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.


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!

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

“Regeneration” Opening Reception & Awards Night

A great crowd turned out for the Opening Reception for “Regeneration” ACA’s 2011 Member Exhibit, juried by Sand T Kalloch.  The Gibbs Gallery was packed to overflowing as the artists and art-lovers enjoyed the festivities, which also included live music by jazz players from Dan Fox’s Morningside Studio, and ACA’s Open Studios Holiday Sale.

A festive night in the Gibbs Gallery for the Opening Reception of "Regeneration" ACA Members Exhibit, juried by Sand T Kalloch.

Juror’s Awards were presented to five artists: Margaret Demille (Arlington), Adrian Johnston (Malden), Ruth Lieberherr (Winchester), Karen McCarthy (Arlington), and Lorraine Sullivan (Arlington).

Margaret Demille (right) received a Juror's Award for her sculpture/assemblage entitled "Propagation (Even in the Most Unlikely Circumstances.)"

Adrian Johnston received a Juror's Award for his paintings, "Nine Schools," "Pick Up Your Mat," and Untitled.

Painter Ruth Lieberherr received a Juror's Award for her work in "Regeneration."

Karen McCarthy received a Juror's Award for her handprinting pieces, "Shades of Autumn #1 and #2"

Lorraine Sullivan (right), received a Juror's Award for her assemblabes. Lorraine and husband Phil Young had just arrived from the Cambridge Art Association "Red" Show, where Lorraine had also won an award!

More photos from the Opening are posted on Flickr:

stim*u*lus: getting inspired @ ACA!

"Midnight Garden" by Kaetlyn Wilcox

Welcome to ACA’s brand new blog, where we’ll share stories of art, inspiration & transformation that happen here in our little corner of the world at the Arlington Center for the Arts in Arlington, MA.

Speaking of inspiration, we’re really excited about “stim*u*lus,” the ACA faculty exhibit in the Gibbs Gallery!  The show has been getting rave reviews & we wanted to give you a peek at some of the amazing artwork created by ACA’s teachers.  If you’re craving inspiration, or just feel curious about what our teachers create in their own studios, you’re in for a real treat!

works by Crist Filer, Maryellen Sakura, Dorie Zackin and Eileen DeRosas

Detail of panel by Sue Rice

An afterschool arts class checks out the faculty show

Who’s been your inspiration at ACA?
Do you have a favorite teacher or classroom experience you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear about your experiences at ACA!  Please leave us a comment below, and we’ll pass it on to your favorite teacher.

stim*u*lus will be on display in the Gibbs Gallery through January 23.  We hope you’ll stop in and check it out!