By Grace Zaborski
The premiere annual arts event in one of Boston’s most eclectic neighborhoods, Jamaica Plain Open Studios (JPOS), is returning in 2019 for its 26th year, organizers reported this month.
Open Studios is an opportunity 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 and more. It runs from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. over the weekend of September 28 – 29.
During JPOS, visitors can experience locally created art, clothing, jewelry, and home accessories, and can buy directly from the artists. JPOS artists include a mixture of newcomers, emerging student artists as well as more established artists, many with quite high profiles in their field.
Included among the notable artists showing art this year are Nancy Marks and Remi Picò, who recently created their own installations for the new Egleston Square apartment complex located at 3200 Washington St. Their installations within the building will be open for public viewing following an opening reception that took place on July 27, and can be seen throughout the weekend of JP Open Studios as well. Both artists’ installations are inspired by characteristics and history unique to Jamaica Plain.
Nancy and Remi have shown their work at JP Open Studios in the past and will continue to do so this year. Nancy will be showing her urban abstraction works alongside 10 other artists at the Taylor House Bed and Breakfast. Remi, a conceptual artist who “transforms ideas into art,” will be opening his Stony Brook studio to the public for a fourth year. Remi encouraged JPOS visitors to “go everywhere.” He explained that he enjoys participating in Open Studios because it is “an occasion for people to know the artist, not only the art.”
Talking with an artist about their work and understanding the process or the story behind the finished product is really inspiring. As a participant in JPOS for over 16 years, Nancy Marks urged that visitors “Not be afraid to ask the artist questions” because “peoples’ curiosity about my work makes me more curious about myself.”
Remi Picò also noted that JPOS is “mainly about the community” and provides a way to make the public aware that there may be an artist in their neighborhood.
Another unique aspect of Open Studios is the opportunity to see a range of art mediums. JPOS 2019 features the work of 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.
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 said, “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).
JPOS is celebrating its 26th year as the premiere annual arts event in Jamaica Plain. JPOS showcases 200 artists in approximately 40 sites. The event is open to the public and will take place September 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and to preview artists’ work, visit www.jpopenstudios.com.