Peering into the void
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
The babies up for adoption at Bean Shanine’s Twisted Bean Stalk Nursery are the stuff nightmares are made of.
Since 2010, the painter has been creating her carefully constructed “reborns” to startling effect, making pint-sized zombies, vampires and creepy clowns that are so lifelike those holding the infants will likely be afraid to come close enough for a smooch for fear of having their souls snatched (or their jugulars severed).
To check out Shanine’s adorably atrocious baby dolls, you’ll want to attend the Night Gallery taking place from 5-10pm Fri., Oct. 27 at Forest Street’s Eagles Hall, where the canny creator will be joined by a lineup of more than 20 artists and vendors at the official kickoff for the three-day “Bleedingham” Film Festival, which continues Saturday and Sunday at both Pickford Film Center venues.
Among the artists who’ll also be sharing their weird-but-wonderful works are mythologically minded painter Nathan James Lough, designer Nick the Hat, Creepy Cult (who boast of being “purveyors of all that is strange since 1911”), the printers of Monster Island Studios, a “battered and bruised” booth by Mo’s Parlor, Kissing Corpses (featuring a duo of artists who enjoy repurposing dead pets into “romantic pieces with a Victorian flare”), Coffin Crafts, and more.
And because the art-heavy event is also tied to the fearsome flicks that will follow during the weekend, filmmaking and horror panels will also be open for all who enter the macabre-minded mashup. Horror trivia hosted by Jackie Kersten, gothic tunes by DJ Cold/love, a freaky fashion show hosted by Ragfinery, a special Halloween performance by the Bellingham-based burlesque troupe known as the Hustle Bustlers, and a “deliciously dark” performance by the Drag Militia will round out the evening’s entertainment.
For even more art that speaks to spookiness of the season, be sure and check out the multi-artist “Illuminating Darkness” exhibit currently on display at the Allery Fine Art, found tucked away in the alley behind Kids Northwest and Dragon River restaurant.
Owned by husband-and-wife artist team Kat Houseman and Corey Urlacher, the one-year-old gallery is full of works of art that will astound and, in some cases, cause you to step back in fear. Examples include an “adult male skull with jaw” created by bronze artist Jason Soles and “Lips,” another skull in the form of a painting by Christopher Thompson (with a playful take on vampire teeth).
“Inner Working,” a ceramic sculpture brought to life by Skylar Fleming, is also sure to startle. The three pieces of the part goat/part glassy-eyed child are white on the outside but red—and more than mildly gory—on the inside. Paintings by Chris Sheridan, “dark” jewelry by Alexis Babcock, and intricate (and spookily beautiful) large-scale sculptures with fearsome features by Urlacher add to chill-inducing allure of the group exhibit, which also features pieces by Brian Tichelaar, Jethaniel Peterka, Stevie Floyd, Jef Whitehead, John Warren, and more.
If you plan your Friday night right, it will be possible to view “Illuminating Darkness” on your way to the “Night Gallery,” ensuring that the visions you see when you close your eyes later than evening—likely including nightmarish newborns, severed body parts and skulls for days—will be ones that will stick with you for a long time to come.
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