Group Exhibition "What Does Community Look Like to You?" Includes Art by Aaron Wilder

Apr 5, 2021

The Brush Art Gallery & Studios Proudly Presents

What Does Community Look Like to You?

A Group Show Including the Art of Aaron Wilder

May 1-June 12, 2021

Virtual Reception: Saturday May 8 (timing and access details to be announced)


The Brush Art Gallery & Studios

256 Market Street

Lowell, MA 01852


The Brush Art Gallery & Studios is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization located in the Lowell National Historical Park. This dynamic and captivating place was originally founded by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, U.S. Department of the Interior in 1982. The Brush presents museum quality exhibitions, educational programs, and has collaborated with many other nonprofit groups. Artists occupy studio spaces to interact with and educate the public on a weekly basis. Currently, studio artists produce paintings, illustration, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, quilts, and handwoven items. Associate artists display work in the common area.

Community connections can be place-based (neighborhoods, businesses), practice-centered (sports, social clubs, virtual), and goal or belief-centered (religion, politics). Artists have been asked to share what “community” looks like to them and show The Brush how they represent it. Why this theme? Lowell National Historical Park is currently partnering with community members to develop a future exhibit on Lowell’s cultural diversity. As another way to explore cultural expression The Brush wanted to see how artists from across the country experience or observe “community” for this juried exhibition at the Brush Art Gallery.


  1. Ekua Holmes is an artist, illustrator, curator and an active member of Boston’s art community. A native of Roxbury, MA and a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she has devoted her practice to nurturing contemporary Black Art traditions in Boston, initially as the founder and director of The Great Black Art Collection in the 1980s, which provided a platform for emerging artists while introducing Black art to new audiences. Holmes currently serves as Assistant Director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and directs sparc! the ArtMobile, the institution’s vehicle for community outreach pursuing a mission of “igniting art and design in the neighborhood!” Holmes has been honored with several artist residencies and awards, for her art, illustration, and in recognition of her community outreach and curatorial efforts. Holmes also serves as the Vice Chair of the Boston Art Commission, an appointed commission that oversees placement, installation and care of art on Boston's landscape.

  2. Beth C. McLaughlin is Artistic Director and Chief Curator of Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. McLaughlin has held leadership and curatorial roles in the arts and museum fields for over 25 years at institutions across the U.S., including Fuller Craft Museum, Oakland Museum of California, and DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. She has organized and curated over fifty exhibitions and has served as a juror for a number of cultural organizations, including American Craft Council, Fiber Art Now, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the City of Worcester. She has been published in several books and periodicals, such as Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism, Fiber Art Now, Jackrabbit Speaks: Burning Man newsletter, and American Craft Magazine. McLaughlin is passionate about expanding awareness of the craft field, promoting the makers, and exploring the transformative powers of handmade objects.
  3. Marjorie Rawle is an emerging curator based in Greater Boston and is currently the Terrana Assistant Curator at the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) which is nationally recognized for its outstanding service to its community. At FAM, she has worked on exhibitions such as Daniela Rivera: Labored Landscapes (where hand meets ground), After Spiritualism: Loss and Transcendence in Contemporary Art, and The BIG Picture: Giant Photographs and Powerful Portfolios, currently on view. She earned her MA in art history from Tulane University in 2019, with a focus in Post-war American art, and earned her BA in art history from the College of Charleston in 2016. Marjorie has held curatorial, editorial, and nonprofit management positions in New Orleans, LA at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Antenna Gallery, and Pelican Bomb and in Charleston, SC at Redux Contemporary Art Center, Art Mag, and Robert Lange Studios.

Work from Aaron Wilder's collaboration with Guta Galli Sugar & Snails is included in the exhibition. Their collaboration started out as a photography project employing an analytical model to the daily performance of normative gender displays of appearance. The photographs depict the artists going through the motions of performing femininity and masculinity through sequential stillness. These figurative representations deconstruct gender norms and the way these norms relate to sex, race, identity and the idea of otherness. The original photographs were done in two sequences (one exploring masculine stereotypes and one exploring feminine stereotypes) where both artists went through the same actions. The photographs are displayed always in pairs matching both artists in a particular action.

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