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Press Release


Caught in a Dream:

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MURMURATIONS: new work by Anya Smolnikova and Jared Williams


January 14 – February 11

Closing Reception February 11, 6-9 pm

Murmuration /mərməˈrāSHən/ : a flocking behavior in starlings. Without a centralized control structure dictating individual behavior, minor interactions and shifts in airflow lead to the emergence of an intelligent moving system – a mesmerizing display of dynamic collective survival through improvisation.

Murmurations is a month-long exhibition of recent drawings, paintings and a site-specific video installation by two Boston artists, Anya Smolnikova and Jared Williams.

The show is a visual representation of an intimate creative process between two artists working and living together. Murmurations is an experiment with the collision of opposing and complementary forces that arise during the process of relating and creating.

As the birds in a murmuration create beauty out of their strategy for survival, these two bodies of work merge and resonate to become the document of a shared adventure of two artists.

“We both like to draw, dance, make masks and be out in the woods, so we decided to make something together. We’re interested in the connection between People and Nature, the unseen parts, the rhythms underneath everything. To us, science and mythology are both so endlessly fascinating and through making art we can explore them simultaneously. Also, we were both the kind of kids who sat quietly in the corner making drawings of dead birds during our parents’ parties.” said the artists when talking about the origins of their collaboration.

Anya Smolnikova is an artist and educator working and living in Boston. Born in Belarus, she came to the US with her family in 1999. Her work in multiple media explores the space between observation and abstraction, as well as the tension between cultural inheritance and individual expression. Anya is a resident artist at Dorchester Art Project.

Jared Williams is a visual artist, dance-improviser and dance-arts curator. As a curator he has founded Electric Fish and co-founded New Movement Collaborative (NMC) – organizations that develop dance in Boston. This past Fall, NMC created the 1st annual Lion’s Jaw performance + dance festival. He is a believer in the power of art and movement as both a practice and a tool to support healing; build community; and create political and social change.

The Opening Reception for MURMURATIONS will be held on Saturday, January 14 from 6-9 pm, and feature live music by Jeffrey Lockhart and Keith Hollis. The Closing Reception on Saturday, February 11 from 6-9 pm will feature live music by Dr. Bob Singley.

Dorchester Art Project is located at 1486 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester MA, across from Fields Corner Station on the Red Line. Between the Opening Reception on 1/14, 6-9 and the Closing Reception on 2/11, 6-9, MURMURATIONS can be visited by appointment only and online at To find out more about the artists individually, please visit their websites: &

Left Behind

Artists: Sarah Meyers Brent, Frances Jakubek, Rachel Loischild, Chris Maliga, Deborah Sosower

Curated by Sarah Pollman

Carefully Omitted                                       Frances Jakubek, Carefully Omitted

 Exhibition: October 15 – November 19, 2016
Opening Reception: October 15, 6-8pm

The Dorchester Art Project is pleased to present Left Behind, an exhibition of painting, printmaking and photography that explores the physical and emotional detritus that remains when artists subtract.

Rachel Loischild’s haunting color photographs documents the aftermath of weather, showing stillness that follows the momentum of trauma enacted on the land. Likewise, Chris Maliga works within the natural world to create ethereal self-portraits. His figure is ghosted within trees and rivers, marking the film with the traces of his physical movements.

Paintings by Sarah Meyers Brent subtract as much as they add, questioning the traditional process of building paintings from on top a stable ground. Earthy textures and tones are revealed when paint is scraped away, suggesting a corollary with plants that grow and diminish in accordance with the seasons. Reductive prints by Deborah Sosower also reference the absent as much as what remains: graphic representations speak to the creation and destruction of the landscape and the self. Further exploring the construction of identity and narrative, Frances Jakubek’s photographed collages stitch pieces of the past into new realities, implying stories that cannot be resolved.

The tenuous connections between pieces reveal the nuances of process and concept. Visual resonances of the forgotten and left behind resonate through explorations of the landscape and our places within it, creating dialogue about our presence and absence within the world.

Connect The Dots: Resident Group Show

Artists: Shira Espo, Darlin Frometa, Sarah Pollman, Sam Schultz, Anya Smolnikova, Joanna Tam, Jamal Thorne, Leo Whelan, Thomas Willis

Curated by Sarah Pollman


Darlin Frometa, Stealing from a Robbins Nest, oil on canvas, 2016

Exhibition: September 10-October 2, 2016
Opening Reception: September 10, 6-8pm

Connect the Dots is the Dorchester Art Project’s second annual exhibition of work by resident artists. Across media, formal connections reveal nuances of work made by artists working within a communal space. Painting, drawing and video examine the layered meaning of the art-making process, while sculptures and photographs reference the materiality and history of art.

Body Language

Artists: Aram Atamian, Adelaide Bruce, Ben Foley, Paul Goodnight, Julia Von Metszch Ramos, Hannah Rossi, Daniel Smelansky, Anya Smolnikova, Leo Whelan

Performances by Aram Atamian, Solei and Cassandre Charles

Co-Curated by Anya Smolnikova and Leo Whelan


Daniel Smelansky, Untitled (Cloud Womb), installation, 9’x5’x5′, 2016

Exhibition: July 16th – August 13th 2016
Opening Reception: July 16th, 6-8pm

Closing Reception: August 12th, 5-8pm

Our gestures, expressions and postures reveal what words cannot.  In Body Language, eight Boston-based artists explore the nature of somatic experience, and how it can transcend that of spoken language.  Whether fully engaging with the human form or by more indirect means, each artist in this exhibition finds meaning in what the body reveals about itself and in the ways we perceive and represent it.

Paintings by Paul Goodnight evoke the sensuous movement of dancers, while Julia von Metzsch Ramos invests form with the energetic fluidity of water. Anya Smolnikova fuses personal memory and collective symbols in mixed media.  Installations by Ben Foley and Daniel Smelansky allow the viewer to occupy infinite mirrored mindscapes and embryonic shelters.  Stop motion animation by Hannah Rossi explores the convergence of digital and analogue movement, and murals and printed illustrations by Adelaide Bruce and Leo Whelan bring fantasy and humor to observations of intimate moments and digital culture.

By assembling a highly varied group of artists, Body Language examines the many implications of the human form: how it shapes our interactions, the spaces we occupy and our cultural messages.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (The Shrug Show)

Artists: Allison Cekala, Aaron John Bourque, Cody Justus, Tim McCool, Michael McMahon, Christian Meade, Samara Pearlstein, Gianna Stewart, Julie Weaver

Exhibition: June 17, – July 9, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 17th, 6-9pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, July 9th, 4-7pm

The Dorchester Art Project is pleased to present ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  (The Shrug Show), an exhibition of new works by 9 Boston-based artists who are responding to the cultural presence of the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoticon. The ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoticon appropriates symbols from multiple languages to create a new universal icon suggesting a “shrug.” This emoticon, while widely understood and commonly used due to its copy-and-paste nature, still lacks a fixed meaning. Though it may give many impressions, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ultimately suggests uncertainty and ambivalence in a globalized world.

The artists in this show attempt to deconstruct the plurality of meanings the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoticon suggests. Cody Justus and Aaron John Bourque’s interpretations of the ready-made explore the nature of copy-and-paste culture, and Christian Meade’s sculptural installation suggests an idealized past in lieu of a digital future. Julie Weaver and Mikey MacMahon use painting to discuss the commonality of cultural symbols. Allison Cekala and Tim McCool playfully mimic the emoticon while critiquing its ubiquity. Samara Pearlstein and Gianna Stewart’s reproduced objects question the impossibility of originality in the digital world.  Through various practices, each of these artists come to deal with  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in their own way, while striving to understand its collective meaning.







Artists: Maureen Cavanaugh, Sean Downey, Gage Delprete, Robin Dluzen, Michelle Grabner, Angelina Gualdoni, Maura O’Donnell, Kathleen O’Hara and Allison Reimus

Curated by Eric Stefanski

Allison Reimus _PAINTPITCHER2

Exhibition: April 14, 2016 – May 21, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 14th, 6-8PM

Interiors explores domesticity and its relationship within artistic practice. Through both material and subject matter, each artist in the exhibition references the delicate balance between the discourse of contemporary art and their home life in their works.

Without Issue

March 5, 2016 – April 2, 2016

Artists: Caroline Dahlberg, Furen Dai, Jeremy Endo, Max Kaplan, Caleb Smith & Jonathan Weiskopf

Curated by Caleb Smith

Without Issue features six Boston-based artists resuscitating, regurgitating and reinterpreting formal strategies derived from conceptual, minimal, and post-minimal art; the degree of imitation varies from artist to artist. Jonathan Weiskopf’s witty language-based paintings play on Ed Ruscha’s iconic text pieces, while the endearing performances of Caroline Dahlberg are contemporary takes on the grotesque and the feminine seen earlier in the performances of Carolee Schneemann. Furen Dai’s egg-like pieces, alluding to the slumped, anti-form objects of Eva Hesse, share space with Caleb Smith’s found object sculptures that use Jeff Koons’ Hoover vacuum sculptures as their point of departure. Max Kaplan’s photographic objects draw from the language of Film Noir, while Jeremy Endo’s sculptural painted pieces reference and appropriate Japanese Manga comics and anime culture.

Without Issue illustrates a moment in contemporary art where artists, makers, curators and exhibitions can exist in the paradoxical space between distanced critique and culpable participation. The six artists here simultaneously parody their art historical predecessors while knowingly demonstrate a camaraderie with them. Contradiction and indulgence become important characteristics of this exhibition.







November 13- December 11, 2015

Artists: Cori Champagne, Eileen Derosas, Kevin Frances, Lindsay Metivier, Vanessa Michalak

Curated by Sarah Pollman

Mimic explores the relationship between representation and reality, looking specifically at how fantasy, storytelling and the constructed narrative shift the connection between the world and how we picture it.






The Persistence of Memory

October 2- October 30, 2015

Artists: Tara Goldberg, Jodie Mim Goodnough, Siobhan Landry

Curated by Sarah Pollman

With a nod towards Dali’s surrealist work and the Freudian notions that underlie it, this exhibit will examine the ways in which photography, painting and video help us to remember what is near and dear.



Between You and Me: Resident Group Show

August 14-September 18, 2015

Curated by Sarah Pollman

The Dorchester Art Project is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition, Between You and Me: Resident Group Show. Curated from work produced by DAP resident artists, Between You and Me locates the tenuous threads that bind together artists working within communal space.

In the front gallery, photographs consider how individuals relate to their worlds and constructed tableaus explore otherworldly scenes. Paintings of faces fall apart into pixelated squares, mimicking the failure of cellular communication between people, while in other works, intertwined figures emerge from abstraction. In the back gallery, a site-specific installation of sculptures that reference painting recreates the artist’s studio within the gallery space. Collages made from phone books and other paper detritus sourced directly from the Dorchester environment are as much about absence of information and individuals as their presence. Across the paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings, there is a commonality of artists engaged in critical discourse and thinking as the artists interpret their environments and interact with the surrounding communities.