Collective has fresh take on art

August 31, 2012
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By Tommy Dean, Special to the Gazette

HYDE SQ.—A group of artists called the Fresh Collective held a debut exhibit in their Sheridan Street home earlier this week, setting the stage for more art to come.

The group is inspired by the basement shows and do-it-yourself ethos of the underground independent music scene. Getting into a gallery requires logistics and time, and the collective strives to bring art to the public without relying on the formal institutions.

“We make it happen, whatever the circumstances,” said Fresh Collective member Pat Peltier.

The exhibit “Where Have All the Dinosaurs Gone?” debuted on Aug. 25 at the 93 Sheridan St. home and wrapped up Aug. 30. The second floor was filled with abstract and realistic paintings, collages, installations, projected films, prints, pop-culture-reference pieces, photographs, sketches and skateboards. People walked from room to room, chatted, viewed art, sipped box wine out of red plastic cups, and ate ice cream from J.P. Licks.

Besides the open house art-viewing, the event included an Aug. 39 basement concert by various bands, including Jamaica Plain’s Needy Visions. The art was on view by appointment at other times.

The Sheridan Street apartment has been a residence for Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) students for nearly a decade. It operates as a living space with a basement studio, where art supplies like silk screening gear and easels are accumulated and used by inhabitants and left for newcomers.

The Fresh Collective was conceived last year when Peltier, inspired by the street vendors he saw in Mexico, used a tricycle that was converted into a cart, dubbed “The Fresh Cart,” as a portable venue to sell his and his friends’ artwork on Newbury Street and at local farmers markets.

The inhabitants of 93 Sheridan—Peltier, Alizée De Pin and Mike Haas—founded the Fresh Collective and built the membership by hosting studio nights, when fellow artists used the apartment’s supplies and studio basement to collaborate and create.

A few of the artists’ functional vessels (pottery you can drink out of) will be featured at Streetcar Wine & Beer, 488 Centre St., during the Sept. 6 First Thursday, a monthly event where businesses and galleries on Centre and South Streets display art. Other 2-D and 3-D pieces from the Fresh Collective will be exhibited at Ula Café in the future, and an exhibition of collage pieces at Lorem Ipsum Books in Inman Square is also in the works.

De Pin said she plans to collaborate with other Boston groups, The !nd!v!duals Collective and Project Super Friends. She also hopes to create an open-air “art market,” reminiscent of the forums in ancient Rome, when people congregate in public with carts and stands to sell their wares.

For information on upcoming shows, contact the Fresh Collective at alizee.depin@gmail.com.

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