Seven Artists Who Celebrate Their Birthday Together Cook Up an Exhibit at a Watertown Art Gallery

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Storefront Art Projects announced its latest art exhibit: Icing on the Cake. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 from  1-4 p.m.

The gallery provided the following information:

Icing on the Cake

Feb. 17 – March 23, 2024.

83 Spring St. Watertown, MA

Gallery Hours: Thursdays and Saturdays 1 – 4 p.m., and always by appointment 

ICING ON THE CAKE features: Susan Jane Belton, Ali Clift, Laura Evans, Frances Hamilton, Marja Lianko, Ellen Rich, and Heidi Whitman

These 7 artists have been celebrating their birthdays together for over 25 years. They are all well known and have taught and shown in Boston and beyond. Their work shares a warmth and familiarity even though their mediums, formats and subject matter couldn’t be more different.

Susan Jane Belton says these paintings “have become an investigation of the smallest and silliest of things, and our changing perception and appreciation of them.” She graduated from Colby College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is the winner of the Clarissa Bartlett Traveling Fellowship from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships.

Ali Clift’s delicately crafts unique and mysterious cloth paintings. As a graduate of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Clift’s first works were inspired technically, by a picture composed of small cloth pieces on display at the MFA . Throughout her career, Clift has  been fascinated by the challenge of creating an authentic sense of space through the illusion of fabric. Clift’s work is included in public collections in New England, New York, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, and Bali. She resides in Chelsea, Massachusetts and Naples, Florida. She is showing her work courtesy of the Pucker Gallery.

Laura Evans, a longtime member of Boston Sculptors gallery says, “ My sculptures hover between mundane, recognizable objects and mysterious abstracted forms that reference the body’s fragility and tenuousness. I directly manipulate my materials, using simple hand tools, which allows me to create intimate and closely observed surfaces and forms that have life.” She studied at Boston University, Hampshire College, and The British Institute, & The American Center for the Arts, Paris, France.

Frances Hamilton says, “My delight in vintage toys and games started in the 1950’s when we pored through the giant Montgomery Ward Catalogues placing dibs on our favorite items. Vintage toys, worn books and auction catalogues are piled up around me. Catalogue images offer the endless temptations of another life.” Frances has taught at MassArt, Boston Museum School, Simmons and New England Conservatory. She studied at MassArt and RISD and lives in Portland, ME

Marja Lianko grew up in Finland and is a painter and sculptor in Boston. Her work reflects both the sensibilities of the Nordic landscape and the varied influences of her adopted country. She is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University. She taught silk screening at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts for 23 years and at Simmons College for five years.

Marja’s work is in the permanent collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Fogg Museum, de Cordova Museum, Cape Ann Museum as well as in numerous corporations and hospitals.She has shown in numerous galleries and art centers across the country and has received grants and fellowships from the New England Foundation for the Arts, Artists Foundation, Ballinglen Arts Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. 

Ellen Rich says, “My approach to making work is intuitive and explorative with the goal of creating a piece that speaks with emotion to the viewer. Playing with abstract shapes and high key color, I make art that attempts to comfort.” Ellen went to the Museum School and has shown at the Kayafas and Clark Galleries among others. Her work is on exhibit yearly at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown MA.

Heidi Whitman’s installations, constructions, paintings, and drawings are invented terrains or mental maps. Whitman’s installation, “New World”,  was included in Wayfinding: Contemporary Artists, Critical Dialogues, and the Sidney R. Knafel Map Collection at the Addison Gallery of American Art in 2020-21. Other recent exhibitions include Charting the World: Subjective Mapping at Suffolk University, Crossing Boundaries: Art// Maps at the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, and The Map as Art at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. 

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