ArtWeek collaborations go beyond the gallery

Mar 12, 2019

MARION — Through scarves, street painting and much more the second iteration of ArtWeek will both showcase area artists and organizations and get the community involved. 

The Marion Art Center ArtWeek is a local version of a statewide program that was modeled on Restaurant Week.

The Marion Art Center ArtWeek program will offer a dozen art events from April 26 to May 5. The events highlight music and dance, history, visual arts and crafts, theater, and children’s programming. Many events are either free, or presented at a low cost.

Marion ArtWeek Chair Jennifer Wolfe Webb explains that organizers differentiate Marion’s program from other programs across the state “by really focusing on artists, performers and instructors from our local area — or from the region, though most are from around here.”

Examples include Benares Angeley, the owner of the Children’s Art Lab, who will run a process art party that will allow children to make instruments and music out of found objects on April 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Or Tabor Academy English teacher Mark Howland, who will present a staged reading of his play “Cedar Beach” on April 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The instructor that Wolfe Webb calls, “the ultimate local instructor,” though, is the Marion Art Center’s own Executive Director, Jodi Stevens, who will take a break from her role as organizer to do a workshop on the Japanese Shibori scarves that she makes on May 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“All of the talent is around here, and I think people don’t realize because they don’t see it ever day,” Wolfe Webb said. “It’s great for people in Marion to celebrate the talent in our community.”

She also explained that “many of the [other] artists have a connection with the art center, even if they are not local.”

This is often a connection through one of the board members. Stevens saw Jill Sanborn’s presentation “Art for your Mind: Why so Famous?” on famous artists in Sandwich and recommended it in brainstorming.

An Irish step dancing performance and lecture by a Boston group on April 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. came about because the director is friends with one committee member. 

Wolfe Webb said another goal of the brainstorming process was creativity, “to think outside the box, and have arts events that are not usual arts events.”

For organizers, another part of that process was “we deliberately do not want to repeat events. And we have such a rich talent in the area that is is easy to do,” Wolfe Webb said. 

There are a few exceptions.

“We’re repeating the Jazz Jam at the MAC, since that was such a success,” Stevens said. This year’s jazz jam will take place on May 4 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The other event that is similar to last year’s is a Paint and Sip, but organizers changed up the May 1 event by adding wine to the 7 to 9 p.m. gathering.

Wolfe Webb also strove to innovate with programming. One way she did that is through a collaboration with other local organizations.

One collaboration is a Cecil Clark Davis Walking Tour and Tea, which will feature several historians from the Sippican Historical Society on April 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Another event is the Seniors and Children event on May 4 from 10 a.m. to noon, which is co-sponsored by Marion Council on Aging and will allow seniors and children to create together at the Senior Center.

ArtWeek’s Sale-abration may be its most creative event, a “sidewalk sale with a twist” as Wolfe Webb puts it, that will sell off items found in Art Center storage and feature street painting with glass artist Tracy Barbosa on May 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Other events for ArtWeek include a Dickinson v.s. Whitman poetry knockout, where actors portraying the two will take audience questions and vote on a “favorite poet,” before hearing readings from local poets (May 3 from 7 to 9 p.m.) and a feng shui workshop that will focus on rebalancing the home on April 26 also from 7 to 9 p.m.

“I’m excited, because it’s new for me,” said Stevens, of ArtWeek.