For artists, a trip into the mystic; Roxbury studios host exhibits this weekend
A pair of visionary artists are among the seven Dorchester and Mattapan residents who will be displaying their creations this weekend during Roxbury Open Studios (ROS).
Mattapan’s Robert Peters says he’s “deeply interested in the oral traditions of both my Wampanoag and African American heritage,” and Dorchester’s Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper, who was born in Jamaica, contemplates traditional beliefs from her roots in India and Africa. These two modern-day mystics are among the nearly 70 artists and organizations that will be exhibiting and offering for sale paintings, drawings, sculptures, textiles, jewelry and other studio crafts.
Self-taught artist Robert Peters is also a poet, author, and tradition keeper for the Wampanoag nation, having served on board of directors for the North American Indian Center of Boston. Peters will show prints from “Thirteen Moons,” a cycle of paintings intended for a calendar for the year 2015. He believes there will be a radical reversion to more natural, earth-based living (as in the new TV series “Revolution”) in July of that year. One canvas shows a bird inside a home (considered very unlucky by Native Americans) knocking over products like Aunt Jemima mix. He’ll also be selling copies of his children’s book “Da Goodie Monster,” about a nighttime figure that chases away bad dreams.
Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper’s “Cosmic Dancer” was used as the logo image for the 2007 First Night button. She suggested it relates ancient Indian mysticism with the future of quantum mechanics. The painter muses on universal themes, employing cross-cultural symbols as icons in expressing her vision. She told the Reporter she has begun to focus “more on things that arise from my subconscious. It speaks to me in symbols, which touch me deeply, and I hope they will affect viewers in the same way.”
Finding Peters, Dassardo-Cooper or any other intriguing artist will be easy thanks to Discover Roxbury, the powerhouse cultural, arts and economic development non-profit, which has printed a brochure guide filled with color illustrations and maps.
Tonight, ROS ramps up with an artist roundtable at the Haley House Bakery Café at 12 Dade Street. Tomorrow, October 5, from 6-8 p.m., ROS kicks off in earnest at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA) (300 Walnut Avenue) with a free reception to provide the public the opportunity to interact with artists over food and music. On exhibition at the NCAAA: “Playoff X, probing the perceptions of Black male identity,” the works of Marlon Forrester, a Dot artist featured in a recent Reporter article.
Then, Saturday and Sunday, nearly six dozen artists, in both group sites and their own studios (like the Piano Factory’s Paul Goodnight), will exhibit and sell their work from 11a.m.-6p.m. The trolley service offered in the past will not be available this year.
On view at AAMARP (African American Master Artists in Residency Program) at 76 Atherton Street will be pieces by some of best known names in the Boston art scene, including Jeff Chandler, L’Merchie Frazier, Kofi Kagiya, Khalid Kodi, Hakim Raquib and Susan Thompson.
Most Dot artists will be showing on the third floor of Hibernian Hall (189 Dudley St.): Cagen Luce (paintings); Dassardo-Cooper (paintings); Darlene Smart (“A Good Piece of Glass,” etched glass); Willie Wideman-Pleasants (books & tapes); and Yvonne Williams (mixed media). Peters’ work will be at the Dillaway Thomas House.
For precise details go to roxburyopenstudios.org.