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A Wide Canvas

Ken Hamel, the single-handed keeper of, a website documenting the goings-on of local artists and galleries, might seem like a driven man. You have to wonder how he manages to be in so many places at what seems like the same time, snapping photos and capturing the gist of what must be every artist in town. And Ken isn't picky -- he throws his support equally to co-ops and art museums -- but he is thorough. So thorough, in fact, that he almost forgot to observe's fifth anniversary, which falls more or less in May. Good thing for us that he remembered it, because he'll be throwing a Five-Year Anniversary Party tonight that's likely to attract a who's-who of the local art world, all under one friendly roof.

Hamel remembers that some of his earliest coverage was for Plus Gallery, the old Lab at Belmar and Eric Matelski's defunct Monday Night Art Talks, noting that in the years since, he's formed fast friendships and built a network so tight that it's made his job easier and easier. "Now I can catch up on information with Ivar Zeile or talk to Dana Cain over a beer," he notes. And it's a world in which he hopes to take a more active part one day as a photographer in his own right, a step beyond the documentarian he is now. Time will tell. For now, Hamel will still be in the trenches, visiting galleries and talking to people, as well as upgrading his site, which he hopes to complete in the next few months.

Tonight's soiree starts with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at City, O'City, 206 East 13th Avenue; the meat of the evening, though, will begin at 8:30 p.m. upstairs in the Deer Pile, when Hamel and host Katie Taft look back on with a slide show and interview. Then it's back downstairs for dessert and gab. A $5 donation for Art-Plant is requested for the slide presentation; go to or
Tue., May 15, 6-10 p.m., 2012


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