We’ve never forgotten the surrealistic experience of finding ourselves in Jay Critchley’s beach sandbox at the Schoolhouse Gallery in the early days of this magazine — especially since it was a 90 degree day with the ocean only 300 feet away — and it only makes us wonder how spectacular his seriously humorous installations will be in “Jay Critchley, Incorporated,” a survey of his works that’ll be on view from May 1 through June 21 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial St., Provincetown.
Coastal Rhode Island lost one of its most devoted artists and art supporters last August 12 with the passing of Tom McAleer. While well revered for his plein air paintings, he was a guiding light for Art Night Bristol-Warren and the founder of the Top Drawer Art At The Brass art studio and gallery for adults with developmental disabilities. McAleer left behind hundreds of paintings, which will be on view from May 6 through 26 at the Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., Jamestown, Rhode Island. A part of the proceeds from sales of work in the exhibition will help fund the Thomas McAleer Visual Arts Endowed Scholarship that is aimed at sending Block Island students and alumni between the ages of 14 and 25 to RISD for a year of art and design study.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine, has hosted and taught many of the great handcrafted art makers of our lifetime — and they have kept an eye on the future by also integrating CAD-designed work as well. “Haystack Components: Metals and Jewelry” which opens May 16 and remains on view through November 1 at the Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton, Mass., brings together its teachers, teaching assistants, students, staff and board members. “The work speaks to the incredible variety of materials that fall under the broad heading of ‘metals and jewelry’: precious and nonprecious metals, gems, wood, plastic, glass, fiber, and concrete. It’s about stretching boundaries, exchanging ideas, and preserving traditions.” You’ll leave dreaming of your own Haystack experience.
Interpreting the Surface: Diverse Works by 8 Vermont Members of the Surface Design Association (SDA) are on view through May 26 at the Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery, 86 Falls Road, Shelburne, Vermont. SDA was founded in 1977 to promote critical thinking about and education in surface design and has since expanded its focus to include surface techniques. Participating artists Jackie Abrams, Rosalind Daniels, Elizabeth Fram, Marilyn Gillis, Catherine Hall, Karen Henderson, Karen Kamenetzky and Dianne Shullenberger work in “widely diverse artistic styles ranging from wall pieces utilizing traditional quilt techniques to complex sculptural pieces that are pure abstraction.”
Lesley Cohen deliberately only uses black and white in her abstract charcoal and chalk pastel drawings, calling her work “elemental and bareboned” and giving “voice to what cannot otherwise be easily said.” Influenced by mismatched memories of her childhood experiences — the perception of which may have changed over the years — as well as the perceived significance of those events, she used those incidents “to alter inequities and inspire” the body of work that makes up her “Presence and Absence” exhibition that is on view alongside Laurie Alpert’s “Bound/Unbound” through May 31 at Bromfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston.
Bridgeport photographer Rod Cook and New Haven sculptor Gar Waterman seek answers to the question “Will nature survive the evolution of the human race?” in their current “Incipient Speciation” pairing. While Cook bonds traditional Venetian mask-making with the classic female nude in creating theriomorphic animalsouled images, his end results feel strongly immersed in 2015. Waterman gives his traditional stone sculptures, “plush polished interiors that open to reveal mysterious acts of germination,” leaving them “anything but mere pieces of rock.” The gallery suggests that these “provocative and feral interpretations forecast an edgy and uncertain future. You have till May 31 to make your own interpretation of their meaning at Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, Conn.
We’ve heard of some unique materials going into an artwork, but lichen? Dominick Takis began using the living organic matter for its “textures and patterns” and ancient, weathered look to give “weight and balance” to his compositions. “It makes me think of civilizations that revered the circle as a symbol of the connection between the harmony of nature and the cosmos. The patterns of the lichen appeared on man-made Dolmens and portal tombs as well as naturally on stone.” His latest collection, “Symbiosis: Sicilian, Irish and Other Travel Interpretations with Lichen,” can be seen from June 3 through 28 at Galatea Fine Art, 460 Harrison Ave., B-6, Boston.
Two fabulous photography exhibitions open Fruitlands Museum’s 101st year. Iraq War veteran Ben Brody’s “Afghanistan|Endgame” documents the complexities of the American military experience; his images of bomb technicians searching for explosives are haunting, while his photos of U.S. soldiers interacting with Afghan children will warm your heart. Canadian Edward Burtynsky’s “The Industrial Sublime” depicts global industrial landscapes and the impact our actions/inactions are having on the planet. Whether it’s the chilling views of altered lake sites or food processing production lines, you won’t forget what you see — a striking balance to the utopian serenity of Fruitlands, where the two shows remain on view through June 21 at 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, Mass.
While the AMP Gallery Provincetown’s 2015 season opens on May 22, you’ll have to wait till June 24 to see photographs from Shania LeClaire Riviere’s book “Out the Window” that documents his time living in a small room overlooking Provincetown Harbor. “This body of work represents the happiest and darkest of times in that room,” he notes on his website. “It represents my sobriety, my process of letting go of fear and pain and embracing my true spirit as a creative person. It represents a new life with a husband. It represents all things glitter and rainbows and is a thank you to all the unicorn warriors that I have met thus far.” They’re on view as part of the “Half Empty Half Full” photography show also featuring Marian Roth, Ivan de Petrovsky, Amy Howell, Keith Krisa, Sarah Lyon and Jerry Russo through July 8 at AMP Provincetown, 148 Commercial Street.