Sunday, December 28, 2008

28th exhibit: PLAYSCAPE curated by Hui May Ho

(Malden, MA - - June 22, 2005) - - artSPACE@16 is pleased to announce its 28th exhibit “PLAYSCAPE - Exploring The Landscape Of Play And Games” curated by guest curator Hui May Ho. PLAYSCAPE brings together five artists based in the Boston and Seattle. They’re Brian Gershey, Hui May HO, Aimee LaPorte, Carlos Noguera, Amy Thibault who work in paintings, sculptures and photography exploring elements of play, leisure and games as they manifest in our current social and cultural landscape.
Image: Dave, photograph by May Ho.

Exhibition Dates: July 23 through August 27, 2005. A reception with the artists will be held on Saturday July 23, 2005, from 2-5pm. Gallery talk beginning at 3pm. Exhibition opens to the public on scheduled *Saturdays: 7/23, 7/30, (*gallery closed on 8/6), 8/13, 8/20 and 8/27 from 12noon to 5pm & by appointment please call 781.321.8058 or send email to . For suggestions of driving directions please go to:

As America developed into an industrialized society in the late 19th century, leisure became an important part of life as a counterpoint to work. Fairgrounds and theme parks dot the American landscape. Iconic activities of leisure like summer road-trips and visits to Disneyland are crucial elements of the American dream. Playing in tree houses, games of tag, and playing house, etc, are socially constructed frameworks from which an individual can improvise their own creative expression of play. In the 21st century, video and computer games have rapidly replaced other social arenas of play.” Guest curator, Hui May HO stated in her exhibition concept. Through PLAYSCAPE, Ho attempts to explore elements of play, leisure and games as they manifest in our current social and cultural landscape.

Image: Painting by Brian Gershey.
In PLAYSCAPE, Boston based artist Brian Gershey presents paintings depict an intoxicated, psychedelic world of video games. Gershey’s paintings are imagined landscapes filled with ambiguous forms that reference figures as well as architecture. Gershey states that science fiction, cartoons, toys and video games have had a profound affect on his life and his paintings. “Painting is a place where environments can be created and populated, to make the impossible a reality. That is the major reason as to why I am drawn to and obsessed with cartoons, video games and science fiction, they create a space for us to enter, to use are imaginations and play.” Currently, Gershey is working on a series of paintings on birch panel entitled “Sanctuary”. These paintings depict robot-like characters exploring toxic environments. Many of the surrounding forms are capsules or other architectural shelters. These forms reference RV’s, campers, log cabins and beaver lodges. “All of these places are sanctuary in one way or another, a place to go and be safe.”
Gershey received his B.F.A. in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1999. Presently he is pursuing his M.F.A. at School of The Museum Of Fine Arts and Tufts University. Gershey’s most recent exhibits including “North American Print Biennial” at Gallery 808, Boston University; “Cartooning Abstraction” at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA; “Trickle Down” at The Firehouse Gallery, Burlington, VT and “Word Of Mouth” at the Rhys Gallery in Boston, MA. Gershey received a Dana Pond Award in painting, as well as an Award for Excellence in printmaking from the Museum School. Gershey has also received a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, where he recently completed a month long residency.

Image: Blue Sky, photograph by Hui May Ho.

Somerville based photographer Hui May Ho who is also the curator of PLAYSCAPE exhibit. Ho’s latest body of work is a series of color photographs documenting a group of men who flies radio-controlled aircraft in Burlington, Massachusetts. Her work explores the ritualistic gathering of men who come together every weekend to talk about planes, helicopters and to fly in the company of others. It is a world where men dominate the landscape for a few hours each week honing their flying skills and pushing the limits of their aircraft. Without drastically altering the lay of the land, the fliers have created an open space that serves as a backdrop to their activity. The sky becomes a space for the projections of fantasies and desires when flying. In a postmodern reversal of the role of the “documentary” photographer, Ho has recently traded her camera for a plane and has began taking lessons from one of her subjects. Thus shifting the paradigm of the males-only activity and becoming a subject herself.

Hui May Ho received a BFA from Academy of Art College, San Francisco in 2000; a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Museum School in 2002; and recently an MFA from the Museum School/Tufts University. Ho has shown in numerous venues in San Francisco, Boston and Singapore, including the Judi Rothenberg Gallery, Somerville Art Museum, artSPACE@16 in Malden, and the Esplanade in Singapore. She was the winner of the Museum School's Boit Award in 2003, and received a Distinction in Photography from the prestigious UOB Painting of the Year Award Competition in Singapore in 2003. Ho has taught at the Millennium Institute in Singapore and is currently teaching at the Museum School on a Graduate Teaching Fellowship.
In PLAYSCAPE, Cambridge based artist Aimee LaPorte presents three sculptures commenting on the American post-industrial idea that, “Today is your lucky day!” As with most forms of modern American culture and ideology, this is simply not reality. “Tears from the Heart”, (see image) a life-size sculpture, explores a similar dynamic. In it, the beautified Mary from the New Testament alternates between crying soft tears and shooting bloody tears almost straight out of her eyes. This 6.5 foot sculpture is formed by one part pinball machine and one part religious alter. The “playing” of this game begins with the act of prayer. Posing that any visitor needs a bit of compassion, each person is granted to take one tear cried by Mary. Visitors are invited to use the provided eyedropper to place a tear onto provided cards. The common understanding of various Mary appearances on pizza boxes and foggy windows is that they are miracles, despite the fact that Mary may be appearing with bad news.

Aimee LaPorte recently received her Masters in Fine Arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. Currently, LaPorte teaches screen-printing at the Museum School and works for a commercial screen-printing company in Saugus, MA. She is an active member of the artist collective called Miracle 5 and has shown her work in numerous galleries in the Boston area including a recent show at ZuZu's in Cambridge, MA.

Image: Painting by Carlos Noguera.
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela who is now living in Jamaica Plain, Carlos Noguera shows whimsical, hybridized forms that are in-between painting and sculpture. These paintings are like building blocks or puzzles that tantalize the viewer with their smooth surfaces. Noguera gives reference to his work, as minimalist sculpture and modern architecture, striving to create a certain rivalry between the colors and the shape of each work.

His paintings instantly meld into the architecture of the space as they hang flushed seamlessly to the wall. This subdues the work, allowing it to blend into the space, but also enlivens the space once the work is spotted. These paintings usually juxtapose three variations of value of the same hue on a shaped surface consisting of simple polyhedrons that do not make reference to the world. Noguera often chooses to use the hexagon because of its ability to transform visually, appearing as many different shapes. Mostly interested in the ambiguity of this “nonexistent” space that fools the eye and the mind, his makes for an erratic perspective in which shapes come out or sink into the piece.

Noguera started painting while attending Design and Architecture Senior High School in Miami, Florida. He is currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialty in education at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. He has exhibited his work in Miami, New York, and Boston, including the Bass Museum of Art, Artopia Gallery and Jackie Hinchey-Sipes gallery. Noguera’s work is included in several private collections in the USA and Venezuela.
Seattle based artist Amy Thibault's miniature tree house speaks about childhood play and rituals. Its "in-progress" construction also suggests the impromptu and innovative aspects of such play. It calls back wonderfully hilarious memories of the most whimsical playhouse a kid ever had. This miniature tree house is constructed in two main pieces: the playhouse and the log. It’s a unique in-process construction that both adults and children alike would want to be part of building and using. Thibault says, “The treehouse is about revisiting the hopefulness of childhood in order to be refreshed and renewed with that same hope each day. It's about creating a space for oneself, and the right to grant or deny access at any time.” Thibault invites the viewer to enter the space, to experience the innocence, the simplicity and irony within this good-natured piece.

Amy Thibault received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA in 2000. Later, she attended two years of Diploma in Art Program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from 2003 -2005. Thibault has recently won the Juror’s Choice Award from the 7th Annual National Small Works Exhibition which was held at Attleboro Museum Center for the Arts, MA. Thibault has shown her work in New York and the Boston area including: JP Art Market Gallery, Jamaica Plain, MA; Grossman Gallery, The BAG Gallery and Project Space Gallery at the Museum School. Thibault taught art to middle school and high school students, acted as a consultant to the Museum School's Institute for Civic Engagement, and had been an apprentice for a general contractor.


artSPACE@16 (Malden, MA) is a non-commercial gallery est. in 1998. This alternative gallery is operated on a voluntary basis. It has been making today's art accessible to the community-at-large by donating space for ongoing art exhibitions and collaborating on related events within the community. artSPACE@16 has created a common ground for everyone to come together for art appreciation, an educational experience, and information sharing as well as networking. It distributes information regarding the City of Malden's artist studio space venture through postings on the artSPACE@16 website and e-mailing list. It also provides information on art resources and exhibition opportunities in and outside of Malden. Through these ongoing voluntary art initiatives, artSPACE@16 hopes to continue making its contribution in strengthening the connection between artist communities in the neighboring cities. artSPACE@16 encourages others to come play a vital role in establishing a vibrant artist community in Malden.