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Rachel Mello http://www.rachelmello.com visual artist & arts educator Fri, 05 Jun 2015 22:21:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Somerville Open Studios 2015 http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/somerville-open-studios-2015/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/somerville-open-studios-2015/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 17:40:41 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1166 Somerville Open Studios

It’s Springtime which means Somerville Open Studios! Every year, the first weekend in May hundreds of artists across the city of Somerville open their doors to share their work. Come see what’s happening in all these creative spaces.

Friday, May 1 | 6pm -9pm Preview night
     (only my studio will be open in Mad Oyster! If this is the only night you can come, please do, but Sat or Sun are recommended to enjoy the whole building)

     Saturday + Sunday, May 2 + 3 | 12 noon – 6pm
Enjoy over 20 artists, plus live music, a bake sale & more!

When you’ve seen all that Mad Oyster has to offer, hop on the free SOS Trolley to take you to your next destination.
Browse the hundreds of participating Somerville artists at SomervilleOpenStudios.org.
Use the mobile-optimized site to save artists to your personalized itinerary.

Mad Oyster Studios | 2 Bradley Street, Somerville, MA 02145
We have limited free parking off the Pearl St side of the building, as well as street parking (resident parking restrictions are lifted during SOS). [Map and Directions]

I have eight new cut silhouette pieces in the “Instinct to Dream” series begun last year. My studio is full with hanging city vignettes. In addition, I’ve suspended my tiny watercolor maquettes in frames, and will be hanging scores of sketchbook sketches from my “Thursday Sketch Day” practice.

framed maquetteinstallation view Instinct to Dream

This year I’ll be experimenting with sliding scale pricing on most work. I would love to make my work available, as best as I’m able, to anyone who wants to take it home.

I hope to see you this weekend!

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Porch Sketch http://www.rachelmello.com/media/1188/ http://www.rachelmello.com/media/1188/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:56:24 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1188 Ann's Porch

Ann’s Porch

watercolor on paper
5″ x 9″

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The Sketchbook Show http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/the-sketchbook-show/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/the-sketchbook-show/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 03:01:33 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1062 photo by Ellien Laramee-Byers

Ellien Laramee-Byers and I are co-curating The Sketchbook Show.

Artists use sketchbooks for as many different reasons as there are artists. Maybe it’s a daily practice, maybe it’s a planning book. It could be a travelogue or a dream journal, sketching from life, memory, or ideas.

What distinguishes sketchbook work from other artists works is the connection, one piece to the next, building on or exploring visual, compositional, or mark making ideas: the sense of a thought being puzzled out by process of sketching, a problem being explored. Usually (but not always?) sketchbook work is done in one moment, and the next time the sketchbook is opened, a new pieces is begun.

If you have a sketchbook practice, and would like to take part in the Nave Gallery’s first Sketchbook Show, please visit: navegallery.org/wp/the-sketchbook-show-cfe

DEADLINE: Sunday, November 16, 2014

EXHIBITION DATES: January 7 – 30, 2015

LOCATION: Nave Gallery Annex | Davis Square, 53 Chester St, Somerville, MA

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Illuminated: A Photographic Essay of Holiday Lights http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/illuminated-a-photographic-essay-of-holiday-lights/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/illuminated-a-photographic-essay-of-holiday-lights/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 01:52:51 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1055
For a slight chance of pace—and media—three of my photographs will be exhibited as part of this fun upcoming show.

Each year, the cold and dark of the winter season is brightened by lights of celebration. From quiet displays commemorating religious celebrations to grand designs that flood the senses, these lights invite us to contemplate and be cheered as we make our way through short days and long months. This exhibition will be juried by the staff of the Somerville Arts Council, who are holiday light experts in their own right.

Saturday, November 15, 2014
3:00 pm-5:00 pm

LOCATION: Nave Gallery (Teele Square),
155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA

EXHIBITION DATES: November 15, 2014-December 14, 2014; Closed Thanksgiving weekend
GALLERY HOURS: Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00-5:00 pm


While primarily a painter and printmaker, I do as well like to try my hand at photography from time to time. My household works every year to bring a little light and warmth into the winter with our tropical lights. As a Somerville resident for over 25 years, I come honestly by my desire to light up the whole street! As a working artist for that long as well, I come similarly to my desire to document each year’s installation.

The Giraffe Stands Alone, digital photograph print, 8″h x 5″w, 2014

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Sky Cranes http://www.rachelmello.com/media/installation/sky-cranes/ http://www.rachelmello.com/media/installation/sky-cranes/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 03:32:59 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1154 steel silhouetted craines painted

Sky Cranes are a pair of 90″ tall silhouettes in the shape of cargo cranes of the sort that load in older sea ports.

enamel on steel cut to silhouette, shackles, chain; two panels, each: 90″h x 53″w

I created these silhouettes in consideration of the overlapping social, political, and environmental forces that shift how we use and view the waterfronts over time. A working water fronts can represent one important aspect of a thriving coastal city, while recreational use of the waterfront can represent another important use. These are important considerations to weigh with open eyes.

steel silhouetted cranes painted

I first created these pieces for a temporary installation in the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in their fabulous civil-war era warehouse space. Now the Sky Cranes have come home to a permanent installation in Boston’s HarborArts. At HarborArts they recapitulate their surroundings, a working waterfront that fosters an overlapping and simultaneous recreational use in exhibiting art and welcoming visitors.

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Will Draw (For) Food http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/will-draw-for-food/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/will-draw-for-food/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 19:30:44 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1038
Harvest Special!
Many of my Somerville Local community have vegetable gardens that are o’er brimming this time of year.

You who are ripe with tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, peas, and yes, even zucchini… would you like a small ink and watercolor drawing of your garden in exchange for some of your harvest?

Drop me a line! I’ll come sit in your garden and draw. You’ll get a sketch, and I’ll fill up my basket with produce.

The Deal:
You get: one 4″ x 6″ work in pen, watercolor, and/or graphite wash (my choice, based on what I see and how I feel I want to draw it). Sketches will be on 140lb watercolor paper, protected in an archival acetate bag. Suitable for framing, or sturdy enough to just stand on a mantel.

I get: to pick for myself up to one bag of produce (a basic, standard, reusable grocery-store bag). You can set parameters as needed such as “please leave me a few of these, don’t take these others, have all the x you want, but leave me the y…” etc.

Subject to conditions of weather, availability, my happening to like the food you’re growing, and your garden or farm being within a reasonable biking or driving radius of Somerville, MA. (If you’re not sure, ask. I might be in the mood for a road trip to the country).

Offer not limited to summer produce! If in the dead of winter, you have a beautiful pantry full of home-canned pickles, tomatoes, or fruits and jams, I’m all for it! If you home-brew hard cider, let’s talk!

Use the Contact page linked here, and let the bartering begin.

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Installation in Red Hook’s BWAC http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/red-hook-bwac/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/red-hook-bwac/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 19:29:43 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1026 bwac logo and image

Exciting news! My “Sky Cranes” have been installed in the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition gallery on the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn. Similar to the Instinct to Dream series, the Sky Cranes are cut silhouette shapes of elements of the city and industry, painted with sky, clouds, and in this case a little bit of tree tops.

OPENING RECEPTION: Sat., Sept. 27 | 2:30pm – 5:30pm
499 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, 11231 by the ferry to Manhattan
I’ll be there; hope to see you!

show runs Sept. 27 – Oct. 26; open weekends only

This project moves my installations forward in the direction of connecting elements of built urban environments with images and color of the natural world. So of my favorite responses to previous cut-silhouette work have been when viewers tell me that they see some aspect of the city that they previously saw as ugly, or tried to ignore, as now beautiful. If art can bring us to appreciate our world in a new light, I think we’re doing something worthwhile.
Sky Crane development sketch

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Art for Cancer Research at ArtBeat http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/art-for-cancer-research-at-artbeat/ http://www.rachelmello.com/news-events/art-for-cancer-research-at-artbeat/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:53:29 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1019 street lamp chalk art

Well that was fun! I got a last minute call to participate in an chalk art fund-raiser to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. A group of artists gathered in the morning before ArtBeat began, gridded off the closed street, and each of us took on a square. Local businesses sponsored the project to have their logos included and kids were invited to continue the art down the block after the sponsored portion. It was a beautiful day and much great fun and beautiful work was created.

finished chalk art with Rachel Mello

street of chalk art

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This Is A Long Distance Call http://www.rachelmello.com/media/installation/this-is-a-long-distance-call/ http://www.rachelmello.com/media/installation/this-is-a-long-distance-call/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 03:41:32 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=1160 enamel on steel, powder-coated steel silhouette, enamel on plexiglass (pre-existing light window panels)
24″h x 20.25″w x 10.25″d

The City of Somerville in conjunction with The Nave gallery launched their Phone Art Box program in 2013 as an on-going public art project to repurpose and transform derelict, empty pay-phone shells. There is no theme specified for this project but recommended concepts to consider included: telecommunication, change, specific neighborhoods, nearby businesses or geography, 21st century, transformation.

The project referenced correlations and connections between contemporary ranching in the Midwest with historic Somerville cattle industry, with an additional wink to the city coming through sneakers tossed over the power lines. The phone lines across the countryside play the role of Ariadne’s thread, connecting intertwined and separate worlds.

photo credit: Mary Miratrix

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Instinct to Dream—studio installation http://www.rachelmello.com/media/paintings-on-cut-silhouette/instinct-to-dream-studio/ http://www.rachelmello.com/media/paintings-on-cut-silhouette/instinct-to-dream-studio/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 20:18:12 +0000 http://www.rachelmello.com/?p=914

Instinct to Dream is the beginning of a larger installation in progress. It explores a certain wistfulness of gazing up to the changing skies through a neighborhood roof line.

For Somerville Open Studios 2014 I completed three cut-silhouette panels painted obverse and reverse. These panels were hung together with particular attention to their interplay and especially to the shadows cast on the walls and vellum screen panel.

The larger installation, for which this instance is a proof of concept, will have between five and nine panels and additional vellum screens, depending on the exhibition space.

Oil on hardboard cut to silhouette
three panels 40″ x 30″, 29″ x 67″, and 40″ x 45.8″ plus vellum panel 100″ x 32″

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