May 17, 2017

Our Grand Reopening

Dear Patrons,

 

It’s a very exciting time for all of us here at the Gallery, what with the renovations well underway, and our last exhibition for the year in the rearview mirror. When next you see us, and visit our spaces, you’ll be greeted with a whole new J. Ferrari Gallery! We’re still finalizing the date and logistics of our Grand (Re)Opening, but here’s a little taste of what you can look forward to!

 

A much more accessible space: we’ve completely re-designed our entries and floor plans to make the whole facility more easy to navigate for patrons who use wheelchairs or other props, and for those with vision or hearing impairments. We can’t wait for you to see the brand new elevator, or our much-improved audio description system! After lots of consultation with local advocates, we’re super excited to have a space that really feels like it’s there for everyone!

New paintwork: It’s a lot less of a process than our accessibility upgrades, but the fresh coat of paint in the gallery spaces, studios, and offices made a world of difference.

 

New black box space downstairs: we’ve been trying for the past few years to find a workable solution for hosting live performances of dance, drama and music. After countless attempts to “make do” with the galleries, working around exhibitions and acoustic challenges, we’ve finally made one of our dreams come true: we now have an actual, dedicated performance space! After clever rearranging of the office and studio spaces on the third floor, we freed up a large section of the basement to be converted into a black box theatre! We made acoustic improvements to the walls and ceiling, re-surfaced the floor, and brought in flexible seating and risers so that we can host all sorts of performances and multimedia installations.

 

New format for upstairs: most patrons don’t venture all the way upstairs to where our office spaces and studio/maker’s spaces are found, but we’d love you to take a tour during our first week of being open! We’re excited to give folks behind the scenes glances of the reality of a working gallery and art center.

 

We’re pulling out all the stops for an “art hop” re-opening:

 

Date/time decisions are still TBA, but we’re currently making all the plans for our massive opening shebang when renovations are officially finished. Here’s what you can expect on the day/night:

 

live music(!): we’ll be opening the black box in style with some of our favorite local artists

food: Yes, food! We’re going to have lots of eats on site thanks to our sponsoring restaurants, and there will be food trucks along the street out in front of the Gallery.

 

kids activities: we want this gallery to always be a family-friendly zone, so we’ll be opening up some spaces upstairs for creative activities led by some of our educators

We can’t wait to see you in our new guise! Check back for more details, and don’t forget to find us on FB for more updates. In the meantime, we’ve put together some tips for improving your home practice including our artistic staff’s favorite office chairs, decor tips, and more!

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Home Studio Tips for Artists

While we’re on our renovation hiatus, we thought we’d come up with a few “FAQ” and tips pieces to give you a bit of a sense of how our artists and instructors in residence work, and how they’ve become productive working artists. Today, we’ve had Melissa, one of our interns, put together some thoughts from our current artistic faculty on their home studio setups. Keep in mind that all of our staff work in different media, from paint to playwriting, so these are more general rules that can be used for any practice!

 

Separate relaxation space from productive space:

One of the best pieces of advice any of our artists shared is to keep separate spaces for different mental states. You should have a sleeping, relaxing, and “absorbing” area, and then a separate space which you save for being productive. That helps you get in a productive mode when you sit at your desk, since you’re creating habits. It also is supposed to help you switch off the “work” part of your brain at the end of the day, when you’re in the sleeping/relaxing areas. Most of our artists keep a dedicated room for art “head space”, but even if you’re in a smaller space, they say you can make it work as long as you keep your space divided psychologically and physically.

 

Get a good chair

 

If you’re a writer or someone who draws at a sketchpad, you should invest in a good chair that keeps you productive all day. Lots of science has been showing that sitting kills us in a lot of ways, but our artists all agreed that it’s most deadly to creativity.

Even if you’re a painter, you’re going to have to sit down sometimes, so you should find a chair that’s good for taking a break. Then again, a lot of the artists here stressed that you shouldn’t get something like an armchair. Rav, one of our curators, recommends using an ergonomic office chair (he has a Herman Miller, which he bought on the recommendation of this website. He swears by it, but they have some other recommendations that are probably more “artist friendly” on the money front. The key is to either get a good ergonomic chair that keeps your spine in good alignment for example, or a chair that prevents terrible back pain like the ones on http://officeworthylist.com/best-chair-back-pain, or to get an active one that keeps your blood flowing (but most of our staff agreed they’re not super good for art, since they wobble in a way that’s bad for drawing.

 

Avoid distractions:

All our artists agreed that the biggest struggle in making a home studio practice happen well is managing distractions. They had different ways to tune out electronics, family, or other interference, but most suggested finding a “zone” to put all your distracting things, especially smart phones. You don’t necessarily have to turn everything off, especially if you’re working in photoshop or editing software on a computer, but you should at least turn off desktop notifications during your work time. Keep everything in a nook so you’re not constantly checking apps or texting.

 

Make your studio a healthy space:

 

Our artists have suggested something we take very seriously at the studio, which is making a healthy, happy space to work in. You can do the same at home. Maximize your natural light by making full use of windows and try bringing in some plants, which has been proven to help mood and general sense of well-being, especially in office and studio spaces. Reducing clutter is also generally shown to reduce anxiety or feelings of restlessness, although some other artists work best in clutter. The idea is to create the healthiest version of your idea space.

 

Well, that’s all for now. I hope this has been helpful, and inspired to you improve your home studio! Don’t forget to visit Office Worthy List for the most comfortable office chair online and many more!

 

Hope to see you soon at the Gallery!
-Melissa

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Art: What’s Current?

An update from our curators on the upcoming exhibition season:

 

There’s so much happening in the art world right now that it’s hard to point to a single trend or movement as demonstrative of the era. However, if we had to pick one idea in art that seems incredibly timely, it would be transience.

In an era of displacement for millions of people, in an economic and political climate where still more millions feel locked out, or uncertain about the future, artworks that are decomposing from the moment of their creation, or artworks which are designed to be erased naturally like lines on a beach have become incredibly poignant.

In the coming year, the focus of all our exhibits will be “Transience: studies in displacement, loss, recovery, and zen states” We will be featuring the works of artists who have dealt in temporal fragility through installations and “happenings” which we hope will be very popular attractions for our patron base and for the larger community.

Our main exhibitions of the season will be announced in the near future, but in the spirit of our theme for the season, we think it’s only fitting to do several unannounced, spontaneous “happenings” which will be pop-up style spaces and events around the city, put on by the Gallery. We’ll be needing volunteers to make this happen, so if you’re available and willing to help us out with this exciting new chapter, get in touch via the “support our mission” tab on this site, or stop by the gallery sometime soon and give your contact info and availability to our receptionist.

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Past exhibitions

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Sponsors

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