Stitch At New Art: Creating Conversation

Sarah Meyers Brent, "Beautiful Mess II," 2018, wood, drywall, clothing, gloves, painting, fabric, wire and mixed-media, 48” x 72” x 108”.


by Brian Goslow

It’s only appropriate that the New Art Center — an institution that matches exhibitions with classroom instruction — is hosting “STITCH: Syntax/Action/Reaction,” an exhibition that will be a work-in-progress and offer a series of related public programs and events during its five-week run. The show, co-curated by Jessica Burko and Samantha Fields as part of New Art Center’s (NAC) ongoing Curatorial Opportunity Program, features artists that “create work that exemplifies the powerful language of technique and materials used to convey emotion, story, memory and meaning to guide our imaginations in new directions.”

And yes, to borrow from Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go …” with each of the works featured in “STITCH.” The journey starts immediately as you enter into the NAC and the Holzwasser Gallery with Maria Molteni’s “Our Lady of Good Voyage,” which will use bricks, rope and paint to recreate a beloved Boston location around a Virgin Mary statue.

“She salvaged those pieces from a church chapel that was demolished in the Seaport District that had been a traditional type of coastal church that was meant to look over the harbor and the people that would go out and risk their life on the harbor,” Burko explained. “She has taken those bricks and is going to be stitching them together and cleaning them throughout the exhibition.”

Molteni’s installation sits across from Destiny Palmer’s “Broadsides” project in which each swath of fabric represents a slave that sailed here from Britain in 1788 (for more information on Palmer, and this piece, see Donna Dodson’s profile that follows this review).

As you enter the main gallery, Michelle Lougee’s large 48” x 36” x 36” “Dinoflagellate,” constructed of crocheted plastic bags and wires, pulls your attention right in. “They’re already-used bags; she doesn’t purchase new ones,” Burko noted. “She’s creating artwork out of bags that would otherwise probably end up in the ocean.”

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