Welcome to our final issue of 2016, an issue in which we look at a wide array of group exhibitions showcasing New England artists, and once again prepare to celebrate those artists as an official exhibitor at Art Basel Miami Beach, where you will find our issue in the magazine collective booth.
At the same time, Artscope’s J. Fatima Martins will be on-hand in a reporting capacity throughout the week, checking in on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. If you’re a New England gallery or exhibitor who’ll be in attendance, or an artist whose work will be on display, please email me the details so that we can stop by your booth.
As a preview to this year’s event,Nancy Nesvet, who was in Basel,Switzerland on our behalf this past June, shares her “don’t miss” rundown of Miami Beach 2016. She’ll also be reporting from the Basel floor, along with Martins and publisher Kaveh Mojtabai.
Last year, when I previewed a Newburyport Art Association regional group exhibition through the eyes of the show’s juror — our publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai — we received many positive comments and requests for more articles of this type, providing insight into a juror’s thought and selection process.
For this issue, I wanted to preview the South Shore Art Center’s “Out of Order” national juried exhibition, which wouldn’t open till early November (a week or so after the issue you’re reading came out). Working closely with SSAC executive director Sarah Hannan — who arranged for me to see the selected work online as soon as possible, and the show’s juror, Fitchburg Art Museum director Nick Capasso, who generously answered a series of questions almost immediately after the selection process had concluded — we’re able to bring you an article that provides an invaluable look into how the digital submission process has changed the selection process and the challenges both juror and entrant face in getting it right.
Mojtabai and I recently juried the Newton Open Studios Fall Juried Art Fest, taking place on November 5 and 6; while we made our selections through the digital review process, we’ll be in Newton during festival weekend to see the work in person before making our choices for the artists whose work will be displayed at the NewTV Art Gallery in December and January.
In recent years, I’ve been confounded by the seemingly growing number of assemblage pieces I’ve seen being offered by many of the biggest galleries in New York and beyond, wondering at what stage is the original idea of the genre (worked and communicated perfectly by the likes of Joseph Cornell and Varujan Boghosian) — to bring discarded objects back to life — multiplied to the point of losing any perceived value, when it seems like many artists were raiding flea markets for cheap materials instead of channeling the original purpose of an object. J. Fatima Martins answered the question for me, unintentionally, in her thorough study of the work and meaning behind the “Plastic Imagination” exhibition currently on view at the Fitchburg Art Museum.
It’s one of several group exhibitions reviewed in this issue, with the goal of bringing as many regional artists to the attention of our readers, new and old, while hopefully contributing to their work being seen by larger audiences. Elizabeth Michelman made two trips to the Boston Center for the Arts to see everything in its “Fertile Solitude” exhibition, and thoroughly investigated the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum’s 2016 Biennial.
After her attendance at the show’s press opening at the Yale Center for British Art, Suzanne Volmer provides a fascinating look at a solo exhibition of work by London-born, Nigerianraised Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) that complements the venue’s larger “Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Maritime Painting” show; Volmer also took in the opening reception of the multi-artist “Abstracts & Artifacts” show at Gallery 4 in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island.
Eric J. Taubert traveled to Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, to review three of its current offerings; the most notable, in his eyes, being its “Robert Frank: Sideways” collection of photographs from 1947-1961. In a time of image overload, it’s easy to forget what a thrill it is to see great photography blown up on a wall that allows you to fully feel— and learn from — the greatness of its creator.
Wanting to check out something new,Marguerite Serkin was excited to visit the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College to see “The Seattle-Havana-Tehran Poster Show”; its display is an example of how, she writes, “artistic cooperation and mutual respect hold an ever more important role in our global social fabric” in this “uneasy time of political animosity and cultural mistrust.”
I’m especially pleased with our review of the “Uncanny” exhibition at the Lyceum Gallery at the Derryfield School in Manchester, N.H. When I saw the press release for Karen Jerzyk (whose work graces this issue’s cover) and Holly McCabe’s show, I immediately knew it belonged in the issue we’d be sending down to Art Basel Miami Beach. Greg Morell’s account of how Derryfield junior Brooke Northrup discovered the work and brought it to her school’s attention is one of the best I’ve heard in my 10-plus years as this magazine’s managing editor — and a reminder that some of the best work being shown in New England can be found in the places you might least expect it.
Artscope is a proud media sponsor for the “KAHBAHBLOOOM:The Art and Storytelling of Ed Emberley” exhibition that opens at the Worcester Art Museum on November 16; Molly Hamill visited the renowned children’s book illustrator at his Ipswich home studio to talk about his career and show. We’re also sponsoring the Society of Arts & Crafts’ CraftBoston Holiday Show as it returns to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on December 2-4; James Foritano visited their new Boston waterfront home, another source for one-of-a-kind holiday shopping.
All of us at Artscope wish you a warm and safe holiday season and hope to cross paths with you in the months ahead. We appreciate your support, comments and suggestions over the past year and look forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2017.