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?
With the three-plus years of pandemic isolation behind us, that deep yearning for travel gnaws away at the heart as much as the psyche. We long to share conversation with people, draw in the scent of summer’s earthy outdoor bounty and take in the revised view of well-loved places that have lingered in memory for far too long. No more waiting — suddenly we are off — unless your passport has expired. A trip to the Médoc region of France may not be in the plans this year as I await the six-month lag to renew my passport but travels closer to home are just as satisfying. The hometown journey starts in Northern Vermont. My travel begins at South End Burlington’s Soda Plant, a former soda manufactory, reinvented a century later as an arts and entertainment complex in the city’s funky arts district. A lot has changed here: new galleries, cafes, bars, design studios — a basecamp for … [Read more...] about ADVENTURES CLOSER TO HOME
It’s spring in New England! Let’s head out for a fun road trip! We’ll hit four art venues and a dozen artists, spanning the Seacoast of New Hampshire and Maine. Let’s begin in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 100 Market Gallery is located at, yes, 100 Market Street, in Portsmouth. The current exhibition is titled “Viewpoints: 5 Artists Come Together.” The show runs now until July 9, and boasts 110 works. Photographers Annette Brennan and Jon Winslow sometimes overlap subjects, but then they take the road less traveled. Brennan will often focus on close-ups of nature — a “bee’s-eyes” view of a rose, or a startlingly bright juxtaposition of purple iris against yellow-green stems. A classic is her photo “Forsythia” — an abundant, almost canvas-dominating array of glowing forsythia, a weathered barn behind it shedding old red paint and a calming blue sky sets the stage. Her series … [Read more...] about CULTURAL, SYMBOLIC, SPIRITUAL.
You would be well-challenged to name another art museum anywhere in the world blessed with the beauty of location possessed by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA). This absolute jewel of a museum is so strategically positioned on such a picturesque piece of coastal Maine property that visitors are often torn between whether to continue mindfully appreciating the exhibited art or allow their senses to be irretrievably seduced by the beguiling kaleidoscope of coastline magnificence surrounding that art. Sun glinting off of salt water. Slick and craggy rocks. Lobster boats entering and leaving Perkins Cove. Stone-strewn and rugged coastal ravines where effervescent waves splash, sizzle and gurgle. All of this natural splendor — and more — is part and parcel of the experience of visiting the OMAA. Indeed, the Southern Maine coastline is an extension of the museum property itself … [Read more...] about VISUALLY ARRESTING, PROFOUNDLY CONTEMPLATIVE
Jennifer Jean Okumura is a lot like her paintings: inviting, precise and composed of a soft power. We speak one sunny morning in her Harrison Avenue studio, where she has been creating art for the past 10 years. Across the room from a few of her dreamy works, we launch into conversation about the artist’s earliest influences. Though a visiting artist during her junior year of high school offered a decisive push to pursue art, from a young age she was compelled to create. When her mother decided the backs of math tests were not adequate surfaces for her daughter’s doodles, she hung large sheets of paper on the wall for Okumura to mark with drawings. There must be tens of them, rolled up, still in her childhood home outside Philadelphia. Okumura has always been an observer and an explorer, unafraid of (and perhaps drawn to) the unknown. As a teen she spent many afternoons venturing … [Read more...] about TRANSMIT. TRANSCRIBE. TRANSFORM.
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?