When the members from the Artist Group of Charlestown (AGC) closed up the door after their Open Studios event in December, 2019, there was no reason to think it would be more than a year before anyone put up art on the walls again.
So many unexpected last times have taken place since COVID-19 hit, and so for the AGC it has been 15 months since any of their members have displayed their art at the popular Medford Street gallery – until now.
Starting this Friday, April 2, the AGC will open their doors by appointment each weekend in April for ‘Revitalized,’ a new and dynamic show of multimedia art from 38 artists. Much of it is work done during the pandemic and works that have not been shown publicly due to the restrictions on gallery shows for the past year, and the show also serves to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary.
“We haven’t had a show for our members since December 2019 Open Studios and for this show we had 108 entries and we chose 82 pieces for the show,” said Show Juror Dara Pannebaker. “We have 38 artists in the show and we chose at least one piece from each artist that submitted. Everyone has been chomping at the bit to do this. We have all been working on our art for a year now and everyone wants to finally show it.”
Fellow Juror and artist Julie Alailima said being able to have a real show after all this time is a “harbinger” of good things to come.
“It’s a relief to get this gallery back open and to see new art here,” she said. “It’s great to bring peoples’ art back to the walls to be seen. It’s not ideal. There is no reception and we have to do it by appointment, but it’s more than what we’ve been able to do for a year. I feel this year is a big victory over what we’ve gone through. I think this show is a harbinger of good times ahead.”
Nancy Kueny, Realtor at Gibson Sotheby’s, said they were happy to sponsor the show, something they have routinely done for a long time, but weren’t able to do over the last year.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Everything has been so quiet over the last year,” she said. “It’s wonderful they are open again and especially in the spring. We’re always happy to support them and hope there will be a lot more shows.”
For many artists, they have been able to work in their studios and/or in their homes throughout the quarantine and COVID era, and it has produced some incredible art. However, beyond online galleries, there have been no shows to participate in – no chances to see how the public reacts to their pieces or to get critique from fellow artists in real time.
The theme of revitalization was chosen to help the community begin to emerge and heal from the toll of the pandemic. Alailima said, “Through times of fear, uncertainty, collapse, and grief, we are somehow able to find what we need to turn our difficulties into meaning, purpose and beauty. ‘REVITALIZED’ is the artist’s expression of renewal and rebirth through the artistic process.”
The public is invited to come to the StoveFactory Gallery; hours are listed below. Safety procedures shall be observed by all. Free to all to attend. No public restrooms. All works of art are available for purchase. Donations to the StoveFactory Gallery/Artists’ Group of Charlestown are accepted through their website: www.artistsgroupofcharlestown.com.
To attend, please make an appointment during these time slots:
•Friday April 2, 5-8 p.m.;
•Saturdays and Sundays: April 3 and 4, April 10 and 11, 17 and 18, and 24 and 25 – all days from noon to 5 p.m. To sign up for a gallery appointment, please go to www.artistsgroupofcharlestown.com.