Welcome to our first issue of 2023!
Our devoted Artscope Magazine staff have worked overtime throughout the holiday season to ensure we provided you with a strong selection of exhibitions for viewing over the next two months and artists to put on your must-investigate and must-see lists over the year ahead.
We start with the Bates College Museum of Art that has two great exhibitions — “And So Did Pleasure Take the Hand of Sorrow and They Wandered Through the Land of Joy,” in which eight contemporary artists take the lead of Marsden Hartley and “Expressions of Compassion: Selections from the Barbara Morris Goodbody Photography Collection,” a show filling half the museum with photographs that, Elizabeth Michelman writes, was worth the trip up north to Lewiston, Maine from the Boston area.
Rachel Portesi’s “Hair Portraits” have been making their way around New England — most recently at the Griffin Museum of Photographyfollowing stays at the Newport Art Museum and Brattleboro Museum and Art Center — and will be at The Von Auersperg Gallery at Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts beginning on January 15. Elayne Clift talked with the Vermont-based photographer about the exhibition and her continuing journey of self-discovery and personal reflection and how her artistic experimentation has led to her finding new means of visual expression that also validates female relevance.
Marta Pauer-Tursi talked with Gail Winbury about her “The Girl Who Drew Memories” exhibition of paintings and collage compositions on view through February 25 at the Southern Vermont Art Center and reviewed Catamount Arts’ Annual Juried Members Exhibition that always brings new artists to the St. Johnsbury, Vermont arts and performance center.
I first saw Andrea Sawyer’s Provincetown paintings while visiting the Charles-Baltivik Gallery in 2015; I was immediately taken by her perfect capturing of the beloved town’s nooks and crannies, buildings, colors, tides — and that sky. In November, “Andi” wrote me about a series of 12 paintings she had made of beloved Provincetown character, artist and performer Ilona Royce Smithkin’s atelier before she passed in August 2021. Lee Roscoe talks with her about Smithkin, the series and her own career.
The Copley Society of Art’s Annual New Members’ Show has become a traditional way to introduce “new” artists to our readers; although many of them have been making names for themselves throughout the region for years, joining the longtime Newbury Street Boston gallery serves as a validation of the high quality of their work, as I found out while reviewing the paintings that will be on view at the iconic Newbury Street landmark beginning January 12.
Another group show that serves to give a strong overview of the art being made in the region is the Attleboro Arts Museum’s Members Exhibition. Open to all of its membership, it gives artists young or old, successful or just starting out, the equal opportunity to earn a prize. Artscope’s Suzanne Volmer has developed a style of celebrating the show’s juror’s award winners with her own selections of pieces she couldn’t consciously not mention in her review. Volmer also traveled to the Newport Art Museum to see “Social Fabric: Textiles and Contemporary Issues” and subsequently conduct an interview with co-curator Megan Horn about the art and qualities that make its participating artists part of an “of the moment” exhibition.
The Montserrat College of Art, whose president, Kurt T. Steinberg is stepping down to become the Chief Operating Officer for the Peabody Essex Museum, has a strong track record of preparing its students for careers as artists, in no small part due to the efforts of founding faculty member Ray Pisano, who turns 100 this February and whose “A Lifetime of Achievement” is on view through February 25. Hannah Carrigan, in reviewing the show, and coinciding exhibitions by Isaiah Hope, Allison Maria Rodriguez and Robert Moeller, points out that together, they “celebrate its newest and oldest talents and make space for inner and external explorations of form, color, trauma and politics.” Montserrat Academic Dean Brian Pellinen will serve as interim president upon Steinberg’s departure.
Rachel Flood Page visited the Sky Painter Studios of Nadia Parsonsin Boston’s SoWa District to learn about her inspiration for her celestial paintings and Beth Neville traveled to Clinton, Massachusetts to the Museum of Russian Icons to see the work of Ukrainian icon artists Oleksandr Klymenko and his wife, Sofia Atlantova in its small but powerful “Artists for Ukraine: Transforming Ammo Boxes into Icons” exhibition intended to raise funds for the “Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital.”
I hope you followed Claudia Fiks and Marjorie Kaye’s reports from Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week during the first week of December on our various social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). In this issue, Fiks looks at some of the New England galleries that were in attendance while Kaye shares her favorite artists and artwork, and reports on how the multi-venue week helps the art business locally and around the world.
“Given the turbulent economic uncertainties, art makes both strong inspiration as well as a potential investment,” wrote Steven Sulleyin a September 2022 Forbes article on forbes.com, noting, “Contemporary art has proven particularly viable in this regard.”
Since our inception in 2006, Artscope has strived to follow artists at all stages of their careers, selecting those whose work suggests lasting artistic value and quality, and would bring warmth to your home. We’ve also made it a point to mention that we see this as a collective effort.
As we start the new year, and are revisiting goals for Artscope coverage in 2023, our publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai, shares these observations:
*Many artists and artist groups are supporting their own costs to announce their exhibitions.
*More art centers, galleries and museums in the region need to step up to promote their artists.
*We need our readers to support the artists, galleries and museums advertising in Artscope because they are all taking risks and bold steps to budget to support each other, the artists and their work.
*Artscope runs the promotions in as many platforms as possible to give the most visibility to the artists.
*Hopefully, national, regional and state cultural councils will start gaining, and distributing, more funds toward artist grants and artwork promotions.
We hope this partnership between Artscope Magazine and our readers continues to strengthen and grow as we near our 17th anniversary, which we’ll be celebrating with our March/April 2023 issue. We promise to do our part in getting the word out about our region’s arts community, be it in magazine form, digitally, or through our sponsorship of events, exhibitions and educational and arts organization fundraising efforts.
As always, thank you for reading Artscope.
Brian Goslow, managing editor