Lowell Self Portraits and Fitchburg Paper Town – Lowell Sun

It’s a great weekend for art in Lowell and Fitchburg, with major shows opening Saturday in both cities.

Curator Mary Hart is honored and excited to open Here We Are/Faces of Creativity, a revealing exhibition showcasing over 100 wonderful self-portraits by Lowell-area artists at the Greenwald Gallery at the Lowell Art League, 307 Market St.

It opened yesterday and runs until February 26. The artist reception is from 3 to 5 p.m., Saturday, February 4, and the artist talk is from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, February 11.

“Ever wonder how artists see themselves? What happens when the subject matter is personal?” Hart asks in his press release.

Artists are known to pay attention to the smallest details. They are known to stare for hours at a bowl of fruit to make a picture. But how do artists see this most personal subject – themselves?

Assembled self-portraits by artists from across the city, from pencil sketch to porcelain, is a chance to peek behind the curtain and glimpse the individual rather than the creation.

The past few years have been difficult, especially for artists and galleries. This has led to introspection, Hart notes.

“Behind every colorful display we enjoy and take for granted in our galleries and on our walls is ‘someone’ – an artist with hopes, dreams and inspiration. Art doesn’t come out of nothing, you know,” she said.

To encourage broad participation, ALL Gallery reached out to all parts of the Lowell art community without barriers. Lanes were provided and fees waived.

The result is this wide-ranging snapshot of Lowell’s artistic community in a wide range of styles, media, techniques and perspectives. Realism and distortion; caricature and chiaroscuro, clear or fantastic, mysterious or brutally honest; in short, the wide range of artists’ individual visions.

Come to the downtown Lowell gallery and see artists you know and others you’ll discover. As an added enticement, the works will not be labeled for the first 4 days of the exhibition, so you can have fun identifying the ones you think you know.

Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Visit www.artsleagueoflowell.org.

At the Fitchburg Art Museum, the Paper Town show opens with a reception from 2-4pm on Saturday, February 4th. Paper is ubiquitous in everyday life, but rarely considered beyond its flat functionality, notes the introduction to the exhibition.

This exhibition takes paper out of the two-dimensional into a world that is fantastical, complex, colorful and personal. Inspired by the materiality of paper and the metamorphic quality of papermaking, Paper City explores paper in pulp, cast, folded and cut form.

It is part of a series of FAM exhibitions that connect contemporary art with the industrial heritage of our region. “Paper Town” is sponsored by Can-Am Machinery Inc. of Fitchburg, Massachusetts and the Sinon Lecture Fund.

Please go to https://68111.blackbaudhosting.com/68111/Paper-Town-Opening to register for the reception to help with planning.

In the Eye of the Beholder: Gender Through the Camera Lens opens Saturday, February 4. The exhibition delves into FAM’s permanent collection to explore how photographers have used the ‘gender gaze’ in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

This exhibition highlights some of the museum’s iconic favorites and recent acquisitions—including works by Gertrude Kassebier, Cindy Sherman, and Yasumasa Morimura—to explore how power is embedded in the male and female gaze. In the Eye of the Beholder further explores artists who experiment with or outright reject the gender binary, questioning and challenging methods of gender perception and representation.

FAM is located at 185 Elm Street, Fitchburg. Visit www.fitchburgartmuseum.org for information, hours and program.

Nancy Tuttle’s email address is [email protected]

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