I first met Elizabeth at a Gloucester pop up event where she was showcasing her cold pressed juices from her self started Beau’s Juicery & Co. (head over heels delicious btw and stay tuned for an upcoming blog post.) While chatting with her I soon realized this girl packed some serious girl power. Think – Creative Director at Mar Y Sol, Raffia Accessories Handmade in Madagascar – sold at Bloomingdales, West Elm and J.Crew, and invitations from both the Morrocan and Madagascar embassies to train local female artisans. #lifegoals #NotYourAverageCreativeDirector
I quickly realized an interview with Elizabeth at Beau’s Juicery Co. must.be.done. where I could learn not only about her juicing entrepreneurial ventures but also what the helk Madagascar was like. However, during the interview at Beau’s I kept feeling like I was missing something or not quite getting the full story. Come to find out it was because Elizabeth was keeping a little secret from me. Although she may be a juicing business owner, first and foremost she is the Founder and Director of 65MIDDLE, a multi-disciplinary gallery. In fact the very intent of Elizabeth launching Beaus Juicery Co. was to help supplement her beloved 65MIDDLE (which also happened to be right ’round the corner from Beau’s.)
Now things were making more sense. 65MIDDLE is where her true passion lies, this is why I was not getting my ‘money shot’ of Elizabeth in her element. So we head up Center St. around the corner onto Middle St. and right into Elizabeth’s heart.
This is where I see Elizabeth sparkle. This is where I feel and hear her passion to bring LA’s booming art scene to Gloucester. Elizabeth spends significant time in LA with her Savannah College of Art and Design colleagues that reside there, and is in the know of LA’s greatest artists. How booming of an art scene is Elizabeth showcasing currently? Oh just ‘L.A. Rihanna art opening’ booming. Back up, did you say Rihanna? Yes, because Hollywood starlets need great art too. And you know who else does? Gloucester. Which is exactly why Elizabeth is showcasing Jason Burgess’ distancedistantdissent’ at 65MIDDLE.
Jason Burgess Art Review:
I feel true art creates a drishti effect (a highly focused, full on stimulating gaze). It brings your focus to one point and then awakens your nervous system leaving you engaged, in aw and refreshed. Jason Burgess’ use of everyday images overlapped with movement and highlighted by saturated colors captures the mind with familiar landscape, challenges it with a blurred effect and then dazzles you with a splash of color. Your mind is left enticed and wanting more (good thing you can buy it.)
As Elizabeth continued to passionately explain the pieces in her gallery to me I suddenly felt her energy retract as she looked out the window (as seen in the above photo). She explained she has until February to raise the appropriate funds to run for another year or bust. She has contacted all necessary non profit channels and cultural aid councils, done the necessary grant writing and had a successful opening and few shows. But it is not in the Gloucester cards to be supported by the local art community right now. She holds her ground and stands firm in what she believes but Old Yankee (a term interior designers use to describe the aesthetic on the North Shore) has always been here, and would simply not be if it ever warmed to change. So as is with every entrepreneur, she struggles with the dance of imminent stress vs ultimate success.
The Glouc art look is timeless, and classic and so proudly entrenched in our local seaport culture (as it should be). It is also in every gallery locally. It might just be time to do like the trend setting artists did in the 1800’s in this very same town and introduce a cutting edge art movement. And for that we can thank Elizabeth.
I did not tell her this but regardless of 65MIDDLE’s outcome, I know Elizabeth wins (and this is what I love most about true entrepreneurs.) If not by running her killer gallery at 65MIDDLE, then by gaining something through its failure. Like #MayTheForceBeWithYou stuff, you ask? Better, I say. Edge.
edge: a creative, fearless and highly desired sense of being that drives one to pursue their known purpose all while facing failure. Many thought they could find it in Manhattan (but it had already escaped to Brooklyn). Others thought it could be mimicked or bought (no). You either have edge or follow those that do.
Cheers and Enjoy,
*You can learn more about Jason Burgess and his work here http://www.65middle.com/artists/#/jason-burgess/