Published in Boston Magazine
Interview by Abby Bielagus
A perfect storm of creativity is raging in Government Center, and you only have two more weeks to witness it. An exhibit of 24 female artists, curated by Olivia Ives-Flores, hangs on the walls of the all-female run production company Sweet Rickey, in an endeavor to raise money for the Malala Fund.
Ives-Flores, founder of Oh Olive Creative, collaborated with the Peabody Essex Museum to produce the show, titled The Salon. “Throughout the course of history, ‘The Salon’ has symbolized a variety of meanings. In someway or another always a meeting place for dialogue and discourse,” Ives-Flores says. Many of the artists showcased in the exhibition either live and work in Boston, or have strong ties to our city.
There’s Illesha Khandelwal who splits her time between India, where she was born, and Boston. She was the recipient and BFA candidate in Photography at MassArt and her haunting photographs of Indian women and landscapes from her native country are printed on ethereal silk panels that trick the eye as they blow in the breeze and transform in the changing light.
Feda Eid is a Lebanese-American photographer and visual artist based in Boston. Her portraits show women of mixed backgrounds decorated in apparel and accessories associated with a myriad of different cultures. The resulting, powerful image is one that “embraces the concept of finding beauty in the collision of different backgrounds,” Eid says.
And Teruko Kushi is an interdisciplinary artist based in Cambridge. Her painting in the show is emblematic of her work, “where movement, light, and interactive gestures are crucial to the viewing experience,” she explains.
The 50-plus works of art in the show, by the cast of diverse female artists, tell a dynamic story of “connection, conversation and collaboration,” says Ives-Flores. She explains, “Art harnesses the unique power to bring people together. The 24 artists highlighted in this exhibition each elicit a distinct point of view, communicated through different mediums…They are also at different stages of their careers – from the quixotic student to the established sage.” All proceeds, whether from the work of someone just starting out, or from someone deep in their groove, go to an organization that grants women the basic human right to an education. The entire experience, as Ives-Flroes says, is “an artful counterpoint to the global tonality we are currently experiencing.”
So maybe this weekend, amidst all of the fireworks and flags, take time to schedule a tour of this exhibit that celebrates ideals that are certainly, currently in danger.