SURFACE: Paintings by Ruth LaGue, George Shaw, Dominick Takis
The Gallery at Spencer Lofts is pleased to present SURFACE, a 3-person show featuring works by Ruth LaGue, George Shaw, and Dominick Takis. Their paintings focus on landscape, highlighting the diversity of texture and surface present in the natural world. Each artist seeks to impart a sense of depth, meaning, and mystery in their works--a direct influence of their individual observations and experience. LaGue, Shaw, and Takis each assert a direct correlation between consciousness and the material universe: "Our focus is harmonious. Our use of texture and color highlights our different approaches to a similar subject."
Opening Reception: July 8th, 6-9PM
Closing Reception: August 16th, 6-9PM; Artists' Talk 7PM.
Ruth LaGue, Man Tor (2017). Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
George Shaw, Untitled (2017). Oil/cold wax on panel, 24 x 48 in.
Dominick Takis, Prayers for Rain (2013-2016). Mixed media with lichen on canvas, 42 x 56 in.
Furen Dai: Language-Producing Factory
This September, the Gallery at Spencer Lofts is very pleased to present an original installation by Boston-based Furen Dai. Watch this space for announcement of opening reception date.
"Language-Producing Factory" is the culmination of a three-year research project, from 2015-2017. Research is central to my artistic practice. I believe an in-depth research base will make an individual’s art much stronger. My subject is language and my passion for it was cultivated as an undergraduate in China learning Russian linguistics. This rigorous education in language has been the catalyst for my current research on the historic Nü Shu language (translation: Women’s Script). It is the only known language in the world created (in the Hunan Province) solely by and for women. In my recent travel to China, I spent a month researching, filming and interviewing local residents about the Nü Shu language which supported the completion of my MFA thesis project, which comprised of a combination of performative videos that included sculptural components and documentary footage. For my Nü Shu Language project, I travelled to a village named Jiang Yong, where there was a small museum and the Nu Shu language was still being spoken as a museum attraction.
Through direct research I learned that women who knew the language had been pressured by authorities to stay in the village and perform their cultural activities as entertainment for tourists for menial wages instead of finding jobs in nearby larger cities for better salaries. Some women intentionally choose not to learn this language, so they would be free to leave and not have the pressure to maintain the connection with the past. I am fascinated by the irony of how the government is simultaneously in preparing to apply for World Cultural Heritage Sites status based on the secret women’s language and at the same time has accelerated the extinction of the Nü Shu language. I plan to extend this research and feel that I have the potential to turn it into book and video series. Through my investigation, I realized that I want to help the women I met and others like them by giving them a voice, while at the same time, doing my best to preserve this diversification of culture.
For this exhibition I propose a video sculpture installation, which will include three videos projected in the same gallery space while fabricating and installing scenes from the videos that have come to life with performance and sculpture around them. My intention is for the audience to feel as if they are part of the video, and situate themselves in this weird factory observing the process of producing language.
Visual and Educational Objectives and Intended Audiences
My field-research changed how I view this women’s language. Through this exhibition, I want more people come to know this language and the current situation of this language and the women who know it. Through this multiple series work, I want to tell the story of how the language lost its function and began to be manipulated by outsiders using it to attract tourists and benefit their needs. It has now a language primarily for tourists and has become the equivalent of a souvenir for them to take home and decorate the homes.
This exhibition will not only focus on language, but also invite audience to consider cultural tourism, culture industry, intangible cultural heritage status in China and other countries, the soft power of one country, specifically with women’s role in these areas. Cultural tourism is everywhere in our life, I want to use this exhibition as a medium, to bring people’s attention to this phenomena and present it in a creative way.
The installation speaks to multiple audiences of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, including those interested in art, cultural industry .and linguistic. Additional educational programming may include an artist lecture and/or research catalogue.
--Furen Dai, 2017
Our hidden gem, the Gallery@Spencer Lofts!
Founded in 2004, the Gallery was initially co-directed by Spencer Lofts residents Maryellen Cahill and Darlene DeVita. The Gallery's launch was enthusiastically supported by Chelsea City officials, including Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash, now the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development in the administration of Governor Charlie Baker. The Gallery paved the way for CHARCOLL (Chelsea Artists Collaborative) and the Annual Chelsea Art Walk.
Since 2004, the Gallery has continuously hosted scores of exhibitions and events, despite a brief closure over several months for repairs in 2014-2015. A re-opening gala was held in May of 2015.
Our past shows of 2015-2016:
VICTOR BAILEY: THE ART OF JAZZ May 2015 (Re-opening gala featuring exhibit and performance by Victor Bailey and colleagues)
ARTWALK: SPENCER ARTIST-RESIDENTS GROUP SHOW June 2015
MYLES CARTER: PAINTINGS 2015 Sept 2015
JASON PARRIS FITZ-GERALD: VISUAL POETRY IN LIGHT AND LIFE Oct 2015
MARTHA BOURNE BAND, BRITT CONNORS & TRIO Oct 31 2015
Jason and Dar . . . resting from a day of hanging!
Ron helping Jason hang his AMAZING work!!
Jason's opening reception
Victor Bailey, Legendary Bassist and Painter
Sadly, among all the other amazing artists we lost in 2016, we lost our dear friend and neighbor, Victor Bailey, to Charcot Marie Tooth/ALS. Victor lived at Spencer Lofts for 2 years before his illness overtook him and he had to leave us to get 24/7 care. Victor wanted to so much to move back the Spencer; he loved it here, and we loved him!