Thursday, July 26, 2012

Play Ball!

Play Ball!
July 2 – October 26, 2012
Opening Reception July 26, 2012 from 5-8 PM
Gallery at Atlantic Wharf
290 Congress Street

Fort Point Honors 100 Years of Boston baseball.  Featuring the work of Laura Davidson, Leslie Feagley, Joanne Kaliontzis, Jean Hangarter, Andrew Kirby, Danny O, Karen McFeaters, Sylvia Stagg–Giuliano, Anne Welch, Elisa H. Hamilton, Andrew Kirby, and Ian Kennelly.

Joanne Kaliontzis
Bill Carrigan, Heinie Wagner, Jake Stahl, Tris Speaker
20 x16 digital collage on panel

FPAC:  Humphrey Bogart once said, “A hotdog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.”  As we all know Bostonians love their baseball and this exhibit explores the game that truly is an American past time.  What compelled you to create an exhibit around baseball?  How were the works for the show chosen?

IK: This is the forth or fifth baseball themed show I have been in since 2008. The first, '2332', in California was curated by Darlene DeAngelo at The Huntington Beach Art Center.  Play Ball! was modeled after this exhibit. Laura (Davidson) and I picked the 'team' based mostly on the previous work of all the artists involved or their individual interest in baseball… Training meetings we told everyone to make what they saw fit to show. A lot of leeway was given and every artist met the challenge.  This show is amazing and all the credit goes to this group of artists.  The team hit it out of the park.

Ian Kennelly
Sacrifice Fly, 2010
18 x 24 Gouache on Paper

FPAC:  Being at a game under the spotlights with the neon green grass staring back at you brings a sentimental longing of childhood to my thoughts.  Does the art in the show reveal nostalgic emotions?  What can we expect to feel from this show?

LD:  It was nostalgic for me to make the work, since I was drawing from tickets and other mementos from games. As I was working I was thinking about the people I went with and what happened at the park, and of course, the ballplayers.

FPAC:  Tell us about YOUR work!

IK:  My work is merely one fan's perspective.

LD:  My drawings are ink and wash depictions of tickets, baseball cards and other ephemera.

Laura Davidson

SSG:  Closer is one of my favorites, because it shows both the intense, almost volcanic forces that build up just before the delivery. Walk-off says it all the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.

Photos by Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano
Top: Closer
Bottom: Walk Off

JK:  My images are based on Baseball cards from the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection, Library of Congress, circa 1909-11.  Originally these cards were the first baseball cards were found in cigarette packages, these are from the American Tobacco Company. The backside of the card blended into the background.  For the past year or so, I have been researching the origins and history of baseball in Boston for my clients, Historic Boston. While researching on the web, I found vast collections of images from the Boston Public Library and the Library of Congress. The baseball cards were attractive to me as they related to my work as a graphic designer and lover of paper ephemera. The integrated graphic forms are from printer's register marks.

"The most interesting thing I discovered in my research was that there was a baseball stadium located here on Congress Street that predates the Boston Wharf buildings... Our baseball show is located only a few blocks away from that site." - Joanne Kaliontzis

Joanne Kaliontzis
Studie for Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Rube Foster, and Del Gainer
24 x 34 digital collage on panel
From an image from the George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress, circa 1915-1917

FPAC:  The Gallery at Atlantic Wharf is a new space for FPAC, can you tell us more about the space and what this brings to the community?  How does the space help shape the exhibit?

IK:  The show was originally intended for the Art at 12 Gallery so initial thoughts where specific for that large brick and beam space. We first told the team that any of us could go large or really experiment with that amount of square footage and near century old architecture. But as most know, news came through that Art at 12 and Made in Fort Point would need to move to a new location by late summer. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Gabrielle Schaffner, she was able to locate an alternate space for us, the Gallery at Atlantic Wharf. Though just over the Congress Street Bridge it certainly works well as one of Fort Point's neighborhood exhibition spaces. The hard part was guessing how much work we could collective install in the designated gallery area and the adjacent lobby spaces. I think the work really ties all the spaces together quite well and even works very nicely with the current BSA show 'Let's Talk About Bikes'. In the end we are quite lucky to be there and I look forward to future FPAC programming there.  A big thank you to Atlantic Wharf for trusting us with their space.

FPAC:  With Fenway celebrating 100 years, what is your favorite memory of the beloved ballpark?
LD:  There are too many - games with my mom and with Cheryl Forte. But I think the best was when Cheryl and I saw the Clay Buchholz no-hitter while we were sitting in Theo Epstein's box. That was a pretty unique experience.

SST:  Since I grew up in Ecuador, I dont have memories of sharing a hotdog and peanuts with my dad at the baseball park. But I have GREAT memories of gorging myself on empanadas and pork sandwiches at soccer games!

FPAC:  Who is your favorite Red Sox player?

IK:  There are several players who contribute steady results and others spectacular performances but for me Mr. Tim Wakefield has been a standout Red Sox team member…I am sorry he has retired from the game but glad to see he did it in a Red Sox uniform.

LD:  I like David Ortiz. And Dustin Pedroia, and Youk. (But now, besides the Sox and Tigers, I'll be keeping up with the White Sox)

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