Ambassador of Art: Dot artist draws bead on cityscape

Jodie Baehre is shown with her French Bulldog, Shorts. Matthew Wittmeyer photo

Jodie Baehre is a powerhouse. At the age of 33, she’s a full-time artist advocating for the cultural community of Boston with her ultra-vivid and innovative perspective on Boston’s city landscape – its rooftops, steeples, street views, and more.

A native of Buffalo, Baehre, who has a background in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology, has lived in Boston since 2002 and is now a resident of Dorchester, where she lives with her husband, Paul McMenamin, an Irishman from Derry who is the general manager at Scholars Bar in Downtown Crossing, and her French bulldog, Shorts.

Her aesthetic and technique is different from that of artists who paint urban landscapes. She starts the process by taking photographs from different angles instead of straight on to showcase the lines of Boston’s architecture, and then uses the photographs as a guide to translate the image onto canvas using acrylic paint. Her paintings are alive with color and precision, especially her work on South End Rooftops, which she photographed from the top of The Colonnade.

It’s no surprise that she left her job in museum development to pursue her love of painting full-time. “I was a print maker in my undergrad days, so my last sort of series of works I did was specifically on Boston buildings,” said Baehre. “I grew to love discovering the city and going to different neighborhoods taking photographs, and it’s now a passion for me.”

Her artwork will be featured in an upcoming exhibit called Ambassadors II, the second installment at City Hall by curator and participating artist Adam O’Day. “I’ve known Adam for a long time because we went to the Art Institute of Boston together,” said Baehre. “He asked me and it worked out. The show looks awesome. I’m the only woman in the show so it’s a little intimidating. I had to bring it for the women.”

She is at this point she’s the only woman serving as a cultural ambassador for the city to showcase its cultural community. The Ambassadors II Artist reception will be held on Thurs., Sept. 8, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at City Hall’s Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd Floor (Main Lobby). The exhibit will be on view until Thurs., Sept. 15. The show will also feature paintings by Adam O’Day, Jamie O’Neill, and Percy Fortini-Wright.

Going forward, Baehre hopes to delve into Dorchester Open Studios and get to know other local artists. She also plans to begin a Dorchester-focused series of paintings this October. For further information on her and her work, visit jodiebaehre.com.

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