Viera Levitt, director and contemporary art curator at the UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery, has launched an exciting fall exhibit agenda with lots of interesting backstories and behind-the-scenes collaboration. The gallery is located in the Star Store Campus building in downtown New Bedford.
It follows the momentum started with “(The Air) As It Moves,” a site-specific installation created in response to the airflow of the gallery by Rhode Island artist, Elizabeth Keithline, that opened on May 24 and ends on September 12. Keithline’s installation was inspired by Summer Winds 2019, the first festival presented by New Bedford-based Design Art Technology Massachusetts’ (DATMA) that is presenting event-related exhibitions through the end of the year.
As summer nears its completion, so are other University Art Gallery shows by Spencer Finch, a well-known New York City artist, whose “Wind (Through Emily Dickinson’s Window)” runs through September 5 in Gallery 244 and a video by Renee Piechocki and Brandon Forrest Frederick that “references the human desire to structure uncontrollable forces” in the Bubbler Gallery through September 9.
These shows serve as the lead-up to the University Art Gallery’s exciting fall agenda that features a solo exhibition by Raquel Paiewonsky from September 20 to October 28 and Nicholas Brown and Sarah Kanouse from November 7 to January 10.
“I am very fortunate to be able to work with artists of national and international reputation and scope,” Levitt said. “I’ve seen Raquel’s exhibition a few years back and was immediately impressed by her surprising and fresh attitude, her humor, but also the gravity of her work.”
Paiewonsky’s “Muro,” 2009, hand embroidered breasts, is a site-specific installation. Paiewonsky is a visual artist who lives and works in Santo Domingo. She was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Paiewonsky has worked in painting, sculpture, installation and photography for more than two decades. She often combines more than one of these media in her work. She has been widely exhibited in the Dominican Republic and the United States, as well as France and South America. Paiewonsky, who received her B.F.A. from the Parsons School of Design in New York City, has her work represented in several national and international collections.
“The work that I have been developing in recent years explores the relationship between our essence and our environment, the impact that cultural constructions and stereotypes generate in us, always having as reference our instincts and the most primary parts of our nature and how it is affected in the new changing contexts of today,” Paiewonsky relates in her artist statement.
The reception for “Muro” will be held as part of monthly AHA! New Bedford festivities on October 10 from 6-9 p.m. during which Paiewonsky will give a talk.
Next on the University Art Gallery’s late fall agenda is “Local Ecologies,” featuring newly commissioned artworks, from November 7 through January 10 (see following page). The show’s reception is scheduled for Thursday, November 14, from 6-8:30 p.m. during that month’s AHA! New Bedford festivities.
Levitt settled in the United States in 2006 following her Artslink Residency at RISD’s Graduate Studies in 2002 and a 2005 internship in the Photography Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She became the gallery director for the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth in 2012 after a three-year tenure as the director of the CCRI (Community College of Rhode Island) at the Knight Campus Art Gallery in Warwick.