Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lowell & the Lowell Photography Weekend

Last weekend (November 11 and 12) was the Lowell Photography Weekend, which involved five participating galleries and their respective photography-related exhibitions. I visited Lowell mainly because of the Photo2006 Black and White Classic exhibition, where my one piece "View from Ladder" was displayed in the back section. The juror of the exhibition was Ron Rosenstock, who had studied with Paul Caponigro and Minor White for a number of years. The selected works were really, really wonderful. I can honestly say that I loved and admired every single piece there (and I was damned lucky to have gotten one piece in!). When you first walk into the gallery, four of Paul Wainwright's stunning pieces from his Spirals series (pictured above) are directly in front of you. I believe some of the prints in this show are not on his website. Paul Wainwright is the juror for the exhibition closing this Saturday November 18 at artSPACE@16, called PROOF: in Black and White (see my previous blog post). The Lowell Brush Gallery show is really wonderful, but its lack of publicity is a shame. I can't find an image for it on the web, but Meg Birnbaum's "Cowgirl" is a very memorable image. Meg's work is also exhibited at artSPACE@16. Another familiar name in this exhibit from PROOF is Silke Hase. I wished I could remember more names and I wished there is an updated page on The Brush Gallery's website, but there isn't. I understand that it's a volunteer-run organization and that website updates are not easy (I neglect mine all the time and do not update this very blog often enough), but one could only imagine that it must be difficult for the press to publish any content on it without even any information on WHO are in the show. I tried to obtain postcards for the show, but there were none left when I dropped off my work... *sigh* The biggest disappointment was that the juror Ron Rosenstock was not there during the opening reception. This show really is fantastic, but as far as I know, it didn't make it into the Globe. It runs until January 7th at the Brush Gallery.

My husband Ken and friends Joel and Maya accompanied me through all but one of the participating galleries at the Lowell Photography Weekend. Ken and I had visited Lowell for a Dar Williams concert over the summer one evening, but we had never walked around Lowell before. And I believe it was the first visit for Joel and Maya. I was surprised at how many museums and galleries there were in Lowell. The Whistler House Museum of Art has some good quality work exhibited in its main member's exhibition and its digital photography exhibition in the outer gallery and is worth visiting. On our way to the various galleries, we stopped by the Revolving Museum. The installation piece in the lobby and the kitchen walls filled with painted matzohs are some of its most impressive features. The current exhibition is "Race, Class, Gender ≠ Character." It's an interesting theme. One video installation that I almost didn't pay attention to turned out to be the most poignant piece to me. I think the title was "After the Smile." It candidly captures different groups of tourists posing for someone else's camera in front of some popular tourist attraction. When the posed shot is over the smile immediately fades and are often replaced by frowns, annoyance, or dejectedness. The Revolving Museum has one of the better websites of the above mentioned galleries and museums in Lowell.

The revitalized Lowell is a beautiful place with many old mills converted into modern luxury condos and museums. One can see that much money has been raised to make it beautiful, but how does it keep running as a self-sustaining economy? Does UMass Lowell offer enough consumers for its retail businesses? Are there enough art collectors and buyers to frequent its many museums and galleries?

1 comment:

TheresNoTylerDurden said...

Thanks for blogging this. Quite interesting. Best to you and Ken