GERTRUDE’S Artists Salon at the Mills
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What is Gertrude's Artists Salon?

The artist lounge and lab at the Mills is the site of informal, semi-monthly artist-generated/artist-hosted conversations. Join us for idle conversation, heated exchange and the sporadic, sometimes-thematic exploration of ideas that grow out of and into art.

ernie kovacs with gertrude

Gertrude's generally meets from 6:30-8 pm in the Mills Gallery; check back here for up-to-date info.

Each evening’s conversation is hosted by a volunteer artist, artist-team or self-identified art-connected enthusiast who has proposed a subject for the group to consider or activity to engage in, and is prepared to introduce and gently guide process.

Keep your eyes out for the next open call for hosts. You will be asked to email us with proposed session topics and preferred dates.

Image: Ernie Kovacs and Gertrude, 1951

 

 

 

 

 


Upcoming Events:

STAND UP: Women* You Should Know
Salon conversation hosted by Silvi Naçi with Jimena Bermejo

Thursday, June 22, 2017 | 6:30–8 pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA South End Campus
Free and Open to the Public

STAND UP: Women* You Should Know is Silvi Naçi’s interview and lecture series program where women* of various marginalized cultures come together to share conversations about artistic processes, education, community, and contemporary art practices.

In the next installment of Gertrude’s Artist Salon at the Mills Gallery, Silvi will be joined by Jimena Bermejo, a dancer, choreographer, performance artist and dance educator with over 15 years of experience who is inspired by memories, music, and the body, and fueled by identity, race, and power.

Women*: We welcome anyone who identifies as cisgender, genderqueer, trans women, femmes, & non-binary people.


Past Events:

Image- Furen Dai, Language Product, 2016, 16 x 20 inches
Image: Furen Dai, Language Product, 2016, 16 x 20 inches

STAND UP: Women* You Should Know
Salon conversation hosted by Silvi Naçi with Furen Dai

Thursday, March 9, 2017 | 6:30–8 pm
Mills Gallery at BCA
Free and Open to the Public

We continue the third season of Gertrude’s Artists Salon with a conversation on the topic STAND UP: Women* You Should Know hosted by Silvi Naçi in conversation with video performance artist, sculptor and linguist Furen Dai. In this conversation we will be exploring the interdependent themes of language and cultural politics and class, in regards to economic conditions and performance art. With a background in linguistic study, and working as interpreter for several years in China, Dai’s practice centers on language and the culture built through it, reflecting on various forms of interpretation. In her previous work as interpreter, Dai was often in a position between two cultures attempting to examine where these two cultures met, overlap and where they differentiate. However, in her artistic practice, her voice as artist, as individual comes through in the interpretation of image making and documentation of both traditional and contemporary cultures in China, and ultimately giving voice to the women in the cultures she emphasizes in her work.

Furen Dai is a multimedia artists based in Boston, Massachusetts, working mostly in video, performance, sculptural installation as well as painting. Dai has presented exhibitions nationally and to a wide range of audience internationally in Italy, Argentina, Russia, China, Vietnam, Spain and more. She holds a Masters in Fine Art from The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts) and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art, a Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurial Management from Boston University School of Management (Boston, Massachusetts), and a Bachelor of Russian from Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing, China). Forthcoming, Dai is part of the Listhús residency program in Iceland, along with presenting her work in numerous group exhibitions. She is currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow at School of The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

To learn more about Furen’s work, please visit furendai.squarespace.com.

About Silvi Naçi:

Naçi’s work investigates identity, family dynamics, cultural identity, sex, class and the consequences of patriarchal power. Naçi, who was born and raised in Albania (a former communist country), engages in the dialectic between the aesthetically beautiful and historical genealogy as well as identity and socio-political structures. Her work is deeply rooted in feminist ideas, family structures and historical and contemporary social constructs. Naçi works with performance, photography, video, drawing and found historical imagery.


STAND UP: Women You Should Know
Salon conversation hosted by Silvi Naçi with Dell M. Hamilton

Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 6:30–8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and Open to the Public

Dell M. Hamilton, 'Reina #6'
Dell M. Hamilton, Reina #6, from the series Fallen Angels: Making Sense out of Nothing

We’re kicking off the third season of Gertrude’s Artists Salon with a conversation on the topic “STAND UP: Women You Should Know” hosted by Silvi Naçi in conversation with interdisciplinary artist, writer and curator Dell M. Hamilton. We need YOU to add your voice to a wide-ranging evening discussing interdependent themes of photography, performance and persona in relationship to identity, class and gender roles in contemporary art.

The artist lounge and lab at the Mills is the site of informal, artist-generated/artist-hosted conversations. Join us for idle conversation, heated exchange and the sporadic, sometimes-thematic exploration of ideas that grow out of and into art.

About Silvi Naçi: Naçi’s work investigates identity, family dynamics, cultural identity, sex, class and the consequences of patriarchal power. Naçi, who was born and raised in Albania (a former communist country), engages in the dialectic between the aesthetically beautiful and historical genealogy as well as identity and socio-political structures. Her work is deeply rooted in feminist ideas, family structures and historical and contemporary social constructs. Naçi works with photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, found historical imagery, collage, video and performance.

About Dell M. Hamilton: Hamilton’s work draws not only on the historical conventions of photography and performance art, but also on the history of black theater, the written and oral traditions of black and Latina women writers and the contradiction and exuberance of drag performance. Her latest series, Fallen Angels: Making Sense Out of Nothing, investigates the relationship between persona, performance and photography through the conflation of characters inspired by Central American folklore, personal memory and family history.

Dell’s artist talks, solo performances, scholarly lectures, and collaborative performances have been presented to a wide variety of audiences in Boston and New York as well as in France, Italy and Chile. Born in Spanish Harlem (New York City), and with ancestral roots in Belize, Honduras and the Caribbean, her practice wrestles with the social and geopolitical constructions of memory, gender, race, language and history through the mediums of photography, video, drawing, installation and performance.

To learn more about Dell’s work, please visit www.dellmhamilton.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @dellmhamilton


Thursday, June 2: A Deep Read | The Murmuring of the Artistic Multitude: Global Art, Memory and Post Fordism by Pascal Gielen

Salon conversation hosted by Nancy Hart

Thursday, June 2 2016 | 6:30-8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and Open to the Public

Nancy Hart, Vert, 2015
Image: Nancy Hart, Vert, 2015, installation detail, green plastic bags

Join us on June 2 for a salon conversation led by Nancy Hart, based on close reading of an essay from The Murmuring of the Artistic Multitude: Global Art, Memory and Post Fordism, by Pascal Gielen (Antennae // Valiz, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2010).

Together in a dialog with others, we will explore various intersections that claim engagement in our current artistic practices. In a slow read of the chosen “text”, written from critical motivation, this open session will not be preconceived but will be defined by the parameters of the participants.

The goal of this shared public reading in a “relational aesthetic” situation, a term coined by Nicolas Bourriaud in his 1998 book to refer to artistic practices that extend into a realm that includes the whole of human relations and their social context, is to see what it might reveal about what we do [as creative makers] that is an engagement with a neo-liberal market economy.

About our host: Nancy Hart is a recent graduate from the Art Institute of Boston’s MFA Low Residency program, the last class before its demise. The dismantling of the 100 year old historical institution has informed her critical view of art discourse and the situational platform of its professional reverberations.

Hart has a BFA from Tufts/The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and MFA from AIB. Originally a self taught a painter, she now illuminates and charts her current interests and explorations in ephemeral sculptural installation. As an avid reader and font of ideas, she claims “The Studio Mind”, her MFA thesis as her methodological pathway. She has a natural inclination to absorb, connect and hybridize myriad cultural productions such as painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, film, fashion, print matter and food.


Microaggressions, art and you

Salon conversation hosted by James Montford

Thursday, May 5 2016 | 6:30-8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and Open to the Public

James Montford, Black Indian performance

Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1 (detail), 1986

Microagression: a subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype: microaggressions such as "I don't see you as black."

Join us on May 5 when artist James Montford hosts a Gertrude's conversation to explore the methodologies around navigating an art community that supports a patronage of sometimes inclusion. We will examine institutional structures that should speak more clearly about these matters, talk about how artist/citizens can impact art, race and activism, and discuss taking action to challenge racial biases in art history and broader cultural canons today.

images: above, James Montford, Black Indian performance; below, Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1 (detail), 1986


A Brief History of Video Art

Salon conversation hosted by Kat Bossi and Tamara Al-Mashouk
Thursday, March 10 2016 | 6:30-8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and Open to the Public

What is video art, anyway? This session will focus on the rapidly expanding genre of video. We'll start by viewing a few excerpts of video art from the past and present, after which we will open the floor for other participants in the conversation to share their own videos. Please come with a favorite video or two in mind so that we can view and discuss it together (we can queue it up as long as it's online). This can be any kind of video: a music video, a cat video on YouTube, or a piece of video art you might see in a gallery. We would like this to be an open discussion, but also hope to explore a few key ideas, including what exactly we like about watching videos, how recent technology has changed the art form, and what the future of video art might look like.

About our hosts: Kat Bossi and Tamara Al-Mashouk are second year MFA candidates at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. They work primarily in video and co-produce exhibitions and events together. Bossi is a Somerville native whose work explores the performance of gender, sexuality, and identity on the internet. Al-Mashouk uses video to find new perspectives on various subjects, from the body to her life growing up in Bahrain.

Image is a still from Ann Hirsch video, "caRoline+outKAST" from her channel scandalishious on YouTube.


The Spanish Black Atlantic: Strains in Contemporary Art, Part 2

Thursday, January 28, 2016 | 6:30–8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and open to the public

Salon conversation hosted by Camilø Álvårez

Join us on Thursday, January 28 in the BCA’s Mills Gallery when Boston gallerist Camilø Álvårez continues his investigation of the subject of the Spanish Black Atlantic and its relevance for contemporary challenges to traditions and conventions of white supremacy in the art world.

The Spanish Black Atlantic: Strains in Contemporary Art, Part 1

Thursday, December 17, 2015 | 6:30–8pm
Mills Gallery at the BCA
Free and open to the public

Salon conversation hosted by Camilø Álvårez

Join us on Thursday, December 17 in the BCA’s Mills Gallery when Boston gallerist Camilø Álvårez explores the subject of the Spanish Black Atlantic and its relevance for contemporary challenges to traditions and conventions of white supremacy in the art world during Gertrude's Artists Salon.

Steve Locke
Image credit: Steve Locke, Untitled (Family-red), 12 x 16 inches, edition of 10, plus 2 artist's proofs

Álvårez considers this topic as expressed in contemporary art that references and addresses the socio-political context and intense cultural background of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Haiti, and uses it as a jumping off point for a discussion that will delve into the past as well as focusing on the current working methods and practices of artists focused on issues of colonial and post-colonial oppression. We’ll open up conversation on a range of subjects including the dearth of people of color as curators in the US and recent activism aimed at discriminatory art practices at US institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Artists and art enthusiasts are encouraged to join the conversation. Suggested reading in advance of meeting: The Yams, On the Whitney and White Supremacy by Ben Davis.

Camilø Álvårez is the Owner/Director/Curator/Preparator of Samsøñ in Boston.


Artists in Unusual Places

gertrudes resa blatman
Image: Resa Blatman 2015

Hosted by Resa Blatman
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 6:30 - 8pm
Mills Gallery
Free and open to the public

Earlier this year, artist Resa Blatman traveled up the west coast of Svalbard, Norway to the Arctic Circle on an antique tall ship with 28 poets, writers, dancers, video artists, photographers, installation and fine artists. This experience influenced her work and thought processes, as well as her awareness of environmental and cultural realities such as the effects of our plastic usage on the landscape, and the mark that our warming climate is making on the great and beautiful glaciers of the north.

Join us on Wednesday, October 21st in the BCA’s Mills Gallery when Resa Blatman hosts an informal discussion inviting artists and art enthusiasts to talk about their experiences and ideas on the subject of Artists in Unusual Places. Participants are invited to send up to two jpegs reflecting their own experiences, to be discussed during the evening as time permits. Email JPEGs to Randi Hopkins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Topics from our host:
I'd like to talk about how political themes influence our work—I'm not a "political" artist, but I think it's interesting to note how our political environment influences an artist's work, and I'd be very delighted to hear from the audience about the topics that influence them. And I'm always eager to talk about climate change, even though I'm not a professional on the topic.

Brief bio:
Resa Blatman received an MFA in painting from Boston University in 2006, and a BFA in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1995. She taught graphic design at MassArt from 1997-2012. Resa has received several grants and awards, including the Arctic Circle Residency, June 2015. Resa is currently working on a permanent 30 foot wall installation/commission for North Hill in Needham, MA, and will be heading to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia in September 2015 to exhibit her "Gaia, Part 2" installation for 10 months. More info at Resa Blatman's website.


montford melissa blackallYou and Identity in Art

Hosted by James Montford
Thursday, June 11 | 6:30-8pm
Mills Gallery
Free and open to the public

How have you come to understand facets of your own identity, including gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality – and what role has art played in this process?

Do you address identity in your art?

How do images affect the ways you identify yourself, and how you see yourself in relation to others?

Describe a time when you felt painfully aware or uncomfortable in your identity.

Describe a situation when you realized you felt vulnerable because of your identity.

Describe a time when you felt powerful because of your identity.

How do you feel about national protests around race, poverty and power in America today?

Join us on Thursday, June 11th in the BCA’s Mills Gallery when James Montford hosts a discussion inviting artists and art enthusiasts to talk about their experiences and ideas on the subject of Identity in Art.

Image: James Montford in his studio, Melissa Blackall Photography 2015


james leonard sd book spreadImpermanence and the Future Foretold

Thursday, April 2 | 6:30-8:00pm
Salon conversation hosted by James Leonard
Free and open to the public

Seeking a deeper relationship with divinatory traditions? Need your fortune told?  Join us for a conversation on impermanence and our relationship to the future as Gertrude's contemplates the mysteries of WHAT COMES NEXT? hosted by current BCA Artist Resident James Leonard.

GERTRUDE'S artists' salon at the BCA's Mills Gallery welcomes spring with a conversation hosted by Brooklyn-based artist James Leonard, who will share brief excerpts from prior works unSuicide Note and The Winter Codex followed by a reading from his newly released book Seeking Diviners. The book chronicles Leonard's probings of foresight, including saturating multiple Brooklyn neighborhoods with street fliers seeking contact with diviners comfortable discussing the end of the world. Learn more about James Leonard

Drop by to share your thoughts, speak your mind, hang out, listen in and/or learn a few things.

Hoping to see you soon!

Image: Michael Duva


Gertrude’s post-New Year’s Potluck

Thursday, January 8 | 6:30pm
Salon conversation hosted by Randi Hopkins
Free and open to the public

Art makers, curators, writers, educators, art lovers – how did 2014 go for you? Highlights? Low points? What kind of ACTION are you looking forward to in 2015? How can we take advantage of Boston's recent creative surge and up the ART ANTE around here? Let’s talk about it when GERTRUDE'S artists' salon takes an informal, wide-ranging, art-centric view of the current state of things at the BCA's Mills Gallery on Thursday, January 8, 6:30 pm. Maybe even get a few things GOING…

Bring a small dish to share, or just bring yourself, we'd love to see you!


Art School Slide Swipe: Speed Dating Meets the Artist Talk

art school slide swipe banner
Image: Left: Danielle Maio, A Study in 35mm, 2014; Right: Chase Carter, Progress, 2013

Thursday, November 20 | 7pm
Salon hosted by Danielle Maio and Chase Carter
Free and open to the public

Come and discover what art students in Boston are really doing! The BCA's Mills Gallery showcases local art students and their practices, in a format inspired by Pecha Kucha, a rapid-fire style of presentation.

This event is presented in conjunction with GERTRUDE'S artists' salon at the Boston Center for the Arts, and is co-hosted by BCA Education and Community Program Interns Danielle Maio and Chase Carter.


warhol most wanted men 11Some Relevant Pictures

Thursday, October 16 | 6:30pm
Salon conversation hosted by Steve Locke
Free and open to the public

GERTRUDE'S artists' salon returns for its second season at the BCA's Mills Gallery on Thursday, Oct 16, 6:30 pm, with a very special evening hosted by Steve Locke, on the subject of "Some Relevant Pictures".

Join us for a night of discussion about pictures that have been (and continue to be) rich and important touchstones for his work. It will be a chance to see some favorites and maybe discover some new ones.

Image: Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr. (1964) by Andy Warhol. (Photo by Axel Schneider/© 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)


SPECIAL SUMMER EDITION: GERTRUDE'S GOES OUTSIDE

Thursday, August 14 | 7pm
Salon conversation and ping pong game hosted by BCA Summer Public Art Resident Liz Nofziger
BCA Plaza | Free

Stop by for lemonade and conversation around the topic "RULES OF THE GAME," an informal artist-generated/artist-hosted get-together at GERTRUDE’S, the artists’ lounge and lab at the BCA’s Mills Gallery. Conversation will evolve into actual play—come show us your skills, or pick up some new ones on Nofziger's uniquely configured table. All levels welcome.

Artists, athletes, gamers, sports fans, audiences, students—if you are curious and/or opinionated about the many issues raised by creative consideration of topics such as rules and play—tell us about it!


Art as, in and with Education

Friday, June 13 | 7pm
Salon conversation co-hosted by Maggie Cavallo and Leonie Bradbury
Free and open to the public

Artists, arts educators, audiences, students – if you are curious and/or opinionated about the many many issues raised by considerations of art and education – please come join the conversation!

How do you learn about art? Through art?

The overlapping roles of art and education have a distinct effect on the lives of artists, arts educators, audiences, students and the general public. From identifying and being able to describe arts learning experiences, to the place (or lack there of) for the arts in K-12 Education – the relationship between these fields are complex and ripe with opportunity. Join Maggie Cavallo and Leonie Bradbury for an open discussion geared towards defining art as, in and with education. Whether STEM to STEAM, the role of teaching artists in our schools and community centers, considerations of art as research and learning, or the role of colleges and universities in the lives of emerging and practicing artists – these conversations can lead us to models for how we understand both the arts and education.


Salon conversation

Co-hosted by Martha Buskirk and Robert Moeller
“What Do You Say? Writing Over, Under and Beneath art.”
Friday, May 9 | 7pm


GERTRUDE’S artist salon at the Mills

With special guest hosts Emily Eveleth and Penn Young
Friday, March 28 | 7pm

We are pleased to present the second in our new series of semi-monthly get-togethers in GERTRUDE’S, our salon for informal artist-generated/artist-hosted conversations at the BCA’s Mills Gallery. This event will be co-hosted by artists Emily Eveleth and Penn Young.

The event is free, and all are welcome.

FOR ARTISTS - IN ADVANCE OF THE MARCH 28TH MEETING - YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS EVENING, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, FOLLOWS:

Submit an image of a work by another artist that you have learned something from, and come prepared to talk to the group about what you have learned. We are not looking for submissions of works that were used as source material, and we will try to put the submissions in an interesting order. We will try to use them all, though time may not allow that.
Send your submissions

Emily and Penn’s Ground Rules -

  • Bonus points if the work is not in your usual medium;
  • Double bonus points if the work was made prior to 1964;
  • Triple bonus points if the work is from another continent;
  • Submitting more than one image of the same work is okay if alternate views or details are needed. We reserve the right to limit the number of images per person;
  • Attribution info must be included with submission; and
  • Last but not least, think of what you’re doing as opening the door to a group conversation, rather than giving a presentation. So don’t feel that you’ll need to say more than a few words and perhaps answer a question or two.

Thanks.

Emily Eveleth and Penn Young

 

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Mills Gallery hours

Wednesday
12–5 pm

Thursday–Saturday
12 noon–9 pm

Sunday
12 noon–5 pm

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