Art & Culture, Community

Small Works = Big Idea

Jake “Maker Jake” Ginga in Groundwork!’s The Shuttle conference room.

The packages have been arriving daily for some time now. Via USPS. Via UPS. Via Fedex. It’s been a constant stream of large manila envelopes and boxes of all shapes arriving from all over the region and country to Groundwork! Carefully wrapped packages containing the talent and inspiration of artists everywhere to New Bedford for the Small Works show – officially opening Fri. Dec. 8 but being installed now for a November 20 launch.

The Small Works show in Groundwork! Gallery being hung now for the holiday season is the big idea of curators Jacob “Maker Jake” Ginga and gallery founder, Dena Haden. The idea is simple but the concept is expansive. Due to Jake’s huge social media following, especially on Instagram, artists from the city, region and country were invited to participate by submitting their small works for sale during the show.

Why small? To keep it affordable. It’s a way of selling art that Jake is mastering from right here in New Bedford. He’s a pioneer in selling his small works online thanks to the careful cultivation of that massive social media following alluded to above.

Everyday Effort

It’s not only changing the economic landscape for this one artist –  it’s also good practice. Jake Ginga’s social media status isn’t just the result of digital savvy; it’s the consequence of many early hours in the studio accumulating an inventory by perfecting his work.

For those of us who have followed him on Instagram and Facebook these past couple of years, we’ve tagged along as this artist has painstakingly applied himself day after day – and achieved an aesthetic all his own due to that rigorous application. A cliche states that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Ginga has sweat the small stuff to achieve something big.

The Small Works show is an opportunity to gather in one place others who follow his example. All the work is 12” x 12” or under – and priced at $200 or under. That’s how Maker Jake made his name while honing his skills.

Hearing voices

It’s all mine now! (With a little Jake Ginga thrown in.)

Without compromising his vision. This writer knows; a faithful follower, one morning an image from the artist appeared in my Facebook feed and I thought, “That’s the one. That’s the one I’ve been waiting for…”  It spoke to me – and now it hangs on my wall.

Purchasing art is part appreciation of technical skill, and part listening to the art that says something to and for you. An admirer of all of Jake’s work, this piece was mine from the moment I saw it.

The Small Works show brings that special feeling and ability to participate in art to Groundwork! It’s a great, big idea brought to life by the combination of Jake Ginga, Dena Haden, and all the artists from – well, everywhere – who sent their artistic voices to New Bedford to tell us something we need to know.

Finding your art

Importantly, like the piece by Jake that captured my imagination, it’s priced to let everybody have some skin in the creative process and bring it home with them. The Small Works show is cash and carry – which means, you see it, you buy it, it’s yours to take home that day.

Groundwork! Members will get first crack at it. But everyone’s invited to stop by while the show is up from November 20 through December 24 to find what speaks to them – or calls out to be given away as a gift to someone special.

Some key dates in the Small Works show are: Up on the walls Monday, Nov. 20 and through Sunday, Dec. 24 during normal Groundwork! Hours of operation (Mon – Fri 9-5); Open for the downtown New Bedford Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec. 1 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.; Opening Reception on Friday, Dec. 8 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; and open during the Children’s New Bedford Bookfest on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10, noon – 4:00 p.m. each day.

Steven Froias

Steven Froias

Mad Man at Groundwork!
Steven Froias is Groundwork!'s resident blogger. He sleeps in the boiler room at 1213 Purchase Street.
Steven Froias