Argentinian sculptor Nora Valdez is showing drawing and sculpture at the Maynard, Mass. public library now through the end of May. Valdez creates poignant images about immigration, diaspora, and the experience of dislocation and communication.
Now at MIT’s List Center in Cambridge are powerful installations by women sculptors, Kapwani Kiwanga and Kathleen Ryan. Kiwanga’s installation, “Safe Passage,” creates an experience of the power dynamics inherent in an unfamiliar environment. Sculpted searchlights and walls of slatted two-way mirrors form a disorienting pathway leading to a gallery displaying pages of a Green Book, on which are addresses of safe houses
In “Cultivator,” Kathleen Ryan uses mighty industrial spare parts in combination with delicate natural forms—floral-ish pods of wire and beads hung from giant iron petals, and dense tiles of abalone shell carefully placed in the interior of salvaged ship parts. Draped on the floor are polished bowling balls that form two enormous bracelets—one black, one white—gems for a giantess. Through April 21. (at top, gallery view of “Cultivator.”)
In time for Earth Day…
Plastic Entanglements at the Smith College Museum of Art brings together sixty works by thirty contemporary artists. Plastic has infiltrated global ecosystems, and living beings: birds, reptiles and mammals, and humans. A wide array of work in many media, beautiful and thought-provoking, is in the museum through July 28th. A series of talks and workshops highlight plastic’s ecological ramifications.
Plastic Entanglements unfolds in three sections, charting a timeline—past, present, and future—of our ongoing engagement with this ubiquitous manmade material.
Pictured: Aurora Robson: Ona, 2014, plastic debris, aluminum rivets
At the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, artist and ecological activist Nedret Andre shows paintings celebrating the life of eelgrass ecosystems in “Seagrass: Ecological Engineers” up through May 30th. For hours check the Annenberg Library hours; the gallery is on the library’s first floor.
Below: Nedret Andre: In Water, 2017, oil on canvas
Take a look at Nedret Andre’s paintings, which occasionally become three-dimensional, now at the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College:
Hess Gallery / Nedret Andre
Nedret’s ecological activism and artwork speak volumes about what dedicated individuals can do to heal the planet.
Full disclosure: I’m the Hess Gallery director.
My favorite show of the year so far is now up at the BCA’s Mills Gallery
. Curated by filmmaker Maya Erdelyi, the show features 13 artists who make entirely handmade animated films, using every imaginable media including cutouts, cut paper sculpture, pencil drawings on vellum, and inking directly on film. The show is exuberant, refreshingly handmade, and by turns tender, hilarious, horrifying, and stunning. Panel discussions still to come, check out the full list of activities and register here
. The show is up until April 28th.
Top right: Ma Femme Maison installation and animation by Maya Erdelyi, At left: installation view of the main gallery.
The Umbrella Art Center of Concord, Mass. hosts a stunning fiber exhibit until February 28th. The newly-renovated gallery is a showcase for the work of 17 artists, including Merrill Comeau (“Red, White, Blue,” above). Merill composts, tears, and otherwise alters used fabric, treating it sometimes like paper, sometimes like clay, sometimes like a finely-tailored garment, until she achieves the degree of layering that best expresses her concept. Says Merill, “My performative tasks of seam ripping, laundering, ironing and stitching afford me opportunities for processing individual and collective trauma.” Red, White, and Blue represents a country badly in need of repair.
Janet Kawada‘s humorous miniature houses, yurt-shaped felt constructions with embedded gems, symbols, and stories, form a small village in “Piecing It Together.” Family, identity, and home appear as acts of creation that are never entirely finished.
The faux fur company really, really means NEON pink. Working on seating for the KSpace lounge, details to follow for FeministFuturist!
Sheila Pepe‘s installation of fiber structures, prints and sculpture at the deCordova is an engaging, mid-career retrospective of a groundbreaking artist. Pepe’s spare and often hilarious work sports titles like “Gray Thing with Dangly Bit on Chain” (front left, above) and roams into realms of ancient history with a 2-room installation concerning the demise of Emperors in Rome and China.
Through March 10.
Holly Curcio‘s handbuilt “Dream Team” at Mudflat Pottery in Somerville.
The National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) is showing a range of work on the theme “The Personal Is Political” at the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College. Over 20 members explore themes of home and homelessness, power and violence, and joy and community.
Shown is Larissa Waya’s “Together as One,” stitched from blankets donated at homeless shelters. Part of the piece is the rough, ragged blanket, the other half a tailored jacket with applique work referencing the wrought iron gates of Versailles. Exquisite needlework transforms unpromising material into an object of elegance and power.
Join several artists for a talk on December 5th at 3:30 in the gallery. An opening reception for NAWA will be held on Sunday afternoon, December 16th, from 2-5pm.
Check the Pine Manor College website and Annenberg Library page for hours, including winter break hours, as gallery hours follow the library’s. The show will be up until mid-February. Pine Manor College is located at 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, Mass.