2012-04-05 / News

Collaboration ’12 opens tomorrow

The fifth annual show encourages artists to focus on the environment, Earth
BY KEN SHANE

The focus at the Jamestown Arts Center is fixed firmly on the environment this month. Two major events in April will have patrons considering their place on the planet and their responsibility for its safekeeping.

Friday will mark the opening of the fifth annual Collaboration show at the arts center. It’s the second year that the show has been mounted in the organization’s Valley Street building. Artwork with a theme related to the Earth, the environment or recycling was encouraged for entrants into the juried competition.

The call for entries from the JAC said that the competition was open to artists of any age as long as they are a member of the arts center or became one at the time that they drop off their work. As always for this show, the format of the artwork is restricted to a 1-by-1-foot piece, but can be in any media. Last year’s Collaboration show found some 100 pieces of art in competition.

The judges for this year’s competition are Jamestown architect Shahin Barzin, local art expert Jone Pasha, and Patti Watson, an interior designer and owner of the firm Taste, which is located on Narragansett Avenue.

“This is our eighth year in business, and we have been a proud supporter of the arts center for the past two years,” Watson said. “We are happy to participate.”

According to Watson, the Collaboration show is a great opportunity for members of all ages and all walks of life to come together in an art endeavor. “That’s what I think the power of the arts center really is,” she said. “This show in particular really captures that spirit. I’m thrilled to see all of the different types of art and talent that is here in the community that might go unnoticed until there is an opportunity like this.”

Watson is planning to focus on the environmental theme of the show in her judging criteria. “I’m curious to see what people do, and what their interpretation is of that,” she said. “I think it’s going to spark a great use of materials.”

Collaboration ’12 will run at the Jamestown Arts Center through April 26. The opening reception is on Friday, April 6, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The public is invited.

Also on the schedule at the arts center this month is a weekendlong celebration of Earth Day. “The point of our Earth Day celebration is creating awareness of how we all impact the environment and how much we can all make a difference in our own little way,” said JAC board member Jocelyn Donaghue. She pointed to buying locally and being aware of environmental problems as ways to make a difference.

The series of events – subtitled “Earth without art is ‘eh’” – begins on Friday, April 20, with a film presentation and book signing. The film – “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?” – is described as “taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees, and the mysteries of the beehive.” The film will be introduced by local beekeeper and author Susan Kurz, and followed by a short Q-and-A and a signing by Kurz of her book, “Beecoming Sophie: A Bee Conscious Adventure.” Admission is $5.

The following day begins with two tours of environmentally important local installations. At 11 a.m. Jamestown Community Farm manager Bob Sutton will offer a look at the new solar energy array that has been installed at the farm. Also on hand will be Stuart Flanagan of SPG Renewables who did the installation work.

The farm tour will be followed by an examination of the EPI “green” building that is located at the corner of Narragansett and Clinton avenues. The tour takes place at 1 p.m. and will be led by Shahin Barzin, the architect responsible for designing the building.

Both tours are free and open to the public.

That night will be another film at the arts center, this time with a water theme. Three films will be presented. The first, “Gimme Green,” provides a look at the mania surrounding lawn growing in this country and how the overuse of water and chemicals is harmful to the environment. That will be followed by “Himalayan Meltdown,” which observes the melting of Himalayan glaciers as a result of climate change and the effect of the meltdown on the local populace and beyond. The evening will close with a short film created for Save the Bay. Admission is $5.

The Earth Day celebration will conclude on Sunday, April 22, with a “green market” at the arts center. Vendors will be on hand with local farm and home products. The emphasis will be on encouraging “locavores,” people who consume locally produced food and other goods. The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and there will be live music during the event.

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