Friday, July 19, 2024

Oil paintings by Judith Prager and Emmaline Kenny’s “Fairy House” in the Inside-Out Gallery in Davis Square. (Photo: Heather Balchunas/Somerville Arts Council)

In keeping with the theme of this year’s ArtBeat cultural street festival, a lively selection of pieces takes over the Somerville Arts Council’s Inside-Out Gallery in the exhibition, “Into the Wild,” curated by Edie Bresler.

The gallery does indeed look untamed, like a scene from the wilderness. Nestled in a CVS store window in Davis Square, there’s a range of media on view – from Martha Friend’s charming “Buck at Rest” diorama, to Emmaline Kenny’s Elfland-esque “Fairy House” sculpture. Accompanying these 3D works are a lovely set of impressionistic oil paintings by Judith Prager and a piece by Pauline Lim, “I’ve been out in the wilderness so long,made in her distinctive, slightly ominous style.

Yet it’s the photographs that steal the show. Mary Kocol presents anthotypes: flower-based photograms in which plants and plant emulsions are pressed onto paper exposed to the sun. “Meadow Flowers” is a beautiful example of that technique. It’s made with liquified wild black raspberry plants collected from a meadow. In Kerrie Kemperman’s works, the artist shows the power of the solargraph, in which a tin can with a pinhole is used as a homemade camera. Kemperman exposes the paper negatives with the tin can for several months; due to the lengthy exposure time, the final product shows only light and landscape, no wildlife. Installed next to scanned copies of the finished process, these two pieces are developing even as I write this. It’s an inventive and eye-catching way to embody the exhibition’s theme.

A solargraph by Kerrie Kemperman was captured over several months. (Photo: Heather Balchunas/Somerville Arts Council)

This summer, there’s perhaps no better time to embrace the untamed and unfettered sides of ourselves. As people on the Internet run wild, declaring a “brat summer,” we can all take notes from this exhibition’s experimental and uninhibited process.

“Into the Wild” is part of Saturday’s ArtBeat festival but will be on view throughout the month in the windows outside the CVS at 1 Davis Square, Somerville.

Pauline Lim “I’ve been out in the wilderness so long” is part of the window-front “Into the Wild” exhibit. (Photo: Heather Balchunas/Somerville Arts Council)


Share your own 150-word appreciation for a piece of visual art or art happening with photo to [email protected] with the subject line “Behold.”