Weekender: New England Contemporary Art Outside Boston

The summer months are a great time for discovering what New England has to offer outside of Boston. Every state has beautiful wilderness, historical cities and towns, and a rich arts culture. Here are six museums we recommend you visit on your weekend trip:

Connecticut

Courtesy of the Aldritch Contemporary Art Museum

Courtesy of the Aldritch Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldritch Contemporary Art Museum

Ridgefield, CT: A beautiful colonial town at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.

The Aldritch Contemporary Art Museum have 9-month exhibitions best enjoyed in the summer due to their outdoor sculpture garden. Currently they are host to four solo exhibitions all centered around the idea of place. David Brooks, Kim Jones, Peter Liversidge, and Virginia Overton present site specific commissions ranging from drawing to sculpture and performance.

Maine

Image courtesy of Portland Press Herald

Image courtesy of Portland Press Herald

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art

Rockland, ME: A historical lobster-fishing town home to many young artists.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is opening their brand new facility in Rockland, ME in the last week of June. The building has a striking sawtooth design by architect Toshiko Mori, and moves the museum to a central location in downtown Rockport, walking distance from the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center. Their inaugural exhibitions will feature altered photographs by Rollin Leonard, small-scale oil paintings by Alex Katz, and site-specific installations by Jonathan Borofsky.

Massachusetts

Richard Nonas Image Courtesy of Mass MoCA

Richard Nonas
Image Courtesy of Mass MoCA

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

North Adams, MA: An artistic and musical hub located in the northwest corner of the Berkshire Mountains.

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) is a sprawling manufacturing plant turned museum, currently home to nine unique contemporary exhibitions. Richard Nonas' exhibition of existing and site-specific sculpture, The Man in the Empty Space, currently spans through Mass MoCA's Building 5, a window-lined warehouse nearly a football field's length.

New Hampshire

3S Artspace

Portsmouth, NH: The nation's third-oldest city on the mouth of Piscataqua River, which divides New Hampshire and Maine.

The 3S Artspace is a contemporary gallery in Portsmouth, NH. Along with art, they are also host to musical performances and film screenings. Open through end of June, Welcome to the Bobhouse by Rachelle Beaudoin is comprised of new pieces, performances and video in a mobile studio space.

 

Rhode Island

Image courtesy of RISD Museum

Image courtesy of RISD Museum

The RISD Museum

Providence, RI: The capital of Rhode Island, situated at the mouth of the Providence River, and home to Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University.

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum has a diverse collection of art and is distinguished by its relationship with RISD, one of the top art and design schools in the country. Their current exhibition is features the 1990's runway opus of fashion designer Todd Oldham, comprised of 65 full ensembles.

Vermont

Cal Lane Image courtesy of courtesy of Burlington Center for the Arts

Cal Lane
Image courtesy of courtesy of Burlington Center for the Arts

Burlington City Arts

Burlington, VT: A picturesque mountain valley ski town on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain.

The Burlington City Arts (BCA) has three floors of contemporary gallery space that foster Burlington's relationship with arts and community. The BCA is currently exhibiting metalwork by Cal Lane, geometric painted sculptures by Clark Derbes, and a duo show with Nissa Kauppila and Erika Lawlor Schmidt, which plays on the balance between matter and space.

 

Thursday, June 2, 2016: Puloma Ghosh

Artist Spotlight: Julia S. Powell

Julia S. Powell’s oil paintings, teeming with lively brushstrokes and mottled with vibrant color, depict scenes that can’t be found anywhere on Earth, but carry the essence of the natural world within them.

Julia Powell in studio working on Birch series

Julia Powell in studio working on Birch series

Powell lives in Maine for one month every year, enveloped in New England’s rich wilderness. She passes her time exploring, taking pictures, and absorbing the imagery around her. The elements which are essential to her work are also essential to the Northeastern landscape: wood and water.

Powell paints many iterations of her chosen subjects, experimenting with composition and colors each time. Birch and Ironbound are examples of such work, each series comprised of ten or more approaches to the focal theme. Over time, she plans to paint hundreds of paintings of the same subject, spanning many years of study and capturing the evolution of her technique.

Yet rather than trying to create realistic renditions of these subjects, Powell is more concerned about conveying the feelings she experiences when surrounded by nature. “As soon as you enter the piece, you are transported to some kind of place outside, in nature,” she explains. “I try to navigate a line between realism, abstraction, and impressionism, because I think a realistic painting doesn’t actually transport people the way this mixture does.”

While there is a place in Maine called Ironbound, where a series of rock formations meet the sea, there is no place along its coast that provides the vistas of Powell’s Ironbound series. Maine’s Ironbound has black rocks that meet the dark greens of the north Atlantic. Powell’s Ironbound have coves of clear blue water reflecting brilliant rock faces of misty white-gray, gold, pink, and rich cobalt.

Ironbound 3 (2016) Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in

Ironbound 3 (2016)
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in

Ironbound 3 departs from her fondness of thick, layered paint, and form cliffs where the paint is scraped away and etched by palette knife, the white of her first coat peeking through. The effect reveals rock formations reminiscent of the bark in her Birch series. Meanwhile, Ironbound 6 features a sun-kissed cliff face that appears almost jeweled. Inspired by the warm hues of the Grand Canyon, Powell juxtaposes the fiery western desert with lush forestation and deep blue waters of the Eastern coast.

Ironbound 6 (2016) Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in

Ironbound 6 (2016)
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in

Powell’s work seeks to highlight environmental issues without overly politicizing the subject. From her perspective, among modern world conflicts, environmental concerns take a backseat in our everyday attention. Meanwhile, the planet is melting. By contemporizing landscape painting, Powell brings the subject of nature into modern appreciation, in hopes of capturing the viewer’s attention long enough to consider what we may have to lose in the world we inhabit.

Ultimately, Powell wants to create a connection between the viewer and nature that can’t be accessed through any other perspective—not even our own eyes. Through her paintings we can experience not only a representation of its beautiful features, but also the emotional experience of being surrounded by nature, lost somewhere between the sea and the sky.

 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016: Puloma Ghosh

New Galleries in SoWa Art Walk 2016

It’s finally happened: the days are longer and sunnier, the air is milder, and little bits of green are beginning to emerge all over Boston. Starting May, the SoWa Open Market is back, along with even more galleries than last year: this summer SoWa’s Arts District goes from budding to blooming.

Join us May 1st for the SoWa Art Walk from 11 A.M. – 6 P.M., when all of SoWa’s shops and galleries will be open to explore. Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is only one of several new galleries that have popped up with 2016. Here are six new contemporary galleries you should be sure to stop by on your next visit:

 

T+H Gallery

T+H is a contemporary art gallery dedicated to exploring experimental art by emerging and established contemporary artists working in various media. The gallery is split into two spaces, which work together for each exhibition. In the past they have shown a range of work from sculpture and photography to conceptual installation. Their current exhibition, Sojourn, is a solo exhibition by Ian MacMahon which involves a large sculptural installation with video components which makes rigid casts appear impossibly soft. It is a site specific installation that will be destroyed after the duration of the exhibition ends on April 22, so catch it before its gone! The SoWa Art Walk will welcome their next exhibition, featuring photographer, Joseph Scheer.

Sojourn Ian McMahon Image Courtesy of T+H Gallery

Sojourn
Ian McMahon
Image Courtesy of T+H Gallery

Rafius Fane Gallery

Rafius Fane Gallery is a bright, spacious gallery at the end of building C. Their current show, Decade, features interdisciplinary artist Nathan Miner. A decade ago Miner prototyped a spherical camera, which is now working and on display at Rafius Fane Gallery, along with a spherical photograph taken with it. Accompanying this is one of Miner’s geometric paintings, Jewel (2015), a 32-sided aluminum form covered on all sides with oil paint, inspired by the spherical photograph.

Jewel (2015) Nathan Miner Image Courtesy of Rafius Fane Gallery

Jewel (2015)
Nathan Miner
Image Courtesy of Rafius Fane Gallery

Object Center

Object Center is a one room project displaying contemporary art in various mediums. Their current exhibition, Less, features the work of Kim Radochia and aims to intersect drawing and sculpture. Radochia’s sculptures are gestural, playing with light, line, and shape. The exhibition also includes an interactive installation of 500 handmade rocks cast in pulp. Radochia is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and named by Art New England’s David Raymond as one of three artists to watch.

Kim Radochia Image Courtesy of Object Center

Kim Radochia
Image Courtesy of Object Center

M Fine Arts Galerie

M Fine Arts is a gallery dedicated to a group of 18 artists assembled by the late Bertrand Delacroix, continuing his vision with new artists, both emerging and established. M Fine Arts is the sole U.S. representation of many of its international artists, so you won’t find them anywhere else in the country. This May they will open their Inaugural Exhibition, featuring work by all 18 of their artists. The work will represent a range of styles and medium, presenting an eclectic contemporary collection.

Image Courtesy of M Fine Arts Galerie

Image Courtesy of M Fine Arts Galerie

Matter & Light

Matter & Light is SoWa’s newest gallery, having opened at the end of March, 2016. Their current exhibition, Towards, is their first, and features the paintings of Joshua Meyer, which consists of a series of abstracted images of the human figure. The paintings recall the philosophical ideals of Søren Kierkegaard, and the tension between the fathomless nature of the human being, and our native desire to understand them. Read more about the show in their recent Boston Globe review.

Close up of Wingspan Joshua Meyer, 2013 Oil on Canvas triptych, 46 x 120 in Image Courtesy of Joshua Meyer

Close up of Wingspan
Joshua Meyer, 2013
Oil on Canvas triptych, 46 x 120 in
Image Courtesy of Joshua Meyer

The AlteRnaTive Art Space

The AlteRnaTive Art Space is a fine art gallery that features emerging, mid-level, and establish artist, but has a special interest in increasing the visibility of strong young emerging artists. Their artists include painters, mixed media, sculpture, and photography, and is currently exhibiting the work of several artists.

Image Courtesy of The AlteRnaTive Art Space

Image Courtesy of The AlteRnaTive Art Space

And be sure to stop by Abigail Ogilvy Gallery to catch our current exhibition, Liminal Drift!

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Puloma Ghosh

Pop-Up Art: Catch Them If You Can

Walking through the city streets on a Saturday afternoon, you might come across a small pop of color in an unexpected corner. Pop-up art is a phenomenon spreading throughout the country, and Boston is no exception.  It comes in the form of short gallery events, public art, and artisan markets.

Pop-up events are quick, one to three day events that give attendees a small taste of the culture available in their city. What began as primarily a retail trend has now expanded into the creative world. It can come in the form of art, design, fashion, music performances, and even food. The purpose is to exhibit the most talent with the lowest time commitment for both organizers and participants. The result makes products and experiences accessible to people who might not normally seek them out. As February winds down and we move into spring, more and more of these events will appear as the city wakes up from its winter slumber.

As pop-up culture gains momentum, more organizations have committed themselves to the form.

Darkroom Boston is an initiative founded by David Guerra that hosts pop-up photography shows around the city, affordable photography by emerging artists displayed on portable screens. It’s next show, dates TBA, will be The Suitcase Show BOG-BOS, featuring photographers from Bogota, Columbia.

Closed Doors at The Armory Photo courtesy of Darkroom Boston

Closed Doors at The Armory
Photo courtesy of Darkroom Boston

Lesley University College of Art and Design, as a part of the Cambridge Arts Association 2016 Emerging Artists Series, has the LUCAD pop-up series, which showcases its students’ work through pop-up shows throughout the semester. Their next show is from February 26 – 27, 2016 at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery.

Lesley University College of Art and Design Image courtesy of Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners

Lesley University College of Art and Design
Image courtesy of Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners

POP Allston is pop-up space in Allston founded by artist collective, The IND!V!DUALS, that hosts different types of community pop-up events. They regularly feature an indoor skate park with lessons, yoga sessions, and a DIY bike shop. Upcoming in March, they will be hosting a vintage flea, Boston Bizarre Oddity Market.

Image courtesy of Pop Allston

Image courtesy of Pop Allston

Feminist Fiber Art is a diverse community arts group that focuses on women artists working with fiber art, that do empowering traveling art shows and events around Boston.

Image courtesy of Tufts Observer

Image courtesy of Tufts Observer

Pop-up art shows are happening in SoWa too, with Gallery Kayafas hosting a pop up show,  “Small Motors”, in the last two days of February. The show will feature over forty artists, including a special performance by “Guardians of the Secret”.

Image courtesy of On the Grid

Image courtesy of On the Grid

Make sure to keep an eye out for future pop-up events around Boston as the weather starts to warm up. And if you don’t already, follow us on Twitter so we can share events and news with you on Boston arts.

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016: Puloma Ghosh