This pop-up show, Bellèpoue, was inspired by the period of 1890–1914 in France called La Belle Epoque, or “the beautiful age.” We brought together 14 artists and their work from across the state to a multi-purpose warehouse space and bottle redemption, the All Roads Hub in Bridgton, Maine. We transformed the space for one week by building four large hanging walls, installing gallery lighting, and curating a mix of mediums such as intimate slide viewings, large scale paintings, the written word, digital and physical interaction, and monumental sculpture. Photography courtesy of 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, Medium
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
Reimagining this 3,000 square foot warehouse was a rewarding challenge, giving us the freedom to curate a larger selection of works, and even site-specific installations. The biggest success of this show was engaging with the rural community of Western Maine around high-quality, contemporary art. The show inspired thoughtful conversation around the "themes of escapism, constructed realities, materials and waste, and explore[d] the relationship between beauty, decay, opulence, loss and sometimes catastrophic change" (Kathy Weinberg).
"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, Medium