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The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) Newsletter, Issue #36

The Museum Of Bad Art presents a new exhibition, "I Just Cant Stop". Relentless Creativity: A celebration of compulsive creativity.


Opening night patrons reveling in the art
Opening night patrons reveling in the art, above
Visitors admiring 'Nature's Ashtrays' by Stacy Harris
Visitors admiring 'Nature's Ashtrays' by Stacy Harris, above
CNN TV crew interviewing museum patron
CNN TV crew interviewing museum patron, above
The museum was still reeling from the theft of "Eileen", one of the landmark pieces in the MOBA Permanent Collection. The one bright ray of sunshine shining through the storm clouds was the opening Of MOBA's new exhibition:

I Just Can't Stop
Relentless Creativity

The artist as slave to creativity -- An exploration of the compulsive need to create -- Tirelessly, relentlessly, repetitively, repetitively, endlessly... at MOBA's Permanent Gallery in Dedham MA.
Boston newscaster Dixie Whatley came out midweek to film a story about the museum's preparations for its up coming exhibition -- "I just can't stop / Relentless Creativity". Her Wednesday evening newscast featured one of the highlights of the exhibition -- "Nature's Ashtrays" a collection of 50+ sea shells sculptures donated by the artist, Stacey Harris.

Ms. Whatley also announced on the newscast a startling and magnanimous offer to paint a replica of "Eileen". Ms. Whatley was an illustrator before she began her current career as a newscaster. During her visit to the MOBA Gallery on Wednesday she was struck by the profound effect the loss had exacted from the entire staff of the museum. Upon seeing the photograph of "Eileen" on the wall of the museum she spontaneously offered to apply her dormant artistic skills to replicating Eileen's sublime image. While no mere replica could ever replace her, we are thrilled with Dixie's generous offer to help keep Eileen's memory alive.

On Thursday afternoon the show was hung and on Friday the specially commissioned piece "Creation Around The Clock" arrived and was carefully installed by the artist -- Allan Collins.

On Friday night, the Virtual Museum CD-ROM was installed on a computer and the MOBA gift shop was set up in the lobby just in time for the arrival of the first guests. At 7:30 the crowd poured down the stairs to the gallery below.

"Nature's Ashtrays" by Stacey Harris were prominently displayed on a specially built cloth covered shelf that ran the length of the gallery. The entire collection of sea shell sculptures along with Ms. Harris's submission letter (see MOBA News #34) were the centerpiece and inspiration for the entire I Just Can't Stop Exhibition.

In the middle of the gallery Allan Collins displayed his specially commissioned piece:
Creation Around The Clock
Engraved ostrich egg with clock movement by Allan Collins
This piece was specially commissioned by MOBA for the opening of this exhibition. Upon hearing the title of the exhibition: "I Just Can't Stop / Relentless Creativity" Mr. Collins was struck by the simple truth of these words. His egg is a tribute to the overpowering creative forces that act on each of us, every minute of every day. This intricately etched ostrich egg with repeating patterns of bees, ants, the Energizer Battery BunnyTM and the repeating text I Just Can't Stop hypnotized all who saw it, slowly rotating on it's precision timepiece mounting.

Throughout the evening, Mr. Collins described the details of the process, the meaning of the image and the fact that "he just can't stop" to all who came within its force. He answered hundreds of questions and talked at length about Relentless Creativity.

Later in the evening, Sangfroid Winslow arrived bearing a 6th painting to add to his series of 5 three-eyed portraits that were featured as part of the exhibition. Mr. Winslow's "More" was pulled from the trash a year ago by our esteemed curator Mr. Wilson. The painting was part of out first show at MOBA's Permanent Gallery in November. A month later, Mr. Winslow called the museum to say that he heard from a friend that MOBA was exhibiting his painting. He said that if we liked "More", he had many others that we would like -- even worse.

Mr. Wilson went to his studio and agreed. Recently, a second piece by Mr. Winslow -- "Nauseous" has been accepted into MOBA's permanent collection. For the I Just Can't Stop show, Mr. Winslow has loaned four other pieces from the same series.

Mr. Winslow also brought along a series of his spectacular "scraper board" pieces. While these are not MOBA quality pieces (and at $500-$600, certainly well out of the MOBA price range) they show the breadth of Mr. Winslow's work and were fascinating to all who saw them.

At about 8pm, the CNN news crew arrived to capture the event on videotape for the bad art loving public beyond the greater Boston area (to be aired sometime on Wednesday, March 20). CNN's coverage of the MOBA opening is part of a concerted effort to expand their coverage of the cultural life of our country. We applaud CNN for their important contribution in bringing this ground breaking collection to an international audience.

Later in the evening our esteemed curator Mr. Wilson and MOBA's Director Of Aesthetic Interpretation Marie Jackson unveiled four long awaited paintings. Each of these four have been heralded upon their arrival in previous issues of The MOBA News. Each of these four are among the most spectacular of recent acquisitions. None of the four have ever been presented to the MOBA public.

Swamette's Secret
Acrylic on Canvas by unknown
Acquired by Patricia Deadroff and Leigh Weeson from a San Diego thrift store.

Calm clear shapes, multiple repeating patterns, a thickly textured aura and little red shoes come together to conceal or reveal the eternal complexity of simple truths in this exploration of the human psyche.

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Acrylic on Canvas by J.M.
Donated by Fitzy Huber, North Carolina

A blissful portrayal of deep friendship. The monkey with the Betty Davis eyes chases the blues away, and brings peace to the clown with the seven o'clock shadow.

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Mama and Babe
Acrylic on Canvas by Sarah Irani
Donated by the artist

The flesh tones bring to mind the top shelf liqueurs of a border bistro. With an astonishing emphasis on facial bone structure, the artist flirts with caricature and captures features of Mamma's face which remind us of the First Lady. The upright marionettish pose of the babe hints that the early bond between mother and child is as formal as it is familiar. Good old fashioned parental respect is at the center of this celebration of color and contour.

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Reef Garden
Mixed Media by Hassmer
Acquired by Scott Wilson, Salvation Army Store

Here we are, witnessing the staging of a sub-aqueous musical extravaganza. On a silent cue, one of two green pulsating incubators bursts, hurtling an anxious, and curiously aged little merman upwards to the unknown world above the surface. The dancer stares, hypnotizing the viewer. We find ourselves forced to stay -- feel the music or drown.

Shortly after the unveilings, an art teacher from Milton High School arrived bearing a bag of 50 postcard size paintings and drawings. The paintings were the work of her high school students. They had painted the cards as part of an exercise to see if they could paint bad art. The students wanted to donate the cards to the museum, to be sold at the gift shop to help raise money for a reward for "Eileen".

Mr. Wilson reviewed the work and had to break the awful news to the teacher that in his opinion, it was not museum quality work, in fact unfortunately quite a bit of it seemed plain good. Jerry Reilly, MOBA's Executive Director stepped in to say that he was nonetheless delighted to receive anything that could be sold in the gift shop.

The museum presented a MOBA Virtual Museum CD-ROM to the teacher to donate to her students to help further their art studies. The museum also assured her that if the "Eileen" reward is never collected, the proceeds would be used for the "Restore 'Peter The Kitty' Fund". Peter is suffering from years of neglect and our conservator is desperately in need of some Elmer's glue.

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Admission to MOBA is always free, with significant discounts to anyone who has published a book or article that mentions MOBA. | All contents ©2004 The Museum Of Bad Art. All rights reserved. | Updated 03.15.2004 | Contact MOBA