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Fertile Solitude

Fertile Solitude

Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts

October 14–December 18, 2016
Opening Reception Friday, October 14, 6–8pm
Curated by Elizabeth Devlin

ARTISTS Piper Brett, Caleb Cole, Emily Eveleth, Dana Filibert, Cig Harvey, Kyle Hittmeier, Annette Lemieux, Megan and Murray McMillan, Noritaka Minami, Hao Ni, Steven Pestana, Shelley Reed, Erin M. Riley and Sarah Wentworth

Boston, MA—In the rush of everyday life, we occasionally need to hit pause (and reset), but even a moment’s peace can be hard to come by. This frenzy is often furthered by our mutually enabling relationship with technology and a self-inflicted state of constant connectivity. Unwilling to put down our phones to see a sunset, sharing our daily comings and goings with the ghosts in the machine, we self-sabotage our peaceful pursuits and further separate ourselves from ourselves.

Fertile Solitude hopes to offer a reprieve from the madding crowd, an oasis that coaxes us to look inward and take steps towards overcoming our widespread aversion to introspection.

Within the physical framework of a maze, exhibition visitors are left to go their own ways. Their journeys will take them through the works of 15 artists whose histories and visual languages tell their own stories. The exhibition has no singular origin. Rather, its narrative is a compilation of external observations of human behavior, the curator’s ongoing personal quest to achieve homeostasis, the notebooks of French philosopher Albert Camus, the musings of British psychoanalytical writer Adam Phillips, and even a recent study finding that, to an overwhelming degree, people would rather shock themselves with an electrical current than sit in quiet contemplation for even 15 minutes.

With an emphasis on the individual, Fertile Solitude presents art in an unexpected environment that encourages wanderlust, rewards curiosity and contemplates the restorative properties of simply being alone with your own thoughts.

Curator Elizabeth Devlin is an independent curator, art consultant and founder of FLUX.Boston, an online resource for artists and art enthusiasts in the Boston area and beyond. Through weekly event coverage, artist interviews, and educational posts, Elizabeth enables FLUX. readers to feel informed, engaged in, and connected to the pulse of Boston arts. Her writing has been featured in Art New England, New American Paintings, and Art21 Magazine among others. In 2015, she was the organizer and curator behind the Isles Arts Initiative, a summer-long public arts program on the Boston Harbor Islands, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and in venues across the city. A certified Boston Redevelopment Authority artist and curator of several critically acclaimed exhibitions, Devlin strives to make the art world more accessible and to champion the endeavors of Boston's creative community.

Related Public Programs
All programs are free and open to the public

Opening Reception
Friday, October 14 | 6–8pm

Listening the Labyrinth: Sound Event with Maria Finkelmeier
Thursday, October 27 | 6:30pm

Me, Made of Parts: Artist Workshop with Caleb Cole
Thursday, November 10 | 6:30pm


View the entire press release here.

Read Cate McQuaid's review in The Boston Globe here.

Read the review in The Huntington News here.

Featured in the November/December 2016 issue of Artscope Magazine, learn more here.

Read the review in Harvard Crimson here.

Read Art New England Online's review of the show here.

Read a review of the opening of Fertile Solitude in Boston University's Daily Free Press here.

Read an interview with Noritaka Minami, one of the artists featured in Fertile Solitude, in Mass Cultural Council's ArtSake blog here.



National Endowment for the Arts

Institutional supporters

Massachusetts Cultural Council


Liberty Mutual Foundation

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