Artist’s Crossing a Must-See Art Gallery in Downtown Boston

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Posted March 14, 2014 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts
Artists Crossing

When finding an art gallery around Boston, you don’t have to tilt your head in confusion or ponder for too long. Popular spots for art lovers tend to be the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, or any of the breathtaking galleries peppering Newbury Street. Although Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch are on my list of favorite artists, what about the next Picasso or the next Munch? Giving props to the masters is fine, but ignoring the up-and-coming hidden talent in this city makes me want to scream (an action I’m sure Munch would support).

Enter The Artist’s Crossing, Downtown Crossing’s co-op art gallery. Its goal is to give local artists a location to showcase and sell their original artwork.

As you stroll around this casual, open space, you’re surrounded by incredible hand-created works of art by artists stretching from Somerville to Brookline, the South End to Essex. Tables are set up with jewelry, hand-blown glass, and wood crafts, while the walls are dotted with hanging paintings and photographs.

The Artist’s Crossing opened in December 2008 as one of the four temporary artist stores of former mayor Thomas Menino’s Boston Redevelopment Authority, which allowed artists to submit proposals to use empty storefronts for the holidays. Beginning at 34 Bromfield St., the gallery had a wonderful first month. Both neighbors and customers fell in love with the cultural showcase and encouraged it to stay. As a result, through an arrangement with real estate development firm Druker Co., the co-op remained open until the summer of 2011.

Oil paintings by Robert Hanlon, of Essex

Oil on antique boards were created by one of February’s featured fine artists, Robert Hanlon of Essex. Photo courtesy of Jen Matson, of Artists Crossing

A rolling stone gathers no moss, and neither does a group of dynamic artists. With a bob-and-weave attitude, this art gallery in downtown Boston had to change its address throughout the years, turning into a somewhat temp-to-perm art scene. Before finally settling in November 2013 at 431 Washington St. in between Bath & Body Works and E.B. Horn Jewelers, it had been at Bromfield Street, 505 Washington St., and 50 Franklin St.

Since the artwork is all original, it is constantly changing. Some artists have been with the gallery since its inception, while others have been there for just a month or two. As pieces sell, the artists replace them so there is always something new to see. As a cooperative, the artists run the gallery themselves. Depending on the day you visit, you never know who will be around to show their artwork to you.

There are plenty of different vibes within the gallery, all with enough energy to engage even the pickiest of art aficionados. Smile at the gentle watercolors of Chie Yasuda or wonder at the hand-painted, nature-inspired decorative glass balls made by Jennifer Maiola. The quirky illustrations of Aaron Kovalcsik make you laugh, and the silver- and gold-beaded jewelry by Deborah MacFail make you want to dress up for a fun night out.

The gallery features a total of 20 artists, each with a different eye and a different medium. Get to know them all by just walking through the gallery, stopping at each piece or attending the revolving special exhibits and monthly artist receptions.

If you want to get in on the fun, The Artist’s Crossing also offers art classes. February’s introductory mosaics class, for example, was a great outlet to work with broken tile pieces, perhaps from that vase you accidentally knocked over a few weeks ago!

Whether you’re channeling your own artistic notions or looking to appreciate someone else’s, The Artist’s Crossing is a must-see stop on your art tour of Boston. And, let’s face it, there’s nothing like supporting the local team.


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