by Sara Farizan
NEWTONVILLE-Were there no signs outside to indicate otherwise, one might assume the New Art Center in Newton was a church with a congregation including curious children, emerging artists and enthusiastic aficionados. But since the late 70’s, the non-profit New Art Center has been more than a suburban community art center and finds itself as a major contender in cutting edge, mixed media gallery exhibitions.
Case in point, not many community art centers would have a show devoted to Heavy Metal, where skulls and grim reapers reside in the main gallery. “We Still See the Black” will be in the main gallery until October 14th featuring artists who draw inspiration from Heavy Metal album art, song lyrics and the sub-culture that amps up all kinds of emotions. Dark, gothic and gorgeous, many of the pieces are visceral, violent, melancholy and embody Heavy Metal so perfectly while also managing to be original. Artists featured in this show are Vincent Como, Matthew Hickey, Karlynn Holland, Seldon Hunt, Nader Sadek, Joe Wardwell, Jack Wesley Schneider, Todd White, and artist collaborations Deep Slumber Lake and Under the Same Shadow. Many of the artists have experience creating art for Metal concert posters, have collaborated with bands to create album art and the show will also be enhanced by a free concert performance October 9th by local Heavy Metal band TAJ.
After “We Still See the Black” comes something completely different, a show titled “spatial process/social form” from October 24th-November 25th. Three artists, Eric Ayotte, Yamini Nayar, and Ryan O’Connor explore and re-examine religious, social and political uncertainty through photographs, paintings and three dimensional objects. Ayotte uses oil paint, resin and spray paint to blur a photograph of citizens in an exotic locale, fleeing something that the audience isn’t privy to. Nayar builds large structures, photographs them with a large format camera allowing her to experiment with space, then disassembles the structure so that the photograph is the only evidence of the structure ever existing. O’Connor manages to create spaces that would belong in an alternate universe, utilizing seemingly ordinary objects and deconstructing the audience’s concept of space and environment.
These two very different shows are examples of the New Art Center’s willingness to take on artist’s proposals and new ideas for exhibits. The center encourages aspiring, as well as seasoned curators, to try something different through their Curatorial Opportunity Program, a chance to organize and display a well thought out exhibit of the applicant’s choosing. Applicants, or anyone who is curious about what goes into curating a show, are encouraged to attend the Fall Curator Workshop/Information Session on Tuesday, November 15, 7-9pm with Catherine D’Ignazio, a Boston based artist and curator who co-directs the artist run organization iKatun. The deadline for curatorial proposals for the 2012-2013 cycle is April 9, 2012 and for more details visit www.newartcenter.org.
The New Art Center also has a Ceramics studio, adult education classes and workshops, art programs designed for children and teens and creates an environment for art lovers and artists to come together and meet one another. Visitors are also able to purchase work from artists on Sat, Dec. 3, 10am-5pm, works in all media will be for sale from the center’s faculty. What once was a church has turned into refuge for souls of the artistic variety and all are always welcome. Gallery Hours are Monday – Friday: 9 am- 5 pm and Saturday: 1pm- 5 pm. All exhibitions are free to the public.