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ART 100 BOSTON makes art accessible to all

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein
ART 100 BOSTON makes art accessible to all
Pares Mallis of Art 100 Boston. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Pares Mallis)

“I want them to be able to feel comfortable with art; comfortable about buying art; living with art. Not only viewing it but being able to live with it and obtain it, and also just understanding the different types of art, the diversity of art,” says Pares Mallis of what she hopes patrons will leave with after attending ART 100 BOSTON in December.

An artist and arts administrator for more than 30 years both in the United States and in Greece, Mallis is the founder, organizer and curator of ART 100 BOSTON — a platform featuring original and contemporary artwork from local artists. After a successful debut in December 2014 with 50 artists and 300 works of art, the exhibition returns to the Piano Craft Gallery in the South End, December 4-19, featuring more than 400 original pieces of art by 68 artists primarily from the Greater Boston area.

If You Go

ART 100 BOSTON is open to the public daily, except Mondays, 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Piano Craft Gallery. There is no admission fee. For more information about the exhibition and the Piano Craft Gallery, visit www.ART100Boston.com or www.pianofactorygallery.org, on Facebook/ART100Boston, or call (617) 595-5638.

The mission of ART 100 BOSTON is to make art accessible, affordable and available to all — from the creator to the art lover to the collector. Each artist accepted in ART 100 Boston pays a $75.00 participation fee, with 14 percent of the fee benefitting the Susan G. Komen Massachusetts Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Each work of art will be sold for $100.00, with all proceeds from the sale going directly to the artist.

The exhibition provides the opportunity for the artists to present a show of their own within a group context, and to connect with art lovers in an intimate space.

“It’s a mini solo show because it’s a series of work. Each one has to be interrelated. They’re making a big statement in a small space,” says Mallis.

The response to ART 100 BOSTON has been overwhelming according to the artist/curator. She began planning this year’s showcase during the event last year because “everybody wanted it so badly.” Mallis relayed an anecdote over the phone how the wife of one of the exhibitors said to her last year that ‘ART 100 is an institution’. The statement surprised Mallis, considering it was only the first year of the exhibition, but the woman went on to explain to Mallis that everyone was looking forward to it “because it had never been done before.” That sentiment sealed the deal for her to plan for year two.

This year’s showcase has expanded both in size and in staff with the exhibition taking up the entire space at the South End gallery. Mallis also tapped photographer Hakim Raquib, whose works have been exhibited at the De Cordova Museum, The Institute of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and internationally, to help choose the photographers. She also added cinematic production artist Karen Ann Levy as co-curator and co-organizer to handle outreach. “We have more social networking this time,” mentions Mallis.

Author: Photo courtesy ART 100 BOSTONWork of art by Gerardo Garduño for Art 100 Boston.

With the theme of “diversity” this year, the type of works featured include paintings, mixed media, photography, digital illustration, sculptures, glass work, ceramic art, 3D construction, porcelain clay, and the exhibition’s first app artist Jose Conchello.

“He makes everything on an iPhone. That’s really pretty impressive,” she says of the graphic artist. “This is the new wave. This is the cutting edge thing. People are going beyond their studio, and the chisel and the paint, and they’re doing things in a virtual reality. It’s kind of neat.”

Other artists featured in the showcase include urban planner Todd Erickson who creates 3D mixed media; Andrew Rogovin, who makes faces and heads out of clay without using a live model; freelance photographer Anusuiya Bharadwaj; Cary Rapaport, a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, who will exhibit 3-D clay sculptures depicting planets; painter and B.U. professor of neuroscience Kamal Sen; and works by illustrator and painter Gerardo Garduño.

Mallis, who was recently elected the director of the Piano Craft Gallery, has also commissioned ART 100 BOSTON hand-made ceramic mugs from Kari Wojtanik, a Ph.D. oncologist who works for Susan G. Komen. All proceeds from the mugs will go to ART 100 BOSTON.

As a final thought on what the public takes away from the exhibition, Mallis says she hopes “that they can come in here and feel like that they can own a piece of original art. That art is accessible to everybody now. I want them to feel more user-friendly about art. That’s what it’s all about.”