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Fountain Street Gallery prepares for farewell

‘Limitless Translations: The Artist as Storyteller’ is up now; the member gallery will close at the end of March

Robert Sullivan, "Altus." Oil on panel.Robert Sullivan

In December, Fountain Street Gallery announced plans to close. The gallery opened in Framingham in 2011 and moved to SoWa in 2017. “We’ve had a phenomenal run, and now it’s time for the next generation of gallerists to make their mark,” co-owner and director Marie Craig said in a statement. The member gallery has more shows scheduled and then will close March 31.

“Limitless Translations: The Artist as Storyteller,” a member show curated by Nilou Moochhala and Joseph Fontinha, is a little too limitless — a grab bag ranging from realism to abstraction in all kinds of mediums. How does it all fit together?


Rebecca Skinner, "House of Blues." Photograph on aluminum. Rebecca Skinner

“The idea of context, the space within which an artwork is created, is inherently connected to the artists’ creative process and form,” Moochhala writes in a catalog essay. The stories the artists share in the catalog give “Limitless Translations” roots. The show is as much about the alchemy of process as it is about the end products on view.

Nilou Moochhala, "Those who Made Us What We Are." Assemblage with vintage mannequin, printed fabric, slides, flowers, candles, ruler, shells, letters, and other family memorabilia. Nilou Moochhala

Ingredients may include aesthetic, materials, world view, approach to making, and family. Several artists eloquently grapple with grief: Rebecca Skinner’s photographs of abandoned buildings, visually lush and filled with decay, sing with longing and regret. Sylvia Vander Sluis’s sculpture “Passage V,” a vessel of bound branches and more, honors the loss of a loved one. Moochhala’s shrine to her late father, “Those who Made Us What We Are,” features a mannequin wrapped in fabric printed with images of him, surrounded by candles and objects that resonate with his memory, such as bow ties and a foldable ruler.

Sylvia Vander Sluis, "Passage V." Mixed media. Sylvia Vander Sluis

Some artists define their worlds with color. Painter Robert Sullivan uses it in an abstract way to add twist and emotion to his narrative paintings. “Altus,” his blue image of an explosion, spotlights the open hand of a witness in complementary orange, as if highlighting a clue. In “Flotsam,” Craig prints a cyanotype of roiling water on neon green fabric and stitches bright glass beads atop the waves — an image at once lovely and toxic.


Marie Craig, "Flotsam." Cyanotype and glass beads on cotton over stretched canvas. Marie Craig

“Limitless Translations,” with its kaleidoscope of approaches, is like the colorful beads bobbing on Craig’s waves — various, clinging to one another, riding the depths. That’s how a member gallery works. This one will be missed.

LIMITLESS TRANSLATIONS: The Artist as Storyteller

At Fountain Street Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave., through Jan. 14. 857-302-3067, www.fsaboston.com

Cate McQuaid can be reached at catemcquaid@gmail.com. Follow her on Instagram @cate.mcquaid.