May 5, 2021 (Wellesley, MA) – Art Wellesley continues its collaboration with local landlords, art entities, and the Town of Wellesley to bring the visual arts to Wellesley Square. On May 1, a month-long pop-up show opened at 90 Central Street featuring the work of Wellesley Women Artisans and installed courtesy of Linear Retail. Next door and across the street, Art Wellesley coordinated the installation of artwork by students from Wellesley College.
The collaborative pop ups are a first for Art Wellesley, which was recently formed by three Wellesley artists. “We are thrilled to be actively engaged with local landlords and local artists to shine a light on the creativity that abounds in Wellesley. It’s exactly the kind of grass roots resourcefulness that our community loves and needs,” said Julie Vari.
The pop-up exhibitors, Wellesley Women Artisans, are a loose coalition of artists who have been gathering, collaborating and organizing art related activities in town for nearly a decade. The show features a range of work, from large figurative paintings to small abstract constructions, by twelve artists: Julia Blake, Elizabeth Cohen, Carolyn Mackin, Julia Purdy, Laurel Landers, Carrie Meagan, Annie Newman, Lala O’Neil, Laura Robert, Jenny Schneider, Chelsea Sebastian, and Julie Vari. Exhibitors will staff the show which will be open on weekends during the month of May from 11am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
In recognition of Memorial Day, the pop-up show also features an artistic tribute to Wellesley Veterans, spearheaded by the Wellesley Celebrations Committee. Local photographer Beth Shedd has collaborated with committee member Pete Jones to install an oversized photo tribute, John Saunders, Wellesley Patriot, in honor of all our Veterans. The exhibit also includes photos of Wellesley’s historical monuments, taken by JoAnn Jones.
New Storefront Project Installations
Along with the pop-up show, the third phase of the Storefront Project installations are currently on display on Central Street. These installations feature works by Wellesley College art students, among others. At 97, 98 and 99 Central Street, Bulfinch Properties and Linear Retail are hosting a rotating show by Wellesley College students taking classes with Daniela Rivera, Barbara Morris Caspersen Associate Professor of Humanities; Associate Professor of Art and Phyllis McGibbon, Elizabeth Christy Kopf Professor of Art. The displays include painting, designs prints, photography and video.
At 8 Church Street, Church Square Partners is hosting artists from Wellesley Society of Artists and non-affiliated artists, including Kristin Conant, Mira Shind, Libby Silvia, and Gina Sullivan.
Since early March, Art Wellesley has worked with five landlords, including Linear Retail, Edens, Bulfinch, Church Square and Federal Properties; local art groups, including Wellesley Women Artisans and Wellesley Society of Artists; and the art departments of local institutions, including Wellesley Recreation and Wellesley College, to install work in stores.
These efforts are also supported by the Wellesley Select Board, Celebrations Committee, and Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Celebrations Committee, a Veterans and resident volunteer organization, sponsors the annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade and hosts Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend, and also works to increase positive understanding about service to the Wellesley community, our country and Veterans’ associations. Many committee volunteers are members of the American Legion Post 72 in Wellesley which supports Veterans and their families.
The Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund was established in March 2020 and is a partnership between the Community Fund for Wellesley, an endowed fund of the Foundation for MetroWest, a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization, and the Town of Wellesley. Donations to the Fund are returned to the community to address unmet needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Art Wellesley was founded by Annie Newman, Laura Robert, and Julie Vari to support community art projects. Since 2013, these three have worked collaboratively on storefront installations with the Wellesley Community Art Project, as members of Wellesley Women Artisans on Art in the Park at Simmons Park, with Wellesley Police Chief Jack Pilecki on his vision for the Traffic Signal Electric Box Art Program, and on numerous WWA-sponsored open studios and art walks. Art Wellesley was formed in 2021 as a resource to local artists, art groups, and town residents to connect them with one another and new opportunities.
Artists share work with one another before show opened last week.