Past Exhibitions
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Image: Brian Cirmo, Angle, 2013

Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts

Curated by Susan Metrican

The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) presents Feelers, the 24th installment of the BCA Drawing Show, this year featuring work by 56 artists. In Feelers, curator Susan Metrican considers the possibilities of existing in a two-dimensional reality through drawing’s inherent encounter with flatness.

The exhibition draws its title from Edwin Abbott Abbott’s novel Flatland, a 19th century sci-fi examination of dimensions in which Abbott describes a two-dimensional world occupied by geometric figures.  Metrican notes that in this novel, “the squares, octagons, straight lines and so on are all governed by the rules of their flat world, and their behaviors and customs reflect their limited reality as they can comprehend it.  In Flatland, to be a ‘feeler’ is to determine one’s surroundings by reaching out to touch it with appendages.”

It is this kind of touching, testing and searching that unites the work in the exhibition. Feelers brings together a group of artists, works and practices that feature artists’ sensitivity to materials, subject matter and the ability to use feelers to explore through practice and ideas.  Using the principles of drawing as its ground, the show opens up to gestures of flatness, line, touch and emotion. In Feelers, the work considers the line that is drawn between the experience of the three-dimensional world or the multi-dimensional interior world to a separate and exterior surface.

Exhibition curator Susan Metrican is an artist whose work includes painting, sculpture, and video.  She is a co-founder of kijidome, an experimental collaborative and project space in Boston, which is a recipient of the 2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize awarded by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.  In 2014, she had solo exhibitions at Boston University and Proof Gallery and was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.  In 2013 she was the sübSamsøn artist-in-residence at Samson Projects.   Metrican has been featured in group and solo exhibitions in New York, DC, Vermont, Chicago and holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  She currently lives and works in Boston, MA.

Jennifer Amadeo-Holl, Erika Baglyas, Diana Behl, David Bligh, Dan Boardman, Adina Bricklin, Luke Buffenmyer, Theodore Cantrell, Kate Castelli, Xinyi Cheng, Brian Cirmo, Heather Clark, Barbara E. Cohen, Corey Corcoran, Ruth Daniels, Ian Deleón, Samantha Fields, Rachel Frank, Ariel Freiberg, Gabriela Gamboa, Brian Christopher Glaser, Carly Glovinski, Zachary Herrmann, Nona Hershey, Erika Hess, Kolbeinn Hugi, Vanessa Irzyk, Heather Kapplow, Heidi Lau, Sarah Lubin, Julie Martini, Timothy McCool, Valle Medina, Andrew Mowbray, Nancy Murphy Spicer, Jenene Nagy, Rebecca Newhouse, Liz Nofziger, Marcus Payzant, Diana Jean Puglisi, Carol Radsprecher, Benjamin Reynolds, Ellen Rich, Jennifer Schmidt, Lenny Schnier, Mark Schoening, Gary Setzer, Jim Shrosbree, Garric Simonsen, Jill Slosburg-Ackerman, Eric Stefanski, Willie Stewart, Alain Urrutia, Matthew Whitney, Fanny Wickström, Maxine Yalovitz-Blankenship


Related Public Programs

block-openOpening Reception
Friday, October 9 | 6 - 8pm



block-talkFeelers: Artist Talks
Thursday, November 12 | 6:30 - 8:30pm



block-wkshpFeelers: Curator’s Choice
Thursday, December 10 | 6:30 - 8:30pm




For press inquiries please contact:

Randi Hopkins, Associate Director Visual Arts
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 617-426-1522

The BCA's Visual Arts Programs are generously supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation.
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Image: Ryan Arthurs, (Untitled 91) George River, Labrador, Canada 2012, Digital print (detail)

Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts

Curated by Steve Locke

Arcadia brings together a diverse group of artists and artistic practices that focus on the idea of the landscape as a site of human endeavor and a source of human experience. This exhibition puts forth the idea that the desire for pastoral space in the city creates a productive tension, one that raises the question of how we navigate the world and, more importantly, of what we want from the nature that is framed and preserved in our built environments.

It may seem strange to think of the landscape as built but as city dwellers we see this dialog between the "natural" and the "constructed" played out all around us. Exhibition curator Steve Locke notes that, “from the Boston Common and the Public Garden to the Emerald Necklace and the new Rose Kennedy Greenway, our city is in the throes of a discussion about public green space and its purpose. The very history of Boston and the Back Bay in particular is a nexus of green space, urban planning and engineering.”

From a park in Brooklyn to the edge of a continent, the work in Arcadia shows artists dealing with timely questions, and proposing innovative works that can be seen as models for understanding space as a site of possibility. How does one make a "great journey" when every aspect of the planet is mapped to a phone?  Why do we leave marks in nature and how does it mark us? How do images from and of nature (rendered across technologies) replace, or even enhance actual experience? Arcadia invites the viewer to look closely at our relationship to our environment and what it is telling us about ourselves and how we move through the world.

Featured Artists: Ryan Arthurs, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Leah Gadd, Eirik Johnson, Marie Lorenz, Frank Meuschke, Matthew Noonan, Anri Sala and Joe Wardwell


About the Curator

Steve Locke was born in 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio, grew up in Detroit, Michigan and lives in Boston. In 2013, he exhibited in his first solo museum exhibition there is no one left to blame, which was organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2014.  He is a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and a Pollock-Krasner grant.  He has received a Contemporary Work Fund grant from the LEF Foundation, and a travel grant to Turkey from the Art Matters Foundation. He has received multiple nominations for the Joan Mitchell Award and the Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. In 2008, he was the visiting professor and artist in residence at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2001 and holds Bachelor's degrees from Boston University and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Art Education.  Steve Locke is represented by Samsøn in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the proud product of a Jesuit education.


Media Contact

Randi Hopkins
Associate Director of Visual Arts
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 617.426.1522

Dawn M. Simmons
Director of Communications
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 617.426.1118


View the installation photos


Related Public Programs

block-openOpening Reception
Friday, July 10 | 6-8pm



block-talkA Walk Through Arcadia
Thursday, July 16 | 6:30 - 7:30pm
Gallery walkthrough and conversation with curator Steve Locke.



block-talkArtists Panel Discussion
Friday, September 18 | 6:30- 7:30pm
Curator Steve Locke moderates a discussion with exhibition artists and invites the audience to participate with questions.


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Image: James Montford, Black Indians in Space: Will it be hands up don't shoot? 2015, Melissa Blackall Photography 2015

James Montford: Persuasions 1990—2015 is the first retrospective survey of artist James Montford’s confrontational work and ongoing engagement with racial stereotypes and social alienations. It features a range of works highlighting his repetitive and grid-like visual portals, along with maps, proclamations, performance videos and documents.

Montford trained and studied at Brandeis University, Columbia University and the Maryland Institute of Art.  He has worked at the Phillips Exeter Academy, Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Rhode Island School of Design and, since 2005, as a teacher at Rhode Island College and director of its Bannister Gallery. This retrospective explores his personal landscape of civil unruliness and insistent social persuasions, integrating his own racial confrontations into his visual constructions.  Examples include the hangman’s nooses and various commercial memorabilia featuring racist caricatures of black folks that began appearing in his work and video performances in the early 1990s. Exploring Montford’s interrogations as a series of conversations in which he periodically questions current social fixations and weaves them into his ongoing productions, the exhibition ranges from his work in the 1990s to his current projects that incorporate the national social moment of "Hands Up" sparked in response to Eric Garner’s racially charged arrest and death in New York City.

Considered within post racial discursive arcs of twenty-first century art productions that purportedly transcend and complicate overt discussions of race and representation, Montford’s compositions literally refuse a detached approach to race, identity and historical legacies, which may position him as an exaggerator or storyteller within an obsolete politics of resentment.  However, our tumultuous national racial animosities of the past year encourage a fresh look at Montford’s provocative inducements within the broader Boston community and its conversations on race.

James Montford: Persuasions 1990—2015 is organized by Vera Ingrid Grant, and accompanied by an exhibition catalogue. Grant is director of the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at the Hutchins Center, at Harvard University, and author of “Visual Culture and the Occupation of the Rhineland” (Cambridge: HUP, February 2014); “White Shame/Black Agency: Race as a Weapon in Post-World War I Diplomacy” (Champaign: UIP, January 2015) and "E2: Extraction/Exhibition Dynamics" (Cambridge: HUP, October 2014) and editor of Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection (Cambridge: HUP, February 2015).

Read more about Montford's provocative mid-career survey.

View the installation photos


Related Programs at the Mills Gallery:

block-openOpening Reception and Silent Performance
Friday, May 1 | 6-8pm, with performance at 6:30pm



block-talkPersuasions Dialogue
Thursday, May 21 | 6-7:30pm
Conversation with artist James Montford and curator Vera Ingrid Grant



block-wkshpGetrude’s Artists Salon: You and Identity in Art
Thursday, June 11 | 6:30-8pm
James Montford hosts a participatory discussion inviting artists and art enthusiasts to talk about their experiences and ideas on the subject of Identity in Art.

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Curated by Robert Moeller

Free, Public Opening Reception: Friday, April 17, 6-9pm

Yeah, You Missed It!

And perhaps, that’s the point. You missed it. This exhibition continues to explore the very temporary placement of art in both traditional and nontraditional venues. The show, part of an ongoing series, features a rotating group of both artists and curators, organized by Robert Moeller, who work together to program very brief pop-up exhibitions. These can range from informal backyard events to the embedding of new work into an existing art collection in someone’s home for an evening. This exhibition at the Mills Gallery, lasting only two days, has in its title the most likely response to questions about its brief existence: Yeah, you missed it!

With work by: liselot van der heijden, kristine roan, a.b miner, julia parker, franklin evans, raul gonzalez, maggie jensen, caroline bagenal, dead art star, pat falco, antoniadis & stone, maria molteni, frank egloff, genesis baez, dave ortega, geoff hargadon, andrea sherrill evans, sarah krizon, j.r. uretsky, carlos jimenez cahua, anthony palocci jr., nick schietromo, elaine bay. Plus: ¡Té Lo Perdiste! An individual and overlapping durational performance program curated by anabel vázquez rodríguez featuring work by benjamin lundberg, dey hernández vázquez, ian deleón, shey rivera ríos. And: A Table: Get organized, Get saved! Presented by: nia evans, Boston NAACP, lissy romanow, Neighbor to Neighbor, and priscilla flint representing the Black Economic Justice Institute.

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ACTION KITS is an exhibition of new interactive artworks by five artists. Each of these works takes the form of a kit – a coordinated set of things that have been assembled to be experienced by visitors to the exhibition.

To create these interactive systems, five South End-area professionals have been paired with five artists. Each professional was asked the same five questions about their personal working methodologies and problem-solving philosophies. Their answers have been translated by their paired artist into an interactive kit. The completed ACTION KITS will be on exhibit in the gallery alongside the original questions and answers.

action kits infect affect
Jamilah Sabur, Infect Affect: Inflammation Everywhere (detail), 2014


ACTION KITS artists:

Jamilah Sabur, who lives and works in Miami, FL
John C. Gonzalez, who lives and works in New York, NY
Susan Metrican, who lives and works in Boston, MA
Marcus Civin, who lives and works in Baltimore, MD
Jamie Zigelbaum, who lives and works in New York, NY

ACTION KITS South End-area professionals:

Stewart Clements, photographer, Clements Photography & Design
Lyndia Downie, President and Executive Director, Pine Street Inn
Claudia Eliaza, Director of Music Therapy, Community Music Center of Boston
Nathan Felde, Professor and Chair, Department of Art + Design, Northeastern University
Jennifer Siegel, Assistant Professor, Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University Medical Center


View the installation photos


block-openOpening Reception
Friday, January 23 | 6pm




Related Public Programs
Free and open to the public:

block-perfThomas Willis performs exercises by John C. Gonzalez
Friday, Feb 6 | 7pm



Friday, March 20 | 7pm
An inventive evening of music created in the spirit of collaborative participation with Community Music Center of Boston.


block-talkCurator and Artists Talk
Wednesday, March 25 | 6pm
With curator Matt Rich and exhibition participants

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