Current Exhibitions

Skylight GALLERY

PLUNGE: Explorations From Above & Below

Presented with browngrotta arts
5/26/2017 – 10/8/2017
Opening Reception: 6/2/2017, 6-8PM

Water has long been a potent influence for artists wishing to explore its majesty and mystery. Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below, at New Bedford Art Museum / ArtWorks!, examines this influence in the work of 16 artists from around the world. Presented with browngrotta arts , an internationally recognized gallery out of Connecticut, from May 26th through October 8, 2017, this multifaceted exhibit combines sculptural works and tapestries with paintings and photography. Each work resides at the intersection of the maker’s fascination with a variety of nautical themes and the artmaking process.

In prehistoric times, humans depicted water as a wavy stylized line; in contemporary times, ice has become an art medium. Plunge pairs Helena Hernmarck’s monumental depiction of tall ships in New York Bay circa 1884 and Chris Drury’s Double Echo. Drury’s work combines a fragment of an echogram from Flight W34 over East Antarctica – a long cross section of the ice beneath the flight, made by radar pulses sent down though the ice and back up into a computer in the aircraft – with an echocardiogram of the pilot’s heartbeat, superimposed over it.

Also in the exhibition, Heather Hobler’s meditative photographs of seascapes join Karyl Sisson’s “sea creatures” made of domestic objects like zippers and clothespins. Anne Leone’s large-scale paintings of swimmers offer the viewer an intriguing other-worldly perspective. Jane Balsgaard’s delicate boat of glass is poised to catch the first breeze of the day while Lawrence LaBianca’s fascinating work involves an actual boat in the gallery.

Participating are an interesting mix of regional, national and international artists including: Dona Anderson, Jane Balsgaard, Marian Bijlenga, Birgit Birkkjær, Annette Bellamy, Chris Drury, Helena Hernmarck, Heather Hobler, Lawrence LaBianca, Sue Lawty, Anne Leone, Judy Mulford, Karyl Sisson, Ulla-Maija Vikman, Christopher Volpe and Grethe Wittrock. The works provided through browngrotta arts will be featured in a special color catalog produced specifically for the exhibition and available in the Museum Shop.

The opening reception for Plunge is Friday evening June 2nd from 6 PM to 8 PM. Artist Jane Balsgaard from Denmark will attend along with Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown of browngrotta arts along with artists from the local area. The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for more information about browngrotta arts. 

Thank you to our sponsors:


heritage GALLERY


ECSTASY, from the series The Passions

Photography by Judith Thorpe
6/2/2017 – 8/20/2017

Connecticut-based photographer, Judith Thorpe brings her work Ecstasy: From the Series, The Passions to New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!’s Heritage Gallery.

The Passions of which Ecstasy is a part considers the representation of the female body, exploring the tension between idealized and real. The work considers historical representations of the female body in precedents such as Greek and Roman statuary and religious icons. It is an exploration of the female body as it ages, questioning concepts of beauty. The body is shrouded or obscured, reflecting upon the inner self. Draped and wrapped in white cloth, the female figure is ritualized.

Through her massive photographs, Thorpe offers essential explorations of the female form from a feminist point of view. Inverting the historical male gaze and transforming it to an inward examination of the female figure as it changes over time, Thorpe beckons an examination of the contemporary representation of aging female bodies.

Click here for the Facebook page!

Fiber Optics Center New Media Gallery

6/20/2017 – 11/19/2017

Opening Reception: 7/13/2017, 6-8PM

Not just a fashion photographer, Jeep Wheat’s work spans the cutting edge of international street art, LBGTQ portraits, the documentation of body positive revolutionaries and a growing number of alternative cultures. Rock and roll was the gateway to Jeep’s photographic career and he continues his pursuit of cultural outlaws and renegades.

Beyond the Box is a collection of color portraits featured in New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!’s Fiber Optics Center New Media Gallery. These images of individuals with strong senses of personal style not only display the vividness of how they look but also reflect the way they navigate a world less colorful and more mundane than they are. These works showcase a diverse group of individuals that are often excluded from mass media, galleries, and museums.  Beyond the Box provides a space for people like the ones in Jeep’s photos to see themselves celebrated in a positive way as well as introducing them to a larger less familiar population.

Beyond the Box captures transgressive visionaries who blur the boundaries of what we are told is possible, as their lives remake our reality.

city Gallery


FLAGRANT FOWL: Audubon’s Bad Birds
7/13 – 12/31/2017

John James Audubon’s Ornithological Biography, published in 1831-39 to compliment the engravings in The Birds of America folio, became a record not just of scientific data but a chronicle of stories with his subjects as dramatic characters.  Using Audubon’s text, this exhibit features some of the birds he saw as the most brazen and shamefaced in the avian world.

New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! has dedicated the City Gallery to showcasing works from the collection of the New Bedford Free Public Library. In partnership with the Library, the Museum offers two exhibits a year drawing from the collection and curated by the Library Art Curator Janice Hodson.

Check out the New Bedford Free Public Library’s collection located across the street (613 Pleasant Street).

Art Room Hours
Mon: 12 pm – pm
Tue: 9 am – 5 pm
Wed:  9 am – 5 pm
Thurs:  12 pm – 9 pm




New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! has two satellite exhibition spaces located in the museum lobby and the 2nd floor of city hall.

nbam/aw! at city hall

New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! is now curating exhibitions at City Hall that highlight local artists and NBAM/AW! artist members. 

Donald Beal

3/17/2017 – 3/17/2018
2nd Floor at New Bedford City Hall

When curating for the City Hall exhibits it is important to me not only to show-off local talents but to also bring in works that showcase the vibrancy of the South Coast region. City Hall staff members are also on my mind when I am thinking about which artworks to install. Donald Beal‘s work celebrates our region and gives a unique insight into the lives of individuals who live here. The hope is that  Beal‘s sensitive and elegant paintings become a fixture in the lives of City employees and City Hall visitors, adding to the visual narrative of New Bedford.

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, Middleborough, Bristol, Newport and Providence.