|by Stephani Deoul
|MosaicA Kaleidoscope of Color
Rehoboth Beach's art scene is shining a little brighter and dazzlingly more colorful with the newly formed collective Mosaic. Not simply another gallery, Mosaic is a partnership of a dozen Fine Art galleries organized with a missionpromoting art awareness in Rehoboth Beachwhile in true Rehoboth Beach style mixing a little business with pleasure and, a lot of fun.
Is there anything better than strolling our streets (maybe even while using that one hour wait for your table to open up at a local eatery) and wandering into a gallery filled with treats for your stomach and feasts for your eyes? Mosaic members certainly hope not. Beginning May 10th, Mosaic began an art-walk event called "Second Saturdays: Destination Art." Aptly named, this event will commence on the second Saturday of every month from 6-9 pm. All one dozen galleries will be open during these hours and serving varied refreshments interspersed with conversation and well, art.
Like so many successful ventures in Rehoboth, Mosaic grew out of a cup of coffee and conversation between two recent transplants to our town. Jay Pastore (Gallery 50) and Jeanne Lucas Ponko (Amandeline Gallery) were chatting about the art scene in their two former home cities. Jay spoke of how in DC, they began Capitol Hill's First Fridays. Jeanne spoke of the frustration she faced in the Pittsburgh art scene as cooperation between galleries was exceptionally difficult because there is simply no "arts district" and the distance makes for very individual approaches to find and establish clients rather than focusing on building a cohesive community.
As one gallery owner retold this conversation to another gallery owner, this small chat began to grow and over the course of one winter, a brand new arts district was being birthed. As the number of local galleries has grown, it became apparent is was time for Rehoboth Beach to step into those big shoes and evolve into a destination for artfor great artists and for great artwork.
Every two weeks, the gallery owners met, miraculously keeping to one agenda. Mosaic would be created to join forces and showcase art both individually to each gallery and in unison as a collective arts district. As Jay Pastore explains, "There is no need for our gallery owners to think of themselves as competitors. A person buys a certain piece of art because they make an individual, emotional connection to the work. Our galleries all carry not only different artists, but different mediums as well and by working together we can facilitate a buyer to a piece of art that is right and special to them and for them."
And as you head out on a Second Saturdays: Destination Art feast, the diversity of the arts district of Rehoboth Beach is what you can explore. From the well-established AerieArt Gallery to the brand new, never-before-seen-by-the-public arrival of Ward Ellinger Gallery, the district will be easily identifiable by its distinctive flag, a bold mosaic pattern with a black background. Group J Designs, led by Giancarla Churchman, understood more than what the group wanted, she understood the strength behind success. She and her team first designed the striking logo to represent their sum total of different parts and have now incorporated their vision into walking maps, which are available to the public. There is also a Mosaic website. This has not been an easy task for Group J, when you have to provide art for a group of eleven specific and diverse critics!
If by chance you're reading this and thinking that wall space might be at a premium for you, let's remember, Mosaic is building an arts district. Art doesn't only hang on walls. If you stop by Mosaic member Heidi Lowe's Jewelry Studio, you might wear your new art home. If you stop by Panache Gallery, you might fall in love with a magnificent piece of glass art for your coffee table. And, if you like to meet the artists whose work you buy, members will be showcasing different artists all the time.
And so, while strolling about, perhaps latte in hand, remember that this is merely a first stage in building an arts district. The collective members are laying groundwork for waking those of us who have settled into long winter naps with thoughts for showcasing emerging artists, student art competitions and perhaps inviting in an apprentice artist or two for our often very quiet off-season months. In an ideal worldin the not too distant futureMosaic will have moved its art from behind closed doors to be embraced by public eyes and consciousness. As our community supports their endeavor, they will look to take a simple Saturday night stroll, spill it over into the streets and maybe, finally into a festival that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the best. It may seem far away, but then again, Taos was once nothing but someone's dream.
Michael Muller, (co-owner with Tom Boeke of DetailA Gallery for the Home), summed up the future well, "We have a growing, "destination Rehoboth Beach" Jazz Festival, Film Festival, even a Chocolate Festival. Why shouldn't there be an art festival?" Why indeed.
Current Mosaic Gallery members include AerieArt Gallery (with two locations), Amandeline Gallery, Coastal Frameshop & Gallery, Detail, Gallery 50, Heidi Lowe Jewelry, Kennedy Gallery, Panache Gallery, Philip Morton Gallery, Thunderbird Shop & Gallery, and Ward Ellinger Gallery.
For more information on all Mosaic events, visit www.mosaicrehoboth.com.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No.05 May 16, 2008