Current Exhibitions



From the Collection of the New Bedford Free Public Library
Curated by Louis Doherty
at New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
June 1 – October 14, 2018

Click here for Audubon related events.

Audubon Original Prints of the Birds of America: The fluctuating bird population of the Northeast. When Europeans came to New England and New York, the Wampanoag, Iroquois, and other native tribes were peopling the area. These settlers cleared the land of its trees and established farms. After a few centuries, industrialization prompted people to move to towns and cities in search of jobs. As a result, the birds were negatively affected. On the positive side, many avian species are growing in the North East. The use of bird feeders, the increase of wildlife refuges and other protected lands, the building of nest platforms are just some of the reasons the bird population remains. The exhibition of John James Audubon prints will start with 31 bird species that are declining today on exhibit in New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!’s Skylight Gallery. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the prints will slowly be replaced, a few at a time, by 31 species of birds that are increasing in New England and New York. The exhibition literally evolves, beckoning bird lovers to return to the Museum for something new several times throughout the run of the exhibition. Viewers will have the opportunity to view 45 Audubon prints that have not been public for decades. Click here for more information about the exhibition.

City Gallery
Audubon’s New Bedford

From the Collection of the New Bedford Free Public Library
Curated by Janice Hodson
at New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
June 1 – October 14, 2018

After the publication of The Birds of America folios, John James Audubon found fame but not fortune. That would come in 1839-40 with his inspired idea to create a smaller book-sized version of the original 40” x 29” folio sheets.  In contrast to his difficulty selling subscriptions to the original double-elephant folio, Audubon was inundated with orders for the new edition (known as the royal octavo edition). New Bedford was among the places he visited to seek subscriptions, a city he first encountered 35 years earlier.  

 Audubon picked up at least 51 subscriptions during multiple stops in the whaling city, about as many as he obtained in Boston.  The subscribers included many scions from New Bedford’s most illustrious families, including the Rotches, Howlands, Robesons, Cliffords, Hathaways, Delanos, Swains, Crockers, Congdons, Nyes and Grinnells.  Samuel Rodman Jr., one of the subscribers, called Audubon “an interesting old gentleman [who] is much pleased with New Bedford for the liberal manner in which he has been patronized.”

heritage Gallery 

Mixed-media works by Alison Wells
6/ 1 –  8/ 19/2018

Unusual Growth Patterns addresses ideas of culture and identity within communities by exploring group relationships and cultural bonds which transcend historical and geographic differences.  Wells’ use of symbolism unearths aspects of Ancestral Memory, otherness, growth in society, as well as the walls and emotional barriers humans erect. Wells translates these ideas with visual movement; charging the picture plane with energetic juxtapositions of color and texture, as well as figurative and botanical abstractions.

Through her prolific art practice, Alison Wells explores the manipulation of perception.  Her rich mark making and layering of materials emphasize the unique and expressive qualities within each of us, qualities which are both disturbing and appealing.

Click here to register for the Saturday, 7/21 mixed-media workshop with Alison Wells

Click  here to register for the Sunday, 7/22 mixed-media workshop with Alison Wells

Click here for other Alison Wells related events


8/9 – 10/7/2018
Reception: Thursday, 8/9/2018 from 6-8pm

Mimi Chrzanowski was born in Chicago to old-world Polish parents and grew up in small-town Wisconsin. Her childhood was rooted in drawing and play, both of which have been a remaining constant through her multifaceted art practice. Chrzanowski now lives in Providence, RI where she explores adventure stories, absurd humor, magical realism, inner power, and playfulness through drawings, comics, paintings, animated GIFs, illustrations, screenprints, and self-published books.


Adrienne Sloane


6/21 – 9/20/2018

Massachusetts fiber artist Adrienne Sloane crafted a knit flag that partially obscures a copy of the U.S. Constitution printed on sheer nylon. The artist has begun to unravel the flag, leaving piles of loose yarn on the pedestal underneath, partially revealing the historic document.

“I am committed to continuing to show and unravel this piece according to the timeline of the current administration, stopping either when it ends, by whatever means, or at the end of four years when there will be nothing left of the flag.” – Adrienne Sloane

Satellite Exhibition: 2nd Floor City Hall
Lori Bradley
Common Birds & Flight Memory

Works by Lori Bradley
5/11 – 11/2/2018

“Common Birds” is a series of acrylic paintings on canvas
and wood panels with textured paper collage elements. They
are inspired by the crazy, noisy interactions of the common
birds that flock to the feeders in our tangled, overgrown
urban backyard, to the dismay of my neighbors, but they are
so much fun to watch! – Bradley

New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! reaches out to the following communities and beyond to engage a diverse audience, offer exemplary educational programming and provide a vibrant center for the arts: New Bedford, Marion, Mattapoisett, Dartmouth, Westport, Rochester, Wareham, Acushnet, Freetown, Berkley, Swansea, Fall River, Middleboro, Bristol, Newport and Providence.