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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

University Hall’s art gallery’s ‘Dot Now’ is coming to a close

University+Halls+art+gallery+Dot+Now+is+coming+to+a+close
University Hall’s art gallery ‘Dot Now’ is coming to a close

University Hall’s art gallery is located right on campus and is free for all to visit. The current exhibition is called Dot Now and has been in place since Nov. 18, 2019, but it will be ending this week, right before spring break begins, on March 13, 2020. It is located on the first floor of University Hall and is open during the week from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. The Dot Now exhibit that is currently on display is focusing on local artists in the Dorchester, Savin Hill community and their work. On the sign at the entrance, there was an ‘about the exhibition’ section that said, “Dorchester is Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood. The borough’s complex demographics, with a mixture of identities and international backgrounds, intrinsically influenced our selection of artworks for Dot Now.” The artists that make up the gallery include Marlon Forrester, Rixy Fz, Zach Horn, Andrew Mowbray, Ngoc-Tran Vu, Aiden Nguyen of Vănguard, Cristi Rinklin, Susie “Cookie” Smith, Deandra Shannon Spence, Joanna Tam, Jamal Thorne, and Joe Wardwell. I won’t get to talk about every piece and every artist in depth, because you should see the work for yourself. I can try my best to describe it to you, but it will be gone soon enough and is worth seeing.

The first thing you see featured in this exhibit is a tall stack of milkcrate boxes. Beside this stack is six square pieces of wood that seem to have fit into the milkcrate boxes at some point. The driftwood that is placed in the center of the gallery is called “Raft” by artist Andrew Mowbray, resident of Savin Hill. He found these pieces of wood off the shore near UMass Boston, on a path you can only get to by foot. The artist wrote about his piece saying, “these forms were created from castaway wood cutoffs that were connected and reconfigured to fit within a milk-crate”. 

Written on the wall of University Hall were wishes for Dorchester, with the authors as the residents of the famous neighborhood in Boston. The artist wrote all of the wishes for the people, and it makes it seem as though the list goes on infinitely as it cuts off in the middle of words. The sign read, “make a wish for Dorchester. Write down your wish to make Dorchester a better neighborhood for you and/or for everyone.” Some of the wishes that residents had for Dorchester included more affordable housing, open communication between the communities residents, and more locally and ethically run businesses. These wishes were passed down from the top to the bottom of this exhibit, continuing on wishing the same things, giving it a copy-and-paste effect. Almost as if someone is hoping, praying, and wishing for a better Dorchester. Included in the exhibit is a space to write down your own wish for Dorchester. The wishes that visitors wrote include adding soccer fields, affordable food and housing, and being able to live off one job’s salary. This was a powerful, relevant piece for the University Hall gallery as it is something every UMass Boston student can reside in and relate to. 

I won’t go into detail for every piece they had on display at the gallery, because you should go see it for yourself. It’s free, on campus, and available to any student who wants to go. Supporting fellow residents in the Dorchester community is important for us to come together and create a strong community, having each other’s backs. Though we may not go to MassArt, we are surrounded by extremely talented, artistic people and we don’t even realize it half of the time.
 

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief