• Karle Woods

Bellèpoque

A 21st Century exploration into beauty, opulence and decay in rural Maine.

Photography by Emily Delamater

"[La Belle Epoque] A golden era, gilded even, in retrospect; a time of peace and prosperity between wars. It was a time of innovation, of railway barons and railroad workers, of the Parisian can-can dancers of the Moulin Rouge, haute couture, and orchids grown under glass. Philosophers examined the ego, artists expressed symbolist visions and exposed societal illness in the face of the Fin de siècle, fearing and welcoming the approaching 20th century." – Kathy Weinberg

Inspired by the period of 1890–1914 in France called La Belle Epoque, or “the beautiful age,” Lights Out built their pop-up show, Bellèpoue. This exhibit brought together 14 artists and their work from across the state to a bottle redemption, the All Roads Hub in Bridgton, Maine The space was transformed for one week only with four large hanging walls, gallery lighting, and mediums such as intimate slide viewings, large scale paintings, the written word, digital and physical interaction, and monumental sculpture.


”The exhibition Bellèpoque, uses that rich and turbulent period in history as a jumping-off point to present themes of escapism, constructed realities, materials and waste, and explore the relationship between beauty, decay, opulence, loss and sometimes catastrophic change." – Kathy Weinberg

Artists

Adriane Herman, Brian Smith, Eva Goetz, Gabriel Frey, Greg Shattenberg, Holden Willard, Ian Factor, Ian Trask, Jocelyn Lee, Jimmy Viera, Karen Jelenfy, Kathy Weinberg, Pamela Moulton, Virginia Valdes


Photography by Emily Delamater



The show attracted artists and appreciators from across the state and beyond, sparking interest in the local community with people young and old as it intersected with many events over Memorial Day weekend. A walk through was documented of the show on its last day up.


"You are here, at The All Roads Hub, a multipurpose warehouse space off of Main Street in Bridgton that, for the duration of the show, and like a traveling carnival, contains a multiverse of artists’ works. It is fitting that a space previously used as a redemption center; a place of recycling, can serve as an exhibition space for art. The path of the artist, their work, is to recycle ideas gleaned from their individual and collective neighborhoods and histories, cultures, life experiences, dreams, fears, and myths, and to convey their insights to viewers with a variety of materials and with some entertainment value thrown in. The art in this exhibit picks up many threads of our time, it is our own 'Nervous Splendor' as we navigate our way into an uncertain future." – Kathy Weinberg

 

Read the full narrative by Kathy Weinberg here








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