One piece that stands out in this show is "The Mind Reactive Instrument" by sculptor Dennis Svoronos. It uses thoughts to generate sound. After numerous brain scans, he wanted to produce an experience that made the brain an active participant, rather than a simple specimen. Viewers don a scanning helmet and let the sculpture react to their brainwaves.
My show of 2014 was titled Catch and Release; it dealt with our relationship with fish, in terms of evolution and as a source of sustenance. "Catch and release" is a fishery conservation term. In my upcoming exhibition, SeaChange, I have gotten more specific in terms of conservation, looking at species that are most effected by climate change, pollution and overfishing. Some species, for example, the squid and jellyfish, manage climate change well but most do not. Whales have fallen victim to overfishing and some sea urchins have fallen victim to warming sea temperatures. In the time between the two shows I learned to scuba dive and ultimately received my scuba certification. The dives I have done have given me a close up experience of life under the seas and an appreciation of the disastrous effects of climate change on coral reefs, the incubator for ¼ of all sea creatures. 95% of the oceans are unexplored and we need to understand better our affect on 2/3 of our planet's surface.
- Sally Fine
Virgo is often depicted as a virgin the zodiac, so I took that concept one step further and applied it to the Virgin Mother or Madonna figure that one commonly sees in Catholic icons. The little blue penguin was my animal inspiration for this piece. The spalted maple grain patterns work perfectly to give the feeling of a belly button and delicate claws on the toes. The pale blue color adds both the narrative and symbolism to my interpretation of Virgo.
- Donna Dodson
Montagne Sainte - Victoire
Homage to Cezanne.
Three sisters and their little brother - an adored landscape. Bend, Oregon.
I have known so many great landscapes. I have strode free, skied deeply into valleys - I have LIVED. I feel great expanse inside me.
Clay is earth. When I handle fine wet stone, it speaks of the many mountains it has been ground from. The push and tear of my hands, the smoothing and stretching, is the weight of gravity and the pushing of plates. I fashion the earth I love with only vague recollection or accuracy, but with undying affection.
Cezanne stood in the same place many times, observing his beloved Montagne Saint Victoire. Painting it with strained intensity, yet a familiar inaccuracy, he strove for the soul of the place. His affection for color and paint - his passion for layered space - speak to me directly.
This sculpture is akin to the classic Scholars' Rock: awesome scale in intimate whispers. A secret I share with those close enough to my heart to hear.
- Andy Moerlein
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
For years I had a distant inkling to whittle wood like the Beverly Hillbillies. This urge came from a void that had appeared in my life when my best friend joined a convent and abandoned the future I had imagined for the two of us. The urge to fill the void was channeled into something tangible due to my recent epiphany. The first step to quitting smoking was a spiritual awakening for me. Even though several cessation attempts had failed, I started to feel guilty for littering fiberglass cigarette butts. My second epiphany was that I needed to find something to do with my hands if I was going to stop smoking and stay stopped.
My first forays into art making came from my self-proscribed atonement to Mother Earth. I would pick up trash from my local park to pay for the sins of having littered for the previous couple of years that I was a smoker. Then it was just like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The pile of things I found in the park that I took home with me took on the shape of a giant face in my living room floor. Then two more appeared: one made from recyclable materials and one made from found objects. As it turned out the face that was made from ephemeral materials was only a temporary installation. Same for the recyclable one. However, with rudimentary carpentry skills, the found objects made their way into sculptures. These found object sculptures were charming but also very fragile and it felt like I was forever fixing them- reapplying the epoxy, or repairing other parts that would fall off. I came to the realization that I would need to learn how to weld in order to take this body of work further. I called it my found object assemblage series. But I could not figure out how to depict myself autobiographically in this medium.
Fast forward to one day, while we were visiting an art museum exhibition, my mother made a very poignant comment, “Did you notice on all of the artists’ resumes, that they each studied with someone?” Shortly after that, I met Joseph Wheelwright at his studio during South End Open Studios. We connected over the fact that he taught art at my alma mater, and we had friends in common. He invited me to join his Boston master class at his studio on Wareham St. To supplement my knowledge of wood, I worked as a cabinetmaker for Dixon Brothers Woodworking, an architectural millwork shop in the South End.
With Joe, I took the beginner’s track- carving first a spoon then a bowl and then a few masks. The next thing I carved was the head of Ganesh followed by “Pegasis,” a feminist spin on the Greek myth. My goddess figure had a horse head attached to a woman’s body with wings, no arms, two hooves and a tail. For me it represented something powerful, something personal and a new direction in my work. Joe’s teaching opened up a mature body of work for me that I am still developing more than twenty years later.
Our relationship changed over the past 20 years from teacher/student to colleague and friend. At his urging, I applied to the Boston Sculptors Gallery in 2008 and have been a member ever since. Upon learning about the recent news of his illness, I went to visit him for the very last time.
RIP Joseph Wheelwright. I first saw your ice sculptures during First Night on Government Center when I was in High School in 1985. Then I remember seeing you at Wellesley College when you were a visiting artist in 1990. I ran into you again in 1995 ... and you changed the course of my life by teaching me how to carve wood. For that I will be forever grateful.
- Your forever fan, Donna Dodson
Take a peek inside the studio practice of long time member as her studio practice evolves:
"Having a review in the recent issue of Sculpture magazine has been very gratifying! I was proud of my exhibition 'The Aching Web' at Boston Sculptors in Feb/March 2016. However, since then, I have been in a fallow period….
The show came down. I returned to my studio with that work knowing I had a decades’ worth of built-up “stuff” to clear out. That process was a slog, but a necessary one. I was at a crossroads. Which materials and ideas did I want to retain? Which ones could I let go of?
I took an intentional break from trying to “make things” and spent time seeing other artists’ work, experiencing nature, looking more closely and more broadly, reading, listening to music and poetry, enjoying family and friends, slowing down. If I went to my studio I would sit with my work, rearrange, draw or just wander around. From time to time, I added pieces to an ongoing series of mixed media work that has gradually been expanding over the years. It’s work that I would return to whenever I felt stuck. This series, entitled, Get a Grip, describes the act of holding on tightly and ultimately letting go."
- Laura Evans
Montserrat Sculpture Show at Boston Sculptors Gallery
Exhibition Dates: July 20 - August 14, 2016
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00 - 6:00 pm
Exhibiting artists include: Conner White, Alyssa Coffin, Dan DeRosato, Robert Donlan, Kevin Duffy, Omer Gagnon, Roisin Gilligan, Sarah Graziano, Andrew Kish, Lillian P.H.Kology, Linda Kenfack, Tom Maio, Binney Meigs, Aubrey Mueller, Kalimah Muhammad, Andrew Podziewski, Valerie Rafferty, Max Reinhard, Kristine Roan, Katrina Saragosa, Maegan Shilkey, Jaime Smith, Chris Stepler, Dan Stone & Haiden Terrill.
Montserrat College of Art alumni and students are showcasing three-dimensional works at Boston Sculptors Gallery this summer! Spanning diverse media, the work featured in the exhibition makes use of traditional and alternative materials, ranging from granite to egg cartons, wood to found letters and also includes performance elements. Whatever the the medium, each artist's personal voice shapes the form, creating a diverse and delightfully unpredictable selection of sculpture.
The Greek myth of Narcissus has been a rich source for a recent series of sculptures by Roz Driscoll. The basic story is that Narcissus, a handsome youth, caught sight of his reflection in a pool of water and became so enthralled by his image that he died.
In the first of the series, made in 2014, a spidery, abstract rawhide Narcissus is reflected by equally spidery black photographic foil, an actual cutout of the shadow cast by the rawhide.
The next three sculptures in the series deepen the tale of Narcissus by placing elements below the reflective surfaces of steel and copper. What Narcissus sees in the mirror is not the whole story. The dark outcome of his obsession lurks below the surface, under the water. For the viewer, moving around the sculptures reveals different reflections and relationships.
In the fourth piece, the hanging rawhide itself swivels, throwing continuously distorted reflections onto the mirrored steel disc. Under the surface lies a pile of bones.
"Channeling neurosis and anxiety into busywork, menial tasks, and fussing over trivial duties I am caught in a cycle of reinvention and repair. Two full rolls of vintage wallpaper are broken down by extracting the pattern by hand, and reduced to piles of color and shapes to be reordered into separate collages of its positive and negative components. Through this process the body of the paper is filled with wayward voids and the pattern becomes oversaturated through the loss of its ground, thus misplacing some of its domestic qualities. In Expecting Company: Battenburg the negative spaces are joined to create a 13 foot collage of ambiguously shaped papers, while the positive components are condensed to coat cast paper forms that resemble furniture and household decorative objects. "
- Elizabeth Alexander
"Over the years, I have made a number of 'Dragons'. While there are conventions for dragons, the appellation is a convenient title for an unknown critter, because a dragon can essentially be whatever one says it is.
Sculpturally, Doggie Dragon is a composition of opposing curves which create a harmonious silhouette. The shapes of the sculpture dialog around the central negative space.
- Peter Haines
Larz Anderson Park, Brookline Mass., Golden Bow
Sculpture Now, The Mount, Lenox, MA, REMIX EXHIBITION, curated by Ann Jon
Free tours July 10, August 14, September 11, October 16: all tours at 11:30 AM
Book event, Poems about Sculpture, Poetry Reading October 16 2 PM with regional poets
Featuring Donegal's Gate and One Bright Morning by Murray Dewart
The Kennard Park Sculpture Trail, Newton MA September 1st - November 11th
Curated by Allison Newsome. Opening Sept 10th, 2016 1:00 - 5:00pm
Featuring Sun Pavilion and Red Wing Gate by Murray Dewart
Cove Gallery, Wellfleet, featuring new sculpture by Murray Dewart: Sabbath Loaf, Byzantium, and more..
Saratoga Race Track Hotel, Kyrie Gate. permanent installation
Book Release, Poems about Sculpture, Murray Dewart, editor, preface by Robert Pinsky, September 2016
Poetry Event, Harvard Bookstore, with Robert Pinsky, Sept 28, 7 PM
It's been 127 days since my first show at Boston sculptors gallery. The first 30 days after the show was all about decompression. I had spent almost an entire year working up to the show. No, not all of it was studio time, but a good solid 8 months. These 8 months were very intense. Its not often that I devote nearly a year to being in my studio working on my art. The fallout is a studio in ruin.
So, nearly six month out from my last show and I am compelled to create a new body of work. My studio still hasn't fully recovered from the tumult, but in the midst of this chaos I am starting to look for clues from the remnants of my previous sculpture and it is here that I am finding new paths forward. I need to be careful when cleaning and organizing my space not to erase these creative bookmarks that I have left for myself. I don't yet know where I am going with my newest work but I do know it will stand on the shoulders of my previous sculptures
- Johnathan Derry
The importance of process in my practice often surfaces when discussing a body of my work. However, in viewing my latest exhibition Imaginate—its clean lines, crafted and polished surfaces, objects inspired by design and displayed as merchandise—one might question why all evidence of process (as defined by making) has been disguised. For me, process comes in the making, but most prominently in my interaction with the objects and apparatus as they materialize—a renovation that has become an obsession and delivered fulfillment—the continuous squeeze of the caulk gun, the tidiest wipe of the excess with a towel that had been twisted and turned to expose the clean fold. Tactility, sensation, perceived functionality and my physical relationship to the finished objects and materials around me (and in the moment) inspires my practice. I have discovered so much in the simple gestures of the viewer eager to wipe their hands upon the towels.
- Amy Archambault
"Journey . . .” has been evolving over the past eight years at David Lang's Studio in Natick, MA. The actual development and construction of "Journey . . .” has taken just over a year and is the result of close collaboration with friends Greg Paul, Felicia Nickola and his brother Bob Lang. The work entails smooth gentle coordinated motion of three sets of wings, which receive a 40 minute projected video accompanied by a haunting and enigmatic soundtrack, slowly turning large wheels at one revolution per minute and a small person pedaling the entire machine at one revolution per second. The installation offers the opportunity to consider where we fit into the infinite time and space continuum of our universe...
- David A. Lang
From the Press Release:
Kim Bernard’s solo show Motion and Matter at the Harvard Ed Portal’s Crossings Gallery is a celebration of repurposed, reimagined, and recycled materials fashioned into pieces as thought-provoking as they are whimsical. The installation features kinetic sculptures made of balls and springs and hyperbolic planes crocheted out of used bicycle inner tubes. Bernard, who is the Artist-in-Residence at the Harvard Physics Department, says the exhibition “provides a tangible way of seeing physics,” and the works on display are influenced by her research,experimentation, and collaboration with faculty during her time on campus.
Kim Bernard's recent exhibit at the Harvard Ed Portal from April 11 - May 19th was the culmination for her 1 1/2 year residency in the Harvard Physics Department.
Michelle Lougee has returned to neutral toned beige plastic bags for several pieces in her current exhibit "Contra Naturam" at Boston Sculptors Gallery. The material is visually similar to many colors and textures found in nature. Her crocheted sculptures begin with one stitch, then become a chain, then a segment. Eventually segments are joined to create a larger finished piece. Here is an in process image of the sculpture Breasts/Nests and an installation shot of the piece in the gallery.
Two bodies of work comprise Jessica Straus’s current exhibition, “Uh Oh!” Utilizing non-
potable water signage sliced to near illegibility, Straus has constructed water storage
containers that suggest an absurd, last ditch effort to hang onto humanity’s most precious
resource. Likewise her constructed blimp-like earths with geographic maps of alarming
proportions appear to be setting out on impossible quests.
With characteristic black humor, Straus launches headlong into the apocalyptic world of
water scarcity and rising seas. She makes us wonder out loud if we have to arrive at the
“End Times” to get ourselves to focus on this most critical of human issues.
This month, we are featuring Boston Sculptors Gallery member: Caroline Bagenal ! We recently caught up with her to find out what she has going on in her studio:
"Currently I am working on three upcoming exhibitions. The first is the Kennard Park Sculpture Trail 2016, which runs from September 1st through Oct 31st at Kennard Park in Newton. I am building a site-specific sculpture, Strata for Kennard Park. My piece is comprised of layers of materials such as wooden pallets, firewood, fence posts, hay bales, stones, books, newspapers and textiles. Various histories of the park are embodied in the physical layering of materials.
On visiting the park, the old stonewalls, apple trees and an old well that I found spoke to the agricultural history of this land. Reading about the park I discovered that a section of the land in Brookline had been used as a town landfill. This led to the idea that the layers would be composed of both “ natural” and man made materials and also materials collected on the site.
Also in September is Sculpture at Maudslay, in Newburyport where I live. This year’s theme is Blue. I was one of the original founders of Sculpture at Maudslay and will be giving a walkthrough for site selection on April 23rd. This is a community run exhibition. I am painting over 200 books blue which will hang from the branches of a tree. The exhibition is up from Sept 20 – Oct 2nd.
Finally I am working on my show for next year at Boston Sculptor’s Gallery. I am planning a large installation that viewers are encouraged to enter. As you can see from photos of my studio I am working on all these projects and more!"
For more information on the outdoor exhibitions see:
Imaginate, Amy Archambault's rookie show at Boston Sculptors Gallery opens May 4th and is on view through June 5th. Since her active practice in the public art realm this past summer of 2015, Archambault has been developing an exciting new body of work. Imaginate will feature small interactive objects and large-scale works exploring the creation of play, the evolution of form, and the investigation of functionality.
In her most recent work, the objects, tools and gadgets we acquire as homeowners and "home-improvers' populate Archambault's visual lexicon. She has discovered a striking connection between her process of morphing and amalgamating objects, and the way children engage in "pretend".
"' Imaginate' means to be in the process of imagining and / or to form a mental picture of. In my current body of work, one which continuously dismantles the boundaries between studio practice and home-improvement, the term 'imaginate' becomes a stand-in for some state of in-between-- a place between thought and making, art and craft, the cross-pollination of constructing for one's home and creating objects as an artist, and the necessity to address perceived functionality, process and aesthetics."
- Amy Archambault
"The Aching Web," Laura Evans' current solo show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery is up through March 27th. Don't miss your chance to see this exciting new body of work before it closes in one week. The installation is not to be missed. Below, Laura offers us a glimpse into the process of making new work for this show...
“Achieving Balance” started as an idea to translate the sculptural forms I was building with wood branches into bronze. I tend to work directly with my materials, using my hands, or hand tools, so I knew that the bronze casting process would challenge how much control I was able to wield. I choose seven sticks and had a rough composition in mind, before they were sandcast. Next I watched and directed as a colleague carefully welded them together. Once I was satisfied with the way it looked, it was given a patina and a title. This process unbalanced my usual working methods in a good way."