by Mickey Myers
“After December, all weather that is not wintry is springlike.” – Thoreau
. . . .and so it seemed during the first CABIN FEVER event of the 2019 season, spring had sprung.
Bryan Memorial Gallery introduced its Cabin Fever Series four years ago as an antidote to winter. Whether crawling the walls or gazing endlessly out the cabin window, our artists and patrons have told us the gallery offers solace, especially as an alternative to the endlessness of the winter months, particularly this year.
The Cabin Fever series was launched to formalize this proposition – that the winter months offer the opportunity to hear new ideas, and/or affirm old ideas. Regardless, ideas are prime.
. . . . and so, with this year’s Cabin Fever series, we introduced a new medium (new to us, that is) to lead off the entire Cabin Fever series with a collage workshop. It was a daring idea. Collage has never been a mainstay of the gallery, but Sandra fw Beaty, a part-time resident of Montgomery VT (and Atlanta GA,) came to us, willing to take the risk with us and introduce the gallery to collage.
We did all those things you do when you haven’t done something previously – breathe deeply, fantasize, cross all t’s and dot the i’s, and in general prepare and publicize as thoroughly as possible. And wouldn’t you know, collage struck a chord.
Our members were just waiting for Sandra’s workshop. They filled the ranks, showed up on time, and are already asking for more. What was her message and her magic? Well, her message was largely contained in the playful display of her own work, which is on view for YOU to see during the winter months through March 31, in the gallery’s Pop Up Gallery. If you can’t make it over, check it out on our website. The magic? Largely it was dependent on each participant in her workshop, whose afternoon explorations can be seen below.
“What happened?” Sandra came with her suitcases full of art papers she has collected all over the world, spread them out on the floor and invited the participants to dive in and make art. Photographs were provided for source material, and Sandra circulated through the sold out crowd through the day, exclaiming and encouraging. She was an enthusiastic partner in the process.
In the end, we can summarize it as follows: art may be the most gentle antidote to the endlessness of winter. When you really let it in, spring has sprung regardless of the date on the calendar.