Guide to JP: 25th Annual Jamaica Plain Artists Open Studios

September 14, 2018
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September 22– 23, 2018 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The premiere annual arts event in one of Boston’s most eclectic neighborhoods, Jamaica Plain Open Studios (JPOS), is returning in 2018 for its 25th year! Open Studios is an opportunity for the public to take a rare public peek at some private spaces. The free event showcases the artwork of up to 200 artists at 40 sites including artists’ studios, the historic Eliot School, the Haffenreffer brewery complex and more. It runs from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. over the weekend of September 22 – 23, 2018.

During JPOS, visitors can experience locally created art, clothing, jewelry, and home accessories, and can buy directly from the artists. Our artists include a mixture of newcomers, emerging student artists as well as more established artists, many with high profiles in their field.

Another unique aspect of open studios is the opportunity to see a range of art mediums. JPOS 2018 features the work of painters, glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, sculptors, ironworkers, quilt makers and wood carvers. Within a short walk you can talk with artists specializing in fine art photography, re-purposed cashmere wearables, quilts, paper art, natural soaps, mobiles and even artisan chocolates!

Coordinator Susan Duprey notes that “it is the opportunity to visit individual artists in their private studios that gives JPOS an exciting energy” and she encourages visitors to go off the beaten path and explore new studios and new neighborhoods. Often studios and show spaces are as unique as the art itself. JPOS allows visitors to tour through JP’s historic First Church, the Footlight Club (America’s longest continuously running theater), the elegant Taylor House Bed and Breakfast, see inside of some of JP’s landmark antique homes, experience uniquely-designed artists studios, as well as many local businesses.

Talking with an artist about their work and understanding the process or the story behind the finished product is really inspiring. One such artist is long time JP resident and JPOS artist Gail Bos.

Gail has been doing open studios for many years “I can’t even remember when I began…the first time I participated probably was when my studio was at Amory Street.” When asked why she has continued to participate in JPOS for so many years, she says “I consider Open Studios a very important exhibition time. For me, it is an opportunity to create installations, not possible in other venues, that will intrigue and excite the public. Some of these installations used to stretch all the way across the chain link fences that surrounded my studio! (Not possible now big housing units!)”

Bos was also interested in finding a way to help celebrate the fact that JPOS has been a cornerstone event for JP artists for the past 25 years, so she invited friends and colleagues to help create CIRCLES of 25 ART CHAIRS. Participating artist were instructed to 1) find an old chair 2) transform with exterior paint in the style of a famous artist of your choice 3) lastly get a location assignment of the site for your chair. Chair circles will be installed at outside locations throughout JP during JPOS Weekend. One site for THE 25 ART CHAIRS will be at the historic Brewery Complex. “People will have to keep a look out for the other circles around town” muses Bos.

This year, at her Green Street studio, Gail will be exhibiting giant prints made using the pressure of a steamroller to produce images saying “JPOS is such a good time to show my new work. I love the opportunity to talk to the public and get reactions to the work.”

Tracking down specific artists, or planning your own route through the event can be aided by a visit to the website: www.jpopenstudios.com. As Duprey says: “The website lets you preview artists and their work to help you decide where you want to go.”

Free maps are available at local JP businesses during the month of September as well as at the JPOS information booth at JP Licks (659 Center St.) during the event. Maps are also available for download from www.jpopenstudios.com. All Open Studios sites are MBTA accessible on the Orange Line at the Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street and Forest Hills stations as well as several bus routes. More information is available by calling 617-855-5767 (JPOS).

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