Monday, January 30, 2017

Welcome to the Museum of Bad Art!

Yes, it's a real thing! The Museum of Bad Art is available for viewing in three galleries in/near Boston.   They are located at:
This past weekend, my husband and I visited our son who lives in Somerville, and we noted that one of the galleries was located there. (Somerville - where Tufts University is located - is basically one of the communities that ring Boston, as is Brookline, where another of the galleries is located.  These communities feel like a part of Boston!) 
The gallery we visited is in the basement of the Somerville Theater (in walking distance from my son's home!) and is open to ticketed movie goers whenever the theater is open.  We were at the theater to see the movie Lion (I highly recommend it), and came early so that we could visit the museum for our first time.   Here's a bit about the museum and it's philosophy, which is all very much in tongue-in-cheek fun.  And by the way, if you stick with this post till the end, you'll see what I thought was the craziest piece on display in the museum!
The museum has over 600 pieces, but only about 20-40 are on view at each location at any given time, so presumably, you could return several times to see different parts of the collection. On display when we were there were "Dopplehangers" - Selected works from the POOR-TRAITS Collection that resemble, intentionally or not, famous people.  For example, below we have "Pablo Presley"

Please note, the quality of the photos in this post are as bad as the artwork.  It's a basement, the lighting is awful, and the space made it hard to photograph many of paintings straight-on.  And there was a rolling ladder thingy in front of one of the paintings.  Anyhow, here's what the gallery actually looks like:
Yup, like I said, it's a basement.  That's my husband, my son, and his girlfriend, above.  They are not sitting there because they are bored waiting for me; they are making dinner reservations for us, for after the movie!  Here's some pics from the collection.  Reading the tongue-in-cheek descriptions can be half the fun,  so I am including them here with the pics of some of the artwork.  
 Of course, there were bound to be paintings of Michael Jackson in a collection of bad portrait paintings (poor-traits).  [Above and below]  In the painting below, the hand is pretty hysterical, and then there's that squared-off chin...

And presidents.  Lots of presidents!  Here are a few of them.  Below, it looks like Bill Clinton has tiny hands, and perhaps has been painting some brown furniture, or burned his face on the grill while cooking burgers?
 What's so 'bad' about this portrait of President Obama below?  It's not the image of him, but the strange collection of repeating faces that surround him,including Denzel Washington and Morgan  Freeman. 

 And then there's this, below....  EEK!!

 And more singers and actors and such, and even an iconic president's wife...

These are pretty funny! 
And this:

And for the Grand Finale, here it is, the 'Torso Phone'!

 I hope you've enjoyed this little tour; It was hard to narrow down what to share with you!  Anyhow, I'll close with a closeup of a rather awkward hand.  Meanwhile,  If you are ever in Boston, instead of visiting the MFA (Museum of Fine Art), how about visiting the Museum of Bad Art instead! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A couple of weeks, a couple of workshops... and encaustics!

A week ago, my region of NYSATA, our state art teachers association, held a hands-on professional development workshop (actually now called CTLE, for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education, here in NY), with an art consultant from School Specialty presenting three projects using products they sell.  I was in charge of making all the arrangments, so I didn't get a chance to complete all the projects, so I'm working on finishing them at home .  But today, I attended a hands-on workshop put on by a neighboring region, so,lucky me, I got to play with encaustic waxes all day, with a bunch of really terrific "north country" art teachers!
 I made 4 pieces, incorporating some collage into the encaustic wax.  The two pieces pictured above are on 8"x10" canvas board panels.  Some patterned papers were collaged into these pieces, minimally.  The two pieces below are on small square masonite panels, and incorporate more collage than the two pics above.  I don't think the photos really show the colors/textures the way I'd like. 
I didn't use the camera flash, because of the glare, but the colors are definitely off/dull in these photos, even though I tried to adjust!  The above piece is made from pieces of colored class and some small old photos of a waterfall, tied together with the encaustic wax.  Below, layers of patterned papers and colored and clear waxes.  I liked it when I began, and then it quickly got overworked and I couldn't get back the original freshness.  It was my first piece today, and I think I did better once I had the medium more under control.  

 Here's some closeups of one of my pieces, my last piece, that I made rather quickly.  I really enjoyed making all of these encaustic pieces, but I'm skeptical about their longevity, since heat can melt and alter the surface.  Anyone have experience using encaustic waxes?
But this one, below, and at the top of the post, is my favorite of the day. 

 Some other people made some really cool stuff, but I only got a few photos. Aren't these terrific?

 One gal had this adorable mini-violin case as her pencil case.  Isn't it adorable? 

 Here's a glimpse (below) of one piece that I began in last week's workshop and finally finished a couple of days ago.  When I complete the other two projects, I'll write about all three in a separate blog post, because they deserve their own post!