Welcome to our 99th issue!
We hope you’ll find the stories within encourage you to take to the roads of New England to see some of the exhibitions featured inside and get a better understanding of the artists and reasoning behind the work they’ve created.
Noting that “there has always been a strong thread connecting the arts and social justice,” Marjorie Kaye takes an in-depth look at exhibitions at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Williams College Museum of Art and The Clark Institute that are focused on the experience of racial injustice in this country and in the process, gives us an invaluable historical walk-through of artwork originating in the early 20th century, made during the Civil Rights Movement and created by today’s younger artists.
Rachel Flood Page brings the conversation into the present with her preview of “The Long View: What Do You See (Do You See Me!)” exhibition featuring five prominent African-American artists from Boston — Ekua Holmes, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Bryan McFarlane, Chandra Dieppa Méndez-Ortiz and Hakim Raquib that was curated by Napoleon Jones-Henderson — who currently has a powerful retrospective of his own at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston — being presented by the Bromfield Gallery in Boston’s SoWa District.
We’re all striving for a better view of the way others see the world. The Shelburne Museum in Vermont is celebrating its 75thanniversary; Marta Pauer Tursi took in its “Eyesight and Insight” exhibition,” a show that she noted, “is about seeing through the lenses resting on the bridge of our noses and the lenses of perceptions, preference and bias.”
Suzanne Volmer visited the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and Fruitlands Museum to see the multi-venue New England Triennial 2022 Exhibition. It’s a show that follows several Biennials at the deCordova that found themselves under a severe and sometimes painfully critical microscope, especially from those who wished the shows would be groundbreakers.
Addressing this concern, Volmer writes, “I often tell people that sometimes it is necessary to read 10 not great books before discovering one that is really good. Essentially, it is the same for fine art.” Spoiler alert: she considers having seen this exhibition worthwhile.
With many of us still careful out in crowds, in her look at offerings on the South Coast this summer, Volmer suggests taking in one of its open studio tours as well as sharing the New Bedford and Newport exhibitions she feels worthy of your attention in the months ahead.
Few understand the planning that goes into a huge one-day event; Linda Chestney checked in with the organizer of the Portland Fine Craft Show taking place on August 27, along with a few of its artists. The juried show features over 100 craft artists from Maine and the Northeast area; amongst those who made the selections was Artscope publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai.
Talking about a huge undertaking: Claudia Fiks attended the launch party for the Bellforge Arts Center in Medfield, Massachusetts – an undertaking by the Cultural Alliance of Medfield (CAM) that it hopes will change the landscapes of the entire Medfield community, the MetroWest Area, and beyond and serve as a national model for community building and economic prosperity efforts through the example of how the principles of community engagement and revitalization through the arts is a recipe for success – and previewed a large exhibition, “Eversley & Friends: Bold and Beautiful,” that will be on view at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts from mid-July through the end of August.
I’m excited that we’re covering the Jamaal Eversley-curated exhibition; I first came across Eversley’s work while reviewing entries for the Milton Art Center’s 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition at Gallery 334 in 2017. Unfamiliar with his name or work, I had to decide whether his humorous child-like creation was by someone making their first submission to a show or someone working on something or a theme that I was missing.
To be honest, I selected it on the thought it would be horrible to not give someone their first chance to exhibit their work; a short time later, I was grateful I had selected his piece after I learned his goal was and is to make people smile through his art and didn’t that turn out to be something we all needed?
Nancy Nesvet traveled to Switzerland for Art Basel 2022 and returned with a new-found re-appreciation for the reason people make and buy art – and the importance of museums that keep the world’s greatest artists, past and present, available for public viewing.
Since the onset of Covid, we’ve been hesitant in our coverage of traditional seasonal destinations. Thus, we’re pleased to once again be able to safely encourage you to take in the offerings at the Provincetown Artist Association and Museum (Laura Shabott on “Art of the Garden: Selections from the Pat and Nanno de Groot Collection” and “Zehra Khan: Your Everyday Myths”), Berta Walker Gallery (Lee Roscoe previews “Bert Yarborough: Ecologies” and “Gilbert Franklin: Lieutenant Island Bridge”) and Gary Marotta Fine Art (Sawyer Smook-Pollitt touched base with Cara De Angelis on her current “Till You’re Here” exhibition).
When approaching the best way to cover the “Art from Guantánamo Bay” exhibition at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, I found my first question was how does a show of artworks from longtime prisoners in Cuba end up in Vermont? I hope you’ll find the answer and the resulting paintings fascinating.
I visited Sitka Home Fine Art last spring when the region was first coming out of the Covid shutdown blues; with the gallery having moved further west on Boston’s Newbury Street earlier this year, we had James Foritano drop in to see how they’ve settled in.
Their new neighbors, a few doors down, the Copley Society of Art, will be hosting “Crossing Borders,” a show that was open to artists nationwide, starting on July 14. I asked juror Josephine Halvorson, Professor of Art, and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting at
Boston University and gallery coordinator Paige Roehrig how this process helps to open participation in the art world to a larger number of people whose work serves to make a major contribution to an understanding of each other at a time when we need that seemingly more than ever.
Continue to stay safe, have a wonderful summer and enjoy the world our artists continue to make for us all.
Brian Goslow, managing editor