Lawrence Hultberg on Creativity, Expression, and First Friday Nyack

Artists captured that perfect view, painted their mind’s eyes, and sculpted imaginatively for the 2014 New NY Bridge Art Show “Bridging the Waters.”

Lighting tells its own story in Nyack: completed section is bright while others are shaded/New NY Bridge Outreach

Lighting tells its own story in Nyack: completed section is bright while others are shaded/New NY Bridge Outreach

And voila! What happened between then and now was also magical: the Nyack and Tarrytown Outreach Centers became art galleries, thanks to Nyack Art Collective member Lawrence Hultberg.

Hultberg’s experience includes both tribal art and contemporary art, and staging high-end homes and businesses with art. When he was asked to help with Bridge Art Show, it was a given: a gallery owner for many years, he volunteered to hang the art when the show was still a press release.

“Part of the skill of being able to hang a show is looking at the artwork, as well as the space, and taking into consideration the work in relation to the other work that needs to be hung,” he said. That’s the fun part, he said: fitting the art together like a puzzle so that each piece compliments or contrasts the others.

Visual Quality Panel member Heather Sporn and Hultberg unwrap artists' entries in Nyack/New NY Bridge Outreach

Visual Quality Panel member Heather Sporn and Hultberg unwrap artists’ entries in Nyack/New NY Bridge Outreach

“Curate means to vet the show, to select the pieces, and might not apply here,” he said. “The Bridge Art Show accepted every entry, and it was my privilege to organize it aesthetically on the wall.”

Because each Outreach Center presented its own challenges, “We rearranged furniture, supplies and signage, a reorganizing of each to accommodate the art.”

Noting the broad range of experience — from seasoned artists to hobbyists — Hultberg said the show speaks to the vast creativity within the arts communities, and was unaware of a divide between the counties, and if there was one, “These two exhibitions would be a way of bridging the waters.”

Although an artist and talented with a six-string, he’s reticent about performing for audiences, and paints more for pleasure than anything else.

Transformation into an art gallery/New NY Bridge Outreach

Transformation into an art gallery/New NY Bridge Outreach

“I’m more of a promoter at heart who enjoys art and music,” Hultberg said. A business owner, he is moved to help others, and works on projects that make a difference in the quality of their lives.

“I was involved with a large event in northern California, and on its Board of Directors for 35 years,” Hultberg said. That’s an understatement: he was a founding member. “It was well-attended, and during the years, it developed quite a following,” he said.

He meant the Haight Ashbury Street Fair — the only San Francisco street fair that ran as a non-profit — that began as a grassroots neighborhood development project with the assistance of Harvey Milk, San Francisco’s first openly gay supervisor that draws upward of 60,000 to 80,000 people in one day.

The fair featured then-unknown local musicians who today are legends in their genres, like heavy metal group Metallica.

First Friday Nyack September 2014 schedule

First Friday Nyack September 2014 schedule

“Health and nutrition have also been a primary focus in my life and business endeavors over the years” he said. He contributed to the opening of what has since grown to be one of the largest organic food co-ops in Northern California, still operating forty years later.

As a volunteer, he was drawn to his friend’s efforts in organizing the Rockland Farm Alliance, a 501c 3 non-profit organization, which garnered the Cropsey Farm for an organic food co-op in Rockland, as well as secure a $25,000 grant from Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) last October.

Hultberg’s skills as an entrepreneur help others craft their businesses. “It’s been one of the skills I developed over time by doing, like playing the guitar,” he said. And about playing in public, “It takes breaking through that challenge, like public speaking, but I’m more drawn to being a promoter than a performer.” His skills as an entrepreneur help others craft and promote their businesses or projects.

Nyack Mayor Jen White and Hultberg at her surprise birthday party in front of a photo collage Hultberg made, playing off the original photo and a photo (by Hultberg) of graffiti artist Vinny Raffa w/his exhibit entry/Doris Wiese

Nyack Mayor Jen White and Hultberg at her surprise birthday party in front of a photo collage Hultberg made, playing off the original photo and a photo (by Hultberg) of graffiti artist Vinny Raffa w/his exhibit entry/Doris Wiese

Remember that neat surprise party for Mayor Jen White? Hultberg was a principal in its orchestration along with other members of NAC. “I like to be involved with community, and that’s one of the reasons I became a part of NAC and why we have First Friday. Everybody has their own talents and things they bring to life, be it music, art, poetry, writing, or even promoting.”

As a graphic designer, Hultberg assembles the First Friday Nyack guide each month, a project of the Nyack Art Collective (NAC). Festivities begin at 5 p.m.; the grand opening of “Bridging the Waters” is at 6 p.m. What better way to spend a balmy end-of-summer evening?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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