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South End art gallery creates inviting, open space

Posted by  February 21, 2014 10:46 AM

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Photographer Mark Peterson in his studio in the South End. His work was featured in second annual juried show at Gold Gallery on Tremont Street in the South End.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Pears

When he opened Gold Gallery at 655 Tremont St, two years ago, owner Adam Gold 
knew the South End was the right place to create an inviting, open space for artists and visitors to come and explore.
“I felt really strongly about having it be in the South End,” said Gold. “I feel like this is a good place for a gallery. It’s not quite on Harrison Avenue, it’s not on Newbury Street. It’s kind of somewhere in between, which I feel like is where we are, you know, we’re just doing our own  thing on Tremont Street.”

And the location seems to be working well for the Gold Gallery, settled in between family-owned boutiques and restaurants.

“The South End in particular — I live here so I can say with experience — really value the neighborhood and local. Anything local as far as it’s artwork, food, or craft. They’ve really responded to that,” said Gold. “I try to have local artists on location as much as possible. My goal is for it to be at some point 50 percent local artists.”

The gallery has clean white walls, interrupted now and then by exposed brick painted white. The hard wood floors extend from the front glass doors to the back wall. There are no doors inside, only archways that keep the viewer walking uninterrupted to each piece.

“I really wanted to create a space that was a welcoming environment,” Gold said. “Some galleries I think can be intimidating sometimes so I wanted to create a space that was warm, educational, and anybody feels like they could walk in and take a look around and enjoy the space and enjoy the art that we’re showing.”

Gold Gallery just finished its 2nd annual juried show, which was curated by Claire Carino, who, along with Gold, sorted through approximately forty applications until they settled on the six artists featured in the show.

The exhibition featured work from artists Kate Sullivan, Jeremy Schilling, Mark Peterson, Ted Ollier, Janet Montecalvo, and CJ Lori. Featured artist Jeremy Paul Schilling, whose paintings, oils on canvas, show a man in a space suit, suspended in mid-air above houses and tree tops, felt the gallery was a good fit from the start.

“The large windows for light, as well as the open floor plan, gave me a good feeling right from the start,” said Schilling. “Walking up the entrance ramp, the space is commanding yet inviting, the reception desk greeting you once you enter a little further into the gallery.”

Photographer Mark Peterson’s “Lynn Series,” featured in the exhibition, captures the photographer’s journey entering Lynn, from the commuter rail station, as his progresses to different areas of the city, ending on a rusty-roofed dry white building, stamped in red capital letters, “BOATS.”

“The train station in Lynn is really interesting and a little frightening because it’s two and a half stories up,” Peterson said. “It’s a funny spot. The beach is sort of beautiful and if you keep going you come to Swampscott, which is very snooty, and like well what’s really the difference between them? How did that happen? I find the fate of locales to be really interesting.”

Most of Peterson’s work revolves around city-scapes and what he describes as the “urban texture” — whether it’s a photo of an elaborate bay window or the archway of a T station entrance. Carino said that, although the Gold Gallery doesn’t typically display photography, it made an exception for Peterson.“When Mark had submitted we thought they were paintings,” said Carino. “When we hadseen his photographs digitally we thought they were amazing and then when we found out they were photographs we thought, ‘This might be even cooler’ because it was just such an unusual medium — for us especially.”

The focus by Gold and Carino was on creating a cohesive show that also spotlighted each unique artist and as all of the pieces arrived, the installation came naturally.

“For this particular show we decided it was more important to highlight each individual artist’s project and let it stand on its own and sing,” said Carino. “The nature of a juried show is that the projects are so distinct so it might be hard to make them dialogue in a way that you’d get with a two person show. That wasn’t even a discussion between both of us as we went to install, it’s just kind of what we envisioned.”

The gallery’s next show, running from April 4 to May 4, will be exclusively still-life. Gold smiles excitedly as he discusses the artists that will be featured. 

“We like group shows a lot because there’s always such a fun mix and with still life it will be nice because obviously when you say still life you picture one thing but by five different artists they’re gonna have different styles,” said Gold. “It will look really cool when it comes together.”

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.

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