Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creativity Through Art

Above is the family pursuit that Tom Page brings to his life’s work. For only the second time in the last 42 years his creativity and art will be on gallery display at The Edge Center in Bigfork during June in a show titled Now and Then. If you've been in Grand Rapids you probably have seen his sculptures on public display at the Blandin Paper Company, Glorvigen Building, Lakewood Surgical Center, Saint Joseph’s Church and  the Grand Rapids Area Library (“Taking Flight From Knowledge” shown below).  The exhibit at The Edge Center also will include items such as photographs of his sculptures in public settings and private collections plus samples of his drawings and paintings.

An opening reception is on June 7 from 5PM to 7PM in the gallery with a talk by the artist at 5:30PM. The exhibit runs from June 6 to June 29.  The Edge Center Gallery is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and is located next to the Bigfork School.

With a career extending over 40 years, Tom Page has created some incredible work.  Being a “commission artist” rather than a “gallery/show” artist explains the few times his work has been on display in one place in quantity.  Some of his available public art is shown below. All the photographs in this blog should be considered copyrighted material of Tom Page. 

About the Bigfork show he says, “most of this show is made up of smaller pieces that accumulate in the studio. They are ideas for larger projects, personal themes, and experiments.  All of my commissions are installed publicly or privately, for that reason many of them are not seen outside the studio unless you chance to see them ‘in situ’. I do have furnished graphics of larger commissioned pieces that are in the public eye (some of which will be at the show)”.

Following are a few images of his work from his web site (  If you visit his site you will find a large amount of his art involves the human figure.  He says, “A strong thread in my work is the use of the human figure.  The attraction is for many reasons but is validated by my feeling that, human interaction is our first experience when we are born and if lucky, the last one we have before we pass. Everything in between is an embellishment of those two points.”

When asked if he had any favorites he said, “it is hard to pick a favorite sculpture since they all have different intention and carry various messages.  People usually take from the imagery what they bring to it, for that reason the religious pieces engender the most conversation and mail. I guess that I would say that it is the process of making them that gives me the most satisfaction. I really look at my profession as Creativity and job as art, when I am combining the two I feel best.”

So why did he end up with a show in Bigfork?  Tom again, “Regarding the show in Bigfork. I contacted the Edge Gallery in the winter of 2012/13 with a community proposal on an art/creativity element. That conversation led to a request for a show. I agreed to the gallery show and hopefully the education element will follow.”

Tom again, “…as an art professional I contribute in many ways, just not usually in the form of a gallery participant. However, I do like progressive thinking small towns and I believe Bigfork is such a place, the scenery is beautiful and I suspect the people are exceptional, so why not have a show there?…I look forward to the show and especially learning more about the people and their cultural interests.”

So for a unique exhibit that looks into the creative process of an extraordinary artist, come to The Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork during June for Now and Then. Better yet come to the opening reception…there will even be a surprise announcement from Mr. Page and treats.  His invitation to the reception is, “I hope you enjoy the show experience. I love what I do and enjoy discussing other peoples art and passions.”

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bigfork Gallery Looking for Upcycle Art, Trash Art, Junk Art, Trash Mash Up, or... ?

Whatever it’s called, it can be beautiful and interesting, help clean things up, reduce landfills, and just make us happy looking at it. Upcycling: using recycled materials in art design is the theme of September’s exhibit in The Edge Center art gallery. And the call for entries is going out.  If you have some or would like to try it, or know someone who creates this kind of art, please consider a showing in Bigfork during September.  All entries must be in by Wednesday July 10. This exhibit is open to all media as long as the majority of the materials are recycled. Examples include sculptures, collages, mosaics, glass pieces, or quilts from previously used fabric.  There are no entry fees and no awards, but this is a chance to share exciting artwork with an appreciative audience. Entry forms are on or in the gallery in Bigfork.

Each artist can enter five items that must be original art using submitted images.  Experienced artists will select the ones displayed and notification will be made of the selections the week of July 22.  If your entry is to be shown, submit it by Tuesday to The Edge Center Gallery on September 3, 10 AM- 2 PM.  There is an opening reception on Friday September 6 from 5 to 7 PM.  After the exhibit is finished, you can pick up your art on Monday, October 7, 10 AM – 2 PM.  The entry form provides all details including Edge Gallery Policies.

A little background

According to Wikipedia, “the first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz ... in 1994”.  Recycling in general can refer to either upcycling or downcycling.  Upcycling uses old products in new ways and downcycling converts old materials into new materials or products. Tuning recycled materials into art certainly is upcycling.

And, as we know, making art from used or discarded materials goes a long way back. It has been called many things over the years with “junk art” being one of the earlier and probably the most used names. There is even sort of an “official” date for the start of junk art. At least this is according to Shelley Esaak’s essay on the subject, “Junk Art became an ‘official’ movement when the critic Lawrence Alloway assigned those two words to one of Robert Rauschenberg's combines in the mid-1950s. This is shortly before other movements away from abstraction -- Pop Art, and Junk's kissing cousin Funk Art -- were born. Of the three, Junk Art has proved itself the most durable movement: it continues to be made. In fact, there is no end in sight, seeing that we keep manufacturing items that end up in the trash.”  Read more at .

Edge Center Policies

1. Artists are responsible for their own insurance.
2. Edge Gallery reserves the right to reproduce works for publicity purposes.
3. Any work submitted for judging must be available for showing during the
    entire exhibit.
4. Edge Gallery charges a 30% commission fee on all sales.

As said earlier, this is purely a fun project with no judging, and no awards.  So, if you’d like to submit a work for exhibit consideration, we invite you to do so. The month will be a fun and different exhibit in The Edge Gallery and our whole staff is eager to see it happen.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Art, Music and Science by Bigfork Students

Right now The Edge Center Art Gallery has on display one of its most colorful, well-attended, and special exhibits of the year.  It is the annual student art show. The art will be on display until June 1st, and on May 23rd, student music and science projects will also be celebrated. This student achievement day will include a student science fair at the Bigfork school from 4 to 6:30 PM, plus a choir and band recital on The Edge Center stage starting at 7PM.  The gallery will be open during these events.

Add May 23rd to your calendar and come to enjoy what our students have accomplished. These events are the results of the hard work and dedication of students and school staff.  The Edge Center is pleased to be the venue for part of the program.  Please make a trip to Bigfork and see what resulted from this work  If you can’t make the May 23rd show, keep in mind that the gallery is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM and will have the student art on display until June 1st.  Admission is free

Students also are turning the school walls into art each year. During the science fair you might get a chance to see some of the paintings done for this impressive project.  Below you can see part of this year’s project in process.  This art is a special reminder of the fact that art and learning should go beyond the classroom.

The art on display provides a wide range of art mediums showing the versatility of these young artists.  What a great way to end the school year by letting all of us see just a small part of the accomplishments brought about by hard work and talent.

The Edge Center congratulates the students and staff of the Bigfork School on a wonderful year of learning accomplishments, while keeping mind that the May events are just part of what has been done in the school during this past year.  Thank you for letting us be part of it.