2015 Members Exhibit: Reflections of Jurying Day

Hello!  My name is Virginia and I’m a college student who is interning here at ACA for a few weeks to learn about community arts and gallery work.  On my first day at ACA I watched Erin Becker, the Director of the Cambridge Art Association, jury the 2015 Members Exhibit.

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When Erin first walked into the room, there was art everywhere you looked, leaning against the walls and covering all the tables and pedestals.  Just scanning the room you could see the wealth of talent and mass of hard work each artist put into each submission. After walking around the room slowly, Erin began to pull art– taking a few pieces here, a few there.  Occasionally she would ask if two pieces, works that had a similar style, were made by the same artist.  I think she did not want one voice or perspective to be over-represented.   Most of the time though she worked quietly, going with her gut on what felt right and what didn’t quite fit.  Several works she would pick up carry to the other side of the room only to be moved again a few minutes later.   Despite the constant changes, there was a method to her decisions.  As Erin continued to pull works, groups began to appear.  She placed pieces with similar color schemes and textures closer together to see how they talked to one another.  There was a mix of media represented in any given group: a photograph next to a pastel drawing, next to a sculpture and yet it made sense.

As Erin chose work and grouped them together, she sometimes thought aloud.  She would ask Pam about the configuration of the room, whether some works would be too crowded in a corner.  By the time she finished the hundred-plus works were reduced to fifty-two.  What was left was a great collection of work with no extraneous pieces, the jurying was complete.   Speaking as an artist who often gets caught-up in my own work, I found it really beneficial to witness the consolidation and placement decisions.  I got to see how a show incorporates one artist’s work and actually enhances it by juxtaposing it with the work of others. Overall, I am really happy with how the show turned out and look forward to seeing everyone’s reactions this Friday!

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Featured Artist: Gloria Calderón-Sáenz

There is an environmental meaning in what I do, but there is also a metaphor about the river:  the impermanent place where our collective dreams merge and embrace transformation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   –Gloria Calderón-Sáenz 

 

Patterns of Creation by Gloria Calderón Saenz

Patterns of Creation by Gloria Calderón-Sáenz

It is easy to see Calderón-Sáenz’s deep attachment to the landscapes and dreams that she depicts.  The deeply detailed and organic carved patterns of her two dimensional work are elegant and meandering, at the same time that her painting is bold and expressive.

In the work, Patterns of Creation, the viewer has to lean close to see what marks are brushstrokes and which are carved from the panel.  A bird’s eye view, it’s easy to feel as if one is sweeping over a landscape in a dream.  The work is delicate and the stylized scene seems completely removed from human error or footprint, adding to the perception of a dreamlike ideal.

Rivers of Blood by Gloria Calderon Saenz

Rivers of Blood by Gloria Calderón-Sáenz

Rivers of Blood is also surreal, but entirely different.  Very abstract, the piece seems more rooted in reality, or at least, in another type of dream than Patterns of Creation.  Whereas that is a Utopian ideal without humans or animals, Rivers of Blood is entirely of this world.  Though the piece is not a print, it has the graphic composition and linear quality often seen in woodblock prints, where the color sits above the carved lines in the block.  Because of this quality, the artist’s hand and human interaction is much more present.

The Source by Gloria Caleron Saenz

The Source by Gloria Caleron-Saenz

The Source is currently on view in the Gibbs Gallery.  It began its life as part of huge tree in Arlington Heights.  When the tree was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Calderón-Sáenz brought home a segment of a hollow branch.  The tree was left to dry until the artist returned from hiking in the Andes where she saw a place where a small lake feeds a river and that spot inspired the carving.

Calderón Sáenz is an Arlington-based artist; her studio is located at Arlington Center for the Arts.  Her work will be on view in the Gibbs Gallery in the Elements: Images of Arlington until May 16, 2014.

You can see more of her work at http://www.gloriacalderonsaenz.com/index.php

small works – jurying day with lorraine sullivan

small works jurying day 2013 (2)We always love it when Lorraine Sullivan visits ACA, but November 18 was especially special – it was jurying day for ACA’s annual members show.  Over 200 pieces were submitted, and though they were small (all measuring under 12″ x 12″), Lorraine had a big task to whittle down the entries to highlight the very best for ACA’s annual members exhibit in the Gibbs Gallery.

Here’s what Lorraine had to say about the show:

I would like to start by thanking the Arlington Center for the Arts for giving me the opportunity to act as juror for this exhibit.  

I want to thank all the artists who submitted such an array of images and objects, demonstrating their work in a wide variety of media and their sincere love of art making.

over 200 pieces were submitted to this years members show

over 200 pieces were submitted to this years members show

I was grateful that the theme of this show was Small Works as I had 206 pieces of work to move around. This condensed size restriction made life easier for me but presented the artists submitting work with a unique and demanding issue – that of scale. Most people work larger and continuing to work in their own style and use the materials that they are most comfortable with while restricting themselves to such a small format was no small feat.

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The work was diverse, compelling and fresh. The pieces draw the viewer in to get a closer look and reward them with a glimpse of the artists’ personal and unique vision.  Some pieces are simply lovely, some poignant while others are just plain funny. Stylistically the work ranges from barely contained, high energy pieces to methodically executed works of art.

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considering pieces for the 2D juror’s prize…

Congratulations to the three award winners for their exceptional contributions to this outstanding show.

(Note: winners will be announced at the opening reception on Thursday, Dec 5, 7:30-9:00 – join us!)

Thanks to Linda Shoemaker for inviting me to this dance and sticking with me as I carefully reviewed every entry.

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considering her choices for the 3D prize…

Thanks to Pam Shanley for providing everything I needed and hauling it around on her dolly.

This exhibit is a celebration of the diverse talents of our exciting local arts community and it was a genuine pleasure for me to be part of it.

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Lorraine and Dan hanging the show

See some of the artwork in our preview slideshow.

Emily Malin: watercolor artist gives a glimpse into the worlds of fruit, flowers, and (a little bit of) her own remarkable journey as an artist

Emily Malin is a remarkable watercolor artist who has confronted challenges beyond the imaginations of most of us, but has persevered to create a remarkable body of artwork, which is now on display in the Tufts Street Community Gallery of the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Emily will host a reception for her show on Friday, August 23, from 5-7pm in the Tufts Street Gallery, on the 2nd floor of the Arlington Center for the Arts.  Please join us to celebrate a very special artist!

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Emily Malin’s watercolor fruits and flowers bring a playful, joyful exuberance to the Tufts Street Community Gallery, Summer 2013

Through her watercolors, Emily provides insight into the lives of fruit, flowers, trees and animals that most of us cannot imagine. Through Emily’s artwork we find a way to let a vegetable cheer us up (as in “Beet”ing the Blues), see the wonder of a piece of fruit (as in Magnificent Mango), and enjoy the simple beauty that surrounds us. All these things Emily sees, feels and puts into her art for us to enjoy.

Emily Malin, portrait

Emily Malin, artist

Emily’s artwork is more remarkable still given that she produces it despite a severe neurological impairment. At the age of 11, when, for most of us, the future holds nothing but promise and the days hold only leisure and an absence of worry, Emily began to show signs of the illness that would eventually lead to a life confined to a wheelchair.

Unable to speak, and with little control over the right side of her body, Emily has, for more than two decades, faced challenges that would overwhelm the best of us. Not content to survive, Emily sought out her passion and early on found that she had a talent (at the prodding of an insightful art teacher) – a talent that manifested itself when she picked up a brush.

Emily Malin, Sunflower

Emily Malin, Sunflower

For more than 15 years now (about as long as she has been living on her own), Emily has been painting. Her work has hung in coffee houses, in galleries and at exhibits. She founded Emily Enterprises (which she operates with the assistance of her mother, Diane Malin) in 1998. Emily Enterprises produces, markets and sells her artwork in the form of Iris prints and note cards.

Emily’s work will be on display in the Tufts Street Gallery at the Arlington Center for the Arts through August 30, 2013.

For more information, visit Emily Malin online.

Emily Malin, Three Pretty Persimmons

Emily Malin, Three Pretty Persimmons

Images of Arlington 5th grade artists honored at the State House

Kids Images of Arlington at the State House (20)This summer, anyone visiting Senator Ken Donnelly’s office at the Massachusetts State House will be treated to an exhibit of 30+ works of art by Arlington 5th graders, part of the Arlington Center for the Arts’ annual “Kids Images of Arlington” exhibit, now in its 8th year.

Each year, all 400+ 5th graders in the Arlington public schools create artwork depicting something unique about the town.  The artwork is displayed in a massive exhibit that fills all three floors of the Arlington Center for the Arts building.

A small subset of the students’ artwork is selected to go on display at the State House in Senator Donnelly’s offices.

Last week, the Senator hosted the students in a special reception in their honor, and took the kids on a private tour of the State House.

Several of the 5th grade "Images of Arlington" artists posing with Senator Ken Donnelly in a special reception in their honor.

Several of the 5th grade “Images of Arlington” artists posing with Senator Ken Donnelly in a special reception in their honor.

Donnelly loves the tradition – whenever he has visitors to his offices – other Senators and Representatives, or constituents from his district, he says he loves showing off the artwork, which depicts so many landmarks and special places in Arlington.

The kids had a special private tour of the State House, including this visit to the Senate chambers, where they learned a secret about what many Senators keep in their desk drawers.. (think chocolate...!)

The kids had a special private tour of the State House, including this visit to the Senate chambers, where they learned a secret about what many Senators keep in their desk drawers.. (think chocolate…!)

The President of Peru happened to be visiting the State House that afternoon.  We saw his motorcade drive by from this beautiful vantage point overlooking the front lawn!

The President of Peru happened to be visiting the State House that afternoon. We saw his motorcade drive by from this beautiful vantage point overlooking the front lawn!

Thank you Senator Donnelly for honoring our young artists and for your support for the arts and culture in our communities!

Thank you Senator Donnelly for honoring our young artists and for your support for the arts and culture in our communities!

 

See more of the “Kids Images of Arlington” artwork in our online slideshow…

ACA Annual Meeting – ACA Celebrates!

In case you missed ACA’s 2012 Annual Meeting, here are a few of the sights and sounds from a wonderful night celebrating the artists and art-lovers who enrich our community all year long…

Gallery Opening

Gallery Opening for “Marvelous Journeys and Unexpected Adventures,” featuring 50+ ACA member artists. Juried by Lauren O’Neal, director of the Lamont Gallery at Philips Exeter Academy, and former Executive Director of the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Award Winners with Lauren O'Neal and John Budzyna

Five Juror’s Award winners were recognized for their artistry and resonance with the “Marvelous Journeys” theme. From left to right: Margo Cooper, Lauren O’Neal-juror, John Budzyna-Executive Director of ACA, Jeanne-Marie Crede, Dan Cianfarini, Gloria Calderon-Saenz, Connie Chamberlain.

Presentation of the 2012 Alan McClennen Community Arts Award to Adria Arch and Don Benjamin for their leadership of Arlington Public Art.  APA's first large-scale project, the Spy Pond Mural, was completed this fall.  Congratulations Adria and Don!

Presentation of the 2012 Alan McClennen Community Arts Award to Adria Arch and Don Benjamin for their leadership of Arlington Public Art. APA’s first large-scale project, the Spy Pond Mural, was completed this fall. Congratulations Adria and Don!

Volunteer Recognition - Volunteers help make ACA's a vibrant and exciting place for the Arts! This year, Morgan Jackson and Melanie Wisner went above and beyond to help out at ACA - thank you Morgan and Melanie!!

Volunteer Recognition – Volunteers help make ACA a vibrant and exciting place for the Arts! This year, Morgan Jackson and Melanie Wisner went above and beyond to help out at ACA – thank you Morgan and Melanie!!

Many thanks to Dan Fox and all the players from Dan's Morningside Studio Jazz Ensemble for their music all night long!

Many thanks to Dan Fox and all the players from Dan’s Morningside Studio Jazz Ensemble for their music all night long!

One favorite moment from the evening - artist and ACA Board Member Gwen Chasan (left) poses with her friend Melanie, who was the model for Gwen's beautiful "Painting in Provence" on display, just behind them in the gallery!

One favorite moment from the evening – artist and ACA Board Member Gwen Chasan (left) poses with her friend Melanie, who was the model for Gwen’s beautiful “Painting in Provence” on display, just behind them in the gallery!

Arlington singer Louise Grasmere, former ACA Communications Assistant Lindsey Schust, Member Artist Grace Schust, and ACA Studio Artist Connie Chamberlain, in front of Grace Schust's new painting, "Surfacing."

Arlington singer Louise Grasmere, former ACA Communications Assistant Lindsey Schust, Member Artist Grace Schust, and ACA Studio Artist Connie Chamberlain, in front of Grace Schust’s new painting, “Surfacing.”

See more photos of the night on our Flickr Page.

Support ACA’s programs all year long with a gift to our 25th anniversary annual fund.