›› About Off the Wall
›› Off the Wall Prize Winners
›› About Community of Artists
›› View List of Selected Artists
›› View Off the Wall Exhibition Catalog
›› View Community of Artists Exhibition Catalog
›› Work Pick-up Information for Artists
No Work Pick-Up on Saturday, August 11
Left to Right:
Suzanne Booth, Bittersweet (detail), 2012, charcoal, ink;
Jodi Colella, Receptor (detail), 2011, mixed fiber, wire, paint;
Alan Fortescue, State Street Fruit (detail), 2012, oil on board
As a curator of American painting, I often find myself moving between aesthetic appreciation and social interpretation—between beauty and what it has meant to past generations. Not infrequently, explanation takes precedence over contemplation. Reviewing the works
submitted for Off The Wall offered a welcome opportunity to focus more purely on the visual. The submissions revealed a wealth of artists adeptly using the language of art in ways that are compelling, beautiful, and thought provoking.
I gravitated towards art reflecting a strong sense of design and composition, coupled with technical proficiency. Rich surfaces, textures, and patterns are a refrain apparent across all media. Organic forms suggestive of natural processes and biological activity appear
frequently; strongly geometric formal qualities occur in just as many, often as tightly framed views of architecture and the urban world. More than a few works juxtapose nature with the fabricated world. Traditional landscapes and cityscapes appear, but do not predominate. Maps, or cartographic-like forms, appear explicitly in some, while others record the trace of a location, the ghosts and memories of a place and time.
Across the board, I found a strong sense of topography, the recording and cataloging of the natural and artifi cial features of our surroundings. These artists use their work to visually understand and map their environment, offering a way of knowing that is visual—a pictorial index of place and phenomena. As a group, they also provide clear evidence that this place, this region that has long nourished artists, continues to sustain a flourishing creative community.
I thank all of the artists who submitted work. I also extend my gratitude to the staff of the Danforth Museum, especially Katherine French, Director, and Jessica Roscio, Associate Curator and Museum Registrar, for making this gathering of artistic talent possible.
Cody Hartley joined the MFA in 2008 as Assistant Curator of Paintings in the Art of the Americas department, where he contributed to the installation of the new Americas wing, made a number of signifi cant acquisitions, and was a contributing author to several MFA publications. Prior to joining the MFA, Hartley was Assistant Curator of American Art at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA.
Off the Wall showcases 103 works from 80 artists selected from over 1,400 works submitted for jury consideration.
Wellesley College Greenhouse, Sunflowers
archival inkjet photograph
22” x 66.5”
Humanities Expansion, 2011
vinegar paint on canvas
48” x 48”
Carbon Hypostases 59, 2011
charcoal on paper
28” x 28”
Work included in Community of Artists is chosen by Museum Director Katherine French after selections have been made for Off the Wall. French selected 150 works from 133 artists for this year’s exhibition. “Juried exhibitions at the Danforth help establish careers,” says French. “Work from past shows has been selected for other museum exhibits, purchased by private collectors, or helped artists find gallery representation. Off the Wall and Community of Artists represent the Danforth at its best—proof that we need look no further than our own back yard to discover great work. While many museums pursue a global focus, the Danforth is committed to its immediate community. Each year we showcase some of the very best contemporary work being produced within New England—and beyond—and invite everyone to participate in this exciting activity.”
Once again Community of Artists showcases outstanding work by artists connected to the Danforth—proof that we need look no further than our own backyard to discover some of the best contemporary art being produced today. While other museums pursue a global focus, the Danforth is committed to artists living and working within its immediate community. According to research, more than one third of our members are working artists who regularly find themselves in our galleries, both on view and as insightful viewers of exhibits. They teach or enroll in our studio art classes or sell their work in the museum. Artists in fact define the Danforth. They are central to who we are and what we will be in the future.
Selections for this show were made after Juror Cody Hartley chose work for Off the Wall, and are meant to present a broad overview of the various styles and media submitted for jury. While Off the Wall represents Hartley’s unique curatorial vision related to space, Community of Artists explores the vision of a growing number of diverse artists engaged with the Danforth. Paintings, drawings and prints are juxtaposed next to ceramics, woven fabric and basketry. Sometimes elements of each can be found in the same piece as a willingness to employ mixed media, which is increasingly seen, blurring lines between fi ne art and craft. Today’s artists challenge the viewer to look beyond mere categories to consider the work itself.
Finally, it was an honor to work with Cody Hartley, whose painstaking and careful review--as well as a willingness to review and discuss selected works--resulted in two high-quality shows that we’re proud to present. The sheer number of works submitted speaks to the vitality and strength of our cultural community. In 2012, we saw 477 artists submitting more than 1,400 works for review, and the uniformly high standard of these works made the process more competitive than ever. For Off the Wall, 103 works were selected from 80 artists, and for Community of Artists, 153 works were chosen from 136 artists. This provides us with two unique snapshots of the artistic landscape surrounding the Danforth.
Katherine French was recognized by the New England Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) for curatorial excellence in 2007 and was named Best Curator of Locally Made Art at the 2010 New England Art Awards.
Pick-up dates for works in the annual juried exhibitions:
Sunday, August 5, 5-7 pm
Monday, August 6, 12-4 pm
Tuesday, August 7, 12-4 pm
Wednesday, August 8, 12-4 pm
Thursday, August 9, 12-4 pm
Friday, August 10, 12-4 pm
No Work Pick-Up on Saturday, August 11
Sunday, August 12, 12-4 pm
If you are unable to pick up work during these dates, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 620-0050 x 12 to make alternate arrangements.
We encourage you to come on Sunday, August 5, immediately after the close of the exhibition (from 5:00 – 7:00 pm) when you will have the opportunity to take your own work off the walls!