“Gettin’ hitched?” Artist Kelly Sherman circulated that question to everyone she could think of last month as she searched for about-to-be-married couples willing to be interviewed on videotape about their experiences planning the Big Day — in particular, how they approached the seating arrangements for their wedding receptions. And though today’s prospective brides and grooms can buy software that allows them to use an Event Wizard to assign guests to tables, we all know that the task is mired deeper in emotional pitfalls than the “Drag & Drop” method can easily address. Sherman, who’s been selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2006 ICA Artist Prize, is currently artist-in-research at Roxbury’s Berwick Research Institute, where she’s spent this spring exploring the ways in which practical, logistical decisions — about the seating as well as the dress, the cake, the flowers, the caterer, etc. — cause couples to confront and mediate family relationships. She’ll talk about her project, “WEDDING SEATING ARRANGEMENTS: MANIFESTATIONS OF (DIS)HARMONY,” and share her results at the Berwick on June 24.
Kelly Sherman, video stills from Wedding Seating Arrangements
In the late 19th century, so many great American artists worked and lived in Paris that in 1887 Henry James reported, “When today we look for American art we find it mainly in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a good deal of Paris in it.” Opening at the Museum of Fine Arts on June 25, “AMERICANS IN PARIS, 1860-1900” showcases some 100 paintings that prove James’s point, including James McNeill Whistler’s iconic Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1, a/k/a “Whistler’s Mother” (1871), which is rarely seen in the US and hasn’t been to Boston since 1983, John Singer Sargent’s scandalous Madame X (1883-’84), and Mary Cassatt’s impressionist Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878). You’ll need a ticket for this show, so plan ahead — it’s sure to be a popular destination this summer.
James Hull, whose artistic curatorial vision has been bringing us the esteemed Green Street Gallery since 1998, and Douglas Weathersby, whose EnvironMental SerVices has been quietly keeping the Boston art scene just a little bit cleaner since 2004, team up to present “THE DIN” (also known as “The Den”), a group exhibition in Hull’s South End loft on June 17 and 18. The show has mind-bending work of a psychedelic nature from artists including John Guthrie, BA Wolf, Isabel Riley, and Brian Zink. (Several participating artists also exhibit their work at Allston Skirt, the gallery I run.) The organizers invite one and all to come “look, listen, lounge, sit, snack, smoke, drink and doze off.” Ahh, summer.
KELLY SHERMAN talks about “Wedding Seating Arrangements” at Berwick Research Institute, 14 Palmer St, Roxbury | June 24, 7 pm | 617.442.4200 | “AMERICANS IN PARIS, 1860–1900” | Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston | June 25–September 24 | 617.267.9300 | “THE DIN” at James Hull’s Laconia Loft, 433 Harrison Ave, Unit #118, Boston | June 17-18 | noon–6 pm | 617.670.2189
On the Web
Berwick Research Institute: www.berwickinstitute.org
Museum of Fine Arts: http://www.mfa.org
Green Street Gallery: http://www.greenstreetgallery.org