Office space turned gallery opens new exhibit on Newbury Street

Published in The Tribune

Interview by Beth Treffeisen

Amalgam, a branding, code and content agency located at 338 Newbury St., transformed their office space into a non-traditional art gallery for the opening reception of SANCTUARY a solo exhibition with the Safarani Sisters on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 28.


The space, with white walls and a wide-open floor plan is typically used as office space, but from now until the end of January, it will be home to an exhibition featuring larger-than life paintings with video imaging, making them come to life in this unique show.


“We wanted to do this for the community,” said Ned Wallroth a partner of Amalgam. “Boston has a strong, creative group of people. This is more of a celebration of fellow artists and highlighting them.”


This will be the fourth show Amalgam will put on in their office space since they opened the digital marketing agency in July 2015. SANCTUARY was curated by Olivia Ives-Flores, founder of GALLERY OH! & Oh Olive Creative and hosted in collaboration with Barbara Quiroga of BQ + A.

“I want to make this space a cornerstone of Boston contemporary art,” said Ives-Flores. “I’ve done pop-up exhibitions before, but I wanted to do something different. I would like to continue to activate this space and have it be less of a pop-up and more of an active gathering space.”


Behind the current exhibition are the Safarani Sisters, twin visual artists who live in Massachusetts. Known primarily for their innovative video painting and video-performance arts, the two sisters make dramatic compositions of themselves as the subjects to explore sense of self in relation to the other.


“The paintings originated from our own experience as ourselves as being Iranian since we’ve come here,” said Farzaneh. “Most of the paintings reflect what we have been experiencing as Iranian women in a different culture and what freedom means to us.”


Most of their works are of interior spaces, reflecting where women in Iran feel the most comfortable in their home country.


“The curtains and windows show that they are always inside, and it represents something that keeps them safe from the outside – it’s a buffer to that world,” said Farzaneh. “The window represents that she is always hopeful to her future. She’s not denying herself from the outside and is not sure about opening the windows and curtains, but she wants to.”


“All over there are galleries closing in SoWa and all over,” said Quiroga. “This is an alternative space to host serious art exhibits. It’s all about using space for alternative uses and enhancing it. I keep telling everyone this is the best new gallery in Boston.”