Story: Liam near the New Fulton Street Market
Photography: Morgan Tinney
Saturday, Rick Beerhorst had changed his Facebook icon to a tribal mask, a woodcut of his own carving, a mask that resembles the painter’s features. As a man who makes his living manipulating symbols, this change was not flippant. His portrait for ArtPrize 2011 also features a mask, an intentional mask, that of a hummingbird fluttering its wings before the eyes of a reading ingenue. Saturday, Beerhorst passed the day engaging the mysterious powers of the market place with the equally mystical forces of art. When evoking the magic of art, a mask can be vital. Signs have great power too.
Fulton, Fuller and Lake, three great roadways bring thousands of cars past his home. Rick Beerhorst dared upset the universe by posting signs at their intersections, inviting passengers to his home for his Beerhorst Family Spring Art Show. He might have known that the city would tear down his postings on telephone poles, and as he wrote in this blog, he regarded the maples of his yard and saw them raining winged seeds on fertile and fallow ground. So he posted the signs nonetheless. By five in the evening, Saturday, the signs had vanished.
Beerhorst didn’t need the signs for his day to prosper. The painter has trusted in creativity and the universe to sustain his family and he, but he doesn’t sit on the front porch of his Fuller Street home waiting for the air drop. Besides, that’s where the eight bikes the family rides for transportation hang. One article about the family describes them as an artistic version of a circus family. Beerhorst ran a three ring circus today. While his daughters and wife operated the open house sale, he posted his band, the Wealthy Orphans, at the entrance of the Fulton Street Market, playing music as visitors flocked to the first day of business following renovations and upgrades. Manna might fall from the sky for a good father and husband, but this musician prefers to busk and let foot traffic fill a guitar case with dollars and fivers. Food as good as manna can be bought for dollars and fivers at the Fulton Street Market, a few blocks from the family home.
So while Cirque Beerhorst purveyed from their home, ring one, and entertained at market, ring two, the Rick Beerhorst exhibit at Pine Rest displayed the painter’s recent work, ring three. Exhibited since early April in the Leep Art Gallery of the Postma Center, the works will be available for viewing during weekday business hours until July 2nd, or by appointment by calling 616-222-4530. Beerhorst paintings have sold at two thousand dollars for small works and fifteen thousand dollars for major works. As Pine Rest explains in a press release, “the peace and quiet he craves in his personal life he creates in his paintings”. Beerhorst hasn’t spoiled his peace waiting for the bigger paintings to move. His spring open house showed a home managed to keep the wolf from the door and a product mix that ensured smaller sales while the bigger sales arrive. If you count Etsy sales, which hit 500 sales this weekend, the family has a fourth circus ring online.
Daughters Pearl and Rose offered their hand sewn or woven wares on the parlor table and hanging from the dining room portal. Pearl has specialized in hand woven items for the home, such as potholders. The two collaborate on a line of small stuffed owls and woodland creatures, certainly talismans to bring good luck. Pearl has an supporting career as a photographer and a video blogger, talents her father has encouraged and promoted in his marketing efforts. Rose, the eldest, retailed sock monsters, sold out of a steamer trunk in the front room, one of dozens of antique trunks found around the family’s rooms. Following her father and mother out to Etsy, she has sold more than one hundred of these to mail order customers. These sock monsters were not the cute ones crafted in middle school, but sock puppets for collectors who would not feel out of place at Sunday’s Marilyn Manson concert at the Orbit Room. Rick Beerhorst keeps his family’s finances far away from chance. As well, he assures art as a personal expressions arrives in every relationship by conducting collaborations with his wife and with his children. His collaborative painting with his wife, Brenda, sold Saturday. His collaboration with Shepherd Beerhorst awaited a purchaser as of early Saturday evening.
The family gardens had prospered, new patches of greens for salads including, pardon the French: épinards, la laitue, des poireaux, bette à carde. The Beerhorsts had labeled their greens in English and French. A language lesson could have been intended, but maybe this was some clever way to keep insects from eating the spinach, lettuce, leeks and swiss chard. The family has an open house starting around Thanksgiving for Christmas shopping also. The Spring Show made available more spaces to the public, including the coach house where Rick Beerhorst works by a wood stove, Saturday full of hot, red coals against the early May weather. The painter maintains a print shop there, producing a popular line of wood block prints, generating cash with a private currency.
Since the house grounds have a coach house, the family has built a quirky Wonder Wagon, full of prints, paintings, sculptures and woven goods Saturday. Sundays, the family has pulled it to the Fulton Street Market to sell items during the Sunday Art Market. The Family Beerhorst has pursued their quest even on the road, but rarely, hardly ever, by car.