Opening event for B Modern Studio and Gallery
April 21, 2012
April 24, 2012
On Saturday, April 21, art lovers headed toward the end of the Western Gateway, a mere stone’s throw from Claes Oldenberg’s prominent “Plantoir” sculpture, to celebrate the official opening of B Modern Studio and Gallery, new home to the artwork of metal sculptor James Bearden.
Formerly housed in The Market Building, this new space is a fine balance of style and function, display space and workplace, and offers something the previous studio did not: visibility to the public. The artist’s representative, Stephanie O’Neal, has created a front gallery space that welcomes passersby with a pop of “Tangerine Tango” orange on the walls and a sleek mid-century modern sitting area. In the brief few weeks B Modern has inhabited the space, people from all walks of life have already wandered in to explore and interact with the sculptures inside.
As lovely as the gallery space is, what makes B Modern exceptional is the inclusion of the sculptor’s studio. Hidden behind smartly designed hanging room dividers, Bearden’s workspace is filled with all of the things one would expect a metal sculptor to require. The space is nicely laid out, well equipped, and lends an undeniable energy to the place. The fact that the studio is situated within the gallery means that Bearden himself is often on the premises, working on new creations and interacting with clients in person.
The range of work that Bearden creates has a breadth that not many artists could pull off, but indeed he does, and adeptly so. From the sweet, accessible whimsy of his Animals and Lunar Blooms to the delicate, rough elegance of the Cathedral Series; from the graceful curves of the Cavernous Voids to the stately angles of the Terrain Series; from the massive Assemblage Series to the origami-esque Contour Series, Bearden shows that he is able to explore new stylistic paths and make them his own. His versatility has afforded him the opportunity to create numerous public pieces as well, including one on the Art Along the Trail in Clive, Iowa; two on the Lowe Art Center’s Sculpture Trail in Marion, Iowa; and two in Edina, Minnesota this year alone. James also frequently creates commissioned work for private clients.
And so it was that on Saturday night, artists, clients, friends and family from Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, and beyond, gathered to raise a toast to the latest inception of B Modern Studio and Gallery. If you would like to visit, the gallery is located at 1725 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA. and is open to the public Friday evenings from 6-8 and weekends 11-3 (unless B Modern is at traveling to an art festival that weekend, of course. Both Bearden and O’Neal are available by appointment as well.