Upcoming in the arts

  • “Eliana,” a pastel portrait that’s part of the exhibit “I Am More: Massachusetts,” opening Jan. 31 at the Holyoke Mall. CONTRIBUTED/AMY KERR

  • Photos by Pamela Petro take an impressionistic look at dusk in an exhibit opening Feb. 5 at the A.P.E. Gallery. Image courtesy A.P.E. Gallery

  • “South Bronx Dining,” part of an exhibit of work by photographer Jill Freedman at the Augusta Savage Gallery at UMass Amherst. CONTRIBUTED

  • “Mr. Wiggly” by Alex Kessler, part of an exhibit on papercutting and collage opening at Forbes Library on Feb. 2. Forbes Library

Monday, January 31, 2022
Photos byJill Freedman atAugusta Savage Gallery

AMHERST — “Theater of the Streets,” which celebrates the work of iconic documentary photographer Jill Freedman (1939-2019), will run from Jan. 24 to March 11 at the Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The exhibit’s subtitle — “Social Landscapes Through the Lens of Jill Freedman” — speaks to the photographer’s work on society’s fringes, where she felt a deep affinity with the marginalized and the downtrodden, who were often the subjects of her work.

A photo titled “South Bronx Dining,” for instance, shows a young barefoot child eating a sandwich while seated on top of a wrecked car; piles of junk and a ramshackle wall of corrugated metal frame the image’s background.

This student-curated exhibit is a collaboration among graduate students from the UMass Public History program, the Department of History, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.

Holyoke Mall exhibit
celebrates ordinary people

HOLYOKE — Beginning Jan. 31, the art exhibit “I Am More: Massachusetts” at the Holyoke Mall will depict 20 people from the commonwealth who have struggled with mental illness, addiction, disabilities and other issues — but whose portraits are designed to remind us that we are not defined by our problems.

The 20 pastel and colored pencil portraits, which feature the subjects in their favorite places, are accompanied by personal essays in which each person describes how they’re dealing with their challenges.

“I Am More: Massachusetts” has been put together by Gloucester artist Amy Kerr, who was inspired to create the exhibit following her own experience with serious depression.

The exhibit, which includes portraits of people from Amherst and Leverett and will be on display in Holyoke till March 12, has been staged in a number of locations around the state since 2019 and will conclude at the Massachusetts State House upon the building’s reopening. 

Forbes seeks artistsubmissions forexhibit on ‘home’

NORTHAMPTON — How do you define the concept of “home”? Forbes Library is looking for creatives from western Massachusetts to submit recent work on this theme for a virtual exhibit that will open March 1 and run to April 30.

“We envision a range of creative work,” the library says in a statement, “including (but not limited to) how we live and who we live with, what makes us feel at home ... houses versus homes, housing insecurity, immigration, emigration, community, the neighborhood,” and more.

“We’re interested in seeing, reading, hearing how you experience the intimacy home may provide, the strangeness it can induce, the alienation it may elicit as one seeks shelter in the world.”

Submitted work can include visual art, writing, video, and music and dance (in video format). Applicants must live in one of the four counties of western Massachusetts, and the work must have been created since Jan. 1, 2020.

Submissions are due by Feb. 11 and are limited to three per person. Written submissions have a 500-word limit, and videos are limited to four minutes.

Entry forms can be found at forbeslibrary.org by scrolling down the left side of the home page and clicking on the link for the exhibit.


Temporary closing of Eric Carle Museum extended

AMHERST — The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which had previously announced a closing Jan. 1-15 for building maintenance and staff time off, will now be closed through Feb. 2 due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

“We apologize for the inconvenience for anyone who has purchased advance tickets for the next two weeks,” the museum said in a statement. “Reservation holders will be contacted directly and issued a refund.”

Online orders from the museum’s bookshop will be available for curbside pickup.

For the museum’s Feb. 3 reopening, visitors are asked to reserve tickets in advance, since walk-in visits are not guaranteed. Questions about this or anything else to do with the museum can be sent to  info@carlemuseum.org.


Mo Willems exhibit at Michelson Galleries

NORTHAMPTON — An exhibit of abstract art by children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems, “Gravity + Other Thoughts,” has opened at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton as a benefit for the Western Massachusetts Food Bank. All of the artist’s proceeds from the show, which runs through Feb. 28, will be donated to the Food Bank.

In a statement, Willems notes that “2021 was an odd year, numerically and culturally. As they have for the past few years, making abstraction has been a solace. Color, shape, and form can change, but their fundamentals are reassuringly eternal.

“Showing the Gravity works to a friend,” Willems added, “I was told, ‘You’re trying to keep a lot of balls in the air.’ Aren’t we all?”

Photo exhibit at A.P.E. Gallery

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 5, Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery will open “In the Blink of Our Lifetimes — The Ecology of Dusk,” an exhibit by photographer and writer Pamela Petro of Northampton, who says she created this impressionistic series of photos through movement and light, not computer manipulation.

“Shooting the dusk series I learned that dusk is not a unilateral event but a process, like a slow, rolling wave,” Petro writes. “Each day there are three stages of twilight. ... The final moments of each phase are called ‘dusk.’ The marine tones of these images, taken at nautical dusk, suggest that the sky blues land as readily as it does the sea.”


‘Knife, Paper, Scissors’ at Forbes Library

NORTHAMPTON — An exhibition of papercuts and collages by Northampton residents Greta Kessler, Scott McDaniel and Alex Kessler opens Feb. 2 at the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library.

Kessler has worked in a variety of fields including printmaking, fiber arts, basketry, jewelry making and origami and has also taught crafts throughout New England. She calls paper-cutting a “centuries-old folk art” and finds inspiration in historical papercuts from Eastern Europe.

McDaniel, who has designed and restored architectural stained glass for more than 45 years, has been a member of Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence since 2010. He says his collages are made from paper left over from monotype prints he has made.

Kessler, meanwhile, learned paper-cutting at his mother’s side and later studied art at The Cooper Union before developing a career as a printmaker, photo editor and event planner. He draws inspiration for his papercuts from folktales.

The Hosmer exhibit runs through Feb. 28.

— Compiled by Steve Pfarrer