Artrageous! 29th Artist Showcase and Auction

Artrageous 2015_2181.jpg

by Joey Phoenix 

Photos by Social Palates

On March 28, the vastly celebrated annual event Artrageous! successfully returned to the North Shore and continued this now record-breaking artistic tradition. Hosted by Montserrat College of Art, the prestigious art gathering enjoyed a sold out house and brought in nearly a thousand participants and local art-lovers to enjoy some of the region’s best creative work and support the future of the college.

Artrageous offers the living, breathing performance of art. It is basically a theme park for creativity, complete with a musical soundtrack, great food, drinks, and visual stimulation everywhere you look.
— Ken Harris, Participating Artist

More than 250 pieces of art lined the maze of walls, and the wide range of style and medium was a thing to behold. Ranging from paintings, prints and photographs to mixed media and sculpture, the pieces were donated not only by Montserrat faculty, but also alumni and well-known and rising artists from the North Shore area and around the country. These outstanding visual art pieces were auctioned off to support future and existing students attending Montserrat. To put matters into perspective, every $10,000 raised during the event enables another student to have a world-class education from a college who genuinely cares about the development and continued success of its students. Last year’s event, which was also a sold out show, raised more than $400,000.

Now in it’s 29th year, Artrageous has come to be known as the “must-attend” spring event in the region. Since its founding in 1970, Montserrat has dedicated itself to not only molding future artists, but also working diligently ensure that the artists who pass through their halls will become ultimately successful in their careers as creative professionals, and Artrageous is the perfect extension of that vision. The small college of art and design strives to provide both the education which will equip artists for success in their chosen field and the opportunities to gain recognition for their achievements.

Yet, Artrageous is much more than your standard fundraising event, it’s also an interactive celebration of art, and an opportunity for rising artists. Some of the main features of the night included an ongoing silent auction, interactive art displays, live painting and performance, live music by Salem band Machine 475, and food by Capers Catering. The Honorary Chair of the event was Beverly native Jack Barnes, President and CEO of People’s United Bank, the lead sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors included Windover Construction, Inc., Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC, John Drislane and Chuck Thibeault, Footprint Power, Hal and Jodi Hess, and Pinck & Co.

“Events like this are great for the art community because they give artists a chance to show their work to hundreds of people at one time. It was an amazing feeling for me to watch people discuss my piece, get close to it and really examine it, and eventually put a bid on it. Seeing my name in the Artrageous program along with my website was great too because I couldn't help but think how many people saw that.” Explains Alison White, a three-time participating artist, Montserrat alumna, and locally recognized photographer and fiber artist.

Artrageous is a beautiful event which brings together the students of Montserrat, its faculty, and its many supporters in the same room, to celebrate art!
— Deanna Jacome, Montserrat Student ‘15

“The hundreds of attendees get to immerse themselves in a creative environment in a way that they most likely would miss otherwise. It reminds us all of how stimulating and diverse the art world can be, particularly when it is birthing new work before your very eyes.” Says Ken Harris, the Creative Director and Senior Designer for Great Island Design and participating artist in the show.

“The event was so humbling and rewarding.” Montserrat Senior and participating artist Deanna Jacome confided. “The support of our little community will always have a special place in my heart.  As a senior, it is nice to see all of the support towards alumni which I can't wait to be apart of.”

Although the merits of the interactive event and silent auction know few bounds, the most celebrated aspect of the night is the much-anticipated Live Auction, which included 24 juried artists and the traditional “Direct Bid” segment. The featured artist for this year’s live portion was North Shore native and internationally renowned Bill Thompson, whose work has been showcased in Budapest, Sydney, Zürich, Barcelona, Munich, Madrid, Seoul, and Brussels among others.

“In my opinion Montserrat College of Art's Artrageous Auction is the best art event on The North Shore. Every year it becomes more interactive and exciting.” says Live Auction Participant, Montserrat alumna, and regionally celebrated artist Kathleen-Gerdon Archer. “I am always impressed by how well the faculty of Montserrat develops the incredible talent of their undergraduates so that students pieces are often chosen by the jurors for inclusion in the live auction. I get goosebumps watching their faces as the bidding increases and the huge crowd roars in support. Montserrat enjoys enormous community support but it is never more apparent than on the night of the Artrageous Auction.”

Artrageous is an event that stands alone regionally as the apex of art celebration. Its unique presentation coupled with Montserrat’s powerful vision are the combination which proves its continued success year after year.

Montserrat’s powerful vision for student success and artistic celebration is clearly prominent in the continuing series of yearly Artrageous events. The only thing more successful than the fundraiser itself is the awareness it is bringing to the North Shore area by highlighting brilliant pieces by local creative minds. Because of this, even one attendant with an open mind is an overwhelming Artrageous success.

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ROAD TRIP: Beverly Comic Con: A Fan Intervention Becomes A Community Staple

By Chris Ricci

There were many facets of life that were directly affected and altered by the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 and the resulting manhunt and lockdown.  Many businesses were forced to close, events were cancelled, and daily schedules were thrown into a tailspin as the city locked down, and many felt that this was a proper course of action. Some people, however, felt that the absence of happiness in light of such terror and heartbreak wasn’t the proper thing to do, and many communities joined together to give people a sense of normality and happiness despite a rather devastating landscape. One of the many things canceled by the lockdown was the annual Boston Comic Con; a wildly popular event for fans of not only comics, but of cartoons, artwork, and other related forms of media. Because of the short notice of such a cancellation, many artists and panel guests found themselves stranded in Boston with nothing to do, and the lack of any sort-of rescheduling left many concerned for the future of events like this. Enter the members of North Shore-based Tryptic Press.  Members Andrew Houle, John Cardinal, and Michael Crockett joined forces with long-time friend Adam Miller to work on a solution: The First Annual Beverly Comic-Con.

With a mere 24 hours notice and a social media blitz of epic proportions, all four men worked tirelessly to turn the Studios at Porter Mill into a convention hall to retain a sense of normality and fun in light of such a tragic event. Schools provided furniture, markets donated food, friends brought instruments to perform, and before anyone knew it, the Beverly Comic-Con was a success. People came in droves to the make-shift event, and the sheer amount of happiness and community pride made the event an overwhelming success in the eyes of not only the creators, but to all of those who attended. Now, the members of Tryptic Press and Adam Miller are making the convention happen again on a more grand scale. "The four of us have been friends for ages, all graduating form Montserrat College of Art and all wanting to give back to a local art community that helped get us rolling on our respective and collective paths” said Adam. “If superheros, zombies and barbarians help aid us in our efforts than so be it. Truth be known, I could not think of a better group of allies.”

"This comic con feels like such a long time coming. It's funny we worked on putting together the first one for about 5 hours after the 2013 Boston Comic Con was cancelled,” said Andrew. “And now we finally have what we feel is a con focused on the artists and the books they create.” According to Andrew, the first event, which started as an impromptu chance and event, “quickly turned into an opportunity to build something new and different with the local comic community demand. Everyone in attendance was so positive.” Andrew added that he “knew while we were packing up the first one we would bring it back again.”

This event isn’t arriving without a share of major supporters both local and national. Wicked Art Bar owner Renee Gannon not only provided vendors access to the Art bar space, but also will be providing beer and wine sales for the event. Former Porter Mill gallery manager Val Toukaly and current interim gallery manager Will Portiff worked tirelessly with owner Ted Richard to not only help orchestrate the event, but to also provide them with the excellent space they had at the last event.  And DJ Noel Snow will be in the house providing the crowd plenty of tunes and helping raise the already enjoyable atmosphere. “What once was only celebrated in dimly lit comic shops and quietly among friends is now EVERYWHERE!” exclaimed John. “I am proud we are bringing another comics based event here to Beverly.”

Vendors will be set up throughout Wicked Art Bar (who will be serving beer & wine from 2-6pm throughout the event), the gallery space, common areas, and several studios including my own throughout the first floor. So most of the first floor will be the comic con while patrons will also be encouraged to visit artist studios which will be open upstairs in a similar vibe to 'Open Studios'.

Below is the full roster of artists and vendors:

Andrew MacLean (guest of honor) - Headlopper and soon to be published Apocalyptigirl by Dark Horse Comics

Robert Gill (guest of honor) - Transformers, Batgirl, Eternal Warrior, & Harbinger

Paul Hornschemeier (guest of honor) - Forlorn Funnies, Marvel Comics

Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb - Adventure Time 

Amanda Beard, Andy Driscoll, Ben Donahue, Chris Letarte, Christian Miller, Daniel Kern, David LeBlanc Eric Boeker, EyeFormation, Heather Scoggins, Omega Level, Jacob Carignan, Jason Casey, Dennis Burke, Joe DellaGatta, Jon Paddol, Joe Haley(The UnderBurbs), Josh Morrissette, Adam Miller(ZombieBomb!, States of Terror), Robert Van Wagner, Keith Gleason, Matt Mcguirk, Michael Doherty, Patt Kelley, Randy House, Tom Torrey, Harrison's Comics, Monstserrat College of Art(Illustration Dept.), Andrew Houle, Jesse Danger, PressBound, Michael Crockett & John Cardinal.

"Livingston Taylor: Bringing Magic Back To The Cabot"

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Massachusetts has been home to some very important movers and shakers in the music industry. Some of them have long since vanished from the public eye, while others have taken on a different way to continue to see musical passion thrive in the state they call home. Livingston Taylor was born in Massachusetts, and has amassed a body of work and reputation that expands over forty years.  Through those years, Liv has been touring and releasing albums, but he doesn’t let one outweigh the other. “The idea of supporting a record died a long time ago with the labels” he said. “I’ve been touring almost non-stop for years, and I’ve happened to release some albums from time to time.” His most recent album, “Blue Sky,” is his fifteenth release since his first self-titled album came out in 1970, and serves just as another chapter in the long songbook Liv has written all these years.

Despite the long touring schedules, Livingston Taylor serves as a member of the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music, and has utilized his experience playing live for many years to serve as the basis for his lessons. “All in all, what we do is for the audience, so if I have any advice for musicians starting out, ‘It's not enough to just create and throw it out there. You have to watch it land. ” He said. “If the audience loves it, keep doing it. If they don’t, do something else. It’s safe to assume that the audience doesn’t need you, and will reject what you’re offering. You just need to watch as what you makes lands.”

Over time, Livingston Taylor has played a wide range of venues that range from small and intimate coffee houses to the Boston Garden. Each venue has their own perks, but Liv certainly does enjoy playing the small venue. “When you’re playing a big venue like the Garden, the crowd is a bit more predictable” he said. “The crowd flows in a different way, and you can gauge it in a different way.” Intimate shows are a lot different, though, as Liv points out. “The crowd at a smaller venue has more expectations, and you can really get a sense of how you’re impacting them. It’s not as robust as a larger venue, but the musical pay-off is great.”

This weekend, Taylor is going to be bringing his music and stories to the historic Cabot in Beverly, and is no stranger to the North Shore. Liv explained how he had personal ties to the North Shore and what it meant to him in a quite simple manner. “My mother was born in Newburyport, so I am very familiar with the North Shore. Whenever I come here, I get a sense of comfort, and I feel at home.” The prospect of playing at a place like The Cabot is something that Liv is not only prepared for, but also excited about. “I am excited to experience the residual magic at the theater, and to feel the energy of the thousands of performances that happened here before me.” A venue like The Cabot has many stories surrounding it, and it’s sudden departure left many thinking that it was truly the end.  It only seems fitting that Livingston Taylor’s timeless presence is one of the first ones to add a new chapter to The Cabot’s history.

Tickets Available Here