Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Après le Spectacle

As in the past, this year's Texas Hill Country Invitational fine art show was a memorable and valuable experience. One of the best components of the show was the opportunity for frequent and extended interaction with the other artists. It's great to be able to hear about what other people are doing in their work, both creatively as well as business-wise.

SHADOWS ON THE SUN, © Chris Gray, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist
As I spoke with Chris Gray, a fairly recent member of the BPA, he walked me through the interesting process he uses in composing his "tribal art" pen and ink designs. When you simply look at the final product of someone's art you can make guesses at the detailed steps they take to make it, but often you are totally wrong. This was certainly the case for the Chris's work.

On the last day a woman came into my booth and had much to discuss with me concerning my photographs. She happened to be a fiber artist and mentioned to me something I might consider for my images. What she had to say was not an entirely novel thought for me, but it certainly dusted off the cobwebs of an old idea I'd had some time ago.

EXPLORATION, © Kay Reinke, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist.
Adjacent to my booth were the displays of Kay Reinke's paintings and her sister Karen Cruce's fine art pottery. I recounted for them the discussion I'd had with the fiber artist, and they both jumped on the "new" idea for making my images available to a whole new set of possible collectors. Their excitement was contagious and I promised to attempt developing the required process over the next month or so.  I'll let you know how this turns out.

And finally, despite all of the wonderful aspects of this year's THCI, there was a darker undercurrent lingering through the three days of the show. It is clear that the economy of the US is not even close to being healthy, as sales of work— my own and others— were decidedly puny. Even though the show itself was absolutely wonderful and easily the pinnacle of what Boerne Professional Artists has produced over the years, people obviously did not come to buy. Fine art is, and always has been, a luxury item. When an economy is down, purchases of fine art are probably the first thing to drop off the budget as not a necessary expense. When fine art sales return then you can finally say that the economy is on the mend.

SUNSET HORIZON, © Karen Cruce, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist
Here's looking to next year's Texas Hill Country Invitational– may it build upon the successes of this year, and add robust sales to boot!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Elegance and Art in the Hill Country

Cana Ballroom, Entrance Tower and Catwalk
© Bill Brockmeier, 2012
The Preview night and opening of the 2012 edition of the Texas Hill Country Invitational was an elegant evening and celebration of the creative arts. The show's venue at the new Cana Ballroom was the perfect location for such a fete. With the panoramic vista of the sun setting beautifully over the Texas hills, the wine corks popped and the crowd buzzed. The grand piano near the lobby served up a musical breeze that wafted through the night air.

The art collectors and lovers who came from across Texas to enjoy this weekend of art were not disappointed. The fine art displayed at the Preview party covered a wide spectrum of media, styles, and subjects. From the intricately executed, but boldly designed "tribal art" of Chris Gray to the sensitively modeled and dynamic western women sculptures of John Bennett, there was something to intrigue everyone. This was a veritable smorgasbord of fine art fare.

Halfway through the evening, the results of the independent judging of entries was revealed. I was quite surprised and pleased to hear that one of my own entries, "Beyond the Stone," captured the award in the photography division. John Bennett's powerful "Accordianist" sculpture was awarded the "Best of Show." Although having been named "Texas State Sculptor" in 2010, John Bennett was visibly quite moved to receive the "Best in Show." John is not only an amazing artist, but a wonderfully humble man as well. Well done, John.

BEYOND THE STONE, © Bill Brockmeier, 2012, all rights reserved by the artist, 1st Place Photography 2012 THCI
On Saturday, the day began with an opportunity for art patrons to gab informally with the artists over coffee and fresh pastry before the show itself formally opened. Then the QuickDraw event witnessed the rapid-fire work of a half-dozen or so painters as they created "instant" works of fine art in the brief span of only 60 minutes. Later in the afternoon, these works would be sold in a live auction to the gathered crowd. These works were so new and fresh, that the new owners had to be careful taking them home so the still-wet paint wasn't smudged. Kind of like getting incredible fresh-baked bread, still warm from the oven.

The afternoon was a rich opportunity for those who attended the many art-related demonstrations and lectures. These twenty-minute segments showcased diverse techniques and offered insight into creative efforts.

Sunday will see the final installment of this year's edition of the Texas Hill Country Invitational. Although all of the other surrounding events are now history, you still have one last opportunity to see (and own) some marvelous creative works. Come out to Boerne, enjoy a beautiful Hill Country October afternoon, and take home something you will treasure for years.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Weekend of Art

It's October, and the first hints of autumn in South Texas have arrived— last night was our first "quilt night" and this morning was our first occasion to fire up the heater. And this means that the Texas Hill Country Invitational is just around the corner. I always look forward to this show, and in many respects it is the highlight of my artistic year.

This year promises to be even more of a highlight as I and my colleagues of Boerne Professional Artists are making great strides to move this art show from a regional classic to one of national significance.  Previously, the art show itself was the singular wonderful event of the weekend. For the 2012 edition we have added numerous associated events to the line up.

JOYOUS APPLAUSE (fragment), © Bill Brockmeier, 2012
The weekend of art happenings starts on Friday morning with a "Paint-out." This is a collection of fine art painters who will be stationed throughout the city of Boerne– downtown  the plaza, the Heart of Boerne Trail meandering along the Cibolo Creek, etc.— and who will be painting "plein aire" (on-site) some wonderful scene before them.  This is quite an interesting treat to be able to observe an accomplished painter do their creative work. And as you walk throughout Boerne you'll be able to see multiple painters working in quite different styles, mediums, and so on. These works will be completed during this one day and then will be hung as a collection on a separate wall for the entire weekend of the show. During the show you'll be able to bid for your favorite in a "silent auction," with the results to be made known Sunday afternoon.

Friday night will see the opening of the fine art show itself at the posh new "Cana Ballroom" behind Saint Peter the Apostle Catholic church atop the hill on Main Street.  This night is billed as the "Preview Show" and is a ticketed event which will feature wine, catered hors d'oeuvres, live music, and most importantly, your exclusive first opportunity to select your choice of the incredible new work that is being shown for the first time by these top-notch artists. The event will be semi-formal-South-Texas, so put on your new blue jeans, shine yer boots, press yer best shirt, and don't forget yer steppin' out hat! If you'd like to obtain tickets, you can call or email me.

Cana Ballroom, © Bill Scheidt, 2012
In past Texas Hill Country Invitationals, a single, highly respected artist from outside the Boerne area has been invited to the show.  This year, we are expanding the invitation to eleven invited artists from across Texas.  Including the Boerne Professional Artists members who will be there, the show is featuring the new work of nearly forty fine artists who work in a host of various media: oils, acrylics  watercolor, pastel, bronze sculpture, stone sculpture, photography, ceramic, and fine art jewelry (I hope I haven't missed someone!). You are sure to find something intriguing.

Saturday morning really ramps up the art weekend with the public opening of the show with a "Breakfast With the Artists."  This is your opportunity to enjoy a pastry and coffee while you chat informally with the artists on the patio outside the ballroom. The patio has a wonderful view overlooking the Hill Country and downtown Boerne. This is a great opportunity to ask the artists about their work, and "what makes them tick."

The Patio, © Bill Scheidt, 2012
The morning then continues with another exciting art adventure with the THCI "Quick-Draw." If you have never attended one of these, you are in for a treat! The dozen or so artists who have entered the event will have only one hour to start and complete a finished work of art. You will have the opportunity to observe these amazing artists work at a fever-pitch. The artists will participate in several painting mediums as well as sculpture. Immediately after the event, each of the artworks will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and you will have the opportunity to go home with a piece that you actually watched being created— from start to finish!

After the Quick-Draw, the main event of the Texas Hill Country Invitational begins. The show will extend through all of Saturday and through Sunday afternoon. These professional artists are known for their work far beyond Boerne and will be showing some of their newest work— most of which has not been seen before by the public. You will also enjoy talking with each of the nearly forty artists who will be able to fill you in on the details and background of the works you will be seeing.

While the show continues Saturday afternoon there will be numerous art-related lectures and demos in the ballroom to provoke your interest and deepen your understanding of art. These events will be produced by some of the artists in the show, as well as others from outside the BPA.

All in all, this promises to be by far the best and most amazing Boerne Art Weekend ever, and there will be something to keep you interested all three days. Make plans now to travel to Boerne and immerse yourself in what is coming to be known as the "Little Santa Fe of Texas!" 

Check here for a posting of the detailed schedule of times for the events I have mentioned above.