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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Opening Doors to Open Studios

A pastoral country scene using traditional media found at the Open Studios. - Photos by Mimi Yeh
A pastoral country scene using traditional media found at the Open Studios. – Photos by Mimi Yeh

UMass Boston opened its doors to the community Saturday for Dorchester Open Studios. The fifth floor of the Healey Library showcased works by several Dorchester-based artists currently displaced from Dorchester’s Pearl Street Studio.

Photographer Jake Hart displayed a selection of black-and-white photographs. Calling himself an “eclectic photographer,” Hart said he tries to present his works as “something different than snapshots.”

A native of Jamaica Plain, Hart got his start with a trip to Italy. A tremor prevented him from painting or drawing, so he decided to study photography. Hart went on to study at the Boston Visual Institute’s Intensive Summer Program, The New England School of Photography, and the Art Institute of Boston. His works have been displayed in shows and galleries in Boston, Brookline, Saratoga, and Italy.

Most of Hart’s photos are taken in Puerto Rico and New Orleans, particularly at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. One of Hart’s photos, taken on Vieques, shows a cow completely surrounded by dense tropical forest. The cow looks like a ghost peering shyly at the camera, emerging from the woods.

One of Hart’s specialties are diptychs and triptychs, panoramic photos created by taking two or three pictures close together. “A 35-millimeter camera can’t take panoramic photos, but if you stand back from one of these, your eye is fooled.,” Hart said. A triptych of a palm tree, taken in Puerto Rico, looks like a panoramic picture taken through a window.

Dorchester photographer Milo Stella was intrigued by Hart’s works. “I’m interested in what other artists are doing. This is the first stuff I’ve really a chance to look at,” Stella said.

Other artists at the exhibit work in a variety of media. Judith Brassard Brown, one of the founders of the Pearl Street Studio, is a professor at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly. Her works included wide-open landscapes in oil and a self-portrait that blends photography and painting.

Irish painter Vincent Crotty showed vibrant, colorful paintings of Gloucester, Newbury Street, Dorchester, and Cork. One of his works appears in the movie “Mystic River.”

Larry Pryor, another founder of the Pearl Street Studios, showed small digital photographs printed with an ink jet printer. One piece, a nude treated with a Photoshop filter, looks like a woman exploding.

Masako Kamiya, also a professor at Montserrat College of Art, displayed two large, dark gouache pieces that suggested sunlight on water. One suggested a very low sun, the other the ocean around noon.

Painter, designer, and band member Scott Ferguson contributed quite a few pieces. Three self-portraits were softly focused and vibrant, as were three nudes. Gold and purple dominated two paintings of arches and columns.

W. Perry Barton contributed one piece. The Practice Dive is a pencil-and-watercolor piece dominated by bright colors and heavy lines.

Chuck Sullivan contributed small, dark oil paintings of still lives, including his bathroom and the Keyspan gas tanks.

The Pearl Street Studio, at 11 Pearl Street, was founded in 1984. It has held Open Studios every year since, including the first Dorchester Open Studios in 2002. This year, the studio is being renovated, scheduled to reopen next year as six live-in studios.

Dorchester Open Studios also included tours of the sculptures and fantasy coffins on campus.