By Priya Amin, news correspondent
“An Eclectic View,” a new exhibition featuring local artists and curated by Meredyth Hyatt Moses, opened at the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in the South End on Saturday.
Gallery owner Abigail Ogilvy described two main goals for her space: to help develop artists’ careers and to create a public space in which audiences can exchange ideas. Ogilvy has teamed up with Moses, a local curator, to create an eclectic show featuring 16 established artists for viewers to discuss and learn from.
“We’re just getting people here and making people feel like the gallery setting can be approachable,” Ogilvy said. “We want people to feel like they are included in the arts and like they know how to have conversations. Art is a conversation piece and it should be talked about in order to exist.”
Since 1976, when she first opened and directed the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Moses has played a major role in the Boston art scene. She is very familiar with artists in the Boston area and brought her favorite pieces together for this show. As a result, it features a broad spectrum of art, with media ranging from oil on canvas to fabric to children’s cylinder blocks to silicone.
“I’m a very eclectic lover of art,” Moses said. “I like many different mediums, many different kinds of art, and I was always open to doing something slightly different.”
This isn’t the first time Moses has done an exhibition like this. She has been involved and active in the local art sphere over the last four decades and compares “An Eclectic View” to the yearly Salon Shows she would host at Clark Gallery.
“The Salon Show was every December and it was totally eclectic, with every kind of medium – clay, glass, studio furniture, painting, sculpture, installation art, whatever caught my eye,” Moses said. “I decided that scene would be good for this show. It is called my name and then just ‘An Eclectic View.’ And that’s what it is.”
Moses said she has had difficulties organizing a show with such a wide range of art in the past. However, she’s always found a way to present the art in a way that works. Though the art in “An Eclectic View” varies in size and media there is a focus on painting as a medium. Many of the works featured are paintings and one of the sculptures alludes to painting. Michael Stasiuk, an artist featured in the gallery who has worked with Moses before, used toys and other assorted fragments to create a sculpture called “The Painter.”
“My approach to making art is a combination of work and play, so it feels like my artist statement matches my method,” Stasiuk said. “I am still very interested in color and I tend to always be watching color when I put sound objects together. So I feel like there is a connection to painting in terms of my interests.”
In addition to Stasiuk, Moses has worked with many artists in the show before and had helped many build their careers from when they first entered the art sphere. Though Ogilvy’s gallery usually features new artists and helps them start off their careers, “An Eclectic View” featured many artists who have already been featured in other galleries around Boston. Ogilvy and Moses have a great appreciation for each other and a common goal of showcasing art.
“She’s a friend of mine and she has a wonderful eye,” Ogilvy said of Moses. “It’s a nice way to bring a lot of the Boston artists together so that we can show a variety of artists. It’s nice to show established artists from time to time.”
Many artists appreciated the opportunity to showcase their work in another gallery for people to see and form opinions about. Stasiuk emphasized the importance of conveying a spirit to the audience in his artwork. He said that, as an art teacher, he has had difficulty conveying to students the patience involved in creating art.
“As a teacher, you can teach colors and things like that, but you can’t teach how to put spirit into a work of art,” Stasiuk said. “Students often want to get things right the first time, or they want a formula or an answer. It’s difficult for a teacher to convey something that’s about finding an answer after you’ve had a personal history with materials or an idea or making.”
“An Eclectic View” will be on display at the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery through Nov. 27.
Photo by Alex Melagrano