Trustman Art Gallery


Mixed Media by Laura Christensen and Frances Hamilton

October 16 - November 9

Opening Reception:
Reception: Thursday, October 19, 5-7 p.m.

Simmons University presents Vintage, a two-person mixed media exhibition by Laura Christensen and Frances Hamilton October 16-November 9, at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway in Boston. The reception will be held on Thursday, October 19 from 5-7 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

How do we remember? Laura Christensen and Frances Hamilton construct magical objectifications in 2D and 3D of what might have been. Their work is a combination of innocence and peculiar, creepy and refreshingly zany art images that employ animals either as human stand-ins, companions or as hybrids. They call to mind the past, but one that never was.

Laura Christensen is a Western Massachusetts artist who received her MFA at Utah State University. She is a recipient of an Artist Resource Trust award from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. The work is meticulously fashioned; Christensen transforms old photographs into surreal relics housed in beautifully crafted wooden containments. Rabbit Ears is an understatement of sangfroid. A mother’s profile is turned towards her daughter, who stares full face out of the black and white photograph, eyes slightly rolled up, rabbit ears sprouting from her carefully curled hair. Neither mother nor daughter seems the least perturbed by this turn of events. The beautifully painted, slightly pink, hairy ears are seamlessly integrated into the image. But perhaps every mother feels at some time, that their daughter is no longer the simple child they took them for. The black and white photographs are a vehicle to another world, with strange parallels to our own.

Frances Hamilton is a Boston artist who received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her awards include: Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, twice, and most recently this year, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and an award from the Artist Resource Trust. The cloth figurines and drawings are powerful in their awkwardness, endearing in their childlike freedom from the everyday. Pinky is a soft-bodied doll that wears stripes wide and narrow, and sports an oversize polka-dot tie. His simply featured face is open to interpretation, his body language suggesting an invitation – hands spread wide, and feet outturned, as though begging for a hug. Pinky is not a sleek or machine-made doll. He seems delicately vulnerable, a surrogate for our youthful selves.

Both of these artists mine the past but not as it was, but as a way to relate narratives that are fanciful metaphors for human existence.

The Gallery continues its Lunchtime Lecture Series on Wednesday, November 1 from noon-1:00 with a presentation by Associate Professor of Practice Bridget Lynch, who will discuss Imagining a Different World Just like Our Own, followed by questions and conversation.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.