Steampunk called him home…

Have you ever felt that you were born in the wrong time or era?  Are you very creative and eclectic?  Do you have a fondness for fantasy and sci-fi?  If so then you are like many of us who have discovered the magic of the Steampunk Culture!  One person who felt the call to “go home” to Steampunk in a big way is Jeff Mach!  I met Jeff several years ago when he was planning his first Steampunk World’s Fair event in Central NJ….it took over a large room in a corporate hotel and has now expanded to a 3 day extravaganza, often taking over two complete corporate hotels, with hundreds  of cosplayers, artisans, vendors, musicians and those that want to just be a part of the spectacle!

Goth Girl

Goth Girl

As you may or may not know, Steampunk combines sci-fi with the Victorian Era, so fantastical contraptions are created as if solely fired by steam power.  Elements of Goth, fantasy and anime can be found as well.  Here’s a taste of what Jeff’s events bring…  https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkTendencies/videos/1317398068374556/?pnref=story

And in his own words, here’s a bit about what drew him to all this madness: 

3D computer graphics of a cyborg woman with a headdress in science fiction style

There’s a simple goal I have for every Jeff Mach Event: I make weekend-long homes for unusual people.

What does that mean?
The second martial arts school I attended was literally in the back of an alley, up a long flight of stairs. And leading to the school door, there was a pair of signs. The first was a standard martial-arts school notice, “Please remove shoes”. This simple act gave a physical reminder that I was leaving one place—“the street”—and stepping into a different world, with different rules.
The second was at the top of the stairs. “You are entering a traditional karate dojo. Please act accordingly”.
How did one “act accordingly”? I knew many common rules and practices—I also knew that every school I had seen had its own style, rules, approach. What was proper in one school might be utterly wrong in another.
Yet the practical value of that sign was enormous. It always gave me pause, called to my mind all of my associations with training grounds, what I learned there, and who and what those things made me. “Act accordingly”: know what you have come to do, know what you are doing, at least in your own mind. Or, at the barest minimum, recognize in your gut that you’ve come to a place where things are different. Don’t just take that difference passively, when it enters your space; make it a part of your consciousness.
And thus. And so.
You’ve entered our world, a place where we belong, a place where we are not the outsiders, a place where what we do matters, is meaningful, is real, and we are NOT the only ones who know it.
Steampunk, Rocky Horror, Renaissance Faires, Geeky spaces; it doesn’t matter.
Leave the outside world for outsiders.
We bring our homes with us, inside us, we foster them with love and passion.  We’re different–not better, just not the same–and sometimes, we realize: we are not alone.
And that place?  That place is home.
The next Steampunk World’s Fair is May 5-7, 2017 in Central NJ….here’s where you can find all the info & tickets:  www.SteampunkWorldsFair.com

A Beautiful & Powerful Art Exhibit

“Beautiful and Powerful Statements” is an art exhibit featuring the arts of calligraphy and re-purposed materials.  It opens Saturday, January 28, 2-5pm at Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen.  The exhibit includes nearly 70 pieces in many media, from photography and video to fabric, ceramic and glass as well as all manner of re-purposed materials. Work from all over the U.S. and as far away as Israel is included in this show, along with the work of New Jersey artists. The approach to calligraphy was a very broad one and was open to any work that was text-predominant. That has allowed us to include not only work with elegant traditional calligraphy in many diverse languages, but other pieces that are very powerful and direct. “Anatolia” by Woodbridge, NJ artist Gozde Ture includes a quotation from the Orkhon Inscriptions with calligraphy in the Goturk alphabet that speaks about time. Ruth Schreiber’s works, from Israel, while connected to the Hebrew Scriptures, employ a “fantasy writing” using porcelain and other images. And California calligrapher Beverly Womack creates her work using layers of materials and images. The photography-based altered prints of East Orange artist, Onnie Strother, on the other hand, use bold text to speak directly to their viewer, and Georgia-based Craig Wilson’s almost stream-of-consciousness words dance all over the page. The art from “repurposed materials” makes their statements by way of the material itself…employing everything from actual bees and beeswax as Montclair artist Art Paxton does in “Buzz”, to the steampunk-related cast-offs used by NY artist and teacher Seth Apter, and another Steampunk influenced 3D piece by Lauren Curtis, as well as a piece by  Metuchen artist Amy Brooks in her work “Post-Truth Apocalypse”. “We were sought to incorporate in the show work featuring calligraphy or text that made, individually and collectively, a powerful statement. We were also interested that the work accepted using re-purposed materials had an inherent, accessible beauty. We were constantly weighing those two interests as we reviewed the work and decided what would fit well in this show, so that each piece really was appropriately “Beautiful and Powerful, “ noted Gallery Board Member Robert Hopkins. The Opening will be carried by Facebook Live, beginning around 2:30pm. This will be especially helpful for the artists who live great distances. It will allow anyone who wishes to log on to the Nails in the Wall Gallery FB page and interact with the visitors present at the gallery. Nails in the Wall is in the midst of its fifth year presenting international, interfaith exhibits of high-quality fine art. To learn more about the gallery, visit www.nailsinthewall.org or call the Director 732.322.6512.  Link to the Facebook invite:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1765730973753205/

steampunkboxfeb2012

I’ll have this large, 3-D Steampunk style box in the show.

nailsinwallbeautifulpowerjan2017

Art takes Root in April

What better time than Spring to honor nature through art?  And the Tulpehaking Nature Center in New Jersey is doing just that this month!  One of my x-ray, digital photo collages has been accepted to this show so join us…details below!

Micro/Macrocom Tree (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

Digital photo collage using actual x-ray images.

ROOTED juried art exhibit at Tulpehaking Nature Center
Join us for this nature-centric art exhibit,  focusing on the importance of trees.
Opening Reception:  Fri., April 22, 2016, 6-8pm.  Exhibition on View: April 22, 2016 – September 4, 2016
157 Westscott Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08610

http://www.mercercountyparks.org
http://abbottmarshlands.org/

NOYESflyer2016
Another exhibition I’m very excited and proud to be a part of is:
The NOYES MUSEUM FINE ARTS ANNUAL
4/6/16 – 7/8/16  Opening reception Friday 4/8, 5-8pm
I have 2 of my x-ray digital collages in this important exhibit.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
artsgarageac.com
The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting the works of visual artists and craftspeople in the state. Chosen for their excellence, these artists present works of drawing, photography, sculpture, painting and mixed media. Their works are compelling evidence of the outstanding talent residing in New Jersey. The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University is pleased to host this prestigious exhibition!
New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

And even if you missed the opening reception there’s still time to view this show:
Woodbridge Artisan Guild
presents”PHOTOGRAPHY”!

Join us for our newest exhibition, which runs thru April! (I have 3 pieces in this show!)
All works in this show have been created by local artists;
themes include landmarks, nature, portraits, travel, & more!
101 Main St., Woodbridge, NJ (732)634-1474

Feast for the Senses & art news

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

You can sense the excitement in the air as spring all too slowly approaches…but it’s on the way!  And as with all new seasons, comes new art events, especially in New Jersey!  While it’s still too cold for outdoor fests and shows, there are plenty of indoor art exhibits to attend and the following I’m involved with this month are all FREE so no excuse not to check them out!  I hope you’ll join me and many other local, talented artists at these exhibitions:

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

FEAST FOR THE SENSES…Group Art Exhibit
Work by local artists (most living, some not) will be on display from March 7 through March 28, 2016, in the library’s community room. Participating artists include: Judy Brodsky, Joan Arbeiter, Lauren Curtis, Ria Glassman, Joyce Browning, Eric Escobar, Virginia Swanagan, Pat Shamy, Sydney Jean Reisen, Nadine Berkowsky, Jackie Baker, Jill Caporlingua. Deceased artists whose work will be displayed include: Jacob Landau, Stanford White, F. J. Adams, John LaFarge.

The Opening Reception for this Art Show (on Thursday, March 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room) will provide light refreshments and an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the artists.  I’ll have a few paintings in this show.  Here’s Facebook invite link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1694806214135180/

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

SACRED SPACES, HOLY PLACES
There’s still time to see this enlightening exhibit of sculpture & photography with 27 artists / 43 pieces of work / 13 pieces of sculpture / 30 photographs.   Aside from being an exhibit, related spiritual & cultural discussions & events typically take place during the run of the show so check the gallery’s website & Facebook page for info.  Nails in the Wall Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave, Metuchen, New Jersey 08840.
I have 2 photographs in the exhibition which continues until
Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

And a quick question…Do you have a favorite place that you wish you could visit forever?  How about immortalize a beloved home, vacation spot, hang out or historic site in ART?  Commission a pen & ink with watercolor painting of a place you’d like to remember forever!  Contact me for details: forestwalker333@hotmail.com

For more of my work, please visit my newly updated website! http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com

Thanks for reading!

~Lauren

Sacred Spaces, Holy Places

A life-sized Islamic Prayer Niche…a sculpture conveying a Jewish woman’s experience with sacred space…a nearly 5’ ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome…evocative photographs of both outdoor and indoor spaces…an unusual combination?  But all highlights in the upcoming exhibit at Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke’s, the Metuchen exhibition space sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Sacred Spaces, Holy Places: an exhibit of sculpture & photography will begin the gallery’s 2016 winter exhibition season with the Opening & Artists’ Reception Saturday, January 30, 2-5pm. The event is free and open to all.

One of our goals at the gallery is always to bring together diverse voices from varied religious traditions around a common theme. In this instance, what makes a space sacred? What does a sacred space look like?  Work representing 27 artists is primarily, but not only, from the tri-state area. The photography includes a wide range of haunting images, some almost abstract, others capturing very specific locations that carry a sense of the sacred for the artist. Notable among those is the over 4’ Ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome by Nancy Ori (Berkeley Heights). Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking pieces, “V’at Alit”, by Miriam Stern (Teaneck) includes a series of photographs and other materials highlighting her experience of sacred space as a Jewish woman. Several very local photographers have work included in the show: Mark Harris (Edison) with his elegant figures and the carefully viewed spaces of Robert Hopkins (Metuchen). Lauren Curtis will have two 35mm black & white photos taken in the famous Louis I Cemetery in New Orleans, LA.  This above ground burial site is one of the most famous cemeteries in the US & the site where supposedly the infamous VooDoo Queen Marie LaVeaus is entombed.

NOLA.Marie's Tomb Flowers (c)2010

The 13 pieces of sculpture are very diverse in scale and materials and include free-standing pieces as well as sculptural wall works. Included in this group is a 6’ sculpture by Christina Saj (Cedar Grove), which has an exhibition history that includes, among others, St. John the Divine, NYC and the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Towering over that piece is Daniel Nelson’s (NYC) “Niche for Maryam.” A life-sized Islamic prayer niche known as an mihrab, the piece was designed as a site-specific installation for the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC, using the proportions of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary by Bela Lyon Pratt in the Church’s Altar of the Annunciation. Nails in the Wall is honored to have it on loan from St. Paul the Apostle    for the duration of the exhibit.

Three mixed-media Mayan masks from Ronald LeMahieu (Princeton), along with a variety of the photographs, remind viewers that the sacred takes many forms beyond Church buildings.

Between 3 and 3:30pm, several artists’ talks will take place.

John Sharp, Gallery Board Member remarks, “I am amazed that despite our limiting the media accepted into this exhibit, we have been able to curate a show of such a diversity of scale and approach. It will truly be exciting to see which sacred space speaks to each visitor.”

Creating a sense of ‘sacred space’ through sound for the Reception itself, pianist, composer, and recording artist, John Bianculli will be performing. Refreshments will be provided by our ‘art partner’ The Metuchen Inn.

The exhibit will continue on view until May 15, 2016. For more information, visit http://www.nailsinthewall.com/ or contact Linda LaStella, Director@nailsinthewall.org.

The Facebook invite link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/159308764435405

NJ Community thru Art

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

“Jersey-ites” are a proud folk and we do have many types of communities throughout this small state; historic, artistic, cultural, musical, etc. so it’s no wonder that the Woodbridge Artistan Guild is having an exhibition focusing on this theme titled “COMMUNITY”.

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Join the Woodbridge Artisan Guild on Sat., January 16th at 7pm for an opening reception of our newest exhibition!

All works in this show have been created by Woodbridge area artists and the theme of community includes local landmarks, New Jersey, family, civic pride, neighbors, and our towns.

In addition to local art this event will include live music and refreshments provided by Mulberry Street Restaurant. FREE event.  WAG Gallery, 101 Main St., Woodbridge (732)634-1474
I have three photographs in this show. 

Celebrating NJ through photography

Keansburg Beach (c)July2013 Lauren Curtis

It’s been the brunt of jokes many times but I’ve said it before…New Jersey is truly a pretty awesome, diverse state and not just a compilation of highway exits and landfill sites.  While there are areas that are less than pleasant, much of The Garden State does live up to this name as we have such a wide variety of terrain in such a small state; mountains, beach, cities, suburbs, farmland, historical sites and more.  This is why I’m proud to honor my home state through photography!  This month (Nov., 2015) I have a photo in the New Brunswick Photography Competition taking place 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th is a lucky day for me so who knows..maybe my piece will win an award??) at the New Brunswick Free Public Library on Livingston Ave.  The opening reception, open to the public..and free..will be 6pm-8pm.  Award winning photos will then be on display at The George Street Playhouse & Crossroads Theater, both in New Brunswick, NJ.

I’m also very excited to have a SOLO NJ Photography Exhibition at OQ Cafe Gallery in Highland Park, NJ! I’ll have hand printed 35mm photos among many other images that depict the history and diversity of The Garden State. This show has an opening reception Friday, 11/20/15, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, refreshments served & cafe items for sale. 13 South 3rd Ave., Highland Park, NJ. 732-455-2994. FREE EVENT! Feel free to bring friends and family! Original matted prints & greeting cards will be for sale the night of the reception…great for holiday gifts!
Show runs thru 1/31/2016.  Here’s a teaser of some of the images in this show….

Grounds For Sculpture (c)July2014

Grounds For Sculpture (c)July2014

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Here’s the Facebook invite link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1635160093417892/

Please feel free to share it and invite friends and I hope to see you at these events if you’re in the Central NJ area!

~Lauren