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Allston Art Gallery

  “Our Sweet Secret Language” is an art gallery with a focus on love. Many aspects of relationships are featured–beginnings, successes, failures, and so on. The gallery is being featured at the Nomadic Gallery at Zone 3 in Allston. Zone 3 tries to keep a focus on local artists sharing with the community.

  The gallery was curated by Brittany Smith, who also has her art featured amongst the works. Smith graduated from Lesley University with a BFA in 2017. Art pieces by Olivia Becchio, Emma Fernald, Emily Holtzman, Molly O’Donnell, Rebecca Schnopp, and Bella Steele are also featured.

  Upon my arrival, I was surprised at how generally empty the gallery seemed. The art works are displayed in a decently sized room with mostly bare, white walls. There ended up being more to explore than I had expected from my initial viewing, but I was still in and out in around thirty minutes at the maximum.

  The pieces varied from amusing to intriguing to disturbing. The first two works were what looked like rotting fruit and old milk in plastic bags–including straws that visitors can use to blow the liquid from one bag to the other. The works continued with some stitched art, printed instant messages, videos, audio, photos, a stack of paper with, “take what you need” written, and more. 

  The most interesting part of the gallery, to me personally, was Brittany Smith’s section. I spent the majority of my time at the gallery listening to an audio recording piece titled on an MP3 player that was hung on the wall titled “Our Sweet Secret Language.” I also enjoyed reading the piece, “I hope you read me the same way I discretely read you,” which was made up of a classified section of a fake newspaper. The paper featured both poetic phrases and more comedic classifieds.

  The part I felt really did not work for the gallery was the videos. Two of the film pieces are projected onto walls. This can work quite well if you have a proper surface and lighting, but that was not the case in this instance. The building the gallery was housed in has large windows on one side. This provides lovely natural lighting for some of the art pieces. However, it also left me squinting and trying to determine what exactly I was supposed to be seeing with the videos. In some cases I was also glad for not fully seeing, as the subject matter made me uncomfortable, as with a piece titled “Spit” by Molly O’Donnell.

  You could tell that this was modern art created by artists of this generation. From the instant messages rolled out on the floor in a mixed media piece by Emma Fernald called “Conversations with Carlo,” to Molly O’Donnell’s archival ink jet piece titled “Sexting.” The latter depicted its subject as eggplants and peaches hanging from where they are tethered to coat hangers.

  Overall, considering the distance from UMass Boston and the amount of works in the gallery, I wouldn’t recommend ”Our Sweet Secret Language.” It was a nice free thing to check out on a day with nothing planned though. If you’re interested in seeing what else is going on at Zone 3, you can look at their website: www.zone3westernave.com