STONE HARBOR, New Jersey – To anyone who may have questioned whether the Jersey shore had recovered from Hurricane Sandy, they needed only to walk through the stunning town of Stone Harbor this afternoon, as Ocean Galleries owners Kim and Josh Miller graciously hosted their second gallery show featuring the work of rock and roll legend, and artist extraordinaire Graham Nash.
Nash himself, fresh back in the states from a whirlwind European tour, spent hours today with countless art lovers from around the tri-state area, graciously explaining the unique methods, history, and inspiration behind some of the most amazing pieces you will ever see, and hand-personalizing the many works that were literally purchased right off the gallery walls. Always the kind soul, and consummate gentleman, Graham was surely in his element today, and seemed perfectly at home, surrounded by adoring and appreciative lovers of his powerful and unique artwork.
The works themselves are far from one-dimensional in style, and represent an amalgam of amazing techniques, most developed by the artist himself. In the photographic realm, there were several amazing prints of such notables as Jackson Browne, Dennis Hopper, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, taken by Nash and printed at his ground-breaking Nash Edition’s studio. Hand painted works included acrylics on canvas, pastels and charcoal on paper, and a wondrous Nash technique of printing an image or textured background on paper, and then overlaying them with paints and other media.
To be in the presence of so many of these breathtaking works of art was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and the gallery itself is one of the most beautiful I have ever visited, having recently completed an extensive post-Sandy renovation. The staff left no doubt that they knew the full scope of the material being presented, and took customer service and appreciation to the absolute pinnacle of the industry. It is one thing to see patron after patron lining up to purchase works of art ranging from about $2000-15,000, but even in a normally hectic milieu of opening night, and in a field that I often find somewhat stuffy and pretentious, these buyers clearly were treated by the team more like family than like customers, with each getting big hugs from the gallery staff, and having the chance to spend quality time with the artist. For several that I had the opportunity to speak with, they were there not to “discover” the work being presented, but actually to add to their collection of pieces by the artist that they had already purchased from the gallery in the past. Each spoke so fondly of gallery owners Kim and Josh, and talked about what a treasure their gallery was to the entire community, that it was nothing short of amazing. It’s certainly rare for any business to be so wildly lauded by their patrons, and clearly that comes from a long history of Ocean Galleries treasuring their clientele, and treating them like gold.
During the brief time I was there today for the preview session, I’m sure I saw close to a dozen pieces being snapped up, which to most artists and galleries would make for one heck of a month, never mind a mere hour! I can only imagine how many of these pieces will find a new home by the time this exhibit concludes on Sunday August 4th, but I can tell you first hand that if you are anywhere near the Jersey Shore this week, you simply must stop by and see the full depth and breadth of the offerings which they are presenting.
As for Nash himself, there is clearly no time to rest on his laurels, as he continues on a pace of activities that would seem impossible to anyone else. After returning this week from the European leg of the Crosby, Stills and Nash tour, and readying for todays gallery opening, he is preparing for the release of his long awaited autobiography “Wild Tales” which will hit the stands in September. At the same time, he and partner David Crosby will be headlining several benefit shows in California and Hawaii, before coming back this way and embarking on his first run of solo shows since the 2002 Songs for Survivor tour, hitting cities in the Northeast as a trio with CSN bandmates James Raymond on keys and Shayne Fontaine on guitar. This will be a very rare set of shows indeed, and I have no doubt that if you miss it, you’ll regret it forever. I plan to hit at least five of the shows this September, and wind down with Graham’s presentation at the Hudson Union in New York at the end of the month. I hope you’ll join me, and take in all that this fall season holds in store.
Here are a few links that you’ll find helpful:
Learn more about the Ocean Galleries exhibit at - Ocean Galleries
Pre-order Graham’s autobiography Wild Tales at - Pre-Order Wild Tales
Purchase tickets to the upcoming solo tour at - Tour Concert Tickets