Earlier this fall, after our national correspondent, Nancy Nesvet posted pictures and video from a rally in Washington, D.C. on our Facebook page, someone asked us, “Are you a political group?” My response was, “Staying alive is a political act.”
And art is the way many of us filter life.
Rarely is that a more truthful statement than when you have to deal with a loved one facing a health crisis — and you’re the person in charge of arranging their health care. This issue features a story by Meredith Cutler, whose dad was recently diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease. If you’ve ever known someone who’s faced this challenge and had to be moved into a private care facility, you’ve probably noticed one of the best possible ways to connect with them is through the visual and performing arts which somehow has the magical ability to trigger old, fond memories in their brains when they no longer work the way you expect them to work.
Cutler visited photographer and mixed media artist Ellie Brown, whose own dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and who had moved to Rhode Island from Philadelphia to spend what time he has left on this planet together, to talk about her upcoming “Sundown” exhibition at the AS220 Project Space. She’s been documenting that relationship over the past four years — which includes the never to be forgotten experience of drawing together with him, and other children and parents facing the same challenges, but bonded through the unforgettable process of creating something together. If you’re in a similar situation, consider bringing out a drawing pad or the old records or family scrapbooks.
Our cover features Anne Plaisance’s “Sour Times,” which is, at this writing, on view in the “Waste Not” group show, which also features powerful works by curator Kim Triedman, Lorraine Sullivan and Stephen Martin at ArtSpace Maynard. As the child and grandchild of a family that escaped the Soviet Union, and who spent a good part of his life researching the land from which they came (Latvia), I spent many of my teenage and post-teenage years listening to international broadcasters, many of them from Soviet bloc countries, on my shortwave radio, to learn more about my roots. Some of you may remember the powerful images of advertisements for Radio Free Europe that featured barbed wire as a symbol for the division amongst people of the world, or the barbed wire in the artwork created to protest Apartheid in South Africa. It is our hope that we, as a planet, are not heading back to those times.
The “One in Three: Global Perspectives on Violence Against Women” exhibition on view from November 1 through December 2 at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center will be heartwarming for some and disheartening for others. Artscope’s Suzanne Volmer looks at the recently created work and the unique ways artists are making their voices heard.
Rhode Island is currently hosting two powerful collections of work that are reviewed here by J. Fatima Martins: “The Shape of Birds: Contemporary Art of The Middle East and North Africa” at the Newport Art Museum and “Parsing Sign and Image,” an Art League Rhode Island open juried national exhibition that was selected by Artscope’s publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai.
Linda Chestney’s review of Gillian Laub’s “Southern Rites” photography exhibition is a powerful piece, not just in exploring the stories behind the imagery of African-American teenagers growing up in Georgia, but in confronting how her own upbringing as a white girl, then woman, affected the filter through which she viewed the work.
Another fantastic photography exhibition is taking place at the New Britain Museum of American Art; Kristin Nord viewed actor and film producer Dennis Hopper’s “The Lost Album” collection of images from the 1960s. There’s no better time to re-evaluate the affect those times had on us who grew up in that equally turbulent period.
Two articles in this issue look back at two people whose work and actions affected many. It was a year ago, November 8, when a tragic accident took the life of sculptor David A. Lang. In advance of a retrospective on his life that opens at Boston Sculptors Gallery on December 12, I asked the show’s curator, Katherine French, gallery director at Catamount Arts, and who knew him when she oversaw the Danforth Art Museum, to provide us with a look at Lang as a teacher and friend who inspired so many, as we had featured much of the work that’ll be on view in the past.
Another artist who inspired generations, sculptor Paul Manship, is having his works — and those of a new generation of artists just learning of his work today through residencies at his Starfield home on Massachusetts’ North Shore — displayed on the campus of Phillips Academy at the Addison Gallery of American Art; Flavia Cigliano does a fantastic job of showing the importance of invaluable artist-in-residency programs.
We’re pleased to be the media sponsor for another impressive sculptural exhibition, “Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture,” which is on view through January 6 at the Portland Museum of Art and reviewed here by Jaime Thompson.
Once again, look for us on Florida’s south coast during Art Basel Miami Beach 2018, which takes place from December 6 through 9 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Publisher Kaveh Mojtabai and national correspondent Nancy Nesvet will be reporting from the international fair on our social media outlets as well as Artscope Online at artscopemagazine.com. This issue will be available at the Collective Booth exhibited in the Magazines Sector as we once again proudly bring the artists of New England to the attention of the attendees and art collectors from around the world.
| Brian Goslow, Managing Editor