A View From The Top

Our March exhibition, “Positive/Negative Space,” was a great hit with the community. A crush of people came to view the show that boasted 10 top-notch artists in the photography field. Perfect weather and great art made for a wonderful night.

Our hats go off to TASI board chair Joe Winston and board member John Fulbright who organized the show and maintain the Darkroom Friends, a group who’s “focus” it is to keep the chemical process used in the darkroom alive.

We are in the process of expanding the facility with an light-tight darkroom rotating door and additional space. The door was generously donated by the Stark Museum of Art in Orange. This and other programs fit into the purpose of The Art Studio as we try to preserve art processes that could disappear and the knowledge be lost if not for the diligent and continued practice of that discipline.

Exhibitions are the mainstay of the organization and require tight scheduling, coordinated electronic and paper media, mass mailings and gallery preparation and presentation. A myriad of things goes into the presentation of an exhibition, be it a group show or a solo exhibition. Although the group show is well attended the solo shows tends to be a little lean on participants. This is an unfortunate reality because solo shows are much harder to develop, since so many works are involved from one person. That person may or not have a following or collective of family and friends. As a patron, please be cognizant of the effort the artist is making and give them an audience to support that effort whether you’re familiar with their work or not.

Like many of our programs, we encourage people in the community of Southeast Texas to participate and possibly learn a new skill or share your expertise with us based on what you already know.

Our ground breaking poetry group, Poetry Renaissance, led by poet and author Dorothy Sells Clover, points to a craft that is all but forgotten in the world we live in. Through this exchange of minds and hearts, every third Thursday of the month, the magic of the crafted word lives on and thrives through the careful nurturing of the most human act, the iterations of words. Nothing is closer to the human spirit than the delicate phrasing of the poem. Dorothy has dedicated herself to this preservation for many years and it would be wonderful if more people took advantage of this unique opportunity to experience this amazing art.

So, too, our Drawing Group holds the tradition of figure representation that has gone on since the Greek artisans created the idea of proportion and form through painting and sculpture. Much like the Renaissance artists, the practice of drawing the figure is a skill that must constantly be honed and developed or it will wither on the vine. Charcoal, one of the most ancient of materials for drawing, continues to be the standard for the expression of this cornerstone of the two dimensional arts, even after 35,000 years.

The drawing group is not instructed but, hopefully, that will soon be alleviated. Melody Scratch is our coordinator of the drawing group and books the models, arranges poses and times for the drawers to attempt represent the human form. Drawing group meets every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wishes to develop their skill at figurative drawing.

It should be noted that drawing, along with the poetry group and Bandnite are all $5 each. Darkroom friends is $35 a month with an orientation required.

Art Exhibitions are always free admission but if you would like an invitation sent to your house as well as the current edition of ISSUE, our award-winning arts magazine, you can easily send a membership for as little as $35 a year for individuals. Visit our website at www.artstudio.org and donate through pay-pal, send it the old fashioned way by snail mail or simply drop by and sign up.

We continue to improve the facility and develop more programming as we grow. Any suggestions or ideas that can help advance our goals and keep us relevant to the communities of artists and the general public are always enthusiastically welcomed.

Remember also that after TASIMJAE 2017 on April 6, we have an exhibition of last year’s first place winner Kwanzaa Edwards and following that The Alternative Show where any and all art is accepted and shown. No juror, no charge and no membership required. If you’ve ever wanted to show your work here’s a chance to do it.

See you soon.

Greg Busceme is founder and director of The Art Studio, Inc.