Saturday Hours - We are OPEN!

Yesterday LynnArts sent out an announcement saying that their galleries were closing on Saturdays. I want to assure everyone that we will still be open here at TLGUTS. Their decision allows for Jenn, the current LynnArts Saturday staff person, to be in the office an extra day during the work week when she needs to be available to the rest of the 9-5 population. 

For those who have navigated here without knowledge of our gallery or LynnArts, LynnArts is a community arts center with multiple art galleries, some of the most beautiful art galleries on the North Shore, a black box theater, and artist studios. We are located in the lower level of this building.

I was worried about what the Saturday closing meant to TLGUTS because our hours are already limited. I often have to explain to people that we are an independent gallery located in LynnArts; we are not a part of the organization, just very supportive of it. I am still worried that once people think LynnArts is closed that they will also assume we are closed. Rest assured, we are not.

In fact, on Saturdays whenever possible, we will be able to bring our guests upstairs to see the LynnArts exhibits as well. The upcoming show in the Time Warner Gallery, Wearable Art, is very exciting to me as someone who works with fibers, and I am expecting a big turnout in entries as well as attendance.  The Willow community gallery will showcase the cyanotype work of Denyse Murphy, another exciting show, and the Hartman Leigh Children's Gallery will be showcasing the work of Saugus High School students. 

So, yes, we are still going to be open on Saturdays, and will assist those who wish to see the "galleries upstairs" to the best of our abilities.


Closing Reception for Sand T

(Images at the top are from the opening reception)

On Saturday we held a closing reception for Sand T's exhibit UP-CLOSE-AND-PERSONAL. I have grown accustomed to having her work in the gallery and am sad to see it go. Sand T's work drew great interest from the community, bringing many new visitors. Many were already familiar with her work, others were seeing her work, and the gallery, for the first time.

Sand T's work consists of studious compilations of language, sketches, imagery, and a command of a medium she has made her own. Sand began using epoxy to protect her work, then reexamined the possibilities of the compound and began using it as a medium to visually enhance her work. The drops of epoxy she uses on the surface of her work become elements of design, as well as distributors of light and tools of magnification.  

When she uses the epoxy in this manner, elements of the image which help define the conceptual intent of the work are highlighted, helping the viewer interpret her work, seeing beyond the visual beauty of the piece as a whole, and into the private world of the artist. 

She also uses epoxy to create layers between the collaged printed material, adding dimension and space for light to travel through the pieces which would otherwise fall flat on the surface.

Each element of each piece is carefully considered from the creation of the cradle, through the selection and layout of imagery, the relationship of the font styles next to the handwritten excerpts, the masterful use of epoxy, and finally, through the handmade pegs and wooden supports she uses to display the work.

Her work was well received, with many people commenting on its simple beauty, as well as the ingenuity of her technique, masterfully crafted method of presentation, strong sense of design, and overall quality of the body of work. I was thoroughly impressed with Sand not only as an artist, but as a self promoter and supporter of the many artists who came to see the exhibit. I wasn't surprised by this-she is well known in the art community, but seeing her in action first hand is awe inspiring. I cannot stress enough how highly I recommend her as an exhibiting artist.

The closing reception was well attended, with people arriving early and staying late. There was a solid constant flow of visitors who thoughtfully studied her work and were altogether a remarkable group of creative thinkers, ranging from seasoned to upcoming artists, gallery owners and art lovers. 

If you missed the chance to see Sand's exhibit, please visit her websites. She is an archivist extraordinaire. Also check back in June when she will be exhibiting a new body of work in the Willow community gallery upstairs in LynnArts.

Sand T, thank you. I look forward to seeing what you do next.


Who Does She Think She Is?

Today Trinidad and I went to the MFA to see the documentary Who Does She Think She Is, by Pamela T. Boll. We drove through snow and slush, intent on seeing this film.  We arrived with seconds to spare before the start of the film, picked up our tickets at the front desk and walked over to the theater. 

The first person I spotted was Camille Musser, one of the artists featured in the film. She was standing with Pamela Boll. I felt more than a little star struck. After boldly introducing ourselves to these two women, we sat and watched the film. 

The film highlights the lives and careers of mothers who are artists, the obstacles they face internally and externally, and so, so much more. 

I was expecting to be moved, and I was. I was expecting to find commonality with the women in the film and the audience, and I did. I hoped to spend meaningful time with Trinidad, and I did. 

What I was not expecting was the wave of physical and psychological relief I felt upon hearing the voices of other women who also juggle the two roles being validated with film documentation. I was not expecting to leave with more passion for what I do. I didn't think that was possible.

For the past ten years I have been studying the lives of strong, creative women who are mothers. I have read extensively on the relationship between motherhood and artistic process, and informally interviewed mothers I've met along the way.

Some of the women whose process I've witnessed first hand were members of my graduate school cohort. Most of my peers were women, most were mothers, all were exceptionally intuitive and supportive. Through the Arts and Learning, Master of Education program at Endicott College, I was able to explore my artistic process via storytelling, voice, visual arts, drama, dance, creative writing, drumming... you name it, we did it.

Whenever a performance was required, I chose to tell the story of a woman who was a mother and powerful creative force of their time. One of the women I portrayed was Isadora Duncan. 

Duncan lived with fire in her heart. She refused to be molded by society, or create within the restraints of what the art world conceived to be "credible". She was intensely in love with her children. She lived passionately and tragically, without apology for doing so. 

Countless mothers throughout history lived with the intense passion for their art, like Isadora, and countless women live this way today. What Isadora knew, what the women in this film know, and what Pamela Boll knows,  is the power of intention.

Who do I think I am? I am an exceptional person. I intend to live an exceptional life.  I intend to do so as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a mentor, and an artist. 

I intend to use the gallery to support others to do the same. 

And I intend to do so without apology.

"You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you." -Isadora Duncan


Where Does the Name Come From?

When I tell people about the gallery, and ultimately the name of the gallery, I usually get a little chuckle in return. I've been told the name is "cute" and that it sounds like something from Harry Potter. I wonder sometimes if the "cuteness" of the name makes people think twice about the seriousness of the gallery's intention, so I would like to address the issue.

Before the gallery became TLGUTS, it was a music school for Latino students. New music school clients would enter the LynnArts office looking for the school; the space is in the lower level of the building, so I would tell them, “it's under the stairs.” The space is small, so “the little gallery” is fitting, but that's not the only reason I used this monikeresque name for the gallery.

I started my career as a photographer. I learned to create imagery in a wet darkroom, when  a select few owned digital cameras. I know the smell of the darkroom and thanks to one of my favorite professors of all time, Alma DeLaronde, I know the history of photography quite well.

One of my favorite artists of all time is Alfred Stieglitz. I regard him not only for his photography, but for his commitment to furthering artists' careers. His gallery space, The Little Galleries of Photo Secession, better known as Gallery 291, showcased O' Keefe and Picasso, among others, when they were relatively unknown in the United States. He also fought to promote photography as a valid form of artistic expression. 

In the vein that Stieglitz used his gallery space to promote art which was unrecognized and rejected on many fronts, TLGUTS not only promotes seasoned artists, but also offers a space for those artists whose innovative work deserves recognition, regardless of current trends. 
For more on this, stay tuned for our upcoming exhibit of Luba Shapiro's work.  
Artists who are interested in exhibiting at the gallery should read through the blog and look at the work of artists who have previously exhibited in the gallery before requesting a review of their portfolio for exhibition consideration. Please note that work which tells a personal story is preferred. It may be apparent in the work itself, or in a written piece which accompanies the work, but we do not consider work without a personal narrative element at this time.  

I welcome all artists to submit to upcoming calls for work, with the exception of the current call for work created by mothers, which responds to the significant history of dismissal of mothers' artistic works. 

TLGUTS will continue to be supportive of all artists in any way we can and appreciate the ongoing support of the art community in our efforts to promote visual arts and meaningful dialog through visual arts.


Mothers who create

Today I received many inquiries and requests to consider including artists from across the country and abroad for this exhibit. In the spirit of inclusiveness, I am offering this information to include artists from all over:

The Little Gallery under the Stairs, is just that, a little gallery, which means we also have a little budget. I cannot offer to pay for shipment of work at this time, which is why I usually limit the call to local artists. However, I will accept art work from artists who are willing to ship and insure their work both ways, unless they are sold of course. I recommend that artists who would like to send their work contact me directly for more information about this type of entry.  I will work with you to the best of my ability. I try to be very aware of exhibition costs for artists entering juried exhibits, and have kept the gallery commission and entry fees as low as possible, especially in the country's current financial climate.

I ask that you send your pertinent information, entry fee, and high resolution images as soon as possible. As soon as your entry requirements are received, I will let you know whether or not the work has been accepted into the show to allow enough time for shipment. Please be sure to include dimensions as well.

This would be the gallery's first attempt at this method of submissions for a juried show and will refine this process for future exhibits with guidelines outlined in the prospectus. I did not expect, but am excited about the number of inquiries about this exhibit. I am already considering the possibilities of taking this show beyond the gallery walls, which will be determined by the actual number of responses vs. inquiries. 

If you are interested in or plan to submit to this exhibit, and would like to submit ideas about pushing the intent and preface of the exhibit further, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.



Call for Work: Mothers Who Create

Our current call for work, Balance: Mothers Who Create, is something I have been wanting to do for a while. The gallery's first exhibit, Pregnant Dreams, drew an interesting spectrum of interpretation and artists. I keep going back to wanting to explore motherhood and the arts, not simply as subject matter within artistic works, but as a documentation of the various insights of mothers in regards to their creative endeavors. 

When I first graduated from undergrad and had my first child, I was told my art could be put on hold. When speaking to a financial advisor, I was told that my financial goal of having a studio space was a "future" goal; one that could be put off until the baby was grown. I was shocked. Would an accountant be given the same advice? To put off their career until their babies were older? 

I subsequently interviewed every woman I met who created art and asked them about their experience of balancing early motherhood and their careers. I read everything I could get my hands on about motherhood and creativity. Many women put off their big bodies of work, but few who were serious artists stopped creating all together. After battling postpartum depression, I realized that being creative restored my energy, got me out of my funk, and made me a better mother, which in turn helped me grow as a person and become a better artist. The roles of mother and artist are interdependent.

I am interested in gathering a collective body of work created by mothers in all stages of their career, in all stages of motherhood. This exhibit will be curated, and will rely on the stories of the artists (be prepared to answer a question or two when dropping off your work, ) as well as the work itself. 

I am also looking for artists through this call for work to have solo exhibits. Please don't hesitate to write to me with questions. TLGUTS is a family friendly gallery. We have toddler toys on hand, as well as art supplies for the older kids. Children are always welcome, as are their parents.