As we were putting the final touches on this issue, our 80th, our publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai, told me, “The fashion work on our cover harkens back to an era of family, honor and Sufi creed (compassion, love, patience and peace with all religions and people) to keep unity within tribes and clans for the betterment of future generations. It reminds me of one the most popular shows in the world on Netflix, Diriliş — or ‘Resurrection’ in Turkish, taking place in the 13th century during the founding of the Ottoman Empire.”
The storyline follows a nomadic Kayı tribe caught “in the designs of a violent world that has lost its way,” with different tribes pitted against one another and innocent villagers being plundered in the process. “Eventually, the tribe can settle and create a new era based on its cultural humanitarian values.”
It doesn’t sound too different from how today’s arts community is reacting to current events — and searching for even the smaller sign of optimism, does it? All of which has seemed to make our time with friends and artistic cohorts even a bit more precious, of late.
Mojtabai noted that, “In a chaotic time in this country, with income, healthcare, education, environmental and civil rights inequalities as well as divisive politics within our borders back on the rise, the rest of the world in their ancient cultures, traditions and values are for the most part working to create allies and to sustain their communities.”
Strangely, however, while the media options available to connect the world’s people seem unlimited these days, it certainly feels like that we’re seeing and hearing a lot less about the world around us than we did in the time prior to the Internet. Those captivating pictures from far off lands and cultures don’t seem to cross our eyes as often these days — or if they do, they don’t seem to have the same mystique.
You’ll notice this issue starts with a series of photography-themed stories. It feels as if people are searching for clarity these days and photography remains our most invaluable way of seeing what’s going on around the world.
Olivia MacDonald reviews the current “Photographing the Female” exhibition at the Beacon Gallery in Boston’s SoWa District; she’s an impressive artist in her own right: check out her work on Instagram at @inkbyolivia.
Isabel Barbi previewed photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews’ “Caspian: The Elements” at Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University; the show is a rare look inside Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Both MacDonald and Barbi attend Lesley University, whose students have been a backbone of our intern program. If you’re attending college in the Boston area and are seeking an internship in the arts journalism and publishing industry, please contact us at (617) 639-5771 or email [email protected]
Marguerite Serkin did major background research — including finding help for Spanish translation — for her feature on Marcelo Brodsky’s “1968: The Fire of Ideas and Selected Works” show at the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery at KeeneState University. This photographic look back at the protest movements worldwide in the late 1960s is as powerful today as it was then.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island South Coast correspondent Ron Fortier attended the opening reception for White House photographer Pete Souza’s “Obama: An Intimate Portrait — A South Coast Look into The White House Photographs” exhibition at the New Bedford Art Museum. Fortier also contributes a “wanderlust” tour of New Bedford that’s full of suggestions to encourage you to plan a visit there in the months ahead.
To ensure the powerful dramatic nature of her preview of the “In the Shade of Branches: Berj Kailian and Diana Apcar” exhibition at the Armenian Museum of America would be conveyed properly, Elizabeth Michelman insisted that a photograph of an historical handwritten letter by Apcar, that serves to dramatize “Apcar’s passionate advocacy and extraordinary intervention by which roots and branches of a doomed people were transplanted to a new world” be used to introduce her review. Writing about the Armenian Genocide is a difficult journalistic exercise, and Michelman has given us one of the most powerful pieces Artscope has run in its 13 plus year history.
Lee Roscoe, our Cape Cod correspondent, contributes three stories to this issue; she combined a series of studio and gallery visits with putting the final touches on a staged reading of “HERE!” her “hyperbole in two acts” that’ll be presented on May 2 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Another of her plays, “The Mooncusser’s Tale,” has been selected to be part of NATF Playhouse’s 2019 PodcastPalooza in its Silver Division at the 2019 HEAR Now: Audio Fiction and Arts Festival.
Vermont correspondent Elayne Clift was also busy, going on a two-week California tour to promote her latest book, “Around the World in Fifty Years: Travel Tales from a Not So Innocent Abroad,” before returning home to preview abstract artist Humberto Ramirez’s upcoming exhibition at ArtisTree Gallery and the Norman Rockwell Museum’s 50th anniversary exhibition schedule.
This issue will be available to attendees of Art Basel Switzerland and as always, available worldwide digitally at Artscope Magazine via the Apple App Store. While we encourage you to pick up a copy, if able, at one of our New England distribution points, it helps us if you purchase or subscribe as well, either to the digital or hard copy, sent by mail the day it arrives to our office.
We’ve been adding additional content to the Artscope Online section of our website, artscopemagazine.com, that allows us to cover exhibitions that we weren’t able to see prior to press time as well as share some of the material that didn’t make it into our current issue. Our online coverage is extra, supplemental coverage bringing you even more timely, relevant and informative reviews in addition to our print, eblast and social media platforms.
Thanks to everyone who provided supportive feedback on our 13th Anniversary Issue; I’m confident you’ll enjoy the first of our two summer season issues as well.