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Color:CodedRunning from September 15, 2017 to October 21, 2017 in the Main Gallery.

The New Art Center (NAC), in collaboration with guest curators Michael Covello Odalla and Alison Terndrup, is pleased to present Color:Coded. This exhibition engages with the layered issues and loaded history of color – as both an element of visual art and a social construct – through video work, paintings, and site-specific installations by a diverse group of eleven artists.

Curated by: Michael Covello Odalla and Alison Terndrup
Featuring: Alison Chen, Zhiwan Cheung, Michael Covello Odalla, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Kalup Linzy, Noelle Mason, Desiree Moore, Beth Plakidas, Elizabeth Schneider, Saya Woolfalk, and Michelada Think Tank

Color theory provides a formal set of guidelines for making and interpreting art. The interplay of paint hues on a canvas or the precise calibration of projected color in digital works can shape the mood of – and ultimately a viewer’s encounter with – a work of art. Yet our experience of color is often translated through complex, culturally and socially defined networks. How does color enable us to express our own personal and group identities within these networks? What does the popular use of artificial binaries – such as black/white or pink/blue – ultimately say about our society?

Many of the artists in this exhibition use such color “codes” to raise deeper questions regarding individual and group identities. Their work explores the connections between aesthetic accomplishment and poetic, philosophical, and political messages. Video artist Alison Chen ties color relationships to ideals of femininity, social conditioning, and idealized romance through subtle cues such as nail polish. In his video “Conversations Wit De Churen: As Da Art World Might Turn,” video and performance artist Kalup Linzy explores melodramatic storylines and humorous scenarios akin to TV soap operas. Fictional artist characters compete for opportunities, exploring and upending stereotypes regarding sexuality, race, gender, and cultural identity through costumes, music, video and sound editing, and voice dubbing.

The concept behind Color:Coded was initiated while curators Michael Covello Odalla and Alison Terndrup were studying and teaching at the University of South Florida. “As Florida continued to make national headlines with Stand Your Ground shootings, there was a decided shift in how we approached working in the classroom and the studio”, says Covello Odalla. “Color theory seemed to be the perfect area to unpack these societal concerns, because color can be measurable and formal, but clearly has powerful influence on the conceptual as well. It allowed students to burst through the studio “bubble” while still learning time-honored visual techniques.”

Michael Covello Odalla is an internationally exhibiting contemporary artist who creates paintings, works on paper, site-specific installations, videos, and audio work. Covello Odalla studied at the School of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, receiving his BFA in 2008, and the University of South Florida, receiving his MFA in 2013. Recently, he was nominated by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for an award and exhibition, was selected for the Florida Biennial in Boca Raton, and was one of ten artists selected for the Orlando Museum of Art’s Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, as well as a Marlin and Regina Miller Fellowship recipient at Kutztown University. Covello Odalla is currently an Assistant Professor in Art at The College of New Jersey.

Alison Terndrup is a teaching fellow and graduate student in the doctoral program in the department of the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. Her research in cross-cultural studies in Ottoman and Islamic art reflects her curatorial interest in facilitating dialogues that reach across artistic disciplines. Terndrup earned her BA and BFA at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. She completed her MA at the University of South Florida (USF), where she was one of the founding members of the Writing History, Art, and Theory (WHAT) student organization. Recent curatorial projects include Photographing the City at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts as well as the exhibition catalogue for Sun-Kissed at the USF Contemporary Art Museum.

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Wen-hao Tien: Weed Out

Wen-hao Tien: Weed OutRunning from September 22, 2017 to October 19, 2017 in the Holzwasser Gallery.

Wen-hao Tien: Weed Out
September 22 – October 19, 2017 in the Holzwasser Gallery
Reception: Friday, September 22, 6-8PM
Wen-hao Tien has spent countless hours looking for traces of wilderness in the city, namely, plants that normally go unnoticed—or, if noticed, are usually pulled out or mowed over. She transplanted what many consider unsightly weeds from across New England, combining them into a living sculpture.

The seeds of these plants, transported by wind and birds, flourished in a wealth of unexpected habitats—the wall of a canal lock, a sidewalk, the unseen edge of a landscaped garden. During outings with a “weed-mobile” that she built, she encountered curiosity and varying perspectives from neighbors and strangers. One person’s discarded plant is another’s crucial ingredient in a recipe, she learned. In the audio recording, she draws attention to what she calls “weed words” in various languages in order to surface linguistic habits that align with the treatment of weeds. What are “pure” words and plant species, versus “invasive”? How do powerful forces such as migration, rejection and assimilation affect the norms of culture as well as natural world?

Tien’s work asks us to contemplate ideas of wantedness and unwantedness, control and letting go, alienation and belonging, and fundamentally, the tension between wholeness and persistent transformation within our society. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the installation by weeding-out or weeding-in plants.

ABOUT WEN-HAO TIEN: Wen-hao Tien is a visual artist, educator, and Assistant Director of Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, Regional Studies.

Wen-hao grew-up in Taiwan and later moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies. Her studio artwork focuses on language and translation, and explores culture and identity through a unique cross-cultural lens. She is also known for her contemporary Chinese calligraphy, and painting.

A long time Cambridge resident, her professional background includes 15 years working at Harvard University’s Asia studies centers and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University. She is currently an Master of Fine Arts degree candidate at the Lesley University’s College of Art and Design. See more of Tien's work here.

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2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows; ft. Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Running from October 27, 2017 to December 2, 2017 in the Main Gallery.The Mass Cultural Council and the New Art Center in Newton join together to present the 2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows Invitational in Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. By bringing together Artist Fellows from different disciplines, the exhibition will demonstrate the inventiveness and vitality of today’s Massachusetts contemporary artists and photographers.

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Jeanne Gugino & Meirav Zaks-Zilberman

Running from October 27, 2017 to November 30, 2017 in the Holzwasser Gallery.

Jeanne Gugino & Meirav Zaks-Zilberman
On View: October 27 – November 30, 2017
Reception: Friday, October 27, 6-8PM

The two painters in this exhibition both convey poetic insight into the ways we experience the world around us through making art. Taking inspiration from nature, history, and culture, NAC faculty member Jeanne Gugino uses layers of translucent color to achieve an expressive depth in her abstract watercolors. NAC and SMFA student Meirav Zaks-Zilberman, drawing on her background as a dancer and a scientist, discovers the beauty within moving bodies, by exploring the interactions with light, form, and energy in her oil on canvas paintings.

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Newton Art Association James King Bonnar Exhibition

Running from December 8, 2017 to January 2, 2018 in the Main Gallery.

Newton Art Association James King Bonnar Exhibtion
On View: December 8, 2017 - January 2, 2018
Opening Reception & Holiday Sale: Friday, December 8, 6-8PM

The Newton Art Association (NAA) and the New Art Center present the NAA 2017 James King Bonnar exhibition, showcasing the work of over eighty Newton artists in a variety of media. Join us as we celebrate the winners of this year’s Bonnar Awards. Looking for a truly special gift this year? Enjoy browsing a selection of work by local artists, priced at $200 or less, at the NAA Holiday Sale where you will find art for all the loved ones on your list.

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Grey & Leslie Held

Running from December 8, 2017 to January 4, 2017 in the Holzwasser Gallery.

Grey & Leslie Held
On View: December 8, 2017 – January 4, 2018
Reception: Friday, December 8, 6-8PM

This exhibition features fabric collages made collaboratively by Grey Held, Collaborative Drawing instructor at NAC, and his wife Leslie Held, an award winning theatrical costume designer. Leslie’s collection of fabric scraps, ribbons, and salvaged sections of embroideries are the basic materials Grey and Leslie use to construct their various fabric collages, each with its own color palette and emotional temperature. The pair describe their work as something that emerges and evolves through the process of collaboration; they never know how a piece will turn out, but must surrender to the collaborative process that has its own trajectory, its own unfolding story.

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Stitch: Syntax/Action/Reaction

Stitch: Syntax/Action/ReactionRunning from February 15, 2018 to March 24, 2018 in the Main Gallery.

The New Art Center (NAC), in collaboration with guest curators Jessica Burko and Samantha Fields, is pleased to present Stitch: Syntax/Action/Reaction. This Curatorial Opportunity Program (COP) exhibition explores how the history of fiber has shaped our culture and language today.

Curated by: Jessica Burko and Samantha Fields
Featuring: Samantha Bates, Sarah Meyers Brent, Merill Comeau, Samantha Fields, Judith Leemann, Michelle Lougee, Victoria Marsh, Maria Molteni, Andrew Mowbray, NCAA, Bob Oppenheim

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