Welcome to our 89th issue. In some ways, we began planning this issue — covering November/ December and New England’s 2020 holiday season — during our summer issues, anticipating the need to prepare ourselves against the second surge of COVID-19 and the effect it could have on the region’s galleries and museums if they once again found themselves having to close or to severely limit their operations. At that time, we began to consider the kind of coverage that would best assist these institutions in surviving these challenging times.
We look to 2021 proud of our consistency and commitment throughout these historic months in having continued to publish on our regular bi-monthly schedule and be a publication that the public and arts industry can depend on. Throughout the years, we’ve expanded our online and app offerings to provide those businesses and organizations with a place that they can announce their creative and online programs with us and continue to explore ways that we can best work together.
Artscope appreciates the support of media members, directors, curators and patrons that have been referencing us as a source in discussions on cultural direction because of our ongoing direct conversations with galleries, artists, centers and museums. Our articles from recent years calling on the need for greater partnerships throughout the industry to strengthen all aspects of the arts community are being proven true now.
When our states, regions and country finally begins to recover after the devastation on our businesses caused by COVID-19, we’ll all need to work together to rebuild our country’s systems and foundations for both the visual and performing arts with a cooperative, humane leadership approach with ourselves and the world, compassionately, starting with each person’s responsibility and conduct toward their community.
Artscope continues to use the distribution model we’ve followed since our first issue in March, 2006, circulating copies of our issue to hundreds of cultural locations throughout New England under the belief that if someone is visiting an art gallery or museum or a venue that serves as a central community gathering point for its arts- inclined residents, they’re already interested in seeing or buying art — and in picking up a copy of our latest issue, we’re expanding their knowledge of the region’s cultural landscape.
We will continue to follow this business model and hope that New England’s arts community, in all its many forms, will continue to support us, be it through advertising, listing, buying an email blast! or taking out a magazine or digital subscription—and spread the word on what we’re doing with everyone and anyone they might feel would be interested in reading us.
Many of our writers made their first return to galleries visits since last winter for this issue. Elayne Clift traveled to the Southern Vermont Arts Center to see its 2020 All Members Exhibition and found herself raving about its Adrien Broom and Marion Huse shows as well.
Marguerite Serkin visited Snow Farm — The New England Craft School in the Western Massachusetts town of Williamsburg for a first- hand look at its campus and to learn about its many workshops and to preview the “Makers and Mentors” exhibition celebrating the work created there that opens at the Fuller Craft Museum on November 28. She also visited Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont, to review its “Amy Arbus: Photographs from On The Street 1980-1990” show, having the opportunity to meet Arbus in-person at its opening reception.
Kristin Nord also did double-duty for this issue, visiting the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut, for an in-person view of its 7th Biennial “FOOTPRINT” International Exhibition, and Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum for the opening of “Made in Connecticut,” a show celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Connecticut Art Trail and its 22 member institutions.
Beth Neville reviews the Newport Art Museum’s “Call and Response” exhibition matching regional artists’ favorite work from its collection with a new work of their own, along with “Andy Warhol: Big Shot,” a show of prints taken with his Polaroid “Big Shot” and SX-70 cameras.
My first museum visit since March was to the Fitchburg Art Museum to review its “The BIG Picture: Giant Photographs and Powerful Portfolios” exhibition that turned out to be a perfect mirror of our country in 2020, both in its work intended to make us feel uncomfortable and work intended to celebrate our diversity.
We’re happy to have a number of our Massachusetts- based writers return to our pages as galleries reopen. Lee Roscoe explores how Salley Mavor uses her whimsical fiber creations, showcased in her “Bedtime Stitches” at the Cahoon Museum of American Art both as images for a children’s book and to celebrate multiculturalism and friendship between people of the world through a better understanding of their traditions.
Meredith Cutler took in the “Katherine Gulla: Passage,” “Rebecca Hutchinson: Midnight Blossoms” and “Catherine Smith: A Cabinet of Curiosities” presentations at the Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University, sharing how good it was to see art on traditional walls again.
Flavia Cigliano visited Concord’s Three Stones Gallery to see “Our Numinous Places,” an exhibition of Jonathan MacAdam’s natured-themed paintings and gallery owner Jennifer M. Johnston’s water- focused photographs intended to remind visitors of the natural beauty found nearby.
As galleries and museums continue to modify their presentation, their curators are considering how their shows will look both in person and online. National correspondent Nancy Nesvet combines her own experience as curator at Palestine Museum US in Connecticut with those of fellow East Coast curators for an article that will be helpful to those of you with exhibitions in the months ahead.
Most of these reviews include observations on how our writers felt visiting these museums and galleries and the steps those venues have taken to make visitors feel welcome and safe when they’re there. If you plan on going to see an exhibition reviewed, advertised and listed in this issue, especially if it’s outside your immediate area, please contact the venue to confirm their hours of operation and if you have to reserve a time to visit.
We continue to be encouraged by numerous reports of sales to buyers who’ve been working on home improvement projects or adorning their second homes with new artworks as they escape city life. If you’re in that category, please consider adding a touch of worth in the form of a special artwork from one of our advertisers.
Wishing you warmth, safety and fabulous viewing in the months ahead, with thanks for your continued support and friendship!
Brian Goslow, Managing Editor