Dear Artscope reader,
When I took the position of managing editor back in 2006, I couldn’t have imagined we would still be having these bi-monthly conversations and celebrating the artists of the New England region 17 years later. But thankfully, here we are, continuing to be inspired by the efforts and creativity of our arts community.
When he first started the magazine, publisher Kaveh Mojtabai had envisioned Artscope carrying the dialogue in the arts between artists, patrons and the public through multiple platforms, and that he had a 10-year vision to develop this.
“My original goal was to incorporate art into our everyday lives to breathe creativity back into our routines and work. To fill the void in our cultural community, to raise the bar in timely and egalitarian arts journalism reporting, to support artists, and ultimately to bring the arts into our daily working lives, as well as to bring together our society through the arts and media,” said Mojtabai, who will be speaking as part of Shared Habitat Earth’s “In Celebration of Earth Day” events on Saturday, April 22 at QArts in Quincy, Massachusetts. Visit sharedhabitatearth.org for details.
Mojtabai told me that the most enjoyable part of his role as publisher is “meeting the artists, influencing society through robust reporting where mainstream media picks up our stories on current exhibitions and on artists’ work, and giving a voice to unsung arts and cultural institutions that make our communities.”
Along those lines, throughout our history, we’ve used our anniversary issue to introduce artists we haven’t covered in the past. We’re doing it once again, with “17 for Our 17th” — some of the artists are currently showing individually, others as part of group shows, all of whom we hope you’ll enjoy reading about and will search out to see their work in-person in the months and years to come.
Much of the groundwork for my “Cornered” Q & A with cover artist Robin Reynolds was done in 2019 after I saw her “Summer Blooms/Winter Gardens” exhibition at ArtsWorcester. Jump to early February, just prior to the opening of her latest show, “Interlaced” (with Emily Sandagata) at the Worcester Center for Crafts, when I asked her many of the questions about her floral explosions of color that she answers in this issue.
After having seen Marjorie Kaye comment on an Instagram post of a new work by Kelly Slater, whose environmentally-themed paintings can be seen this March and April at the Gallery at WREN (Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network) in Bethleham, New Hampshire, I knew that her familiarity with Slater would allow for a great feature on her career and current work – having no idea that she’d been watching the progression of the artist’s career.
Longtime Artscope contributor Linda (Chestney) Sutherland, who married last summer in Nova Scotia, writes the love story of Lawrence and Victoria “Vicky” Elbroch and their passion for the art of trees, their paintings of which Chestney writes are “stunningly beautiful” and “make one’s heart sing,”
New England has many programs to support artists’ professional development; one of the best is Colby College Museum of Arts’collaboration with the Lunder Institute for American Art that allows for an extended period of research and production. Large-scale relief constructions by Paula Wilson, its 2022-23 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant recipient and senior fellow, have been paired with the late Ashley Bryan’s multi-medium works and paintings depicting the African and African American experience for “Take the World into Your Arms,” on view through July 31 at Colby’s Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art — an exhibition that Eric J. Taubertcalls “the thought-provoking interplay between the thematically connected work of two otherwise utterly distinct artists.”
Hannah Carrigan visited the Gloucester studio of Stephen LaPierre, whose “Cirque du LaPierre; The Circus in the Palm of Your Hand” paintings uniquely commenting on modern day social life will be on view this spring at the Groton School’s de Menil Gallery. She also spoke with Alejandra Cuadra and Ashley Page, who first met at the Maine College of Art and Design, about their “Earthly Bound” exhibition that will be opening at SoWa Boston’s Fountain Street gallery as this issue arrives.
Suzanne Volmer met sculptor Nora Valdez at her Humphreys Street Studio workspace to preview her “A Common Thread” exhibition that’s on view this March at Boston Sculptors Gallery and shared several conversations with curator and gallery director Steven Pennell, as well as some of the dozens of regional artists whose works will be showcased in the “Women Leading the Way” and “Ocean Views II” exhibitions this spring at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery.
Our devoted copy editor J.M. Belmont contributes a look through the fascinating, hard-to-believe we use to live like that imagery of photographer Karl Baden’s “Coney Island Beach Sleepers, 1977” show of recently rediscovered photos now on view at Anderson Yezerski Gallery.
James Foritano has been with us since our first issue in which he reviewed the work of four African artists featured in the “Cross-Currents in Recent Video Installation: Water as Metaphor for Identity” exhibition at Tufts University’s Tisch Gallery. As is the case for many of us, Foritano only recently returned to his love of gallery exploring, and in this issue, he passionately writes about colorful paintings of social commentary by Milo at the Belmont Gallery of Art and a needle-felted portrait by Anastasia Semash at the Arlington Center for the Arts in its “Labor of Life: Textiles + Fiber” exhibition that’s on view through March 30. The show is reviewed in full by Claudia Fiks, who explains how curator Kristina Goransson has compiled a comprehensive, nationwide look at post-epidemic fiber art.
In the second installment of her “Arts Displacement Series,” Ami Bennitt shares the story of how the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC), through its purchase of Western Avenue Studios, ensured that one of the major centerpieces of Lowell, Massachusetts was preserved, and its many artists were able to comfortably continue to do what they do best — make great art.
We wouldn’t be celebrating our 17th anniversary without the devotion of our writers, staff and publisher, all of whom have been especially challenged through the past three years, both personally and in looking after those closest to them and found something inside themselves to make sure each issue of Artscope got to press.
And now, with our 103rd issue, we continue publisher Mojtabai’s mission for Artscope Magazine to “inclusively and honestly reflect the artists’ work while navigating arts, media, politics and propaganda to filter back down to the essence behind the artist and creativity.”
Brian Goslow, managing editor