A Fond Farewell

My snapshot of Mira Cantor’s painting, Turlough, in her exhibition “Inundated,” October 2016.

In early 2015, I became Kingston Gallery’s first director. An artist-run space, it was a particularly appropriate endeavor for me, as one of my favorite parts of my profession is working with and supporting visual artists.  I’ll never forget the collective gaze of the twenty-five artist members during the final interview. It was intense, in a good way.

At an October 15 gallery talk with Mira Cantor & art historian Pennie Taylor

The next year and a half was a blend of me being impressed by the artists, whether during studio visits, at monthly meetings, or installing exhibitions, and learning the rhythms of the commercial art business in a changing neighborhood. Several new galleries opened on our block in 2016, and not long after that, the Globe significantly altered the way they cover visual art. At times, First Fridays seemed to arrive at a weekly pace rather than by the actual months they were scheduled.

Being a visual artist is a brave and adventurous vocation, and my time at Kingston added only further certainty to this reality. Through it all, the Kingston artists remained steadfastly connected to the gallery’s mission to exhibit high-quality artwork by regionally based artists with singular and independent voices.

It was my job to increase the reach and profile of the gallery, and of each artist. I couldn’t ask for a better way to reacquaint myself to the Boston art scene after having spent five years living in Raleigh, NC. Meanwhile, I knew that ultimately, I wanted to curate the exhibitions, to choose the art, the subject matter, and every detail of what went into the shows I worked on. I got that chance when I was offered the position of Curator at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, an opportunity that I accepted. As a result, I am no longer the Director of Kingston Gallery, but I continue to support its terrific artists and this independent business.

Alternative spaces of this kind bring consistently bright and varied voices to the city’s cultural landscape, enabling the public to put their finger on the pulse of what some of our most talented artists are working on right now. I wish to thank all of the members and associate members for letting me feel like an honorary member, and like a vital part of the gallery.

Detail of an installation in Ann Wessmann’s solo exhibition, Being: Vertical + Horizontal, September 2016.

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