As we were putting together this issue, which celebrates our 8th Anniversary, the value of an art degree became a hotly discussed topic after President Obama, addressing a crowd at a General Electric plant in Waukesha, Wisconsin, said, “A lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable career. But I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.”
While the President quickly noted there was nothing wrong with an art history degree, the statement brought a barrage of letters and emails from art professionals, including one from a University of Texas at Austin professor, who then received an apologetic personal response: “I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history,” Obama wrote. “As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.”
While the controversy might have been forced, any instance when public attention is drawn to the arts as an educational tool is invaluable — there are endless children whose only inner desire to go to school is fueled by their creative time in art (or music) class and the teacher who encourages them to follow their passion, an encouragement they might not find elsewhere in their lives.
I saw the value of a liberal arts education firsthand while visiting the College of the Holy Cross for the opening of its “Global Encounters in Early America” exhibition, which was preceded by a talk by the art history professor who put together the show last fall with help from seven of her curatorial seminar students, some of whom already have plans to move into positions in the field upon graduation. Gallery director Roger Hankins said the Cantor Art Gallery helps serve the school’s mission by offering such real-experience opportunities.
As artscope has devoted growing attention toward the fiber and handcraft arts, the furniture, craft items, stitch work and silk embroidery represented in the show should prove inspirational and instructive to today’s generation of crafters especially those who we’ve watched go from participating in their earliest shows to where they’re now playing key roles in arts management and sharing their knowledge in college, museum and local gallery classrooms throughout New England.
While we strive to make each issue of artscope magazine unique, when it comes to celebrating another anniversary, we like to take advantage of the milestone to call attention to artists we haven’t featured in the past. This year, we give you our “Eight for Our 8th” selections.
Elizabeth Michelman pitched Richard Cutrona over lunch in-between visiting the Worcester Art Museum to review its current “You Are Here” exhibition and traveling to see Cutrona’s then-current show at the recently opened Revival Gallery in Fitchburg, Mass.
We’ve known Chawky Frenn both for his books honoring Boston artists and for his “We the People” exhibition, initially reviewed by Cole Tracy for our zine last fall when it was at Pine Manor College; Tracy contributes the current profile on Frenn whose work is featured on our cover and is currently at Milton Academy’s Nesto Gallery in this issue.
We’ve regularly been inspired by the new ground broken by artists exhibiting at Boston’s Kingston Gallery; artscope’s Franklin W. Liu, one of our charter writers, spoke to Julie S. Graham about her “Painted Constructions,” on view there this March.
A number of new galleries have opened in the Cape Ann area over the past year; J. Fatima Martins previews Pamela Ellis Hawkes’ “Pale Shadows” alternative photography exhibition that opens Gloucester’s Trident Gallery’s spring season.
We go through, literally, thousands of emails, facebook and twitter posts, press releases and online listings in putting together our coverage manifest for each issue. Artscope intern Kimberlee Meserve suggested Abbie Read, who had been featured in the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial and who had a current installation at Waterfall Arts in Belfast; our Maine correspondent, Taryn Plumb, spoke with Read about her “Library” project.
Suzanne Volmer passionately campaigned for including recent Rhode Island School of Design graduate Quintín Rivera Toro, an installation artist who was recently awarded a 2014 Rhode Island State Council of the Arts fellowship and is poised to leave a lasting mark at galleries globally; and sculptor Arlene Shechet, whose “Meissen Recast” exhibition, inspired by the legendary German porcelain factory, is now on view at the RISD Museum.
Linda Chestney had been watching the career of Nashua’s Monique Sakel- larios, whose worldwide-travel-inspired impressionist paintings can be seen through March 29 at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell.
This issue’s centerfold, which had the theme of Body Art, is Paul Roustan’s “War and Peace.” Thanks to our judges: painter Grant Drumheller, a professor of art at the University of New Hampshire; Jerry LoFaro, illustrator and illustration instructor at the New Hampshire Insti- tute of Art; and Boston Tattoo Convention producer and tattoo artist Natan Alexander, owner of Witch City Ink and Lightwave Tattoo in Salem, Mass. For our next contest, we’re looking for your original abstract work; for full details, see our Classifieds section.
Before you explore the pages in front of you, we’d like to invite you to join us for an evening of celebration, entertainment and art in honor of our Eighth Anniver- sary on Friday, April 4 from 7-10 p.m. at Adelson Galleries, 520 Harrison Ave. in Boston’s SoWa District; please RSVP at artscopemagazine.com.
We look forward to meeting you in person.
Brian Goslow, managing editor