Honoring Jhumpa Lahiri’s book of the same title “Unaccustomed Earth,” inspired by a Nathaniel Hawthorne quote about the resilience of migrants and their descendants, features the work of Boston-based, Caribbean-born artists Emily Rose and Beatriz Whitehill and can be seen from November 3 through January 14, 2024, at Beacon Gallery, 524B Harrison Ave., Boston, Massachusetts. “Working in a variety of media, the artists reinforce the notion that there is no single answer for resilience and learning to flourish in one’s own Unaccustomed Earth. Through painting, sculpture, animation, and installation, the two artists grapple with their positions as storytellers, and forbearers of family culture and artistry, all while exploring their diasporic identities.” Last month, it was announced that this will be the final show under the Beacon Gallery name; the gallery will continue in a rebranded non-profit capacity as ShowUp beginning in January with owner and director Christine O’Donnell continuing as its executive director and board president.
Dan Hofstadter has always kept his sketchbook by his side, “a constant companion to his work as an abstract painter and art-writer.” A collection of his landscape drawings, “From Life,” will be on display from November 5 through 25 at Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border St., East Boston, Massachusetts. Hofstadter’s drawings “are direct, perceptual, unmediated by tools and tend to be rapidly executed” – responses to wherever he was living at the time – along with portraits and figure studies. The opening reception on Sunday, November 5, takes place from 2-5 p.m.; normal gallery hours are Friday and Saturday from 2-6 p.m. and by appointment.
Andrae Green’s “Palindrome: Back to Hope” opens November 12 and continues through February 11, 2024 at the Art Complex Museum, 189 Alden St., Duxbury, Massachusetts. While the Jamaican-born Green said the Caribbean Sea was never a major part of his mindset for most of his life, it always was in the back of his subconsciousness — until he moved to Western Massachusetts, where it appeared in his latest work. The paintings at the Art Complex will “speak to the limitless potential for human imagination and freedom — a perspective that is very needed in these times — and drawings about weightlessness and freedom, all inspired by bodies of water and the Caribbean landscape,” which, Green said, “Brings both joy and fear, love and hate, hope and resentment.”
PILLAR Gallery + Projects, 205 N State St., Concord, New Hampshire, which opened its doors on September 30, is introducing itself and its artist roster though “Flora & Fauna,” its first exhibition that continues through November 17. Nine Northeast-based artists — Tessa Greene O’Brien, Holden Willard, Bri Custer, Mary O’Malley, Lauryn Welch, Sarah Meyers Brent, Cierra Vigue, James Mullen and Rachel Montroy — channel a theme of botanical themes and regional landscape. “We wanted to curate something familiar in terms of the subject, but simultaneously create an otherworldly experience. Undercurrents of environmental concerns and a celebration of the uniqueness of individual plant and animal species permeate the work.”
Described as “surreal, seemingly innocent, and playful with a nod to ‘Dr. Suess’” by gallery director Darrell Matsumoto, the figurative works of “Susan M. Matthews: Lures and Tackles,” on display through December 15 at the Art Center Gallery at Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, Massachusetts, “are otherworldly and surprising to encounter.” With surfaces not unlike plush carnival novelties from our childhood, they come with a twist: “the work is pockmarked, studded, and imbued with tantalizing blooms to entice interaction. The vivid, sometimes lurid coloration resembles inner space creatures from under the sea.” Part fiber art, part ceramics, part recycled objects, Matthews’ mixed media works confront the viewer to embrace what we see and experience” — and gallery visitors are indeed given “an invitation to the world of Susan M. Matthews — come play with her creations.”
“Long endeavoring to show solidarity with those fighting for human rights in Iran, while also bringing light to the physical and psychological trauma of war, Minoo Emami’s “Under My Veil” exhibition, on view through December 16 in the Joseloff Gallery at University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut, “will include her early paintings and drawings, prints, photography, prosthetic sculpture series, videos, and new never-before-seen work related to the ongoing Iranian Women’s Rights Movement.” Dr. Carrie Cushman, director and curator of the Joseloff, said that the work of Emami, currently living in Rhode Island, “spans a multitude of mediums, and also includes sculptures of prosthetics with varying materials, colors, and patterns. Each serves as a portrait that tells the story of someone injured in the conflict zone.”
It’s rather frightening how timely “In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Artist and Soldier for Human Rights,” an exhibition of the World War II-era political cartoonist’s works on display through December 16 in the Bellarmine Hall Galleries at the Fairfield University Art Museum, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, Connecticut, became recently. “His compelling political cartoons placed Nazi genocide, tyranny, and antisemitism on the covers of America’s most popular magazines” and is represented by over 50 works broken down on a timeline showing “Human Rights and Their Collapse”; “The Rights of Global Refugees”; “The Right to Resist”; “The Rights of Nationhood”; “The Right to Expose: Executioners at Work”; and “The Right to America.” The show also includes an interactive workstation in which viewers are encouraged to create their own work and a screening room showing films on Szyk’s work and life. The exhibition was curated by Francesco Spagnolo, curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California, Berkeley.
Featuring the work of over 100 Black artists from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, South America and a wide range of countries on the African continent, “As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic,” on view through December 31 at the Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, 161 Essex St., Salem, Massachusetts, is a powerful and dramatic look “at the myriad experiences of Black life through the lenses of community, identity and power.” The images of the Black subjects are “depicted and presented as they wish to be seen, recognizing the complex strength, beauty and vulnerability of Black life,” Stephanie Tung, PEM’s Byrne Family Curator of Photography, said. “It centers the familial and the familiar, celebrating distinctive expressions of individuality as well as the spirit of community.”
“Heroes Among Us,” the final show of a powerful series of 2023 exhibitions at the PEG Center for Art & Activism, 3 Harris St., Newburyport, Massachusetts, intends to inspire and elevate those individuals and ideals that make a difference” and was “curated to spark discussion on issues, expand understanding, and spur positive action.” It includes marionette and carved sculptures by C.A. Stigliano, Terry Rooney’s “Liberty Series,” touting the possibilities of American democracy; Linda Pearlman Karlsberg’s charcoal “She Spoke Up” series portraits of heroines, including Anita Hill and Rachel Carson; Keith Francis’ take on the way we view caste in our society; Lisa Goren’s portraits of healthcare workers during covid and Jeanne Williamson Ostroff’s “54 Scars, 54 Donors” shows a visual interpretation of the scars of living kidney donors. “The power of caring, resiliency and hope shine through the whole exhibition,” said PEG Center Executive Director Paula Estey.
Recent paintings and watercolors by New London-native Elizabeth Enders are on view through January 3, 2024 at Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams St., New London, Connecticut. Her abstracted landscapes invite viewers on a wide-ranging journey that includes volcanoes, rivers, oceans, deserts, fields, plants and tropical foliage, along with unusual monuments and structures found in places such as Egypt and Iceland. “Enders’ thoughtful visual commentary is subtle, penetrating, and often witty and whimsical,” Sam Quigley, Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s director said. “She still exalts the distilled beauty of places and everyday objects with seemingly effortless and spare lines.”
Korean American artist Amie Bantz’s “Lunchbox Moments: Seek Understanding. Share stories. Stop Hate” are served through February 17, 2024, at the Pao Arts Center, 99 Albany St., Boston, Massachusetts. “Lunchbox moments are the formative occurrences in many Asian American kids’ lives where a traditional Asian meal is eaten at school and peers in the lunchroom have some reaction, whether it be positive or negative,” Bantz wrote. “In order to share these stories and empower the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders community, I collected narratives from members of the AAPI community and physically writes their stories onto spray-painted lunch boxes.” Also at Pao Arts, Wen-ti Tsen’s ongoing and constantly expanding “Chinatown Worker Statues” exhibition will continue through the winter as he provides visitors with the opportunity to view his progress and engage him in dialogue while he works.