|c. Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.|
courtesy High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Deep into the dog days of Florida's summer, afternoon finds me momentarily at odds with my calling. I should be painting but the drip-dry heat chases me from the studio. My inner editor advises catching up on art books but workers arrive to install a back door. My last refuge for today becomes the computer screen.
One of the first things to jump out at me is how call to artist sites have changed. Scanning an updated list of shows on the Cafe site gave me a chalk art show in El Paso, an exhibition celebrating Edgar Allan Poe in Boston, a photography show about the Flint Hills in Kansas, a ceramic cup competition in Kansas City, an energy conservation art exhibition in Seattle and a competition celebrating Latino, African and Asian heritage.
In my quick glimpse, only one show made a call to contemporary painters - the Portland 2012 Contemporary Biennial. Unfortunately, the exhibition is limited to Oregon artists.
Even at the local level, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of thematic and multi-media exhibitions. Some of the themes have included dogs, tea cups, tiny art, and psychological states. And it is no longer de riguer to attend just art exhibitions. There must also be something interesting going on - a poetry slam, a charity auction, wine tastings, music concerts.
Pity the poor person who stumbles into a gallery of beautiful and challenging paintings and has nothing but the silence of her thoughts to fall back on.