The Boston Center for the Arts is now presenting a new exhibition at the Mills Gallery: Drawing Connections. The gallery is located in the South End and is free and open to the public. The entire show is located within a rather small space, occupying three rooms. The white plain room might make you wonder what direction to take and where to start, but as the young woman at the desk simply said: “You go where you want. You make your own sense”. And sense is precisely what you need when you try and make your way through the unorganized array of drawings, sculptures and videos that the exhibition has to offer.
The star of the show is drawing. But the creative imagination of the young artists presented at 115 Tremont Street, searched for new and innovative ways to adapt and evolve their skill. In an interview with the curator of the exhibit, James Hull, he expressed that in the 23rd edition of the event he tried to present drawing as a process. “It is like watching the making-of part of a movie, taking a look behind the scenes”. That is also why the show explores other mediums such as sculptures and video, giving a wider breath to the entire exhibition. What gathers all these different art styles and techniques together? Well, connections. Drawing Connections creates links not just between the different pieces presented in the exhibition, but also within art itself.
“Drawing is honest. It says simple and direct” Hull says, “sometimes an artist has to try two, or three times, before he get’s it right”. Drawing therefore is a process that allows you to see the thought and preparation behind art. In one of the rooms, Marguerite White’s installation “Stage Fright” , shows exactly that process: behind a screen, a series of figures are displayed, creating dramatic shadows. You can easily peek behind the screen and have a look at what instruments and objects were used.
Like Whites artwork, Cindy Stockton Moore’s “Covering our Tracks”, was made specifically for the exhibit. It is graphite and watercolor, placed right on the wall of the gallery, and will be just as short lived. Moore used carbon paper to impress the image on the 10×15 feet wall. Daniel Luchman’s “Replica of the Inverse Methodology” display is an example of, as Hull says, “how widely drawing can be defined”. It comprises of a series of hybrid objects, placed in apparent disarray. All of these pieces reflect the effort to represent the experimentation and mind-mapping that is a part of constructing and creating art.
The Drawing Room is the last part of the exhibit. Located in a corner of the Mills gallery, it allows the visitors to become an active part of the artistic process. It holds a scroll where everyone who wishes may draw (either by using your own pen or with the tool box that the show provides for the public) whatever is on their mind. This “accumulative vision” where each drawing or “doodle” is connected to the previous one will be ultimately presented as a full work. A true, group effort. The director describes it “like playing Pictionary” where the objective is to send a message, make a connection. Yet out of this disorderly mass, reason and logic emerge, and at the end of the exhibit you are able to make your sense of this interdisciplinary and insightful exhibit.