Summer Group Exhibit at Birdland Gallery
During the Summer Group Exhibit opening this past Saturday, art adviser and curator Elizabeth Burke Beaty explained what her new Birdland Gallery was founded to do. “My goal is to do what I did in Manhattan on a local scale here; to discover and nurture local emerging artists in our off-season months and to showcase them during our summer peak months. I bring together those who want art and those who make art. It’s truly a thrill and an honor to be able to help artists develop professionally and then to offer their art to those who appreciate fine art.”
Birdland Gallery is located inside Artifacts and Co., 100 Bay Avenue and Centre Street in Beach Haven. In June, Beaty partnered with Amy Haeberlein, who is the proprietor of Artifacts and Co. “We are excited and honored to bring quality art and culture to the south end of Long Beach Island, and the response from the community has been tremendous,” said Beaty.
“During every show this summer, we sold the majority of the works,” she continued. “I’ve met some incredible people from all over the country that were visiting Beach Haven, and they also bought art. It’s been awesome.”
Haeberlein was also enthusiastic with the public’s response to the gallery and her new location in a much bigger space. “This summer has been better than I could have hoped for,” she said while inviting friends to have a glass of wine and a bite of imported cheeses.
The Summer Group Show brought together the artists who showed over the summer and new artists, who will show next summer, said Beaty.
Nine of the 11 artists showing their work were able to attend the opening party, and The Sandpaper was able to snap a photo and get a snippet of information from each.
Terence Smith was caught chatting with a client, Isabelle Lesniak, the manager of a new store in Haven Beach called “#Share With…” Smith and his brother renovated the store for her in their capacity as carpenters, and she was pleased. “We love them,” she said. Smith preferred to let his contemporary color pencil portraits speak for him.
Artist Loren Russo spent the party giving henna tattoos to all who wanted them, and there was a waiting line for the intricate designs that are traditionally painted on Hindu brides.
Russo has converted some of her designs into wall tiles and plates available at Birdland.
Tom Beaty, Elizabeth’s husband, was showing his shaped surfboards made of wood.
Photographer Danielle Wilkinson brought her family to the exhibit, and the boys made faces as she got her photo taken in front of her photo “Mandalas,” patterns she created to serve as symbols of the universe.
Photographer Eric Schaeffer has taken up his camera again after retiring from his job in theater design. “My wife and I live on Washington Avenue in Holgate, the last street off the Boulevard, so most of my photos are of the south end of the Island.” Besides doing set design for theaters in Philadelphia and Delaware, he also took head shots of the theater actors. “I’ve switched art forms from 3D to 2D,” he said.
Andrea Maurio of Brigantine exhibited her dramatic black and white photo of her sister with her children in a backyard. Maurio has developed a good eye for photography after serving as the photo editor for Rodale Press for 15 years. She also served as photo editor for “many New York magazines: Maxim, Entertainment Weekly, Shape and Runner’s World,” she named as just four examples.
Painter Andrea Sauchelli’s two large canvases have a story to tell. “They originated when my daughter was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder. They helped me get out of my funk. We would travel back and forth from different hospitals trying to get answers. That’s what the paintings convey, the colorful windows we passed on our trips and the bridges we crossed and the night sky with stars when she had to stay overnight, the get-well balloons. The canvases promote healing and hold my prayers. It’s a story of the whole journey. Thankfully we found an answer at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) ,and my daughter is doing well now.”
Sauchelli is focused on having her work displayed in various hospitals, including AtlantiCare.
Dawn Simon’s graphics of birds wearing Victorian clothing are “creepy wonderful,” a cross between steam punk and surrealism. “I don’t know what you’d call them. I found a stack of old photos and matched them with different birds’ heads.”
Her feel for contemporary art means her Swing Graphics business, firstname.lastname@example.org, is really taking off.
Jay Levinson also finds inspiration in the past. He appropriates early advertising images and the graphics of old board games and paints them as wall pieces. He also has a line of shore themes painted on reclaimed wood, available at Artifacts. “I’m working on pieces for fall now, from old Halloween decorations.”
“I went to school for art back in the ’60s, but after getting married and having three kids, I got a real job. Now that I’ve been retired for six or seven years, I stumbled back into it.”
Elizabeth Sabine was not able to attend the opening, but her paintings of clouds and the seas are on view. Evan Zodl was also absent, but his fanciful origami designs are for sale.
The Summer Group Exhibit continues through Sept, 12 and is always free and available when Artifacts and More opens its doors daily.