Monday, November 23, 2015

Braided Rivers…the Journey Continues

Have you ever seen a braided river in the wilds of Alaska? They are wide, meandering beds of water that flow not in one big solid body of current, but as an assortment of narrow paths that ebb and flow and weave and turn as patterns (wind, rocks, quantity) change. The narrow river-ettes (I made that word up) all tend to go the same direction eventually, but are called “braided” rivers because the pieces criss-cross and entwine as often as they run alone in a wide arc back to the main branch. They are constantly under redirection within the confines of one wide river bed.

Such is the concept and the vision of the upcoming merger of Journey Art Gallery (returning to the Journey Studios name) with the Snarky Art studio, to become a new entity on the west coast of the Arts District as you know it, and an anchor tenant of the Canton Fashion District as we see it.

Now that Su has made public the changes to come, it is my chance to look back (and look deeper) so you all understand why this is happening. Simply stated, all artists must grow and explore and create or they will wither away. The Journey Art Gallery as it exists today has served its purpose, served its community and fulfilled its original mission statement. The journey was a success by all measures of what she wanted it to be and to what point it could and would aspire.

That being said, in an ever changing world of what constitutes “art” and what the public wants to consume and accept as “art”, it becomes a necessity to stay fresh, current and viable. Television studios constantly add new shows to their lineups and drop what is not working. Movies are new to the screen each and every week. Clothing styles are introduced worldwide multiple times a year during fashion weeks. Even your local restaurant menu changes fairly often….so why not “art galleries”?  To stay solvent in this business of ours, one must not be afraid to take a new look and a different point of view based on what has been learned. The art world of even 5 years ago is not the art world of today because of many factors, not the least of which are technology, online shopping, transient communities and people wanting to live with less. The permanent is out, the consumable or usable is in.

With thoughts such as those in mind, we had many conversations over the past several months and worked very hard to come up with a solution to make “creativity” a viable and relevant business plan. Toss in a leap of faith and with hard work and a vision based on a braided river, what will emerge on the corner of 4th and McKinley will be anyone’s guess at this point if one is trying to pin a label on us. The path will be in one direction but how it gets there will be up to our creative muses of the moment…..we want to make new ways for art to happen and to be relevant not only to the Canton community, but to a broader, wider audience of consumers. 

For certain, there will be fashions that are one of a kind creations, hers, mine, ours, other artists who specialize in the textile arts. There will be painting, painting as fashion, painting as art, and an exploration of how technology affects this fusion. There will be the fruition of visions and ideas, the creation of concepts that have been trying to find time to be realized, and a space where 2 artists can work and people can shop, all while having as much fun as we can possibly provide. After all, if life and hard work are not fun, then what is the point?

We are counting on YOU, to shop locally, to continue to participate in our community projects, spread the word and bring people downtown.  The friends and supporters of Journey Art Gallery will not be disappointed at what is to come, we know you like art, you like to see different things, you like to get your hands dirty once ‘n awhile and you have trust in us to keep our corner alive and active and inspiring. So stayed tuned…..the best is yet to come.