Dot artists in spotlight at Humphreys Street studio

“Muhammad Ali,” a painting by Wilson Fortes, is part of the ongoing exhibition at Humphreys Street Studios.

“Our HeART,” a new group exhibition now on display at Humphreys Street Studios in Uphams Corner, features paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, and mixed media works by both Humphreys Street Studio artists as well as other creatives from Dorchester. The studios will host an opening reception this Saturday, May 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., and the exhibition will remain on view through June 4. 

“We’re thrilled to turn one of our artist studios into a pop-up gallery and launch our new exhibition that also invites work by Dorchester artists outside of our studio building,” said Frank Marval, a graphic designer at Humphreys Street Studios and proprietor of Cyanta Studios. “We welcome the talents of our Dorchester neighbors and fellow artists.”

Among those local artists to be welcomed into the studios is Uphams Corner native Jaypix Belmer, a photographer who has spent close to 20 years shooting the Boston music scene, mainly in the hip-hop and rap circles of Dorchester and Roxbury.

“It’s been such a joy for artists to come together, especially because Covid has forced so much isolation,” said Belmer. “We can share our work, celebrate each other, and share our artist community with the neighborhood at large.

“We were blown away by the quality and energy of all of the submissions,” added sculptor and jewelry maker Cat Armistead, a tenant at Humphreys Street. “Meeting local artists and learning more about their work and their process has been so wonderful.”

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Dot artists in spotlight at Humphreys Street studio

The 35 artists who use the former dry-cleaning facility as a workshop have enjoyed a tenuous existence in recent years. With the property up for sale and on the radar of real estate developers, the threat of losing their space still looms large.

As of now, tenants are waiting to see if a developer will buy the parcel and construct residential units that would make the studios a subsidized live-work space, or take action to otherwise preserve the workshop and maintain the affordable rates that have allowed artists to remain there.

Until that future is cleared up, Humphreys Street artists are hoping to use the space as much as possible while they can, inviting their fellow creatives in the neighborhood to regularly participate in shows.

“Doing this exhibition has us motivated to plan more exhibitions, summer workshops, and open studios as the weather gets nicer,” said set designer Cristina Todesco. “We have so many plans and are so excited to meet more artists, welcome folks into our space, and share our work.”

Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4p.m. and by appointment April 24 through June 4. Please email franklinmarval@gmail.com to make an appointment. Some of the exhibited artwork will be for sale and the exhibition will also be made available online shortly. HSS is located at 11 Humphreys Street.

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