Welcome Statement, July/August 2016
by Brian Goslow
I always compare the final week of production for our upcoming issue to landing an airplane safely, as it becomes a frantic race against our deadline while I track down missing images and stories and wait for copy on shows that opened days before we go to press — all with the goal of having our new issue waiting for you at First Friday activities around the New England region during each odd-numbered month.
This issue brought the extra challenge of having our publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai, in Switzerland during most of the production period attending Art Basel with Nancy Nesvet, president of the Art, Labor, Education Institute and a curator of art exhibitions in Maine, Massachusetts and other East Coast cities. We were there representing those whose work we passionately share in each issue — and it’s always a thrill seeing our current issue on display in the Basel collective booth. While there, we learned that we’ve been invited to return to Art Basel Miami Beach in December.
I hope you had a chance to see Nesvet’s videos, pictures and reports from Basel on our Facebook and Instagram pages and our artscopemagazine.com zine; you can read her selections of Basel’s most invigorating works within these pages. “The artists show they have the power to comment on, bring awareness to and perhaps change the world and the attitudes of people through their art making,” she writes, reminding us that the visual and performing arts play an important role in engaging and bringing people together in times of tragedy and accomplishment.
A few weeks earlier, I had been in Provincetown attending exhibition openings tied to the 10th International Encaustic Conference, as well as a panel discussion on “Navigating the Real Art World.” As artscope had also recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, I found it interesting how some of the participants — many of whom have had successful gallery and museum shows — were still asking “how to” questions on widening the reach of their artwork, be it by finding representation from a big city gallery outside their region or maneuvering the various social media outlets, as well as creating and maintaining a website that best presents their work to those who visit it, whether they’re following up on a meeting at a fair, gallery or show opening, or responding to a letter of inquiry they’ve received.
It reminded me of how we serve a wide variety of audiences, with many of our readers regularly telling us that they appreciate how we keep our articles on a comfortable level for both budding and established artists to learn from while putting their artwork in front of potential collectors’ eyes.
Prior to traveling to Basel, Mojtabai spent four days in Vermont visiting a series of galleries and museums, including the grand opening of Bundy Modern in Waitsfield; in this issue, Taryn Plumb spotlights Gloria King Merritt, one of the artists in the Bundy’s inaugural show.
While he experienced several inspiring visits to locations eager to show him their facilities, artists and plans, Mojtabai also found that a number of institutions that he’d contacted in the past weren’t so eager in their greetings, leaving him feeling that they didn’t seem to communicate with the media channels at their disposal as a whole, and that past conversations with one staff member hadn’t led to the information being shared with others he expected would be involved in promoting the venue.
“Internally, those institutions are not communicating with each other,” Mojtabai noted. “They do not realize the options available to them or receive the institutional support they’re supposed to receive, leaving the artists to promote for themselves.”
There’s no question that many galleries and museums are battling to make ends meet, and artscope works hard to create partnerships beneficial to all concerned, recognizing that we all have a bottom line. Supporting each other is essential, especially at a time when most weekly newspapers in the region have disappeared and, just as we were going to press, it was announced that the Boston Globe would no longer run its weekly gallery column.
We make Artscope available for free at over 700 distribution points throughout New England, knowing that our readers don’t just go to a specific location — they’re planning their weekends and get-togethers with friends around regional exhibitions they want to see and experience together. If you’d like to be included in our distribution schedule, please call our office at (617) 639-5771.
“We’d like artists to drive the dialogue and responsibility of institutions showing their work, and to work with all avenues of access to the public and not just a few,” Mojtabai said. “This public response benefits the artists, exhibitions, industry and the community.”
This issue is aimed at encouraging you to get out and experience New England’s art venues in all of their summer splendor. It starts with my “Cornered” visit with Debbie Nadolney, owner of Art Market Provincetown. My two stays on the Cape also included visits with Mike Carroll at the Schoolhouse Gallery and Susan Danton at Miller White Fine Arts for stories on Eileen Myles and the “At The Crossroads” artistic storytellers exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Among this issue’s highlights: Eric J. Taubert visited the Center for Maine Contemporary Art on a day Jonathan Borofsky was overseeing the main entrance installation of his “Human Structures,” prior to its June 28 grand opening. Linda Chestney reminds us that our Yankee heritage is alive, well and continuing to prosper in her preview of the 83rd Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair taking place in August at the Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, N.H., and J. Fatima Martins, who spent a great part of June on the southern side of the Narraganset Bay, reviews the 23-artist South County Invitational currently on view at the Hera Gallery in Wakefield, R.I.
Connecticut correspondent Kristin Nord “campaigned” vigorously to write about the Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s “A Good Summer’s Work: J. Alden Weir, Connecticut Impressionist” exhibition, feeling that coupling it with a visit to the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton was the best way to experience New England art wanderlust this summer.
So grab an iced tea, iced coffee or your preferred drink of choice, settle into a comfortable chair (preferably overlooking the Atlantic or your favorite lake, or any country setting of your choice) and dig into this issue’s offerings. I trust you’ll soon find yourself heading out to enjoy the best the New England region has to offer.