I was struck by a strange sensation shortly after entering the Beacon Open Studios kickoff party/opening reception tonight. I suddenly had the sense that for the first time in a very long time, I was seeing a whole bunch of familiar faces all together in one place. This isn't a great accomplishment seeing as I simply don't make it out like I used to, but it was a crazy vibe and it felt different somehow. I then realized that part of that vibe came from standing in a crowded Van Brunt Gallery of another time. With the same intense power a familiar scent has to thrust one back into the past, being in that space with a crowd had the effect of taking me back to VBG openings of yore, What a heavy retro feel and a good one too. I wasn't the only one; this same feeling was commented on by several of the other old farts I spoke to. It was refreshing, and I got a little buzzed from it
I've been feeling indifferent to heading out to openings around town over the past year. Not to knock the efforts of any of the joints that are exhibiting in town recently, but I'm just burnt out. I'm just not feeling it that much anymore. I've been wondering if time has come to pack up this blog. I haven't fully resolved that question for myself, but I've begun pulling back and trying to devote more time to offline studio endeavors, and perhaps shift the focus of what I write about here, when I write. Everything must run its course, and change is mighty fine, even as it makes you pang for what you miss. I'm loathe to admit my vulnerability for nostalgia, and I'm sure what I felt tonight was unadulterated nostalgia (I'm cringing as I'm writing this), but what I think is great about this is that the group show on the walls in this space and the opening itself teased out that sense of a gathered community which isn't as easy to achieve now as just a couple of years back when this community was much smaller.
It was pretty cool. I think I'm ready for Carl to move back into his old space.
Where Carl used to sit.
Anyway, I'm very interested to see how this open studio weekend shapes up. Theresa Gooby's strategy of splitting the event up over two days definitely has its pros and cons but it's an assertive approach to tackling the specific challenges of such an event, and one that hasn't been tried yet, and I like that. While this structure could prove problematic for visitors from out of town who will have only a portion of the studios available to them on a single day trip, I respect the benefit of giving resident artists a chance to visit at least some of their neighbors studios. It's good to give the dancing monkeys a little entertainment for themselves whilst taking a break from mugging for the tourists. Kudos to Theresa for pulling this together in the manner she has, and also to BACA and the Newburgh Art Supply and ZUZU's for sponsoring the event. Now comes the real test.
Visit the Beacon Open Studios blog for the full overview. Tomorrow from 10-4 pm, studios on the East end of town will be open, and the West enders will be open on Sunday from 11-4 (Today's Poughkeepsie Journal article had the schedule reversed.) BOS HQ will be open all weekend long at 460 Main St.
Spire Studios will be hosting the BOS closing party on Sunday beginning at 5pm.
For those coming into town on Sunday, take note that the Spirit of Beacon Parade will be happening that day (weather allowing) and traffic patterns will be affected on 9D and along Main St. until late afternoon.