Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Transformations" at the Arsenal Center for the Arts: Community and Collaboration

This evening, there is an opening reception for the exhibition "Transformations" at the Arsenal Center for the Arts (Watertown, MA) from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. This exhibition represents more than the concept of transformational play with identity and persona, the theme connecting the seven artists. It represents the interconnection of community, and the value of collaboration, in this case between artists and art enablers.

I met Sharon Glennon in my Sourcing the Imagination: Drawing without Representation course at the SMFA. Like me, she has college bound or younger children, and has kept art alive in her life throughout motherhood. She was in the long and well considered process of transitioning from an arts education related field to something more directly arts leadership oriented. Not very long after the course was over, she was delighted to report that she had accepted the role of Executive Director at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. It has long hours, and is a big commitment, but she has embraced the challenges. Some of her goals, expanding collaboration and innovating their offerings, were met by inviting us to create the show "Transformations".

I have always told my art students that it does no good to store your artwork away under the bed or in a closet. Get your work out to be viewed, enjoyed, and experienced, in the physical worked or online. Be part of the art community and part of the art discourse.

The artists in "Transformations" (Natacha Sochat, Jay Bordage, Margaret Hart, Gary Duehr, Kelly Anona Kerrigan, Gail Martin and myself) all make sure to be visible in as many of these as possible: art education, group shows, online in personal websites and social networking, and often solo exhibitions. Because they remain visible, and actively network, I knew about their work and was able to invite them to be part of the show. Embracing opportunity and being willing to work together to create shows in non-commercial spaces, are all things contemporary artists do regularly. Some of the works exhibited in "Transformations" were created specifically for this show, in a response both to the group dynamic, and to the wonderful open space of the Arsenal Center for the Arts. The act of hanging the show, and creating the total impact, was a collaborative effort, and I think the viewers visiting the gallery will experience a true sense of play, surprise, humor, and thought provoking moments.

Read more about the show and the Center in this article (some fun images of the installation process) in the Watertown Tab.

We invite you to come an experience the show for yourself - maybe catch a music or theater event there, some dinner nearby, and have an art-night-out!

Gallery open Tuesday through Sunday 12-6, until 8pm on performance nights.
The show runs September 9 through October 30, 2010

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