing becomes part of the composition, assimilating the tactile facial close-up, mimicking the etched lines of a face well-lived and loved.
A new and notable artist to the DRA group is Wendy Laumont. Her witty, macabre air-dry sculptural figure boxes were the pervasive temptation of the exhibit. Two of her three pieces had sold within the half hour of the show’s opening. Statuesque and sporting a progressive fashion-sense herself, Wendy is a walking vogue of artful expression.
Three charming prints by new members grouped together attracted a crowd. The whimsically beguiling subject matter of Zen Hen, Penned In, and Puffins belies the expert draftsmanship at the hand of the printmaker, Pamela Day. It’s impossible not to covet all three.
The show stopper and “Best In Show” award-winning acrylic painting Feel Good Lost by Melissa Grath greets gallery visitors at the door with provocative bravado. It’s vivaciously bold- the sort of confident brushstroke that you don’t often see in newly-exhibited work. Keep your eye on this painter.
Del Ray Artisan Board members Brittany Gable and Kurt Peterson acted as curators for “Fresh Meat”. Their keen eye and veteran sense of the gallery space proved to be invaluable in placing so many works of art, especially given the varied media — maximizing the visual impact juxtaposed amid both complementary and dichotomous imagery.
“Fresh Meat” proves to be a breath of fresh air in these final hot, humid sultry days of summer. The art work is accessible (as is the gallery) with pricing that won’t break the bank account. Treat yourself to the Del Ray Artisans for a fresh take on the local art scene or to kick-start a creative diversion. Bring friends or the kids. It’s a funtastic field trip for all. The gallery is open to the public and there is no admission fee.