Photographer on the M.B.T.A.
by Gretchen Graham
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, 1 November, from 7-10 p.m. Music sets provided by The Hi-Tone Ramblers
ON VIEW: Saturdays from Nov. 1-30, 2013; 12pm to 4pm
Gretchen Ann Graham has the T in her blood: her grandfather, WWII veteran Roscoe Victor Wade, was a T motorman most of his post-service working life, ushering patrons from one changing end of the Orange line to the other through his retirement in 1975. Excited to be allowed to ride up front (briefly!) with her Papa while visiting her grandparents on holidays, Graham is still more at ease in the first car on the subway lines than in the end cars (she’s looking at you, Big Red!) In her new show, “Photographer on the MBTA”, she hopes to depict the beauty that can be found in the everyday experience as a patron of the oldest transportation system in the country.
Graham’s black & white film, and colour digital, photographs share what she finds beautiful about the stations, from the older architecture of the original stations to the efficient construction of the newer ones; and the daily experience of being in what is ultimately a publicly intimate and vulnerable situation.
“Most of the time, I love the T!--and I love trains,” says Graham. “I take the Fitchburg line to work, and love the feel of standing on the platform as the train approaches: the feel of the engine through the soles of my feet; the sound of the bell as it blue-shifts into urgency; and I love the caginess of the trolley cars—the E branch of the Green line is my favorite. And sure, for as many of those lucky days I couldn’t miss a bus or a connection if I tried, I have days in which staying put would have gotten me farther—no offense, bus drivers!”
But friends can also be made on even the most crowded of rush-hour buses: Graham credits the 88 and the 73 for introducing her to good friends more quickly than she would have made otherwise.
Graham is pleased to have The Hi-Tone Ramblers provide some nifty train tunes, the soundtrack to the evening’s travels! View their Facebook page for their current whereabouts and Autumn schedule.
So take the 83, 85, 86, 87, 91 or CT2 to come to her show and perhaps, after viewing Graham’s photos, you may gain a new perspective on the MBTA, and be able to keep your spirits up the next time your ride is delayed due to a switch failure, disabled train, medical emergency, or traffic up ahead...!
New work by Marissa Falco, Lauren Leone, and Courtney McKenna
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday December 7, 7-10pm
ON VIEW: December 7-28
Marissa Falco's most recent work reflects on the process of creating communities and building connections between individuals. She uses the medium of quilting to draw parallels between traditional quilting bees and forms of relating in the present day. As a quilt is constructed of different fabric patterns and textures, each member of a community brings elements of their own experience and history to the circle of which they are a part. Falco considers different ways in which she relates to various groups, and how she and other participants create a shared history by combining elements of their individual pasts. Forms inspired by geometry speak to the structure and stability that community relationships may provide to the individual.
Lauren Leone’s new work is a reflection on her recent health concerns and the multitude of doctor’s appointments she has attended in an attempt to find answers. By carefully rendering a portrait of each of her medical providers, Leone successfully gets all the doctors together in one room - a goal that a fragmented healthcare system makes virtually impossible. The slow, deliberate process of embroidering provides a sense of control and intimacy in the face of a system that often feels disempowering and alienating, and can leave the patient feeling frustrated and afraid. Equal parts tongue-in-cheek and careful reflection, Leone employs both humor and the meditative properties of embroidery to find catharsis.
Courtney McKenna uses subtle and elegant embroidery to explore the conceptual connections between the structure of a woman's body and the homes they create. Quiet and suggestive, McKenna combines traditional needlework techniques with naturally aged linens and unsophisticated cotton. These materials bring forth thoughts of cloth close to the body, and cloth close to the home. The artist's thousands of tiny, ornate stitches construct in density into vivid anatomical and structural illustrations. McKenna's work speaks to the energy and concentration we commit to things beyond ourselves, and the way structure of the body and home are manipulated.
Winter Open Studios
Saturday December 7, 12-6 PM
Come by and visit the artists of the WSAC as they open their studios to the public. See works in progress, meet the artists and enjoy some homemade chili amongst other light refreshments.
Megan Mary Creamer
Ileana Hernandez Hernandez
Washington Street Saturdays
Stop by on Saturdays to see what we've got going on.
Each month we have a different show on display every Saturday 12-4 in addition to various events.
The Washington Street Art Center is may be interviewing for studio artists, darkroom space and auxiliary members. If you are interested please fill out a request form here.