As reports grew on the large number of freighter crates sitting off the coast of California and with them, the warning that consumers best start their Christmas and holiday shopping early this year, postings of a social media meme also grew: “The work of local artists is not sitting on cargo ships.” It’s a message the art world, both regionally and nationally have been trying to share for years.
The end of the calendar year is traditionally filled with holiday arts and crafts shows aimed at attracting gift shoppers; similarly, many galleries host exhibitions intended to assist those looking to give a unique special gift.
The Copley Society of Art “Holiday Small Works 2021” show features its 300 plus member organization in a wide variety of mediums whose scenes offer a unique, special painting of a New England location whose meaning will warm the homes of its receiver for years, if not decades to come. “People typically buy more smaller art to give as gifts for the holiday season around this time of year,” said Paige Roehrig, CoSo’s gallery coordinator. The show runs through December 24.
If you’re seeking a traditional holiday feel this year, Concord, Massachusetts, never fails to combine nostalgia and fresh businesses and ideas. Three Stones Gallery is relocating to a new location at 32 Main St., in Concord Center; “Bienvenue,” its opening exhibition, has its artist reception on November 4 and features abstractworks by Boston painter Cécile Ganne and Vermont artist Daryl Burtnett and “fresh and exciting work by new artists” to the gallery. Its Sun Stone Studio, 104 Commonwealth Ave., West Concord, unveils “Photography: Classic&Alternative”onNovember11; the show will include limited edition archival landscape prints by Bremner Benedict; cyanotypes by Cynthia Katz; encaustics, photographs and handmade paper by Fay Senner. Both shows run through December 30.
“Manipulation is Art, and Play,” a wild multi-media exhibition juried by Althea Bennett, arts educator and host of the “Hoodgrown Aesthetic” podcast; feature films, television, and commercials prop maker and set dresser Rebecca Rose Green; and Gal Friday Consulting’s Haley Neville opens on November 5 and runs through November 28 at the Piano Craft Gallery, 793 Tremont St., Boston, Massachusetts. “Artistic manipulation is mysterious, unseen — she is a force of nature, a master of the dark and light and all in-between. Explore this group exhibition of 2D and 3D works that give you a glimpse into the artists’ minds — their desires and cravings as they purposefully change, alter or influence their material of choice.”
“Suspended Disbelief: New Works by Jana Zeller” goes on exhibit on November 5 at Gallery in the Woods, 145 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont. “This new body of work was created from the time of the Covid lockdown until now. It explores the atmosphere of abandoned theater spaces, the presence of another world within our world, and ghostly appearances attempting to connect with our surroundings. Each canvas proposes a moment in time when a story suddenly freezes and we hold still, mystified at what is happening and searching for an answer beyond the stillness. Jana’s paintings are inspired by a life-long love of puppet theater and by the paintings of the European surrealists of the 1940s.” The show runs through November 30.
Normally, you’d have to travel to England to see the 100 or so masterpieces that will be on view from November 13 through March 13, 2022 at the Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. The “Love Stories from the National Portrait Gallery, London (which is closed for redevelopment until Spring 2023)” range from 16th-century Renaissance-era painting to contemporary photography and include some of the all-time power couples, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, Elizabeth Barrett Browning andRobert Browning, and Emma Hamilton and Lord Nelson.
“Hiroshige and the Changing Japanese Landscape,” a presentation of Utagawa Hiroshige’s (1797-1858) Japanese woodblock prints depicting how the political climate during 19th century Japan influenced its art and how the art influenced that climate, opens on November 20 and remains on view through February 27, 2022, at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, 930 SVAC Drive, Manchester, Vermont. It’ll be joined on December 12 by an exhibition organized in partnership with The Mokuhanga Sisters, a print collective, that met at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory, in the shadow of Mount Fuji in Japan. “The World Between The Block And The Paper” will run through March, 27, 2022.
Using feminist elements alongside symbols from her heritage and personal traditions, printmaker Diane Cherr earned her own solo exhibition, “A Show of Hands,” by winning the 2020 Best of Show Award at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Matthews Park, 299 West Ave., Norwalk, Connecticut. “These colorful prints include a combination of contemporary printmaking processes such as photopolymer intaglio, screenprint and collagraph printed in small editions and as unique prints.” Cherr’s show runs simultaneously with “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!: CCP’s Annual Members’ Exhibition”; both have their opening reception on Sunday, December 12 from 2-4 p.m. and remain on view through February 20, 2022.