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NHS seniors, Open Studios artists exhibit

In partnership with The Town of Needham, The Needham Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has launched its newest temporary presentations at 32-36 Chestnut Street featuring art from Needham High School seniors and professionals from Needham Open Studios.

Art from Needham Open Studios and the “Senior Showcase Sampler” is on display in vacant storefronts donated by Coppola Properties. Displays include works by 20 graduating students and 13 professional artists.

For the NHS senior class, it’s been a difficult year juggling their workload amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “We wanted to give them a unique opportunity that would honor all that they have accomplished this year,” said Maria Sartori, NHS Senior Studios teacher. “The student’s final show had to be a smaller event to accommodate for social distancing, so getting to display their artwork in a public space gives them a chance to show the world what they’ve created while also getting real-world experience.”

At 36 Chestnut Street, you may do a double-take to see the former bridal shop windows filled to the brim with the professional works of Needham Open Studios (NOS). Yearly in May, NOS artists would open their studio doors to share how and where they practice their craft. “We’ve had to postpone Needham Open Studio’s two years in a row due to the public health crisis, so having the opportunity to safely share our work with the community is wonderful, especially because our studios are really getting filled up with work,” said Anne Nydam, the organizer of NOS and a printmaker. “For this exhibit, we had 13 artists jump at the chance to show their works with Storefronts Needham.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these incredible student artists one day join the ranks of the skilled Needham Open Studios artists themselves,” said Charly Nanda of the Needham Council for Arts and Culture. “My favorite part of Storefronts Needham is the moment when the passer-by connects with the artwork. When we loaded in this show a pedestrian stopped and excitedly shared his knowledge of the ‘Water Bear,’ the subject of student Phoebe Shubin’s painting.”

Pop-up shops and galleries are a great way to increase attention to area artists and businesses, build a sense of community, and keep the empty properties safe and vibrant. Storefronts Needham is a creative partnership between public and private interests that benefit the community by keeping the downtown business district active.

Stay up to date on the exhibits of Storefronts Needham by following Needham Council for Arts and Culture on Facebook at Facebook.com/NeedhamCouncilforArtsandCulture.

The following are the Needham High School Seniors participating in the project: Julianna Alpert, Claire Atkinson, Grace Cohen, Emma Curry, Alexandra Eun, Nora Focht, Camryn Foster, Jackson Goodman, Charlotte Greif, William Haney, Yutong Huang, Aidan Keane, Gwendolyn Kwong, Madison Talcoff, Trixie Ogbebor, Allison Payne, Phoebe Shubin, Ace Wainwright.

Needham Open Studios participants include Helen Donis-Keller, Ronni and Amos Eisenberg, Ilene Hoffman, Anne E.G. Nydam, Jay Ramakrishnan, Corinne Rhode, Tova Speter, Judi Stein, Leah Tedesco, Emily Tow, Dina Troen-Krasnow, and Sarah Whitlock. These working creatives are part of the cultural sector that includes individual artists who have been hit very hard by income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mass Cultural Council’s most recent COVID-19 impact cites that loss at an estimated $30 million dollars in personal income. All the works on display have contact information to commission the artist or purchase the work.

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