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Street Talk

Art Lovers View Exhibit With Their Ears

 By Mickey Howley

Conversation on the sidewalk last Friday night was easy, the temperature was delightful, the sky clear, and the breeze on Main Street just wispy smooth. Folks were outside because things were a bit crowded inside. In and outside at Yalo Studio artist Lawrence Wells, in a return of the semi-native son from years overseas, had old friends greeting and new ones meeting. Just up the block at Bozarts, folks waited in a contorted line to be “in” Reiko Yamada’s accordion fusion sound art piece.  They also heard from filmmaker Alison Fast commenting on her Water Valley short documentary “85% Broken” and, most of all, saw the film.

And in the crowd outside and inside, conversations hovered and drifted around –  how nice there was some life downtown, to how things have changed for the better in the last five years, and how the imagined now seems a glimmer of reality. And where the future will go and how do we get there.

Reiko’s work in her re-imagining what old and worn-out accordions could possibly do is a metaphor for downtown. Those pre-electric hand-pumped, reed vibrating instruments worn through age, use, and neglect were much like downtown’s buildings. And she, via a respect for their time, aesthetics, and function, made them once again center.

To be sure she saw them as old broken things, but objects that once again could be used for novel and new purposes.

If you wish to watch, the film is online, type in “vimeo 85% Broken” and it’ll be the first thing. Give it a watch, it is only 14 minutes. And next time, we’ll have a conversation about what you saw in the film.

Some future places to interact and have those conversations:

At Bozarts Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday night, May 8, there will be the new art show opening reception “Botanical Genius” with Katherine Fields and Ed Croom.  A green show in that it is all about plants. See the inner life and delicate intricacies in the green living things that we so often just weed-wack back to stumps. Seeing the green world as Croom and Field do is an exquisite insight. Plants, art, and live music again on Main Street.

It is less than two weeks until the Pine Valley Music and Arts Festival, a few miles south of town at the old Pine Valley School house on Hwy 32. The event will be Saturday May 16, starting at 10 a.m. and going to 8 pm. This will be second year of this fest; the first one was just delightful. It will be bigger this year with 60 artists, 15 musical acts, and two stages.  Bigger is not always better, but this time, I think it will be.

Conversations with farmers in the last weeks have been about the growing season starting off cool and wet with way too much rain.  Farming is tough business, so much depends on the weather, and so some market growers are just getting their starter plants in the ground. Look for the Farmers Market to begin by the end of the month.


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