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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Gallery of Style


The Harbor Art Gallery of UMass Boston begins the spring semester with a different kind of show tying in styles of all sorts. Displays progress from designer Michelle Fournier’s ideas for fashion with a somewhat vintage feel, to r.e. Hergert’s photos of models in full makeup, and finally to Bill Francisco’s conception of a studio/warehouse for designing Fournier’s creations. “Honey, you can’t keep the props” is a collaborative show whose motto tries to demonstrate the impermanence of fashion and the erratic visual transitions that can occur even from season to season.

The back wall of the Harbor Art Gallery features the evolution of the Francisco’s graduate thesis for Boston Architectural Center under which hover jackets silk-screened by Fournier featuring Francisco’s “fantasy” building plans. Ideally, this fictional and functional piece would be situated in the midst of the former “Combat Zone” near the Leather District.

“The building will adapt its appearance to inform or respond to external influences,” says Francisco in his artist’s statement. It would contain manufacturing and design house components as well as an event space, art gallery, retail stores, and luxury condominiums. There are several scale models of the proposed building, as well as blueprints and sketches featuring services like exclusive, by-appointment-only setup where customers could have personal on-site alterations of their specially made pieces.

The collage of photos layering the far wall show r.e. Hergert’s vision of fashion, depicting whimsically made-up women in bucolic settings. The semi-fantastical creatures roaming through the woods give it an almost dreamy sort of feel, a Middle Earth meets quasi-vintage fashion extreme. The photos are both black and white and color with the serious and the silly side by side. In one picture, UMB student and assistant director Skyela Heitz is laughing with a fellow model.

Perhaps the most disconcerting feeling is derived from Fournier’s work, with an empty chair and benches and four torsos suspended from the ceiling. With an emphasis on heavily textured and patterned pieces making up the bulk of the browns and blacks, an occasional startling flash of pink breaks up the slightly grim feeling to the work.

My favorite work of all is at the center of the room, a purple skirt with licorice-colored ruffles lining the bottom and a jacket in the same shade of purple with a lighter lavender underneath. The blouse is allowed to peak out through a jacket that covers one side of the body while baring the sleeves of the matching blouse underneath from the shoulder on up. The aspect of the blouse I enjoy most is the pattern of carousel horses and the filmy fabric used.

The Harbor Art Gallery, located on the first floor of McCormack, will be having its reception February 5 from 5-7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. The show will be there until February 19. For more information, call 617-287-7988. Regular gallery hours will begin on February 2.

About the Contributor
MiMi Yeh served as arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2001-2002; *2002-2003; 2003-2004 *Evan Sicuranza served as arts editor for Fall 2002 Disclaimer: Years served is based on online database and may not detail entire service.