79th Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft
June 21 - August 31, 2014
Opening Reception: June 22nd, 1-3 PM
The 79th Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft, also known simply as The Regional Show, is one of the oldest juried exhibitions of its kind in New England. This annual, summer tradition at the Fitchburg Art Museum strives to discover, encourage, and recognize the talents of artists and crafters from our region (defined as those communities within approximately 30 miles of Fitchburg). The Regional Show provides a professional context for our region’s artists to share their work, network with their peers, and connect with artists and arts enthusiasts in neighboring communities.
About this year’s jurors:
Honee Hess currently leads the Worcester Center for Crafts as their Executive Director, an organization founded in 1856 and most recently affiliated with Worcester State University. She completed her graduate art history degree at Tulane University and began her art museum career at the New Orleans Museum of Art where she worked on the “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibition among others. She later became Curator of Education at the University of Iowa Museum of Art before moving to Worcester to work in Museum Education at the Worcester Art Museum.
Randi Hopkins is Associate Director of Visual Arts at the Boston Center for the Arts where she oversees the exhibition program at the BCA’s Mills Gallery and organizes two studio-based artist residencies and a public art residency on the BCA’s plaza annually. She was Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston from 2008-2011. She was the co-founder and co-director of Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston’s South End from 1998-2008. Recent and ongoing related activities include curating an exhibition of Barbara Bosworth’s photographs as independent curator for the National Park Service in fall 2013 and teaching art history and curatorial practice at Simmons College in Boston since fall 2011.
Juan José Barboza-Gubo: Pink Narcissus
June 21 - August 31, 2014
Opening Reception: June 22nd, 1-3 PM
The Fitchburg Art Museum is proud to present Juan Jose Barboza-Guba: Pink Narcissus, a sole exhibition awarded to the artist as the first-prize winner of last summer’s 78th Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft. This exhibition opens to the public June 21, 2014.
Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo’s work usually involves figures – both human and animal – that appear as symbolic characters from mysterious narratives about religion, spirituality, and personal identity. In Pink Narcissus, which makes its public exhibition debut at the Fitchburg Art Museum, the artist turns his attention away from these actors and towards a stage on which they could appear. Here, he conjures a shadowy, enigmatic place that bears traces of human or animal activity. Viewers are asked to engage with this forest of the mind, to actively imagine the stories that could be told in this setting.
According to the artist, “the title, Pink Narcissus, is derived from the 1971 film of the same name by artist James Bidgood. I was primarily inspired by a scene in which the film’s main character experiences a similar intimate event within a forest – and the way his connection to his environment mirrors the visceral and fragile connection of our emotional selves to our physical selves.”
Barboza-Gubo enjoys the mastery of many media, and in Pink Narcissus he displays his technical prowess in painting, sculpture, installation art, and digital printmaking. Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo earned MFAs in both sculpture and painting at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and holds a BA from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, in Lima. He currently lives and works in Providence, RI, where he is on the faculty of Rhode Island College. This exhibition was organized by FAM Director Nick Capasso.
Building a Collection: Photography at the Fitchburg Art Museum
Through Summer 2014
This special exhibition, organized by Consulting Curator of Photography Stephen Jareckie, features historically significant photographers including Peter Henry Emerson, Alexander Gardner, Alfred Stieglitz, Charles Sheeler, Berenice Abbott, Edward Weston, Bradford Washburn, Harold E. Edgerton, and Paul Caponigro.
The Fitchburg Art Museum began collecting fine art photographs since 1980 by accepting the anonymous donation of Charles Sheeler’s Lever House, an image celebrating an iconic international-style, glass-faced structure erected in mid-town Manhattan during New York’s building boom after World War II. Two more Sheeler photographs, taken in 1929 at Chartres, France, were donated in 1981, which laid the foundation for what has become a collection of over 450 photographic prints.
Alfred Steiglitz, The Steerage, 1915 large-format photogravure, Museum Purchase, Margaret Simonds Sinon Collection Fund
Next, the Museum created a special gallery for changing photography exhibitions in the new Simonds Building, opened in 1989. The Museum has since mounted over forty special photography exhibitions - both major presentations and one-person shows. The photography collection developed as an outgrowth of the exhibition program. Generous donors – photographers and collectors –gave impetus to the Museum’s collecting activity, and advantageous purchases have also strengthened the Museum photographic holdings. In particular, Jude Peterson, a Massachusetts collector and a friend of the Museum, helped sustain our photography program from the late 1990s until his untimely death in 2009. He left over 330 photographs to the Museum. The Jude Peterson Collection, which includes works by major artists, serves as a solid base for the growing collection. The pictures displayed in these newly installed galleries trace the history of photography from the 1860s to the 21st century. These images, mainly American in character, present an overview of a photography collection built over three decades.
Peter Henry Emerson, A Reed Cutter at Work, 1885, from P.H. Emerson's Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, platinum print, Jude Peterson Collection.
This exhibition was organized by FAM Consulting Curator of Photography, Stephen Jareckie, and is supported by the Robert and Elaine Smith Photography Fund. Special thanks to the Culley Street Frame Shop, Fitchburg, MA, for assisting with artwork preparation.
View of gallery installation at the Fitchburg Art Museum (foreground photo by Harold "Doc" Edgerton)
UFOs: Unidentified Fascinating Objects
“UFOs: Unidentified Fascinating Objects,” is a pop-up exhibition that is currently on view. It features unfamiliar objects from around that world that are part of the Fitchburg Art Museum collection. (For visitors who saw the title and were expecting Unidentified Flying Objects, the exhibition does include a mysterious pig with feathers!)
The work of museums is to identify and exhibit their collections. UFOs shares that experience by showcasing unidentified objects, that is, objects without individual, explanatory labels. We hope it will be challenging for visitors to look closely at unfamiliar objects before reading the labels.
Within the exhibition, there are fun opportunities to explore interpretations of the same animal by artists in both Africa and the USA. Viewers can compare a royal African leopard head sculpture with “The Cat,” a hockey goalie mask by Massachusetts artist Ron Slater (who also created the mask for Bruin’s goalie, Tuukka Rask), or carved African antelopes (that symbolize farmers) with the sleek emblem for a 2014 Chevy Impala, on loan from Chevrolet-West in Fitchburg.
This exhibition was organized by FAM Associate Consulting Curator of African and Oceanic Art Catherine Hunter and is supported by the Louise I. Doyle Exhibition Fund.