What’s new at the New Bedford Art Museum?

Art Museum - Johnny Perreira

By Jonathan Perreira, Staff Writer

Many CVPA students are familiar with taking the Loop to-and-from the Star Store Campus in New Bedford. The Star Store offers a beautiful but moderately sized museum of art pieces on its main floor.  But if you’re looking for a larger experience to consume some art, consider taking a quick walk from the Star Store to the New Bedford Art Museum to check out the new exhibits they currently have up!

The first exhibit is called The Coming of Dad by Massachusetts-born Jon Pedro.

Pedro had a great career as a painter, but was never able to finish grad school. After living in upstate New York for a good portion of his life, he finally reached the point where he could start school again.

Barely halfway through, his wife became pregnant, and Jon chose to leave school and become a stay-at-home dad.

After raising his children, Pedro created a series of bright and colorful abstract paintings which now hang in the New Bedford Art Museum today.

The second exhibit is Plunge: Explorations From Above and Below by many different local artists. The curator of the museum, Jamie Uretsky, joked that as the museum is based in New Bedford, they felt obliged to make an exhibit about the sea.

The exhibit was made in collaboration with a group based in Southern Connecticut and is about how different artists study water and boats and how each perspective leads to an interesting interpretation.

One of the artists is a former UMass Dartmouth Professor Ann Lyoun. 

The exhibit includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, and more. The exhibit was my personal favorite because of its color, vibrancy, and for opening my mind on what water can mean for a community so close to it.

The third exhibit is Flagrant Fowl: Audubon’s Bad Birds, the favorite of employee Sawyer Pollitt. The exhibit features illustrations by scientist Audubon, and is admittedly hilarious.

Gorgeous drawings of birds are featured on the wall, each with commentary of how much they suck. Some of these are pure gold, and I won’t spoil any of them.

The fourth and final exhibit is Beyond the Box, curated by Janice Hodson and the New Bedford Free Library Collection.

The exhibit takes a progressive stance in both art and culture – representing its form in new digital media and showcasing LGBTQ artists documenting counter-cultures in club settings.

Uretsky was very excited to tell me about this exhibit, primarily because of how defiant the collection is and how it pushes the museum farther than other local museums.

By taking the initiative and portraying current, real life issues, The New Bedford Art Museum is making strides to ensure that the relevance of art in everyday life is made apparent.

Pollitt explained that the New Bedford Art Museum isn’t just a museum—they engage and interact with the community, host art classes, and even bring art experiments around on a big purple bus!

This outreach helps to further their goals of making art more accessible and prevalent in everyday life.

If you’re interested in any of these exhibits, tickets are only three dollars for students, and you can get there just by taking the Loop Bus right outside Campus Center.

Stop by for an experience of local artists   and global ideas.

The museum is open 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Photo Courtesy: Sawyer Pollitt

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