Index Closing Reception Friday, cWOW Opening Saturday
I gave the description for the Index Art Center's latest, bicycle-oriented (and tricycle, and unicycle) show, "Art Cycle", on March 9th. After only three weeks, that show concludes Saturday, but with a closing reception tonite. I present fotos from that show below, after the announcement of tomorrow's opening.
cWOW Opening, Saturday. Tomorrow, City Without Walls opens its latest art show. Here is the text of cWOW's announcement:
Knot Your Average Knit
Curated by Lovina Purple
Opening Reception Saturday March 31st, 6-8 pm
Knot Your Average Knit, at cWOW's Crawford Street Gallery, was curated by Lovina Purple and examines artwork being created in traditional craft techniques such as weaving, quilting, lace-making, knitting and embroidery. The exhibition features works by artists: Elisa D’Arrigo | Karen Margolis | Christina Massey | Hyo Jeong Nam | Gail Rothschild | Katya Usvitsky; In our New Media Room: paperJAM: a collaboration between Hannah Lamar Simmons and Rebecca Kinsey, with a special performance during the reception.
Art Cycle 2012 Pix. The foto above, and all remaining fotos today, are from the opening reception, March 10th, of Index's "Art Cycle" show that closes tomorrow.
I don't know if this drawing(?) shows New Jersey's Albert Einstein on a bicycle, but it looks like it to me. Given that Einstein lived in a small town, he might well have commuted to work by bicycle. Einstein was, of course, born in Germany. You can't choose where to be born. But you can choose where to live, and die. Einstein fled Germany for the U.S. — for Princeton, New Jersey, to be more precise — and lived in NJ till the end of his life. That is why he was in the first 'class' of the New Jersey Hall of Fame (which each year has its induction ceremony in NJPAC, Newark). (The paragraph about him on the NJHoF website contains some bizarre typos that assuredly should have been corrected long before now.)
This next artwork, despite its pink bicycle, may be my single favorite piece in the exhibition. I don't know where it's supposed to be, but it reminds me of the Asbury Park boardwalk in the summertime. I lived, with my family, not far from Asbury for 12 years, first in Leonardo, Middletown Township; then in Little Silver, for one year; then in River Plaza, also part of Middletown Township (across the Navesink River from Red Bank, and part of the U.S. Postal Service's idea of what "Red Bank" is).
My high school class, MTHS (Middletown Township High School, now "Middletown North") Class of 1962, is holding its 50th-year Reunion the weekend of July 12-14, 2012. We are glad to embrace grads from adjoining classes, if they wish to attend. (One such grad, one year ahead, was Roberta Cheney, who pronounced her name chée.nee, which is the way Dick Cheney and his family also do.) If anyone reading this either graduated with us or knows someone who did but has not yet become familiar with Reunion plans, including a very inexpensive, bring-your-own picnic in Bodman Park, please let them know about the Reunion and have them contact me at Resurgence City (at) aol.com.
I rarely got to Asbury because the family usually went to the beach at Sea Bright. I was almost dashed against the rocks of a jetty at Sea Bright once, when perhaps 10 years old, until my mother dragged me to safety and reproached me for getting that close to danger. Aren't mommies great?
After my parents separated — but never divorced; their parents had, in both cases, been divorced, and my parents apparently resolved that they were not carrying on that tradition — my father lived for several years in Asbury Park, in a garden apartment and on the second floor from the top of what I think was (and is now?) Asbury Park's tallest building (ninth foto in my post of October 17, 2008). He had a great view east over the ocean (tho there's really not much to "sea" there) and north to the hills of Rumson.
Tho we tend to use "Asbury" as short for "Asbury Park", there actually is a separate "Asbury, NJ", a locality within Franklin Township in Warren County that has fully a third the population of Asbury Park. That is not the "Asbury" I mean, but ~ Park.)
I'm not a great fan of ocean swimming. I sort of liked the low waves we have at the Jersey Shore, which little kids can body-surf. But I also liked to swim, and the swells of the ocean broke my stride, so I preferred lakes and pools. When we were living in Palisades Park, we sometimes went to Lake Hopatcong to swim in the summer, which was great. My mother would make fried chicken that we could eat, cold, at a picnic table. Cold fried chicken is great; cold steak, not so hot. I don't know what municipality that swimming area/beach was located in, but I think there were ropes on little buoys to rein us in from the deep water.
NJ is a great state for people who like water activities. We have an ocean, big lakes, a huge bay sheltered from the ocean by barrier islands, several great estuaries, the Delaware and Hudson Rivers (also estuaries, in their southern extents, tho there is white water on the Delaware where it is truly a river, above Trenton), and small rivers, creeks, and lakes suitable for canoeing or kayaking. (See 5 fotos of kayakers on the Delaware opposite Trenton in my post of September 24, 2009; search for "kayak" to jump to the first foto thereof.) Returning to today's topic, this next foto shows someone daring to turn the pedal on a kinetic sculpture in the "Art Cycle" exhibition. I am too well-trained not to touch artworks to have done that myself. It occurs to me only now that if it was OK to push the pedal to turn the mechanism, there should have been a sign at that mechanism to encourage people to go "hands-on". Was there such a sign that I missed? I don't think so, and my fotos reveal none.
The following artwork is in miniature, but proclaims the grand "spirit of the bicycle", which was, when it was first invented, hugely liberating, in empowering individuals, including women, to go where they wanted to, when they wanted to, without need of anyone's permission or assistance.
In this next foto, from the Kedar Studio of Art, which shares the second floor of 585 with Index, a young woman views some small but wonderful, architecture-themed works of art by Lisa Conrad. I noticed only now that this woman's dress has fasteners up the back. How did she close them? Some women's clothing appears to hold magic! Or do those women have superhuman flexibility in their arms?
The following foto is a closer view of one of the architectural two-dimensional works by Lisa C (which I misremembered as "Carlson", not "Conrad"). I love architecture, which I regard as the emperor of arts, for creating the framework within which essentially all other art resides. For several years after I moved to the West Side of Manhattan in 1965, my best friend was an architect from Bernardsville (or New Providence?), NJ. He (Gregory Fedoruk) was then and remains to this day, some 47 years later, the only person I have ever known who was my clear intellectual superior in EVERYTHING. I've met some other people who were my superior in SOMEthing, but not EVERYthing, the way Greg was. For instance, he boiled down a one-page flyer I had written for my gay group, Homosexuals Intransigent!, to hand out in Greenwich Village for an NYC mayoral election, to a succinct heading over my text that read, as I recall, "One Man, One Vote. One Gay Vote, One Sympathetic Mayor."
Alas, Gregory wasn't emotionally smart, but was buffeted by intense, irrational feelings of hurricane force. He let people use him, as for "loans" of money. I made what turned out to be a key mistake: I paid him back everything I borrowed that helped me get thru college (CCNY). I thereby ceased to be someone he held in thrall with money, and thus, to his mind, I ceased to be his friend. He was, generally, very unhappy — tho it was hard for anyone outside his head to see why, inasmuch as he was young, brilliant, well-built (due to much effort at the gym), and, financially, somewhere between very comfortable and rich). He worked his way, away from all his friends, claiming that his new role as a group manager at his architectural firm during the workday wearied him of human contact; he then gave away his two (Siamese) cats; and then he committed suicide by taking a warm bath, drinking wine or such, and slitting his wrists to drain his life into the tub. It would seem he wasn't as smart as I thought he was.
He actually did have friends — me for one, and his former lover, the (now-late) gifted artist Christopher Estridge, in whom he could have confided and from whom he could have sought advice, but he didn't want to hear anything we had to say. No, he just slashed his wrists and left us to feel guilty that we didn't see the signs and did not know to act. Thanks so much, Greg. For any of you out there contemplating suicide, think about what your suicide would do to people near you. For those of you who have felt guilt over not being able to prevent a suicide, disown that guilt. You cannot know what is in someone's heart, and cannot read minds, esp. if someone hides from you their feelings and intentions. Rarely can anyone save anyone who is serious about committing suicide, and not just crying out for help. Those of us left behind end up wishing they had cried out for help, because we would have rushed to help. I am, to this day, 40 years later, FURIOUS with Greg that he would not entrust his feelings to me, or even Christopher, a man he said, over and over, that he loved. Gregory left us in pain, thinking we should have been able to see ahead to what he was contemplating, and prevented it. I am not so irrational as to believe that. I know that sometimes people are so willful, and so selfish, that nothing you can say and nothing you can do can keep them from committing suicide. The very most we can ever do in such a circumstance is be glad, in a very sad way, that their pain is over. We wish to God (and even we who are atheists, wish to God, since it's not for us) that we could have saved them. But when we didn't, because we couldn't, not because we wouldn't, we just have to get over it, trying as hard as we can not to hate the person who killed him- or herself when we were always at hand to help. Gregory, I hate you for what you did to me, to Christopher, to your family; and can never forgive you. How could you have kept your awful pain to yourself, when we were there to listen and to help? Your pain should not thereafter have become ours, especially in that we were ALWAYS eager to dull and remove your pain, if that were remotely, humanly possible. But I equally will always love you and be sad that you could not entrust your feelings to me or Christopher or ANYONE. We cared. You did not believe that we cared, but that was on you, not us. We told you, and told you, and told you, in a dozen different ways, but you wouldn't hear it.
Not that it matters to the person who killed himself, but we who went on can always forgive. Forgiveness is a gift of the living. It means nothing to the person who committed suicide, of course, but it does give survivors the only "closure" they will ever have from a terrible tragedy that will always pull them down whenever they think of it. In this instance, religion is worse than no help, in that some religions consign suicides to eternal damnation. Thanks a lot. That will help us sleep much better, to picture someone we love suffering the tortures of the damned.
In any case, the "Art Cycle" show at Index Art Center closes tonite, so if you want to see it, and the artworks in the Reception Room at the rear of Index, and in the Kedar Studio of Art, make your way to 585 Broad Street, up 23 steps in two steep runs, tonite between 6 and 9pm.
Even if you have trouble with stairs, as I do, you might be able to attend this show. I have to ascend or descend steps like a toddler, both feet to one step before going to the next. Just take your time, and don't feel conspicuous about holding up people behind you. This is Newark. People are nice. They'll wait or walk around.