After living in/near Somerville for 5 years, I finally made it to Open Studios! Finals and birthday parties have kept me away in the past, but this year nothing could keep me away! I only had a few hours early on Sunday afternoon to devote to art viewing, so I chose to go to Vernon Street Studios to make the most of my time. The building was buzzing with art viewers and makers, and I had a great time taking it all in. I have semi-mixed feelings about open studio events (perhaps a post on that to come in the future?), my biggest complaint being how the more commercial and traditional artists overshadow emerging artists, but I was happy to find a handfull of vibrant artists that leapt out of the crowd:
The first artist that stood out to me was Edie Shimel. Edie described her practice as building machettes, projecting images onto them, and then photographing the result. She makes all her final prints as mural prints in the darkroom, and they are quite stunning. I bought a little contact print of the image on the left.
I was first drawn into David Palmquist‘s work by the way he paired a painting and his square show postcards (above, right) out in the hallway. It was very meta, the way his tiled postcards mimicked the repetition of his larger paintings. Not pictured here, he also had some wonderful arial paintings of map-like roadways. Among a rather lot of hum-drum paintings, his clean and precise style that straddled abstraction and map-making definitely stood out.
Holland Dieringer‘s small mixed media works quickly drew me into her studio. I am a huge fan of mixing human and animal elements in my own drawings, and I must say I found her work to be very inspirational. Dieringer’s paintings are delicate, but certainly not tentative. Daintily surreal perhaps? Like Bosch meets James Jean? Whatever it is, it’s definitely working!
Sophia Ainslie‘s large paintings are vibrant and fun. I think I saw her work in a gallery in the South End one time…
I unfortunately didn’t get a snap of Caleb Cole’s work, but go check out his photos on his website (especially the series “Other People’s Clothes”)! I saw some of his work in Gallery Kayafas a while back and I loved seeing it in the less imposing and more casual setting of his studio.
I’ll wrap up this post with some soft sculpture by Kathleen Finlay. I’ve always had a soft spot for large scale soft sculpture. The way the fabric is semi-controlled, the weight of the material itself essential to the object. It makes me think of postminimal, Eve Hesse, and simply gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
I’m glad I finally made it to Somerville Open Studios, maybe next year I’ll actually make it to more than one studio building!