LAYERS & LIGHT: THE ARTWORK OF AJA JOHNSON AND LORI MEHTA
by Lisa Mikulski
While much of what a gallery owner or curator does goes unseen — the behind-the-scenes tasks of running an arts business — to me, one of the primary jobs of this profession is making connections. It is the connections found between artists, their work, the public and the art market that can infect an audience with enthusiasm (or not) and can bring art to life. A certain amount of sophistication is required to do this — as is a solid art background and a good eye.
What will resonate with the audience? How will the artists complement or contrast with one another, and what is the current artistic trend? These are all considerations; but sometimes the connections are less obvious and need to be mined. The finale of bringing together these elements results in a unique and growing artist stable and, of course, the next big opening exhibition.
At Beacon Gallery, which recently opened on Boston’s Harrison Avenue, Christine O’Donnell has been making connections. Having traveled and lived in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, O’Donnell chose Boston as the place to embark upon her love for art and her ambition to run a business. The gallery’s next show, “Layers & Light: The Artwork of Aja Johnson and Lori Mehta,” opening on May 4, displays the finesse of her ability to make connections which might otherwise have gone unseen.
Mehta, a representational artist, and Johnson, whose work is abstract, provided what O’Donnell said was “both a challenge and a delight” with regard to putting together the show.
Johnson and Mehta’s works appeared together for the first time in Beacon Gallery’s “First Look 2018” show. “The colors and forms of some of the pieces complemented each other really well in that show, despite the difference in the two artists’ styles. Nonetheless, seeing Johnson’s and Mehta’s work adjacent to each other in a group show is a far cry from creating a two-artist show,” explained O’Donnell.