COSO’S WINTER MEMBERS SHOW
It’s a pleasure to rejoin the staff at Artscope after four years in Sweden, with a review of the Copley Society of Art’s 2017 Winter Members Show, “Shaken and Stirred.” This year’s exhibition features a range of dynamic artists and works spanning media in photography, oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, pastel, graphite and scratchboard.
Seeking to provide respite to the dark landscape of winter and the seriousness of the recent political climate, the Copley Society of Art sought to provide a bit of levity for its viewing public. It serves us to remember that art has always, and will always, reflect current events and social mores while also providing an escape from them.
The Copley Society received over 180 submissions for this exhibition. That number was reduced to works by 35 artists, with winners selected by juror Mike Carroll of the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown. Wishing to acknowledge the Copley Society’s longstanding, integral history as a contributor to the cultural conversation in Boston, Carroll began with some very basic notions of the participants successfully completing the submission process free from unintended detractions of structure and execution. Next, Carroll evaluated how each piece addressed the show’s theme, and whether that could lead to a conversation in the exhibition.
Seen in its entirety, the show coalesces the premise of “Shaken and Stirred,” bringing to mind ideas of a metaphorical mixology, but the works also depict notions of ebbs and flows, light and dark, humor and whimsy, chaos and tranquility. In terms of style and/or execution, pieces were selected also for the energy contained within them, or how they served as a metaphor for or connection to society or government. As Carroll explained, “No piece was actually selected for addressing the premise exactly, but one of the nice things about selecting was being surrounded by a number of artworks, many of which were in dialogue in response to a single idea. It was a great kind of a ‘language space.’”