Imagine organizing the areas most talented artists – both professional and amateur, abstract and naturalistic – into a collaborative force to capture the people and personalities that make the Berkshires such an interesting place. The idea of capturing plain folk in various mediums began in Canada, and has spread via Facebook, and becomes a real live event in North Adams on May 6. You have to give a lot of credit to Astrid Hiemer, organizing artists is a lot like herding cats. Easier said than done. But her Face the World – Global Portrait Party is well underway to becoming reality.
Perhaps I should let her explain it all to you.
“The ‘Global Portrait Party’ promises to be a dynamic and fun event. The buzz is out and it will be the first Portrait Party outside of Canada. Facebook fans and Non Facebook Friends alike. We are inviting: Community members, teachers, students. artists, their friends and family members to participate and register. We also encourage visitors to stop by, no registration needed,” she said.
How it Works
Hiemer hopes that people will sign up in advance. The event takes place at the famous Eclipse Mill in North Adams, and Hiemer hopes that anyone who likes portraiture will feel welcome to take part. The first thing to do is to go to EclipseMill.com and follow directions at the Gallery page. Alternately you can send an email to Astrid.EclipseMillGallery@yahoo.com – just be sure to include your name, contact information and let her know that you will be painting, or bring your own medium and materials. Pre-registration is helpful, in order to be prepared with enough tables and support materials. You may also sign up at the door on May 6th.“The ‘Global Portrait Party’ promises to be a dynamic and fun event,” says Hiemer, “The buzz is out and it will be the first Portrait Party outside of Canada. Facebook fans and Non Facebook Friends alike! We are inviting: Community members, teachers, students. artists, their friends and family members to participate and register. We also encourage visitors to stop by, no registration needed!
“Just bring a photo of a Facebook friend or a friend. Organizers will supply tools and materials to paint an 8 x 10” portrait in acrylic paints. Assistance will be available and we believe that prior experience is not necessary. We know some tricks to help with the painting process and count on interesting, charming, also well executed renditions and a joyful occasion! All participants will have a painting to take home.
“We will ask permission to have the small paintings photographed at the party and will eventually upload the results to the ‘Friend Me Projects’ website.
“You may also bring your own materials and medium. We encourage creations of a friend-portrait in any media, except photography. If an individual portrait requires extra time and work, it would be great to finish it during the party.”
If you have questions, please connect with any of the working-group members. Their names are mentioned below.
The Genesis of The Global Portrait Party
by Astrid Hiemer
Freeman has been a painter for approximately 25 years and was inspired to paint many of her Facebook friends. She is a noted artist in Canada and exhibited almost 200 of her Facebook portraits in December – January this year at the Edward Day Gallery in Toronto. ‘Friend Me Projects’ (FMP) also held the first ‘Global Portrait Party’ during the duration of the show, which was a wonderful event. Please view the accompanying photo series of participants, their portraits and some paintings done by Freeman.
Bain, Executive Director of 4000 degrees, Inc., and Freeman created ‘Friend Me Projects,’ under which auspices all global portrait parties will happen. We already reported about other aspects in that January article and link above and the good works the organization is doing and proposing for the future. Friend Me Projects’ ultimate goal is to have the 800,000,000 Facebook community paint or make a portrait of a friend and spread friendship across continents. No wonder that Facebook Canada has taken interest in the projects and is following its developments.
Friends here, who are preparing for the Eclipse Mill Portrait Party, are Michael Bedford, Charles Giuliano, Barbara May, Gail and Phil Sellers, Sarah Sutro and I, because Carole painted my Facebook portrait late last year. Then, she tagged my Facebook page with her portrait, and that’s how it began.