Ranging from the serious to the comical, nearly 400 pieces of artwork by 188 artists are currently on display in the Attleboro Arts Museum for the Members’ Exhibition, which runs through Jan. 29.
With coronavirus regulations limiting the number of people within the museum, Executive Director Mim Fawcett said this is the first time a formal opening reception has not been held for the event.
However, the patrons adhering to the social-distancing mandate in the gallery are still “enjoying the art and finding one another,” Fawcett said.
“People are just hungry to be in a museum and look at works of art in person,” she said. “They’re making safe connections with one another in a period where we have to constantly adapt. I think it’s great to see those interactions.”
Although the Members’ Exhibit never features a set running theme, Fawcett did notice much of the artwork in the show has a “general seriousness,” taking on such topics as social and civil unrest, health and safety issues and aspects of the environment.
Fawcett also took note of the wide use of the colors of gold and brown in the artists’ works, which she perceives as not only a derivative of the environmental element, but also that of decay.
By contrast, in order to “break the darkness,” more than a few pieces of art have been purposely designed to create humor, Fawcett said.
One of these creations is “Balancing Act,” a mixed-media sculpture by Amelia Lydon of Norton, which features a dog balancing on a yellow ball with a hen on its back while another small animal watches. All the animals are wearing blue party hats with a gold sparkle on top.
Conversely, the mixed-media painting “On Fire” by Peter Campbell of Lincoln, R.I., juxtaposes a fire brigade airplane with a rendering of a scene from Providence, in which a demonstration to protest the death of George Floyd turned violent in the overnight hours of June 2 at the Providence Place Mall. A large acrylic painting, “I’m So Tired, Can’t Sleep,” by Katie Blundell of Mansfield, illustrates the isolation of social-distancing.
Other artwork touching on the environmental facet included “Sunset” by Brian Aronne of Attleboro, and “Hilltop Breeze” by Melissa Riley of Attleboro, which won a Blick Art Materials gift certificate as one of the Members’ Exhibition award winners.
One artist, Fehmida Chipty of Winchester, has part of her series of abstract photography, “Red,” in the exhibit. The color red, as Chipty explained, evokes many emotions, but she hesitates in interpreting the emotions for the viewers of her work.
In correlation to her work, the roller coaster events of 2020 have evoked many different emotions for many people, including herself, Chipty said.
“I think it fits, for me, to bring this piece of work to this exhibit at this time,” she said. “That’s the beauty of art: It brings out our own emotions.”
Hours to view the exhibition in person are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, visit attleboroartsmuseum.org.