The Market Street Art Center is sponsoring a “Self Portrait Rotating Show.” Local artists create a self portrait and put them on display at various locations in the community. The pieces are split between the art center, Youngstown Free Library and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. The idea for the show came from the “Third Thursday Group” of the art center.
“It’s a great group of people involved in discussions and upcoming shows,” said Joe Buczkowski, the art center executive director.
“About a year ago during one of our gatherings, someone brought up the subject of artists creating self portraits. Of course, the discussion turned to ‘Why don’t we have a show!’” said Buczkowski.
Initially the idea was met with a little reluctance. Buczkowski said it could be seen as vain and self-serving, although famous artists do self portraits once in a while. But Buczkowski said he struggled with the portrait.
“Once the group discussed how and when the show would be held, most were convinced it might be a good idea to get the public to see how the artists think of themselves,” he said. “Personally, I struggled with the task. Looking in the mirror and at photos of myself while sketching is not that pleasant of a task. I thought it might be better to poke a little fun at myself.”
The artists may have felt the same way, as many of the artists used unusual designs and patterns. Cubism and watercolor are just a few examples of what artists used in their wide range of expression.
“The whole premise is to promote regional artists and bring in new artists, young blood,” Buczkowski said.
The mission of the show is a self portrait of what the art center wants to accomplish. Classes are available and an education committee is putting together a plan for educating younger artists. Buczkowski said he has taken an apprentice, but there are some things he looks for before taking one.
“They have to have some kind of talent, but a passion as well,” he said. “It can give them a little extra training that they are not able to get at school.”
There is one artist who is very young. Delaney Govenitto, a granddaughter of local artist Joe Whalen, has her own portrait hanging up with the artists. She is 6 years old and in first grade.
“She did it for fun,” said Kay Whalen, Delaney’s grandmother. “Joe mentioned it, and they said they wanted to have it in the show. It makes us proud, and she was thrilled about it. Art has always interested her.”
The show contains about 40 works by the artists, and Buczkowski said the work will stay in their place for about four to five weeks before moving. The artwork is expected to be on display well into the spring, although Buczkowski said it could change if needed.
“We’ll keep moving as long as people want to put them up,” he said.
Text by Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, USA