They surge from pedestals and jut from walls. They are fashioned from such varied materials as bone, bronze, matchsticks, twine, postcards, and neon green plastic, and they bear fascinating names like “Elephant-Toed Alien,” “Ring of Au,” and “Dawn for a Discarded Drape.” And they are small—no more than a foot wide, a foot tall or a foot deep. They are the finalists in Maud Morgan Arts’ 3D Small Works Salon 2013, an exhibit juried by artist Annette Lemieux, Senior Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, and they are drawing viewers into their orbits at the Chandler Gallery.
From a distance, the works appear straightforward, but when the viewer leans in closer, each piece swells with complexity. In Jeanette O’Connor’s “Wholly,” an unstitched softball cover hides a baseball. Kay Dolezal’s work entitled “Bubble Wrap—Unpopped,” appears to be just that until the viewer discovers the entire piece is constructed from tiny translucent beads. What looks like gravestones on a grassy hill in Willow Ross’s “Exit 3,” become, as the viewer approaches, three miniature portable lavatories on a dirt cupcake.
As the sole juror, Lemieux undertook her task with a great sense of responsibility. “After decades of being an artist and a teacher, I know not to walk into a situation with an agenda, whether it be aesthetic or theoretical…it is also important for me to serve when I can for the community of local artists.” She even went back after a few days for a second look at the entries to reassess her choices with “a fresh eye.” In the end, she picked the 27 finalists because each piece is “informed with rigor, invention, craft, art history, [and] personal history.” She is also a fan of what she calls, “the good ‘why not?’” Says Lemieux, “I am always interested in discovering works that are not routinely out there in the public eye…you know, the unusual suspects.” This exhibition offers plenty of those.
The Maud Morgan Arts 3D Small Works Salon is on display at the Chandler Gallery from March 21 through May 24, with an opening reception on Sunday, April 7, from 3-5pm. The following artists will have pieces included in the show: Violet Byrd, Ruth Daniels, Deborah Dendler, Kay Dolezal, Gary Duehr, Kara Fall, Carol Greenwood, Peter DeCamp Haines, Karine Kadiyska, Mahmood Rezaei-Kamalabad, Kathleen Kneeland, Saberah Malik, Jeanette O'Connor, Dan Rocha, Willow Ross, Jessica Straus, Stephanie Stigliano, Suzanne Stumpf, and Ariel Wolff.
Maud Morgan Arts (MMA) is a program under the umbrella of the Agassiz Baldwin Community, a private, non-profit organization with a forty-year history of quality programs and services in the Cambridge community. MMA comprises a full arts program of classes and workshops for all ages, the Chandler Gallery, and a collection of original art by noted artist and community resident Maud Morgan (1903-1999). The agency works to reflect the diversity and talents of the community, bringing people together to make art, share art, and support visual arts education.