July 8, 2009

Art of the Community

A wide range of works by artists from Medford, Somerville and Grafton are on display at the Sixth Annual Juried Summer Exhibition

By Taylor McNeil

When Amy Ingrid Schlegel put out a call to local artists to submit work for the Tufts University Art Gallery’s annual juried summer exhibition, she wasn’t sure what the response would be, especially given the state of the economy and the closure of so many commercial galleries in Boston. But when the entries were tallied, it turned out to be a banner year—96 artists living or working in Medford, Somerville and Grafton sent in their work. 

Click on the play button to see a slideshow of the Sixth Annual Juried Summer Exhibition, on view through August 2.

“We wanted to go back to basics,” says Schlegel, director of the gallery. “We didn’t want people to feel intimidated. If they had applied in the past and hadn’t been accepted, we wanted to make them feel welcome to apply again.”

Schlegel and the full-time staff at the gallery juried the show, which involved a long process through four rounds. And, unlike in the past, judges voted for not just the artists but the individual works as well. That means that some artists have one piece in the show while others have four or five.
Most of the 36 artists—working in drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture—are new to the gallery, including Don Springer, whose photographs represent the first submission from the Grafton community.

This year the gallery is providing even more context for viewers by offering cell-phone tours of the exhibition. Viewers dial in and hear a brief introduction, and then select stops to listen to each of the artists along the way.

The Tufts University Art Gallery is open in the summer Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. See http://ase.tufts.edu/gallery/shows/summer-09.html for more information on the exhibition.

Taylor McNeil can be reached at taylor.mcneil@tufts.edu.

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