Brian Goslow, Managing Editor
Welcome to our first issue of 2018.
We start the new year with an issue filled with artwork and exhibitions covering many of the timely issues on our readers’ minds through reviews of shows that were hanging as we went to press; we couldn’t have done it without the help of curators, gallery directors and artists who shared their work with our writers so we could preview as-yet-unopened shows.
We address the environment and global warming through reviews of “We Might Climb a Tree, at Least,” a group exhibition celebrating the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Maine Museum of Photographic Arts (by Taryn Plumb); “James Chisholm: Reflections: Ocean Waves, Inland Streams” at Endicott College (by James Foritano); and the artistry of Clifford W. Ashley in “Thou Shalt Knot” at New Bedford Whaling Museum by Don Wilkinson, which serves as a reminder of how much maritime history is part of our New England heritage. I had the pleasure of previewing “Expeditions: From Iceland to the Gobi Desert” that opens February 1 at Paula Estey Gallery.
As the #MeToo movement addressed issues kept hidden for decades, Lisa Mikulski was reviewing “Outspoken: 7 Women Photographers” at Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College while J. Fatima Martins was meeting with Marsha Nouritza Odabashian, president of the Boston chapter of Women’s Caucus for Art, to discuss the two-part “Courting the Uncontrollable” exhibition at Galatea Fine Art in Boston’s SoWa District this January and February.
The power of art to make a significant difference in people’s lives is celebrated in “Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art” at Fuller Craft Museum as explored by Beth Neville, and the Artists Research Collaborative (ARC), a professional workspace and gallery collaborative between the Lowell arts community and the University of Massachusetts Lowell; it’s spotlighted by Flavia Cigliano.
In early December, publisher Kaveh Mojtabai and national correspondent Nancy Nesvet were in Miami Beach for Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 and Miami Art Fair Week; we’re proud of how much the timeliness of shows in the New England region mirror what was on display to the international audience there, and that we’ve been invited once again to return to Basel, Switzerland this June to represent the region as an exhibitor in the Magazines Sector at Art Basel 2018.
While in South Beach, we did double-duty reporting, both for the moment on our social media pages on our Zine, Instagram and Facebook pages, and in preparation for this issue. Our magazine coverage is complemented by interviews Nesvet conducted in Miami Beach that you can view at youtube.com/artscopemagazine — where we’ll have increased video coverage of exhibitions and artist talks in 2018.
By all accounts, attendance at these fairs reached record highs; global art sales are at an all-time high. Where traditionally established names filled the majority of the Basel halls, Nesvet reported that this year’s breakdown was 60-40 in favor of contemporary artists.
We’re seeing this as well throughout the museums and galleries we cover in our Artscope pages, where
we’ve always aimed to present New England artists alongside the best from around the world, with the goal of attracting new patrons, collectors and buyers to strengthen the region’s creative economy.
We strive to accomplish this through the encouragement of cohesive and comprehensive dialogue between all segments of the arts community, and hope that within each issue, we have something for everyone, regardless of their tastes and interests.
Along these lines, Mojtabai and I discussed an article he had just read where gallerist Larry Gagosian stated that art is not a luxury item. “This is what we’ve been doing to the extent that art is necessary for humanity, and we’re working toward making it visible or possible for everyone,” Mojtabai told me, noting that the difference was that Gagosian sells his work at luxury item prices while we share all the options available, whether one is looking for artwork that doubles as a long-term investment or something that captures the flavor they want for their first apartment. We always appreciate our readers telling us they value this aspect of our coverage.
Many times, when we attend group shows, we take visual and mental notes on artists whose work grabs our attention and keep them in mind for future issues. It might be the next magazine, or one a few years later, but we do eventually get the chance to cover them.
I first saw Betsy Silverman’s collage creations of Boston landmarks while assisting Mojtabai in jurying the Newton Open Studios Juried Art Fest at Newton City Hall in 2016; Mikulski previews her “Semblances of Place” exhibition at the Concord Center for the Visual Arts.
More recently, Mojtabai was at Catamount Arts in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, as a guest speaker at the opening reception for their current ArtsConnect exhibition which was attended by hundreds of people; after seeing the work, at his recommendation, the show is reviewed here by Elayne Clift.
Throughout the composition of this issue, the sudden loss of beloved sculptor and painter David A. Lang due to a tragic accident hung over us. Only hours before, I had made plans to have lunch with him the following week and he put in a good word for his friend, photographer David Lee Black, whose exhibition was opening that weekend. What was initially going to be a Facebook post announcing the dates turned into a series of questions for an Artscope zine post into a full feature for this issue. We honor Lang’s request to expose his friend’s work, and through Black’s words, celebrate the life of a man who touched many.
Please enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed covering the exhibitions, galleries and artists within its pages. May the year ahead be soulfully and artistically rewarding for you.