The Boston arts community eagerly anticipates the 30th year of Jamaica Plain Open Studios (JPOS), a free, annual event where the public can meet artists, experience their studios, and enjoy and purchase artwork directly. This year’s event will feature a unique series of 30 temporary public art installations, in addition to more than 180 individual artists showcasing a range of media and styles around the neighborhood.
Organized by the Jamaica Plain Arts Council, this lively community-centered weekend celebrates the arts in Jamaica Plain (JP), a vibrant neighborhood where artistic connections and history abound. On Sept. 23-24, 2023, from 11am-6 pm (Saturday) and 11am-4pm (Sunday), this year’s event will showcase artwork at over 60 sites across the neighborhood—inside artists’ studio spaces, a new group site at Curtis Hall Community Center, the Loring Greenough House, The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts, several churches, and elsewhere throughout JP.
The “30 for 30” installation project will feature art in public spaces, including a collection of “art chairs” in front of West Cork Auto, youth-made bicycle art at Bikes Not Bombs, a clothespin sculpture about climate change at Pondside Dental, an interactive radio station at Red Sun Press, and an homage to Black West Roxbury Soldiers at JP’s Civil War Monument. Other planned installations include a 12-foot skeleton, an art book exchange, a wall of quilts, a flower-based display, and a “tiny art” show.
In 2023, JPOS will feature the work of ironworkers, jewelers, painters, ceramicists, printmakers, textile and paper artists, sculptors, clothing designers, woodcarvers, photographers, and more, highlighting the broad range of artistic media on display in a single weekend. Participating artists represent a diverse group of creatives at all stages of their careers. Several local businesses, such as Tonino restaurant, the consignment shop Diversity, and Ula Café, not only sponsor the JPOS event, but will also host artists’ work in their spaces.
Kelli Nyman, a Cambridge-based paper artist who makes wall sculptures using origami techniques, will exhibit at Curtis Hall Community Center, a new group site for 2023. This is Nyman’s first JPOS, and she says she’s “excited to be there with so many great artists and makers, and to meet people that I wouldn’t necessarily interact with otherwise.” Because her art studio is in Somerville, JPOS is a “way to connect with a newer audience in a neighborhood where so many people appreciate the arts.”
Gail Bos, a JP-based sculptor and painter and longtime member of the Jamaica Plain Arts Council board of directors, spearheaded the “30 for 30” project. She thinks of the project as a way to thank the JP community for supporting artists and JPOS for three decades. The planned installations range from whimsical to reflective and will add new spontaneity to JPOS this year. “The installations will give you a smile and show how active the art community is in JP,” Bos said.
The Jamaica Plain Arts Council is pleased to offer a pathway for artists, arts supporters, and local businesses to connect and appreciate artists’ studios and work, and to showcase the healing and transformative power of art. Maps of artist sites will be distributed at JP businesses and at the information booth at JP Licks (659 Centre St.), as well as in a new interactive digital map at www.jpopenstudios.com. All JPOS sites are MBTA accessible on the Orange Line as well as by several bus routes.