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The Mass Media

Boston Center for the Art’s Mills Gallery: an opportunity for artists and curators

Located on Tremont Street, The Boston Center for the Arts works to highlight and partner with rising artists in hopes of creating new and unique exhibits while connecting our community with the art and vice versa. Compared to other major museums and art centers, the BCA likes to highlight what’s different. They are further from traditional than most, which is exactly why I chose to write about them and their continuously growing Mills Gallery.

“Growing Sideways” is their newest exhibition by artist Catalina Schliebener and curator John Chaich. It is also their first exhibit since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Dozens of drawings and collages takeover the Mills Gallery in a site-specific, floor-to-ceiling installation. Playing with two and three-dimensional surfaces and art, Schliebener and Chaich create a disjointed, thought-provoking exhibit that explores the depth of gender formation and erotic curiosity (1).

With the incorporation of different colors and odd but interesting shapes, symbols, and random items like bows and stripes, Schliebener’s pieces are aesthetically unique. That is what I really enjoyed; I loved their boldness.

Schliebener also conveys their message in a way such that most who relate can enjoy their art to a deeper level and extent. I could sense the personal journey and background that was being portrayed in this exhibit. I feel like a lot of our student body would be interested in “Growing Sideways” and its message.

Feel free to look on BCA’s website to book a time between 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday until Oct. 24. The BCA is following COVID-19 protocol and only requiring all visitors to schedule an appointment.
As stated, this exhibit is scheduled to last through Oct. 24, so that doesn’t leave too much time!

The Mills Gallery will be changing all the way through the fall and spring with “Growing Sideways” being the first installation of the BCA’s new 1:1 Curatorial Initiative series.

The 1:1 series is to highlight solo artists and will either introduce a new artist or highlight a new aspect of a more experienced artist. Each exhibition will be on view for five weeks (2).

The Boston Center for the Arts is currently accepting proposals for this new curatorial initiative, and are taking rolling applications until the start of 2022 (2).

BCA will provide a stipend for both the curator and the artist, as well as exhibition expenses as detailed on their proposal form which can be found on their website (2).

This is a very rare opportunity for rising artists and that is also why I wanted to highlight this to UMass Boston. There are numerous talented students and professional staff on campus that I feel would deserve an opportunity such as this one.

The BCA breaks down more on the stipend for the exhibit and also their application process on their website.

Overall, proposals will be evaluated on five key factors demonstrated by the artist: experimentation, responsiveness, balance, community engagement and potential impact.
This curatorial will be lasting until Feb. 20, 2022, but do not hesitate to apply. Even if not accepted for the exhibition, there is the possibility of connecting and networking with the BCA.

Applications are being accepted for curators, as well as for the 1:1 series which will pair an artist and curator together to create one big masterpiece of an exhibit.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, apply online and reach out to the BCA! Maybe even go in person to chat with an admin.

Take a chance and see what comes from it!

1) https://bostonarts.org/event/catalina-schliebener-growing-sideways/

2) https://bostonarts.org/event/1-1-curatorial-initiative/

About the Contributor
Mikayla MacKay, Arts & Lifestyle Editor