New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Art Show By Ten Women

The title is misleading because I'm really only going to write about the art of one woman, but it was from a show of ten women. First a bit of background.

Work was actually pretty busy and a wee bit frustrating yesterday but the day did end without incident and I headed downtown to the Belmont Lounge on 15th Street between Irving and Union Square. Kevin McDonnell is a friend from Esquire, also in research. His wife, Janice McDonnell, is a painter and she had three paintings on exhibit at the bar in a show called The Art Show By Ten Women.

It was about 7:45 p.m. when I arrived and I made my way through the bar and saw Janice and said hello. There was an open bar for the art exhibit but there was also a regular (very fratty and suity) happy hour going on, so in order to get free drinks you had to have a special orange wristband. Janice was completely on the ball and gave me a wristband and sent me to the bar straight away. I got a beer (okay, two beers) and left a tip (okay, a buck) and wandered to the back room, where Janice said Kevin was hanging out.

I figured I'd give Kevin the extra beer if he needed it, and if not, hey, extra beer. I got a Newcastle for myself and a Stella for Kevin or myself.

Kevin was chatting with a friend so I looked at Janice's paintings. There were three, Girl With Cage #1 and #2, and Orchid. Orchid was the largest piece, in between the two smaller paintings, and I liked it the best. It was an oil painting of an orchid flower, with a horizontal bar across the bottom divided into different colored segments. One of the rectangular segments was a painted reproduction of a photograph of Kevin standing on a beach in Washington State.

I liked Orchid particularly because of the horizontal bar across the bottom. My eyes were drawn to the image within the image, like there was some connection between the orchid and the beach. It was an interesting juxtaposition.

It reminded me somewhat of the art of my wife's stepbrother Jay Torson.

Janice told me that she has only recently begun incorporating seemingly disparate design elements into more traditional still lifes. She is a talented painter and I look forward to her next show.

The other works of art were good too, but I didn't examine them closely enough to write too much about them.

Once the bar wasn't open anymore I slowly finished my beer and chatted with Kevin, Bob, and John. We talked about contemporary music (I was bullish on the Music Choice channels), the Mork and Mindy made-for-tv movie, and our parents' and granparents' interesting history, of which we only know a small fraction.

Then I made my way back out to the street, to the subway, and home to Brooklyn. Being in the Belmont Lounge was kind of a throwback to earlier times, because it reeked of cigarette smoke. They have a backyard "garden" area with a tent over it for smokers, but so much smoke was wafting inside from the garden it was almost like a pre-smoking ban bar. It smelled like they were actually pumping cigarette smoke into the place through the vents.

When I got home and took off my jacket and shirt they both reeked of smoke and I hadn't even been in the smoking garden. Again, a throwback to an earlier time, when showering before bed after being in a bar was the norm.

Today is Wednesday, and I've got a lot of work to do, so I'll have to end it here. The weather today is beautiful, and it makes me feel like I'm somewhere other than New York. Tonight Jenn and I will attend another potentially interesting event, so keep checking in.

Belmont Lounge is at 117 East 15th Street, and The Art Show By Ten Women runs through April 30. Belmont has a happy hour from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Check it out.


Blogger Jenn said...

I'm sorry I missed Janice's art opening (I was enjoying another happy hour a little further downtown). But I'll try and check it out before the 30th. Maybe one day we'll be celebrating an "Art Show by Janice and Jay."

4:29 PM  

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