Sixty-three artists. One hundred eleven pieces of art. One gallery.
To call it inspiring would be an understatement.
The 10×10 Members Show, which opened last Friday at the Bunnell Street Arts Center, showcases an array of mediums, expressions and stories. Artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of two or three-dimensional work, with only one constraint: each piece had to fit in a hypothetical 10-inch cube.
“Deep Blue,” by Judy Winn. Blue tarp on wood.
“A Moment’s Sunlight Fading in the Grass,” by Jo Going. Glitter, moose jaw bone, dried grass and dried flowers.
“Mystic Fines,” by Sadie Mae Millard. Watercolor and ink.
Sadie Mae Millard beams from a corner by the window as guests fill the gallery. Her three pieces hang in a vertical line nearby. Although it’s her first show, a red dot by one piece signifies that it’s one of the 20 that sold opening night.
This fall, Millard was invited to stop by the Bunnell by assistant director, Adele Person. She waited two weeks before getting up the courage to walk in the door. When she did, she said that she was suddenly in the show.
“They inspired me to believe I can do something,” she said of the Bunnell staff.
Millard, who created her pieces before and after a surgery, said that as she worked on her art, she was able to focus her emotions, make them real and then let them go.
“Leaves and Rocks,” by Drue Smith. Leaves, rocks and epoxy.
“Kaya” by Desiree Hagen. Cut paper and colored pencil.
Desiree Hagen has a goal. For nearly a month, she has been doing an art project a day — and she plans to keep it up for an entire year. Hagen has been doing art all her life, but said that in the seven years since moving to Homer, she has become more serious about it.
As she watches guests mill around the room, Hagen echoes what others are already saying —the show feels really good.
“This is what community supported art should do,” she said.
“Travel Study,” by Rebecca Voris. Weaving.
“Blush,” by Gus Beck. Soft pastel.
Gus Beck, who recently did a wire sculpture show at Homer Council on the Arts, said that his inspiration for “Blush,” came from the amazing sunsets in Homer — and the emotional ties he has with them.
“Homecoming,” by Eva Saulitis. Acrylic paint and poem.
“Rosehips and Fireweed,” by Rita Pfenninger. Water-mixable oil paint.
Rita Pfenninger is slowly making her way around the crowded gallery, pausing to study each piece. Her paintings hang across the room.
“I chose three that were about this fabulous autumn we’ve had,” she said. “It’s kind of a metaphor for where I’m at in life.” Pfenninger said she feels like she has all this color coming out of her. Enough to last through the winter.
“Girl Chat,” by Kim Terpening. Encaustic, raffia and sticks.
“Vein 2,” by Amy Meissner. Vintage textile, unspun wool fiber, found objects, free-machine embroidered, hand embroidered and wet felted.
“Initial Assessment” by Annie Bailey. Tar paper, conte and colored paper.
Annie Bailey just finished the EMT course at Homer Volunteer Fire Department. Her drawing, which at first glance looks like an x-ray, was inspired by the preliminary medical assessment, which is to check a patient’s airway, breathing and circulation.
“I’m really excited about how many people participated,” she said of the show. “It’s really fun to be part of a community event like this.
“Untitled,” by Aaron Carpenter. LaserJet print transferred with gel medium and sealed with Mod Podge.
“Self-Portraits Channeling Picasso,” by Susan Sinclair. Oil paint on canvas panels.
“Life’s Journey,” by Deb Lowney. 3-D wood blocks.
“That was definitely one of our biggest openings this year,” said Asia Freeman, executive and artistic director of the Bunnell.
Nearly 100 people attended the event, and by the end of the weekend, a total of 23 pieces had sold.
Freeman said the whole idea with the show was to promote new artists, and to promote collecting art. Cultivating a creative economy requires people buying the product, so the 10×10 show seemed a good starting point. She also wanted more artists to be able to participate in the economy of developing and sustaining an art market. To encourage new member participation, the usual $50 membership fee was lowered to $25 for the show.
As all the works for the show came in, Freeman said she was a little nervous. Organizing the pieces to create a cohesive show out of distinctly different works was, in itself, a work of art.
Bunnell staff Kammi Matson, Michael Walsh and Adele Person also worked behind the scenes to put the whole show online, photographing the work and creating Bunnell’s largest spreadsheet ever.
Matson conceived the 10-inch-by-10-inch size for the convenience of online display. It also was a way to encourage participation — small projects can seem less daunting — and to keep the cost low. Pieces are small enough to hang on a cabin wall, and affordable enough to buy for a Christmas present.
Works are priced starting at $100, and purchased works may be collected Dec. 15, although the show will hang until the end of December.
All works can be viewed and purchased online at https://squareup.com/market/bunnell-street-arts-center.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday from noon-4 p.m.