Turn Up The Footlights and Put On Your Dancing Shoes!

By any measure, June 28th was a complete success. Our opening attracted quite a number of people and I think it is safe to say that everyone is feeling the glow and warmth of success. Closing this three week adventure with an exhibition is very important. First, it establishes a deadline that must be met and in this way provides a real world experience. When an artist commits to an exhibition schedule the work must be completed on time. Also, the exhibition forces each artist to make decisions that must be finite, at least for the moment when the work is shown. There is a tendency for artists to fill time and space. In other words, give me three weeks to complete a project and I will complete it in three weeks. Give me four weeks to complete the same project and it will take me four weeks.
Anyway, there are some photographs made last night at our opening.

Students from Moore College of Art, LSU and Johns Hopkins view work at our exhibition.

Visitors from the central part of ireland looking at Alexs’ oil pastels and reading her artist’s statement.

Matthew Allen introduces the work of our music students.

06/steph-with-chris-1-of-1.jpg”> Stephanie Hoomis and Chris Droney pose in front of Stephanie’s pastel drawing of Mr. Droney. He is a legend in traditional Irish music.[/caption]

Sedra Davis and Mary Hawkes-Green. Mary is the President of the Burren College of Art

Sedra is talking to Jim Hyland. Jim is a Ballyvaughan resident and was our tour guide around the Burren. He also was a subject for one of Stephanie’s pastel portraits.

Students and visitors look on as Chris Droney entertains at the opening.

Amy Magaletti discusses her work with the photo instructor from Johns Hopkins.

Mary Hawkes -Green poses with our four music students. She was very impressed with the integration of music and studio art. It is the first time this has ever happened at the Burren College of Art.

Mary addressing visitors at the opening. She referred to Wheaton as a place that always delivers “a power-house group” to the BCA

Our people always bring a kind of highly charged energy here. They work non-stop while always generating a lot of enthusiasm in their work. They can be seen each morning at 7:00 am, walking the roads of Ballyvaughan. This morning, all 14 walked for an hour together. Besides being a great cardio-vascular exercise, the morning walk brought everyone closer together. That was always the real intent of this daily ritual.

After our opening, we travelled to the small town of Kilfenora. Kilfenora is famous for their Ceili bands and for Ceili dancing. The students were given a one hour lesson and then the real dancing began. By 10 pm the place was packed with students and local residents and it was a fantastic way to experience local culture and blow off steam.
Our guys mixed it up and were courageous enough to join in sets with the locals who brought years of experience to the dance floor. Here are a few photos of that event.

Tyler Matayoshi and Lauren Andres receive dance instruction

Amy and Stephanie practicing their moves

Rachel and Nate helping each other find their way

We have just finished our last critique. It wasn’t really a critique but a round table discussion where each artist shared impressions of their time here. I’ll send a future blog where I share some of the behind the curtain stuff with you so you really get a feel for what has happened here.
I’m now sitting alone in the gallery. The work is down, the students have headed back to their houses and it’s very quiet. Something pretty melancholy about a deserted gallery when a show closes. I can still hear the concertina of Chris Droney, and I can still see the smiles on the faces of our students as they experienced the high of a successful exhibition and performance.
I’ll close here for now and as I promised in an earlier blog, I will send reflections and insights when we return home.
We board the bus for Shannon Airport tomorrow morning at 8:45 and we’ll be heading home, arriving in Boston at 2:30 on Aer Lingus flight 135.
Thank you for following along and I hope you have enjoyed this experience along with us.