Caught in the Act

Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 31, 2012
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June 1, 2012

BOSTON — British sculptor Gary Webb is a fast-rising star. Already a big deal in Europe, he’s now making his US museum debut right here at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in a show titled, Gary Webb: Mr. Jeans.
Gary Webb’s work is color: shiny and shimmering. It’s curious. It’s pedestals, pipes and it’s perplexing. The exhibit is also the British sculptor’s US museum debut. Nick Capasso, the deCordova’s deputy director, marvels at Webb’s technique.
“It is just pure, unbridled creativity that he makes manifest in the world, and he goes for it 100 percent. Everything is beautifully crafted, everything is perfect. But it’s all a little nuts,” Capasso exclaimed.

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Arthur Griffin's Lens on Fenway

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 24, 2012
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May 24, 2012

Hear more about the Griffin Museum on Greater Boston

WINCHESTER — Perhaps the best view of the Red Sox these days may be at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester. Small but industrious, the museum honors Red Sox Nation in its latest show.
It’s a Fenway fest at the museum. The park you love, the moments you know and the ones you will now never be able to forget (think nuns). The Griffin celebrates Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary with a veritable scrapbook.
Paula Tognarelli is the executive director of the Griffin Museum. She said they’ve been anticipating Fenway’s anniversary for some time.
“We’ve been planning this for 2 years. This has been so much fun. We have gone out to a plethora of organizations looking for photographs,” she said.
There are stars and stripes, divine intervention and Fenway itself as the supermodel. It’s a photographic party for the park, according to Tognarelli.
“What it does do is focus on the building itself. People who inhabited the space, people who have visited the space, and I believe it communicates the spirit of a Boston icon,” she said.

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Pictures Worth Thousands

By Jared Bowen   |   Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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May 24, 2012

BOSTON — Photographer Ansel Adams once said, "You don’t take a photograph, you make it." Some images also end up making history, such as those by Arthur Griffin that depict decades of baseball at Fenway, or the enormous donation of Adams, Sheeler and Weston photography just received by the Museum of Fine Art from its trustee Saundra Lane. Hear more about those and some shows currently on the stage.

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Arts Ahead: Sometimes Less Is More

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 17, 2012
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May 17, 2012


Vic (Chris Rock, left) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro, right) in What to Expect When You're Expecting. Photo credit: Melissa Moseley

BOSTON — Consider how the simple pleasures in life can inform the arts, from the folk songs that gave people cheer and hope during the Great Depression, or the pastoral scenes of rural Cuba that inform the paintings of Orestes Gaulhiac or even the those rare moments when, as parents, we get it just right.

Woody Sez
Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Extended through June 3

One of the most influential songwriters and balladeers of the 20th century, Woody Guthrie is a musical hero of legendary proportions who transformed folk music into a vehicle for social protest and captured the adversity and hardship of a generation during the Great Depression. His music and activism paved the way for many great American music-makers including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and many more.
Woody Sez brings Guthrie to life in a joyous, toe-tapping and moving theatrical portrait that uses Woody's words and songs.

Hear a conversation about Woody Sez on The Callie Crossley Show.
cuban art
Painting by Orestes Gaulhiac

Orestes Gaulhiac
On view at Galeria Cubana
460 Harrison Avenue in the South End
Through June 17

An internationally acclaimed painter and ceramist, Orestes Gaulhiac is recognized for his diversity in style and technique. Gaulhiac’s focus is on the spirit and energy of the figures. His paintings come alive with captivating elements of romance, humor and mysticism.

Gaulhiac has had numerous one-man gallery shows since the late 1980s. They include the Galería Castillo Mayor in Lisbon, Portugal; Galería Jose Antonio Jimenez de las Cuevas in Puebla, Mexico; Casa de la Cultura Pirámide in Mexico City, Mexico and Galería Robert Saavedra in Los Angeles, California. He has also participated in several group shows internationally.

Watch Jared's preview of Gaulhiac's show in South Boston.

What to Expect When You're Expecting
In theaters Friday

Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestselling advice book of the same name, this is a hilarious and heartfelt big-screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.

Stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Rodrigo Santoro, Ben Falcone and Joe Manganiello deliver a kaleidoscopic comedy as universal as it is unpredictable, with humor and uplift in all the unexpected trials and triumphs of welcoming a child into the world.

Cuban Art Comes to South Boston

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 17, 2012
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May 16, 2012

BOSTON — When it comes to art, relations between the United States and Cuba have thawed enough that in some exceptional cases, American patrons can have access to Cuban artists.
At Galeria Cubana in Boston’s South End, days before a show opening, one can see at work the fine art of managing stress. Gallery owner Michelle Wojcik says, “It’s of course challenging to get the artwork into the country and once it gets here it certainly doesn’t return easily.”
Wojcik’s is a lofty and complicated endeavor. She is one of roughly 30 people in the United States with a license to import artwork from Cuba — work she fulfills by scouring the island alone.
“It’s a very interesting art scene in Cuba,” she said. “Quite diverse. Much more so than one would think from the outset for an island. Essentially, there are many different styles lot of different influences that make the work amazingly dynamic.”
As a case in point, take the work of painter Orestes Gaulhiac, the subject of Galeria Cubana’s latest show.
“You can see in Gaulhiac’s work, certainly, Cubism and different themes of life in the campesino, as they say, in Cuba in the countryside,” Wojcik says.
Gaulhiac said travel influenced his art at a young age. “When I turned 12 or 13 I was taken by the discovery of the countryside. The sensation of freedom of being in a new place has always been in my work. The scenes of farmers and kids is part of my youth and will always be inside my work,” he says.
Because travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba have eased slightly over the last 2 years, Wojcik was able to bring Gaulhiac here for the show. However — days before the show’s opening last week, she didn’t know if the artist or his work would actually arrive.
“In fact his wife, who’s his representative, received her visa a couple of weeks in advance and he did not receive it until late on the day Monday. And therefore he had to take a plane very late, did not sleep and then was on the first plane here Tuesday morning,” Wojcik says.
It is the peril of working in Cuba, where there is no full internet access and artists are often subject to the whims of government. But Gaulhiac says the hassle is worth the exposure.
“This is an opportunity to bring my work someplace else and to show what I do. In the arts this is very important, to be able to take to places what one does, to confront different audiences and opinions,” he says.
In  Cuba, support of all arts is fostered in youth, so the privatization of art is lucrative in a country with wild economic inequity.
“Typically, people get paid about $20 to $25 a month, more or less, regardless of what their occupation is. So a doctor or a lawyer, a professor, will be making $25 a month. And an artist has an opportunity to gain earnings that far exceed that certainly,” Wojcik explains.
For arts patrons here, meanwhile, there is opportunity for rare entrée into a realm where, according to Wojcik, Cuban artists do much with little.
“How they use their materials and not find canvas and not find paper and not find paint — there’s just extraordinary shortages that have really led to an amazing amount of creativity and imagination,” she says.

Arts Ahead: Shadows, Pops and Merry Poppers

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 10, 2012
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May 10, 2012


Olive Another as Maryand in the lastet production from Gold Dust Orphans.

BOSTON — Traditions take new and wild turns as a band of theater renegades reinterpret Mary Poppins, Tim Burton drops a vampire into 20th century Maine and the Boston Pops celebrate America's diverse music history with Steve Martin on banjo.

Mary Poppers

Presented by the Gold Dust Orphans
At Machine (in the Fenway) through May 20th

Gold Dust Orphans give us another rollicking ride through the twisted imaginations of Boston's foremost comedic troupe with the musical parody they have been waiting a lifetime to present.  "Mary Poppers" features Olive Another as Maryand other Orphan favorites: Ryan Landry, Penny Champayne, Bill Hough, Robin Banks and Delta Miles. The troupe is at their best with this show, which is fun and hits the heights of Orphan outrageousness.

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About the Author
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 


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