Weekly Wrap-up: Art Openings & Exit Signs

Art History Revisited

Kurt Ankeny (whose wife’s store was featured in an earlier post) opened a new show at Alchemy in Gloucester this week, featuring his latest work. Kurt is a fantastic technician — I believe he could render anything — but more interestingly, he is a smart painter. I won’t say intellectual (though there is that, too) because the ideas found in his work resonate at an intuitive level. You don’t need a PhD in Art History to understand what is taking place. But should you happen to be in possession of a PhD in Art History you would have an even stronger context for what he is currently showing. His new work depicts Biblical stories, the subject of thousands of paintings since the dawn of Christianity. But Kurt illuminates these stories with a new kind of light — one every bit as timeless as the stories themselves, but somehow completely contemporary. His painting of Joseph, Mary and the baby at the Egyptian border crossing has burned itself into my retina and I will never think of the character of Joseph the same way again. Which is saying something, as if you’ve been around these stories a while, you begin to feel as though you’ve pretty much gained as much insight as you’re ever going to from encountering these same tales yet again.

The artist Kurt Ankeny with his family at his opening

Wine plus Samson & Delilah

Signs, EXIT & Otherwise

This week I painted the sign for the new store Scout Vintage Finds, also featured in a previous post (there’s a theme here). Karen, the owner of this new resource for old things, wanted me to use the image of an old pair of binoculars, the brass perfectly worn. Binoculars signifying scouting — get it? If not, you’re not allowed to shop in her store. No, just kidding. She welcomes everyone. I was a bit worried about creating a cartoonish sort of look if I tried to paint a picture of the vintage binoculars, thus undermining the symbolism of the hunt for items that will enhance your environment, when it occurred to me to photograph the binoculars, edit the image, print it out and adhere it to sign’s surface, incorporating a bit of painted overlay for a more cohesive, yet almost collage-like look. Check out the primitive photo I took of the binoculars and then head to Scout Vintage Finds online (find the link below) to see the finished sign — which is unsophisticated and fun, in the best sense.

Vintage binoculars: the inspiration for the Scout Vintage Finds sign

And this week’s Find of the Week? This vintage EXIT sign, modeled by our friends who, fittingly, are moving to New Mexico in a few weeks, in case you were wondering what their exaggerated sadness is all about. And really, what isn’t sad about Exiting? Unless you’re leaving a bad date or a fire, goodbyes are always hard.

Vintage EXIT sign modeled by our very sad friends

Relevant Links:

Kurt Ankeny showing at Alchemy Bistro

Scout Vintage Finds

p.s. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store at Todd Farm tomorrow for our pop-up shop. Hope to see you there if you’re a Massachusetts-ite!

The signage for the pop-up store: taken from the pages of an old book.

Current obsession: patina'd brass finishes. Oh and that fish vase is pretty cool too.

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