Focus and framing, two devices that help us zoom in on what we are interested in looking at, and to filter out what we would rather not see, are critical tools not only for artists but for humans in general, as we make our way through a visually complex world. These aspects of perception are of particular interest to artist Therese Zemlin, whose large iris-print collages and sculpture are on view in “Boundaries and Infinities” at the Beland Gallery at the Essex Art Center through December 1. Zemlin, who has been exhibiting her sculpture, installation, and works on paper for more than 20 years, is the first artist to be featured in the Essex Art Center’s new series showcasing artists who live and/or work in Lawrence.
Therese Zemlin, Iris Series #2 (2005)
In her artist’s statement, Zemlin describes her new body of work as relating to “our tendency to filter out what is in front of us, in order to see something distant, for example, looking through a crack in a fence to see the sky, or looking through binoculars to focus on something distant.” She’s been taking digital photographs of nature for years, but recently she began tracing the outlines of pistachio shells as a way to frame and isolate small elements of her photographs. She then overprints these forms on top of her photographs, cutting and layering the images to achieve a complex result. Zemlin speaks about her work in the gallery on November 30 at 6:30 pm.
For the 15th year in a row, artist Michael Dowling teams up with the Boston Center for the Arts to present his powerful “Medicine Wheel,” a public sculptural installation that includes a 24-hour vigil honoring World AIDS Day, December 1. From November 27 through December 3 visitors to the BCA’s Cyclorama are invited to gather around Dowling’s epic sculpture and reflect on lives affected by AIDS, amid a variety of artistic activities responding to and commemorating 25 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Youth from around the city will create a visual poem reflecting their knowledge of the disease, thousands of their red paper handprints will be sewn into a quilt, and they will over the course of the installation be joined by musicians, artists, dancers and performers from near and far. On November 30 at 10 pm, doors will open for the 24-hour vigil, and the installation will remain open for the full 24 hours of December 1.
Real-life items that we know from supermarket shelves and hobby shops meet up with fantastical manifestations of altered imagined states in the Rhys Gallery’s new show, which, pairing “Heidi Hove Pedersen and Cristi Rinklin,” opens November 30. Hove Pedersen describes herself as placing “the little things” into larger societal perspective; Rinklin’s complex paintings evoke the theatrical, the psychological, and the technological. Sounds like a good stretch for mind and body.
Therese Zemlin talks about “Boundaries and Infinities” at Beland Gallery, Essex Art Center, 56 Island St, Lawrence | November 30 at 6:30 pm | 978.685.2343 | “Medicine Wheel” at Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama, 539 Tremont St, Boston | November 27–December 3 | 617.426.1522 | “Heidi Hove Pedersen and Cristi Rinklin” at Rhys Gallery, 401 Harrison Avenue, Boston | November 30–January 27 | 617.357.7497
On the Web
Essex Art Center: http://www.essexartcenter.com
Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama: http://www.bcaonline.org
Rhys Gallery: http://www.rhysgallery.com