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Collaborators – Tom Bubul and Michael W. Hall at Space 1026


They used to be in a band together, Ospreys, so they’re long-time collaborators.  Michael W. Hall, a former Space 1026er, and Tom Bubul splashed the gallery walls with their individual, and quite different (in some ways) aesthetics.  There’s a mural by Michael and a mural by Tom, which meet harmoniously, for all the different color choices and abstract motifs.


On top of the murals are nicely-framed, exquisitely-rendered paintings: Michael’s in gouache (a switch for him from his usual acrylics), have a Zen-geometrical quality, like twisting ribbons of highway or rainbow slices to dream on; and Tom’s are delicate, repetitive, calligraphic wonders that look like they were made by a paint-dipped butterfly who was trying to write a story about his life.

Tom Bubul, mural and works at Space 1026
Tom Bubul, small works

The murals are great and so are the small works.  The whole package is imbued with love of materials, love of hard work, and embrace of quietude and a meditative abstraction that is rooted so openly in the world that anybody can come to it and find something.

Michael W. Hall, Woodland Cemetery 18″x24″, Arches watercolor paper
Michael W. Hall, mural and works, detail

Check Michael’s website for more images up close and for a lovely short “making of” video.  And check Tom’s website for images of works in progress.  Tom, who also is a writer/editor, co-edits, with poet Kate Schapira, the Literary Quarterly of the paper Mother’s News. He used to live in Philadelphia but decamped to Providence in 2008, which he likens to Philadelphia, only much smaller — a cheap place to live with lots of artists but not a lot of galleries — mostly, it’s a great place to make art.

And this just in: Tonight, Sat. Feb 18, Michael is hosting a film screening at Space 1026 of the 1992 documentary Hobo. See a clip from Hobo here Here’s why, in a note I got from the artist yesterday:

Much of my art has been inspired by the time ive spent around railroads.  Over the last decade, I’ve travelled around the country, sneaking rides on freight trains.  Some of my writings on this illegal means of travel have been published in the French book OUTSIDE THE BOX and in the railroad magazine FADED GLORY.  Knowing this, it’s easy to see the correlation between the complex twisting shapes i paint and the spider web of tracks that crisscross my world.
I invited the curators of Hobo Film Fest/Go By Rail to come to the gallery tomorrow to screen a little seen 1992 documentary, HOBO, which is considered by most to be the best film ever made on the subject.  It will be a 3 hour event, including short films.  Starts at 7pm. I’m requesting a donation of five dollars at the door, but no one will be turned away! …The curator of the film fest arrived yesterday, aboard a north bound freight from Richmond! .