Embroidery, as a decorative textile skill, has been valued for centuries. During the Middle Ages in Europe, it was considered a craft and was largely under the purview of craft guilds. It was also a tradition almost exclusively the domain of female practitioners. In agrarian cultures, women were responsible for picking and processing cotton and linen, spinning wool from sheep, collecting natural sources of pigments to dye their materials and constructing the wearable items. It was after the mechanization of textile production that needle arts — embroidery among them — entered the realm of craft leisure. By the 1950s, textile artists emerged and the debate over craft or art ensued. That discussion continues today. The current exhibit at Southern Vermont Arts Center will not settle that debate but will offer viewers a broad spectrum of embroidery techniques and styles, as well as a … [Read more...] about A WELL-STITCHED STORY: THE RED DRESS ARRIVES AT SOUTHERN VERMONT ARTS CENTER
Poetry is its own art form. I’ve been writing poetry since high school. I draw inspiration from many sources that speak to me. The turtle in peril crossing the road. My 15-year-old dog at the end of her journey. Spaghetti at midnight. Similarly, Kate Rasche, the director for The George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine, also draws inspiration from that which is around her. And this time it happens to be poetry. Rasche, a local York girl and trained artist herself, perfectly married the subject of the poem, “Spring Tide” with the theme for her current show, “No Small Thing.” She said that “No Small Thing” is a love letter to the Maine landscape. During the deepest part of winter, as she impatiently waited for warmer weather, she happened across the poem by poet, educator and environmentalist Nancy Nielsen. The poem speaks to the deliberate pace and path of nature, of accepting … [Read more...] about TO LIVE IN A HOLY PLACE: MIXING ART & POETRY ‘NO SMALL THING’ AT GEORGE MARSHALL
The annual “Arts in Bloom” exhibition at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA) has been one of its landmark events since its debut in 2005. For its “18th Annual Arts in Bloom” exhibition, HCA asked Kaveh Mojtabai, Artscope Magazine’s Founder and Publisher, to serve as its juror. Entrants were asked to follow the theme of “shift” — “a slight change in position, direction or tendency” in submitting hanging 2D media and freestanding 3D artwork, while encouraging them to think beyond depicting only floral plants in their pieces. “We are constantly in transactions with beauty; experiment with techniques, colors, design and subject matter,” Mojtabai said, in explaining what he was looking for in reviewing the works for an exhibition in a facility that not only features a gallery, but a performance art space for dance, theater, spoken word and film, along with classrooms for a variety of … [Read more...] about CROSS-POLLINATION
Most of the light that shines in a recently added atrium at Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) filters through an astonishing installation. Textured, sepia-toned and emblematic, the 6.5’ by 4’ flags that hang along the walls and from the ceiling of the space are representative of 188 countries. From afar, the works’ qualities (at once shining and fibrous; organic and fabricated) are hard to pin down. In fact, these flags’ primary material was sourced from almost as many nations as represented. They are each made of only three substances: Elmer’s glue, twine and human hair. Gu Wenda’s “United Nations,” on view at PEM through November 5, is an immersive exhibition rooted in some of the most pertinent themes in modern history. Identity, community, immigration, culture and diversity are all explored in this awe- inspiring exhibit. Using the dual symbolism of flags and human hair, the exhibition … [Read more...] about UNITY EMBODIED
With family-friendly attractions, and a purple sand beach, the beautiful coastal town of Newburyport, one of America’s oldest cities just 35 miles north of Boston, claims a historical charm. While most visitors might be attracted to its maritime components, seafood restaurants, and outdoor attractions, Newburyport is also home to a forward-thinking organization, the PEG Center for Art and Activism. Once a land of the Pawtucket tribe in 1630, Newburyport was destroyed by the fire of 1811, affected by the 1812 War, housed some of the wealthiest Americans, and as a port city, welcomed goods from all over the world. Today, through the PEG Center for Art & Activism, Newburyport is a role model for creating and welcoming initiatives to change the status quo and to promote awareness for advancing social justice, human rights and environmental causes that affect us all. With an extensive … [Read more...] about SHOULD WE AGREE TO DISAGREE?
The first time I heard the pejorative term “Karen” was when my brother described the segregation of my mother’s graduation party from Family Nurse Practitioner school. Other than my mother, there was a white section and a Black section, and they didn’t intermingle. My brother pointed at a woman with an asymmetrical bob and chunky blonde highlights. That’s her: a Karen. That was 2018. Since then, I’ve encountered Karens that come in all forms with more affective behavior. In Roche Bros., a Karen followed me around the store and complained that she was unable to see me because I was bundled up (like every other customer), another Karen went into a tizzy full of white tears and excluded me from class emails after I told her that saying the n-word in an art history class was highly inappropriate, the list goes on. Nationally, Karens are taking over, as evident in social media: causing … [Read more...] about SO, WHAT IS A KAREN?