Light trucks bedecked with canvases turned out at Artisphere Thursday night, a Barnes & Noble signing followed by an invitation-only reception for visitors. The show was installed by three women, who have turned such events into annual Boston Globe Book Club events. The traveling exhibit features a number of the paintings in the book’s pages, but the real magic comes from the blank canvas.
Lisa Pearce, a teacher of painting in Boston, works with The Expressionist Painters of the Native American Coast, a group dedicated to using Native American ink arts to document various genres of art. Pearce was able to incorporate the group’s sacred symbols into her show, which found a home at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. While it can be challenging to convince native artists to paint with indigenous ink on canvas, Pearce says artists are quite hospitable to their use of the work. In addition to the tribe’s spirituality, much of the work is based on cultural survival techniques, combining myth, folk art, fantasy, and symbolism.
Emily Madsen-Haws of Minneapolis is a professional oil painter who carries a hefty reputation in the community. Friends of the group typically gather at her home or her studio for sessions when they can’t make the annual trek to Boston. Hers is a natural storyteller who’s as comfortable with canvas as she is with a banged up guitar. Madsen-Haws will invite a friend to hang on her walls—any guest is welcome. She’s often more interested in looking through a microscope than anyone else.
Peruse the book, visit the show and take home one of the first printed copies at canabron.com.