As we enter the second half of spring in dire need of inspiration and the feel and warmth of the familiar, here are a series of exhibitions to slowly move you into a summer mood and help you plan a safe, careful series of New England art wanderlust road trips.
The 2021 South Coast Artists Members Invitational exhibition takes place through May 31 at Gallery Four, 3848 Road, Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island — as beautiful a part of the country as you’ll ever find. Over 50 member artists’ work in a wide variety of mediums are featured and serve as a preview of the South Coast Artists Open Studios Tour in Tiverton and Little Compton, Rhode Island and Westport and Dartmouth, Massachusetts that will return this July and August.
Looking for a reminder of what you’ve so deeply missed over the past year? “Love That Dirty Water,” Ed Wojtaszek’s street photographs of Boston and its residents’ love affair with the Charles River and Atlantic Ocean, can be seen through May 23 at the Arts League of Lowell’s Greenwald Gallery, 307 Market Street, Lowell, Massachusetts, which is also featuring “Collage for All,” over 50 works that include photographs, textile work, metal sculpture, assemblage of wood and natural material and mixed media works on paper and in 3-D showcasing unusual combinations and offering a glimpse into the sometimes quirky imaginations of artists, through June 27.
As we were going to press, Brickbottom Art Association announced that the Brickbottom Gallery, 1 Fitchburg St., Somerville, would be reopening to the public after having been “residents only” since reopening. Its “Recycle, Remake, Reimagine” exhibition continues through May 15; “Urban Sketchers: “We Show the World, One Drawing at a Time,” featuring works by the Boston members of the worldwide nonprofit organization that meets for two hours each weekend to draw at a predetermined urban location, takes place from May 27 through June 26. “It might be a park, a neighborhood or — in case of foul weather — within a museum or public space. Some focus on the architecture, others the busy street life, yet another draws a solitary pigeon. All skill sets, and media are welcome.” Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from noon-5 p.m.
Miller White Fine Arts, 708 Route 134, South Dennis, Massachusetts, opens its 2021 season on May 7 with Heavy Metals: Digital Photography in the Narrative Tradition by Laura Lee Flanagan. Gallery owner Susan Danton calls the show one that surely breaks the mold. “Haunting may be the likeliest way to describe these self-constructed, still frame tableaus, but to leave it there is a massive disservice to the unlimited potential of this extraordinary emerging artist.” Flanagan said she likes to portray her characters as experiencing some sort of spiritual chaos. “I tend to direct them through many layers of themselves to uncover some sort of angst or tension; to seemingly convey a sort of falling apart, albeit dressed and made up to appear perfectly put together.” The show ends on May 28.
Normally, at this time of year, artists from around the world would be planning to travel to Provincetown and Truro on Cape Cod on the first weekend of June for encaustic classes, exhibitions and talks galore. This year, the 14th International Encaustic Virtual Conference will take place online from June 5 and 6 while its related workshops and exhibitions will be presented from May 24 through June 11 in a hybrid of online presentations and in-person events at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, 10 Meetinghouse Road, Truro, Massachusetts. For more details and to sign up, visit castlehill.org/14th-international-encaustic-conference.
This year’s Virtual International Encaustic Juried Show will be juried by Artscope Magazine publisher Kaveh Mojtabai and can be seen online from June 1 through 13 at castlehill.org. The rest of Castle Hill’s 2021 exhibition schedule will be open for public viewing, starting with its Members Open Exhibition from June 15 through 25 and “Push Pull,” paintings, drawings and collage works were made during the pandemic by group of artists studying and working together online with artist/teachers Laura Shabott and Alana Barrett, from June 29 through July 9. The hybrid exhibit and fundraiser will have a safe distanced opening on Thursday, July 1 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Castle Hill’s artistic executive director, Cherie Mittenthal, curated the upcoming “Art of the Garden: Double Bloom” exhibition featuring ephemeral and expansive ceramic sculptures constructed out of “harvested natural materials and recycles used domestic natural fiber individually as handmade paper in combination with clay” by Rebecca Hutchinson and Joan Snyder’s “iconic and bold artwork” made of “non-traditional materials to the canvas, such as burlap, cheesecloth, dried flowers, poppy pods, papier-mâché, glitter, mud and twigs” whose canvases truly needed to be seen — and emotionally felt — in person that will be on view from May 28 through July 18 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial St., Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Maine Art Gallery Wiscasset, 15 Warren St., Wiscasset, Maine, located in the former Old Wiscasset Academy Building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, opens its 2021 season on May 15 with “What Inspires You?” a show featuring its member artists. It’ll be followed from June 12 through July 17 by “Acquired Symbols,” an exhibition featuring friends and former students of Maine artist and teacher John Lorence from around the corner as well as his own work. “The title of the show originated after lengthy discussions, during which the artists agreed that art is often a symbolic expression of what is going on in the world around us. The works reflect the artist’s inspirations,” said Jorge Pena, the show’s curator. “John Lorence’s work, for instance, is grounded in his interest in the concept of time, the earth and how rocky landscapes remind us of our place in time.”
“S.B. Walker: Nor’East” and “David Row: The Shape of Things” opens on May 29 and continues through September 12 at Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), 21 Winter St., Rockland, Maine.
Row’s exhibition, the first major show for the painter and master printmaker in his home state, will survey of the artist’s shaped paintings from the mid-1970s to the present. “Widely known for his use of irregularly shaped canvases and rich colors, Row manipulates symbols of infinity and juncture—ellipses and Xs—to create spatially complex compositions that transform the illusory two-dimensional picture plane into multi-perspectival infinite space.”
Walker’s collection of photographs includes more that 50 images from a six-year period, ranging from 2014 through 2019, in which his traveled over 100,000 miles while documenting contemporary life in Maine. “I’ve had the privilege to spend time with 10th generation Mainers, aging back-to-the-landers, young farmers, recent immigrants, artists, ex-convicts, entrepreneurs, drag queens, affluent summer folk, fishermen, crypto-currency traders, and so on,” Row said. “To define a time and place is in some sense an impossible task, though, as an artist, trying to articulate what cannot be described is perhaps the best kind of sport.”
Capturing “the familiar interplay of daily activities, family life, technology and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kara Patrowicz’s “Homebound: Fiber Paintings,” on view through August 22 in the Wayside Gallery at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, Massachusetts, combines fiber and painting techniques to depict everyday subjects, from chairs to iPad screens, parents and children to ultrasound imagery. “In the strange monotony of the moment, these works embody Patrowicz’s search for the sublime and sacred in the quiet rituals and mundane messes of parenthood.”
“Pressing Issues: Voices for Justice in the Book Arts,” books, prints, and original art from artists Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Roger Shimomura, Rockwell Kent and Sue Coe and printers Kelmscott Press, Moving Parts Press, Women’s Studio Workshop and Ediciones Vigía that engage with activism, identity, and protest opens on May 16 Bromer Booksellers and Gallery, 607 Boylston St., Boston, Massachusetts. “With over 100 items spanning over 100 years, it is ambitious in its intersectional breadth, humbling in its emotional depth, and convicting in its unflinching visualization of human pain and power.”
“Exploring two- and three-dimensional space from different perspectives yet finding connection and meaning in wonderful ways,” Carl Caivano and Nancy Campbell have teamed up for “Out Takes/In Sights,” on view through May 29 at A.P.E., 126 Main St., Northampton, Massachusetts. Caivano aims to manipulate meaning “through juxtaposing varied references,” combining “various macro- and micro-scaled elements that range from galaxies to subatomic particles into a single unified expression.” Campbell strives to evoke “an Eastern sense of balance between fragility and strength” by using a system of highly structured intricate abstraction.”
Just as its city settles into its new baseball stadium (Polar Park, new home to the Boston Red Sox’s main minor league affiliate), the Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Massachusetts is holding its own opening day — June 12 (the 141st anniversary of the first perfect game in baseball history a few blocks away at the Worcester County Agricultural Fairgrounds on the campus of the soon to be closed Becker College) — for “The Iconic Jersey: Baseball x Fashion,” a collection of “37 garments including historic and contemporary jerseys as well as runway looks—from Jesse Tannehill’s 1908 Boston Red Sox Uniform Shirt to MIZIZI’s Black Lives Matter jersey” as well as ephemera that capture the phenomenon of the baseball shirt, both on and off the field, the show’s season ends on September 12.
A number of museums will be celebrating milestones this summer, including the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (“re: collections: Six Decades” and “Frida Kahlo: POSE”) and the Henry Sheldon Museum, Middlebury, Vermont (“Henry at 200”). Keep an eye on their websites and social media pages for announcements on opening dates.