The Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library are gearing up for a new round of submissions to select the exhibitions for 2019 season. These bi-monthly exhibits will be proposal-based and selected by a committee comprised by representatives of the Central BPL, JP Branch, Friends of the JP Library, as well as standing members of the local business and arts community. The Friends welcome artists from across New England to submit recent two-dimensional work for a solo or group show, each lasting for two-month periods. There is no specific theme, but artists are encouraged to include work that can be enjoyed by the diverse visitorship of the JP Branch Library, including children, teens and other community members. The following art mediums will be considered for selection of five solo shows and one themed group show in Drawing, Mixed Media/Collage, Painting, Photography, and Printmaking.
Celebrated Jamaica Plain children’s author Susan E. Goodman recently won the best Picture Book/Early Reader Award in the 17th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards. “The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial,” illustrated by E.B. Lewis, tells the story of Sarah Roberts, the brave girl who fought to desegregate Boston’s public schools in the 1800s. Although her family lost its case against the city, the case laid important groundwork for the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case that desegregated American schools. “Winning any award is an honor, but acknowledgement from your home state is a real thrill, especially since we have so many great writers here,” said Goodman, a professor of creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge. The 2017 Massachusetts Book Awards were announced last week, marking the most recent accolade for Goodman’s “The First Step.” Her book also won a Jane Addams Peace Award, a 2017 Orbis Pictus Honor Book from the National Council of Teachers of English, a 2017 Carter G. Woodson Honor Book from the National Council of Social Studies and “Kids Best of the Best Book” from Chicago Public Library.
Starting Saturday, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a citywide exhibition of multiple fog sculptures, including two locations in Jamaica Plain. Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya has created five fog installations along 12 different Boston neighborhoods. The fog sculptures are, "...shape-shifting, pure water forms invite visitors to immerse themselves in the art, experience nature anew, and appreciate the vital role of the Emerald Necklace in our city’s history, present, and future." The sculptures will be on view every day, hourly from dawn to dusk, from August 11 through Halloween. Nakaya calls fog “the most generous medium” and has created fog sculptures all over the world.
Photographer Joni Lohr's exhibit, "Unfinished Stories -- A Social Documentary," is the newest art show at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. Lohr has been a professional photographer for 50 years and her exhibit captures her view of the world around her while utilizing black and white tones. For half a century Lohr has captured, "...the energy of live musical performances, the camaraderie between friends, the ghosts of abandoned buildings, and the spontaneity of urban life." Lohr's exhibit includes photos of some familiar Boston area locations, as well as ones you may not recognize. "The subjects in her photographs laugh, play, wait, walk, talk, teach, and observe, some engaging with one another and others seemingly isolated from the world around them.
The Boston Cultural Council announced the second round of Opportunity Funds, and two Jamaica Plain residents are receiving grants up to $1,000. In total, the city awarded $33,500 to 34 grantees across Boston's neighborhoods. “This second round of the Opportunity Fund truly exemplifies the diverse and talented array of artists whose work touches every neighborhood of our city,” said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. “I look forward to seeing these individuals excel in their art and enhance their communities with these grants.”
Nancy Marks will use the grant to bring The Opioid Project to several Boston neighborhoods. The Opioid Project is a series of community-based workshops and art exhibitions highlighting "the complex social narrative of addiction while giving space and ‘voice’ to all those connected to the opioid epidemic."