Summer Guide: University Art Galleries

Boston is a college town, so it's no surprise we have incredible university art galleries in the area. Last week we visited three exhibitions that we highly recommend adding to your summer bucket list! 

Harvard Art Museums
Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001
Exhibition Dates: May 19 - August 12, 2018

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

The exhibition Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001 at Harvard Art Museums presents nearly 450 photographs printed over three decades by Gary Schneider of the Manhattan-based studio Schneider/Erdman, Inc. as well as an informative look at darkroom photography and printing techniques.

This exhibit provides the viewer with a window into New York City art communities during the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s and their responses to issues of the time, notably the AIDS crisis. On display one can view images of “The Beatles, London, August 11, 1967” by Richard Avedon and “Twins at the Beach” by Louise Dahl-Wolfe as well as three-color photographs by Paul Thek and his studio by Peter Hujar.  The exhibition also includes photographs by Robert Gober, who is most well-known for his sculptures and installations. Visitors can interact with large monitors that display various videos about the printer’s practice. 

The exhibit is exciting to visit for someone who knows little about photography or for someone who is well versed in the matter. Overall, the show is a fantastic presentation of the work of numerous photographers in collaboration with the printer Gary Schneider. 

MIT List Visual Arts Center
Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates
Exhibition Dates: May 18 - July 29, 2018

This summer the MIT List Visual Arts Center presents Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates–her first solo exhibition in the United States. Allison Katz is a Canadian born painter currently living and working in London. This suite of 12 paintings is an exploration of the concept of the calendar and it’s regularly spaced demarcating of time. The paintings, which are all the same size, hang along the longest wall of the gallery with one painting on either end of the line spilling onto the short end walls. One painting for each calendar month hangs so that as the viewer enters the space they are met with their expanse. The opposite wall remains blank except for the titles which are along the floor molding directly across from their corresponding paintings.

Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

According to the exhibition video Katz says that the exhibition title Diary w/o Dates refers to “a sort of contradiction that I wanted to get across which is that a diary is something structured by time, but if you remove the time component, it seems to be a sort of collection of experience connected to one person, but not necessarily personal.”  Katz’s goal in these paintings was also to explore the presentation of women in calendars and push against the exploitation of their images. Though they explore questions of women’s representation and historical exploitation in their images through the paintings’ relationship to calendar’s such as the French Republican calendar, showing each month as an allegorical woman, and the contemporary examples of Sports Illustrated calendars, the paintings do not take an explicitly feminist stance against exploitative modes of representation but rather simply offer a more subdued and more self expressive example of representation.

Boston University
Boston Young Contemporaries 
Exhibition Dates: June 22 — July 21, 2018

The Boston Young Contemporaries exhibition at Boston University displays works by nineteen graduate student artists from New England, providing viewers an introduction to up-and-coming artists in the Northeast. This eclectic curation of artworks was selected by this years BYC juror, Sean Downey, who received his MFA from Boston University. The exhibition includes paintings, photography, sculptures, and videos that span a variety of subjects. 

In her work Just an Everyday Conversation, Nicole Winning lines a metal shelf with glass bottles containing porcelain clay and water. The variation in clay used makes every bottle a unique shade of brownish-grey, and each bottle is labeled with a QR sticker that if scanned, takes the viewer to a video. William Karlen’s painting The Strangeness of Sleep (oil on canvas) depicts a blue sleeping bag, propped upright against a dark window. The sleeping bag appears to be empty and it is unclear how the limp fabric is able to maintain its gravity-defying position. Marisa Adesman’s Vertumnus’ Bride depicts a female figure whose skin resembles melting wax. The title of this painting refers to Italian painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo’s portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II as Vertumnus. Although instead of constructing her figure from vegetables, Adesman paints her subject in what resembles thick globs of paint that appear to have not yet dried, but is actually perfectly rendered frosting covering the figure's body.

As a whole, the exhibition is an impressive presentation of works by emerging artists. Each piece in the exhibition is excellent on its own, yet together the collection reveals the multitudes of talent in New England and celebrates the early careers of these artists. 

Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror

Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror

Local Nonprofit Spotlight: Artists For Humanity

Our gallery director, Abigail Ogilvy, and AFH teens in front of their artwork

Artists For Humanity (AFH) alumnus, Tony ‘PRONZY’ Perez, was an AFH teen artist in the painting and sculpture studios for several years before becoming an assistant mentor for an additional three years (and recently exhibited at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery!). Perez reflects on how AFH impacted his growth mentally and artistically, “Growing up the oldest of ten [fourteen now] with a single mother, a lot of pressure is put on your shoulders to set an example for my siblings. I struggled with that a lot. I wasn’t the best academically, was not very athletic, definitely wasn’t good at art by any means; AFH changed that for me. They were a home away from home. Rob, Stephen, Andy, Swat -- they were all more than mentors, they were family. They molded me, artistically, mentally, and culturally. They were very honest and didn’t spare feelings. They wanted you to know that you had room to grow, so you could become the best you could become. Rob always said, “Grow on, Flow on” and I intend on doing that exactly. While they mentored me in the arts, what I appreciated from the beginning and will until the end, is how much they visibly care for our development and well-being; even if we don’t choose to be artists later on.”

Mayor Walsh stands in front of a commissioned installation in the Bank of America lobby

Not only does AFH give teens an opportunity to explore various realms of art, but the program also allows them to experience working with clients directly and coming up with creative solutions. A recent example was a project for the Bank of America lobby, which was spearheaded by a fourteen-year-old AFH teen! Academic tutoring is also an important part of the AFH program: 100% of AFH high school seniors graduate on time and go to college, including top schools like Boston College, Georgetown University, RISD, and Tufts University. 

Given the success of AFH alumni it is clear how much impact the organization has on the lives of their teen participants. By supporting their careers, AFH creates young, innovative, and informed leaders who can redistribute the tools they’ve learned from AFH to the youth around them. 

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery looks forward to hosting a two day exhibition with AFH on June 2-June 3, 2018. Join us for a Spring Mixer the evening of June 2nd, all proceeds for the event will be donated to Artists For Humanity: Learn More

Artists For Humanity's (AFH) mission is to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-resourced urban youth with the keys to long-term economic and personal self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. AFH’s mission is built on the philosophy that engagement in the creative process is a powerful force for social change, and that creative entrepreneurship is a productive and life-changing opportunity for young people and enriches their communities. In 27+ years, AFH has grown to become a leader in youth development and one of the largest onsite employers of Boston teens. The next few years will be a transformative time for AFH with the expansion of the EpiCenter, which will allow AFH to double youth employment to 500+ teens annually. To learn more, visit:  

Go Behind the Scenes at Artists For Humanity (AFH) where all six our bustling studios are alive with creative energy. Hear from co-founders Jason Talbot, Rob Gibbs, and Susan Rodgerson; participants Jonathan 'Pineapple' Tejeda, Jamaleek Bush, Samantha Shave, and Fred Plowright; as well as community members Nina Nielsen, Mel King, and John Cannistraro.


Curated by David Guerra
March 4 - March 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, March 4, 2016 5 9 p.m.

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present Dualisms, a group show curated by David Guerra.

Dualisms is a collective exhibition exploring a multiplicity of interpretations of dualism. The artists address conceptual divisions between opposing ideas, and thoughts on the quality of being dual. Some of the conflicts explored in their work include: man and nature, mind and matter, body and soul, cause and effect, image and reflection, identity and perception, reality and illusion.


A. David Guerra is a lawyer, photographer and independent curator based in Boston. His work reflects the diverse themes he dives into: people, their stories and places. He has exhibited in Boston, Provincetown and Paris. In 2014, he was mentored by Magnum Arts photographer, David Alan Harvey in Provincetown. David is also the founder of Darkroom, a platform to display photography using unconventional forms at alternative spaces and combining photography with other artistic expressions.


Daniel Barreto
Daniel Barreto is a School of the Museum of Fine Arts graduate who studies the interaction between humans and nature by using technology to create representations of imagery found in nature. His work has been featured internationally, most recently at Beijing’s Yuan Art Museum’s exhibition, “Neither Here Nor There”.

Daniel Barreto

Hannah Bates
Hannah Bates is a School of the Museum of Fine Arts graduate student and a member of the MIT Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies. Her most recent series, Synthetic, places its subjects before murals to create the optical illusion of three-dimensional space, presenting the images in parts of a reality that can never be completely true, disrupting the idea of the whole. Her work has been featured at galleries nationally, including The Mission Hill Gallery in Somerville, MA.

Lizzy Dargie
Lizzy Dargie is a Somerville-based printmaker and illustrator, whose work explores the natural world, with close examinations of plants and insects through various printmaking techniques. Her work has been featured across New England, including the Piano Craft Gallery in Boston, MA.

Eben Haines
Eben Haines is a Massachusetts College of Art and Design-trained painter who deconstructs the classic subject of portraiture and human figure in ways that brings out the complex and chaotic aspects of their inner life. The object, the artist, and image present themselves simultaneously in his work, through layers of paint that cover and uncover the image in ways that reveal the artists hand and emphasize the history and emotional journey of the subject. His work has been featured across New England, most recently in “Your Ticket Out” at the Distillery Gallery in Boston, MA.

Kelly Knapp
Kelly Knapp is a versatile designer with a Masters in Landscape Architecture from The Rhode Island School of Design. Her fine art sculptures reflect different elements of her diverse background in architecture, both built and interior, fashion design, installation, and graphic design. Her work has been featured at galleries and art fairs throughout the Northeast, most recently at the Affordable Art Fair in Chelsea, NY.

Ryan C. McMahon
Ryan C. McMahon is a photographer, installation, and performance artist whose work studies art as a medium to transmit pain through various methods of representation, examining the complex relationship and discourse between society and trauma. Her work has been featured in galleries throughout the Northeast, most recently at Catamount Arts in St. Johns, VT.

Will Russack
A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University’s combined degree program, Will Russack has both a BFA in photography and a BS in environmental studies. His work addresses the relationship between nature and mankind, and the way humans attempt to control nature but also be a part of it. Using both traditional and digital photography, he captures the places where natural and manmade elements intersect, at times fighting for dominance, and at times existing harmoniously. His work has been featured in galleries nationally, most recently at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO.

The Safarani Sisters
The Safarani Sisters are is a pair of Iranian twins who are currently attending Northeastern University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts’ combined degree program. Their work combines classical painting and video to create atmospheric, meditative pieces that play with the ambiguity of reality, with ghosts of an alternate world walking through their paintings. Their work has been featured internationally, most recently at the Yuan Art Museum in Beijing, China.

Stefan Volatile-Wood
Stefan Volatile-Wood is a Massachusetts College of Art and Design graduate whose pieces bring together disparate images to create unexpected new wholes, juxtaposing them in ways that can be both jarring and harmonious—a “visual remix”. His work has been featured in galleries across New England, most recently in “Abstracted” at Uforge Gallery in Jamaica Plain, MA.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Puloma Ghosh