BEVERLY – Montserrat College of Art is beginning the new academic semester with a selection of exciting exhibitions, all of which are open to the public.
Allison Maria Rodriguez
January 23 – March 4, 2023
Reception: Wednesday, February 1, 5-7
Artist Talk: Thursday, February 9, 11:10AM – 12:00PM, Room H201
Legends Breathe is an ongoing, flexible, multi-channel video installation by Allison Maria Rodriguez that explores the power of creativity and the imagination in overcoming trauma. The project is based on interviews Rodriguez conducted with female-identified and nonbinary artists who each described a childhood fantasy that aided them in processes of healing and survival. These fantasies are then brought to life in an immersive installation comprised of ten video portraits. Each video includes endangered species and threatened habitats, linking the recovery from individual trauma to the healing of ecological trauma. In one image, two figures dressed in red are situated in an otherworldly landscape, flanked by playful red foxes. In another, a figure wearing a fish tail reclines with a book in a seascape featuring fish and coral reefs that also appears to be a swimming pool. Rodriguez’s images are fantastical and surreal as well as poignant and personal. Legends Breathe speaks to the resilience of the individual and finding strength through a deepening relationship to the natural world.
Based in Boston, Rodriguez’s work has been exhibited internationally, throughout the country, and extensively in the New England region. Rodriguez is the recipient of a Brother Thomas of The Boston Foundation Fellowship (2021-2022), an Earthwatch Communications Fellowship (2018), and the grand prize at the Creative Climate Awards (2017). She received her MFA from Tufts University/The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston/Medford and holds a BA in Language, Literature and Culture from Antioch College in Ohio combined with study at Oxford University in England and Kyoto Seika University in Japan.
Seditious Portraiture with Adjacent Landscapes
Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery
January 23 – February 25, 2023
Reception: Wednesday, February 1, 5-7pm
Artist Talk: Tuesday, February 21, 11:10-12:00pm, Paul Scott Library
In this recent series of portraits and companion landscapes, Boston-based artist, Robert Moeller, responds to the incendiary events that took place in Washington, D.C. following the 2020 Presidential election.
A Series of Seditious Portraits with Adjacent Landscapes focuses on the individuals that participated in the January 6th insurrection. As part of an on-going, larger project, the work in the exhibition focuses on, “a time where it seemed half of America was at war with science, the rule of law, and an unrelenting pandemic.” The portraits are not depictions of actual individuals. The portraits, while nondescript and intentionally crude, are abstract and fictionalized representations of the interior surfaces of an insurrection and psychic spaces filled with anger and disinformation. The figures in Moeller’s portraits are intentionally fragmented, half-drawn and brutal. Crushed charcoal is dragged and pushed to shape faces and limbs. Paint tugs at the figures, pulling at them and forcing them to abruptly reconsider their shape in the world.
The portraits are accompanied by kinetic landscapes that propose that the narrative is ongoing and that information, and even reality itself, is disputed. The landscapes are footnotes that are not even remotely pastoral but rather ruinous battlescapes. They follow the portraits with snapshots of erratic emotions and conflict, while subtle areas of green space suggest the possibility of new conversations to be had.
Robert Moeller is an artist, writer, and independent curator. He is the founder of the Cost Annex and its affiliate institution the Cost Foundation, an exhibition/project space for artists in Boston. He is represented by Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA.
Dream in Blue
301 Frame Gallery
Through February 12, 2023
Dream in Blue is a new installation for the 301 Frame Gallery by Montserrat alumnus, Isaiah Hope (’22). Many artists go through periods of obsession with a theme that becomes the focus and embodiment of their work. For some, it’s a creature, an object, a style, a person, or some sort of muse. For Hope, blue has been a point of exploration and fixation. He engages with how blue symbolizes both the ocean and the sky in the natural world and also how blue conveys human emotions. To that end, Hope has entered his own “blue period”–a subtle nod to Picasso–to develop his own style and visual language. Using a variety of acrylics and inks, Hope creates a series of mural pieces that depict mythological beings and creatures of the sea. Through a style that dips in and out of abstraction, he imbues these mythological beings with sense of emotion that only blue can convey. These beings are depicted not only as emanating from the blue sea but also appear to be in a human, dream-like state. As Hope states, “My desire is that when an individual looks at this, they can feel the emotion not only from the color blue but also the emotion that sea itself releases.”
A Lifetime of Achievement
Through February 23, 2023
Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 22, 11:10-12:00, Founders Gallery
Ray Pisano: A Lifetime of Achievement highlights a selection of drawings, studies, and documentation celebrating the life and work of the renowned sculptor and one of Montserrat College of Art’s Founding Faculty.
Born in Lynn and residing in Nahant, Pisano has been carving and creating major stone sculptures, friezes, and memorials for over seven decades. He has been commissioned to create large-scale sculptures in bronze and stone since the early 1950s including major installations at the Forest Hills Cemetery, the Mary Baker Eddy monument in Lynn, and the Frederick Douglass monument in New Bedford, among others.
Pisano, who often makes his own tools in his own forge, has worked on restorations of many major historical sculptures around New England, including restoration work for sculpture and edifices for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston University, Harvard University, and others.
In addition to creating sculpture, Pisano has also worked as a product director for the housewares division of General Electric and conducted product development for Newhart Products, specializing in precision trace masters for jet engines. As a corporate director of product development at Towle Silver, Pisano designed homeware and tableware, an example of which is included in this exhibition.
A decorated World War II veteran, Pisano holds a fifth-year certificate with highest honors from the Boston Museum School, where he joined the faculty after graduating. He has also been a faculty member at Boston University.
Montserrat College of Art is a private, residential college of visual art educating the designers, artists, entrepreneurs for a rapidly changing world that requires creative solutions to new challenges. At the intersection of art, design and technology, the college offers three international programs, 12 concentrations and a required internship program. Montserrat alumni are employed by some of the country’s biggest brands including Disney, Puma, Hasbro and more. Students earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and develop their skills for success in today’s growing creative economy. The college also offers year-round classes for youth, teens and adults through its Continuing Education Division, and has four public galleries offering year-round, free, exhibitions and lectures. Montserrat is “Where Creativity Works.” www.montserrat.edu