Folk Art & Crafts

Arts And Crafts-Style Chair

Friday, October 14, 2011
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Rough Cut

Monday, September 13, 2010
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A Tour of Roxbury's "Living Legends"

By Talia Whyte   |   Monday, March 12, 2012
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Susan Gilliam Thompson talks about her public art at Roxbury Crossing (video by Talia Whyte).

BOSTON — Artist Susan Thompson participated as a “living legend” in a trolley tour, examining the contributions of Roxbury women to Boston history. The tour was hosted by Discover Roxbury as part of a women’s history month celebration. Other women both living and deceased given praise on the tour included community organizer Melnea Cass, METCO head Jean McGuire and Dr. Susan Dimock, the founder of what is now known as the Dimock Community Health Center.

I have passed through the turnstiles at Roxbury Crossing many times and never knew the history behind the beautiful textiles. I think it is really great to have such a tour because it helps give more context to things people may see on a regular basis in their daily lives, but don’t take much notice to, like passing through a T station. More importantly, the tour is designed to help attendees better appreciate the contributions of the many people from a neighborhood that is generally seen in a negative light in the media.

“The tour is designed to help people from other communities better understand all that is great in this neighborhood,” said Discover Roxbury executive director Derek Lumpkins at the end of the tour. “We hope we can make all communities stronger this way.”

This article was produced as part of the Black Perspectives Now series.

The Best of Contemporary Art: The deCordova Biennial

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, February 9, 2012
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Feb. 9, 2012

Art can scarcely get any more contemporary than what you’ll find at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum right now. It’s second biennial survey of all that’s hot in New England art is on view now. Add your comments to the discussion on "Greater Boston."

BOSTON — Chandeliers that fail and fall. Photography that winks…and winces. Vegas sparkle and old school charm. This, according to the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, is the best of New England contemporary art—all selected for its 2012 Biennial.

“It’s a hunt. I mean I have to say it’s not shopping, it’s a hunt," says Dina Deitsch, Contemporary Art curator.

Abigail Ross Goodman, a guest curator for the show, adds, "“We’re sort of cracking open the region. We’re trying to show people a range of what’s out there. Think of pomegranate popping open and all the seeds.”

For a year and a half, Biennial curators Dina Deitsch and Abigail Ross Goodman scoured New England galleries and artist studios searching for the best of the new.

“There are artists really at all different stages of their career. All different, working in all different medium. But we were looking for that moment when an artist's voice comes through crystal clear," says Goodman. “There’s no theme that will lead you around. But it’s all for the viewer to decide and that’s sort of the fun of this exhibition.”

From film to sculpture to painting, the Biennial fills the DeCordova’s expansive spaces. While there are no themes per se, there are trends. This is recent work influenced by recent events like the economic downturn.

“At the entrance to the museum is probably our most overt, spectacular, in the classic sense of the word," Deitch says. "It’s a giant 9 by 20 foot sign in lights. And sort of retro stylized, as you would see in a carnival. It's by Steve Lambert and it really takes that questions and asks you 'Capitalism Works for Me, True or False?' As an interactive sign, you are asked to vote.”

In their survey of galleries, the curators also discovered a resurgence of Trompe l’oeil, or trick of the eye work, like the chandelier really made out of wax or the architectural refuse actually crafted from plaster. Goodman says, "Trompe l'oeil also speaks to the counterpoint of skepticism. I think at this particular moment, lots of artists in different ways are asking us those questions, to think about what we’re really seeing, asking us to look more closely with our eyes wide open.”

Eye-opening for completely different reasons is Lauren Kalman’s photography,  titled “Blooms, Efflorescence and Other Dermatological Embellishments”.  In a word, ouch.

“She’s been interested in the medical records of skin disease, for instance and also the ornament of the body," says Goodman, "so she looked at photographs of skin diseases that had been captured and then copied that in jewelry that she then put on acupuncture needles, performed and then applied to her own body, then re-staged the photographs.”

From the pierced to the stitched, there is work bound in precedent here as well as in Anna von Merten’s quilts. “It’s about tradition," says Deitch. "Traditions have been what happens when you take that technique and make an image of the night sky that tells a history of art and science. And so there’s a really sort of beautiful melding of what art can be and has been.”

Definitively though, the DeCordova Biennial shows comprehensively where it’s going.

Found: Love Letters From Cole Porter

Thursday, February 9, 2012
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This 17th-century rhinoceros horn cup, purchased for one dollar at a flea market, is worth between $350,000 and $450,000!
Check out a new episode of Antiques Roadshow in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Part 1 of 3 in Pittsburgh features intimate letters between Cole Porter and actor Monty Woolley; a circa 1920 silk Kashan rug; and a 17th-century rhinoceros horn cup, purchased for one dollar at a flea market, worth between $350,000 and $450,000. In Pittsburgh, Roadshow recorded an interview with its first centenarian guest. This moment will be part of a first series of web exclusive video appraisals for 2012.

Want to attend Antiques Roadshow?
This is a chance for New Englanders to have a free verbal appraisal of their treasures by antiques experts from the country's leading auction houses and nationally known independept appraisers. About 70 appraisers covering over 20 different specialties will be in Boston on June 9, 2012.

All Antiques Roadshow events are free, but they do require an advance ticket for admission. If you wish to attend, fill out the online form. The 2012 Tour will make six stops around the U.S. this summer. Join us in Boston on June 9th or visit the tour map and decide which show you'd like to attend. The deadline to apply is April 16. 

Have questions about attending? See the Antiques Roadshow FAQ page or use the toll-free number 1-888-762-3749.

Where You Live: 'Always Christmas' In Georgetown

By Terry and Rick Palardy   |   Wednesday, November 16, 2011
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Nov. 16, 2011

wooden toys and gifts

Terry and Rick Palardy sell homemade gifts out of the former barn next to their house in Georgetown. (Courtesy of Terry and Rick Palardy)

GEORGETOWN, Mass. — We are living our retirement dream. Rick started making wooden ornaments for gifts back in the mid-‘70s in Georgetown. Both sets of parents were living in town also. We bought a small cottage-turned-home, and he began digging, with pick and shovel as his dad had done before him, to create a work space underneath the house. He set up a few tools, and continued making ornaments. Many years later, we sold that first home and moved to where we are now, on North Street.
It is always Christmas here. Rick makes more than just ornaments now... wooden trucks, spinning gravity-powered carousels of all sorts, tops, puzzles, doll furniture to fit the popular 18" dolls, a rocking baby cradle, a rocking motorcycle and scroll-cut plaques for the US military branches.
I have always painted the ornaments and now make coverlets and quilts for the doll furniture. I play Christmas music out in the shop all year long, and during the school year spent many hours sitting in that happy setting to correct student essays.
I continued teaching until this past June, 2011, when I had to retire due to limitations caused by multiple sclerosis. I began self-publishing the writings I'd been doing for years... some on teaching, some poetry, and some on living in the small town of Georgetown after growing up in the City of Boston. I continue to quilt, continue to donate infant quilts to the neonatal unit of Lawrence General Hospital (something I'd started anonymously with a group of students who met after school to stitch with me) and now I am making one for the Linus Project and for the ALS patients project.
Our parents are gone now, and our children grown. But we are living our happily-ever-after years, right here near the center of town, where we can walk to everything basic when we, too, reach the age when we can no longer drive. I just published a book, through Amazon, and on sale at our shop and at Little's Block of Shoppes in Georgetown Square. The title of the book is "Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium." In it I share stories of our town.

Terry and Rick Palardy are the proprietors of Wooden Toys and Gifts in Georgetown, Mass. You can read Terry's writing at Beyond Old Windows.

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


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