Comfort & Displacement: The Art of Richard Neal
November 17, 2022 - February 26, 2023
Recent abstract paintings and wall hanging sculpture by Richard Neal. Organized by our independent guest curator, Don Wilkinson. Curator's statement:
"Richard Neal’s paintings and assemblages do not fit into any neat category. The work hovers in that nexus between the representational and the abstract, flirting with both but married to neither. It is tumultuous and yet somehow reserved. It is 'all-up-in-your-face' dramatic while it leans in and whispers to the patient viewer.
The work that I selected for this exhibition was created over several years and while I did not consciously seek out a common narrative, one made itself manifest. Throughout the work, backcountry shacks, suburban houses, apartment buildings and skyscrapers unrelentingly take center stage. But none of those structures read as happy homes. Not anymore.
The exhibition is called 'Comfort and Displacement' as this selection of work evokes a palpable sense of loss. The abodes appear abandoned, the towers are tumbling, the boulevard in 'Big City' borders on the post-apocalyptic.
Comfort can rapidly evaporate. Slow or sudden displacement-- brought about by divorce, abandonment, foreclosure, gentrification, terrorism, war or a hundred other reasons-- is part of the human condition.
Neal’s work forces us to confront that discomforting thought and take notice."
Lemuel Eldred: Whale Ships at Wharves, Painter's Prints of a Bygone Era
December 1, 2022 - February 19, 2023
Mentored in the studio of William Bradford, Lemuel Eldred was a Fairhaven artist, well known for painting marine and desert scenes, and later as a printmaker.
As the whaling industry drew to a close at the end of the 19th century, Eldred captured the return of the ships as they docked in New Bedford for decommissioning.
Eldred’s preferred technique for this potentially sentimental subject was etching because he strongly felt it to be the best vehicle for direct expression.
Elegiac and elegant, Eldred’s prints faithfully capture the retired vessels' quiet majesty resting at their final destination, in the city in which they originated, the city that for a time lit the whole world.
Yarn/Rope/String: Fiber Art Now Juried Exhibition
December 8, 2022 - March 12, 2023
The Fiber Art Now Yarn/Rope/String exhibitions were designed to encourage innovative use of fibers that artists incorporate into new and exciting works of art. The jurors for the 2021 and 2022 exhibitions in print had this to say about the expanse of this expressive niche of fiber art:
“Yarn/Rope/String features a selection of arresting pieces that showcase some of the best craftsmanship in fiber today. Whether grappling with the uncertainties of the age or deep in exploration of material and process, these pieces grab on and ask you to look closer, and for longer. Selecting from so many excellent submissions was no easy task, a sign of exciting things to come in the field. Above all, the works in Yarn/Rope/String prompt delight, wonderment, and contemplation through their skillful execution.”
Yarn/Rope/String 2021 juror and tapestry artist Micala Sidore stated, “It is terrific to see how many people choose fiber as a means to express themselves. Not all the work displays the same level of ability—it never does. But it testifies to the engagement of the makers. I seek work that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The last of these criteria is what tells me that I am seeing something that is special.” Over the past 40 years, Sidore has given talks, published more than 45 articles, and exhibited her own work in North America, Australia, and Poland. She is the author of The Art is the Cloth (Schiffer Books, 2020).
Yarn/Rope/String 2022 juror Michael F. Rohde has been weaving since 1973. His work is in the permanent collections of the George Washington University Museum, The Textile Museum in Washington, DC; the Mingei Museum in San Diego, California; the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in San Jose, California; the Ventura County Museum of Art in Ventura, California; the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin; and The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. “It is always a special privilege to be given the chance to see a large body of work, but a challenge to select only a few,” said Rohde. “Some of the things I looked for and found include excellence in craftsmanship, new ways of expressing ideas with fiber, and occasionally work that addressed what happens outside of the studios yet impacts us all. Not all works embodied all criteria. This led to a selection that was diverse and hopefully with some things that are new to each of us.”
Emerging Figures: Figurative Art By Young Contemporaries
March 9, 2023 – May 21, 2023
Emerging Figures: Figurative Art by Young Contemporaries showcases the works of nine figurative artists under the age of 30 who are making their mark on the Massachusetts SouthCoast region. Organized by Taylor Hickey, Emerging Figures highlights the importance of providing support to young local voices.
Painter Amanda Arruda focuses on the inner psychological workings of the individual, often using windows as a metaphorical threshold between the internal and external experience. A common thread can be found in the charcoal drawings of Alison Borges, which explore the quiet intimacies of a solitary figure within the safety and confines of the home. Chloe Bachstein utilizes brightly colored oil paintings overlayed with colored plexiglass to evoke the idealized memories of childhood. Grechel Rosado – who views artmaking as a form of resistance – calls to mind her Puerto Rican roots with her large-scale relief prints. Madeline Peach, through autobiographical paintings, challenges heteronormative narratives and beauty standards. Cody Oliveira-Gingras finds inspiration for highly-textured oil paintings in mythos and allegory and the connections and parallels we find within them. Kate Korra develops figurative works in a variety of media as a means of studying the human experience. Stephanie Mysiuk-Bissen embodies feelings of discomfort in her fast-paced charcoal drawings and mixed-media sculptures. Alexandra Landry is driven to capture the energy and narrative of her subjects through oil paintings with expressive brushstrokes and a tender approach to the figure.
March 9, 2023 – June 4, 2023
From the Collection of the New Bedford Free Public Library
The term ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates to "picture(s) of the floating world," referring to fleeting images of glamor, beauty and fashion. Ukiyo-e prints were popular in Edo (present-day Tokyo) among common folk and were a dynamic art form for more than 200 years. Mass produced, affordable and focused on favorite subjects such as beautiful women, Kabuki actors, and picturesque landscapes, these images offered an escape from everyday life.
Aizuri-e (藍摺り絵) or "blue printed picture" refers to woodblock prints which are entirely or predominantly blue in color; this subgenre of ukiyo-e works was associated with the popularization of Prussian blue in Japan. Prussian blue was brought to Japan by the Dutch in the 1820's, and this new synthetic pigment allowed for brighter shades that were less subject to fading than other naturally derived pigments like dayflower or indigo, although they were still used.
The ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige frequently utilized bokashi (ぼかし), a method of pigment gradation, to create a range of color, often in areas of sky or water to add depth. Hiroshige is known for his virtuoso use of color and perspective in meisho-e (名所絵 pictures of famous places) and landscapes. While these prints contain too many colors to be considered aizuri-e, the areas of bright blue are striking, and the prominence of the color in Hiroshige’s work reflects a popular style of the period.
Sound in Space, Sound in Place
April 13, 2023 - June 4, 2023
Sound in Space, Sound in Place, a survey of contemporary sound art, foregrounds sound and listening as powerful shapers of everyday experience and draws attention to sound’s unique properties as an artistic medium. The exhibition features a collaborative work by established sound artists John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein—the richly exploratory sound installation Cluster Fields (2018–2023)—as well as New Bedford Soundscape, a crowdsourced collection of audio recordings by New Bedford residents, Sonic Textures of Place, experimental sound works by UMass Dartmouth students in Professor Walker Downey’s Spring 2023 sound art seminar, NBWaves, an EP by Scapeghost, and Whirly Chorus by Tess Oldfield.
State of the Union by Jane O'Hara
June 1, 2023 - August 20, 2023
In State of the Union artist Jane O'Hara, an advocate for animals, examines the topic of animal rights and the complex relationship between humans and animals. O'Hara's exploration of this topic and subsequent series of paintings began 4 years ago with Florida State of the Union and culminates in State of the Union with a depiction of every state.
O'Hara's narrative paintings combine realistic and surreal elements and juxtapose images of suffering animals and environmental decline with landscapes filled with nostalgic postcard iconography and pop references. The seriousness of the subject matter is alleviated by the whimsical insertion of Nellie the cat within each painting. Untethered and unafraid, Nellie reacts with a purely feline attitude – with indifference, curiosity, caution, or by taking a nap.
June 13, 2023 – August 6, 2023
Kirk J. Nelson, President and Executive Director of the New Bedford Glass Museum presents a selection of photographs drawn from a body of work about sea glass entitled Glass Transformed by artist Celia Pearson.
Pearson began her career as a commercial photographer producing images of interiors, architecture and gardens for print publications including, Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, Metropolitan Home, and Southern Accents. Gradually she transitioned to working solely on her own art to great success.
The recipient of the Maryland Art Council's Anne Arundel County's Annie Award for the Visual Arts, Pearson has shown widely for the last fifteen years throughout the United States at galleries and museums.
Contemporary Glass Sculpture
June 13, 2023 - August 26, 2023
A survey of glass sculpture made by leading and emerging female artists trained in Massachusetts.
This group exhibition highlights several recent shifts within the world of contemporary art glass, the deployment of glass conceptually and abstractly by interdisciplinary artists, female dominance in the world of art glass, the disruption of traditional aesthetic conventions associated with the medium and expectations related to transparency, beauty and functionality.