City artists – and art lovers – find common ground at exhibition

Darlene Smart of Dorchester will be one of the artists featured in the ART 100 Boston staged at the Piano Craft Gallery starting this weekend.

The art world can be intimidating and difficult to navigate for artists and art lovers alike. ART 100 Boston— staged at the Piano Craft Gallery on Tremont Street— is designed to alleviate that problem. The two-week exhibit of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, prints, collages and photographs gives exposure to artists’ work and help buyers find affordable works to purchase.

Emerging artists are guided and supported in many ways in areas of presentation through framing, boxing and labeling. The exhibit also gives artists without previous gallery experience the ability to stage the mini version of a solo show.

This exciting second year event will feature some of the incredible talent and work of local Dorchester artists created just for the exhibit. The number of participating artists grew from 50 to this year’s 68 diverse artists that include professional photographer Anthony Adamick; mixed media artist April Clay; award-winning fine artist Rebecca Davidson; ceramics artist Jennifer Erickson; abstract painter Michaela Flatley; 3D mixed media artist Todd Erickson; and collage artist James George.

Darlene Smart is one notable artist participating this year. She is a life-long Dorchester resident and a self-taught glass artist. Smarts pieces are presented annually at events like the Dorchester Open Studios, Roxbury Open Studios, ArtROX and several pop-up events in various cities. Last year, Smart attended Art 100 Boston and thoroughly enjoyed it. She decided to participate this year as an exhibiting artist.

“Art100 Boston does a great job working with the community and presenting artists’ work,” said Smart . “All of us as artists, we need that opportunity.”

Smart also praised Pares Mallis, the ART 100 Boston founder and curator.

“It has been great working with Pares and learning how to present my work professionally in a gallery setting,” she said.

An artist for 30 years, this will be the first time Smart’s glass pieces will exhibit in a gallery.

Launched in 2014, ART 100 Boston hopes to guide artists through the business side of art, including contracts and pricing. Potential buyers need some education too, says Mallis.

“Entering the art world can be intimidating, especially financially. So much of the art world is elite. This is not the way it is suppose to be,” said Mallis. “At Art 100, even the guy who can barely buy art gets the thrill of buying and bringing home a piece they love.” Mallis said each piece in the exhibit is priced at $100 to keep things simple.

A breast cancer survivor, Mallis made a promise to give back to the art community and also to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by donating 14 percent of the artist participation fees to help further breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.

Free and open to the public, the ART 100 Boston exhibition will be at the Piano Craft Gallery on Friday, Dec. 4 from 6-10 p.m. The gallery will be open through Dec. 19.

For more information, visit ART100Boston.com or call 617-595-5638.

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