Gallery 1 Opening Reception: Saturday May 4, 5-8pm Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm Closing Reception: Sunday May 26, 1-4pm Participating Artists: Sorin Bica - US/Romania Marc Blackmer - US/MA Aula Al Ayoubi - US/Syria Antonio Fonseca -
Opening Reception: Saturday May 4, 5-8pm
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm
Closing Reception: Sunday May 26, 1-4pm
Sorin Bica – US/Romania
Marc Blackmer – US/MA
Aula Al Ayoubi – US/Syria
Antonio Fonseca – US/MA + Puerto Rico
Vlad Berte – Romania
Brian Burris – US/MA
Michelle May – US/MA
“Exploration is in our genes. Throughout history, one of the deepest human impulses has been the drive to explore, encounter, and know the unknown. This basic human longing can be traced all the way back to the most ancient origins of exploration over 60,000 years ago, when prehistoric wanderers first settled the globe. Today’s high rates of global tourism and mass migrations reflect continuity with the restless habits of our ancestors.”
-Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Ph.D.
Voyages of Exploration is a celebration of artists from around the world, inspired by a chance meeting in France. Travel and the internet are useful ways to connect communities. What better way to illustrate this connection than through art and photography? This show is about how artists take their experiences and create work that speaks to us all. This is about crossing borders and experiencing something that changes you.
Each artist has a connection to this exchange. Inspired by travel and relationships, and a chance encounter in a train station in Nice, France.
We are very proud to bring together such a fantastic group of international artists. Please learn more about them below.
NIKO-LUCKY CLAUSE is a photographer and traveler from Nice, France. A chance encounter meeting Niko at the Nice train station inspired this show. Niko, who was a stranger in the afternoon, but by night, we shared bottles of wine and laughs, we were like old friends. A road trip from Amsterdam to Italy discovering the communities of each place was only illuminated by Niko’s adventure of shipping his motorcycle to Toronto and riding all around the US taking photographs. Marc Blackmer and Michelle May, who are hosting, invited him right there and then for a group show in the US, discovering people, places and Niko inspired them.
SORIN BICA is a contemporary artist based in the Boston area, frequently sought for his unique large scale abstract and figurative paintings. The use of intense color and expressive figures could be seen through-out his work. Sorin Bica was born in Bucharest, Romania. As a self-taught artist, he began his career drawing political cartoons back in his native country. Moved to the USA in 1988 where he was able to fully develop his artistic passion.
AULA AL AYOUBI is from Damascus, Syria and works in Boston. The collages of Aula Al Ayoubi mix different media. Her creations represent portraits of the most iconic women from her childhood, from Egyptian actress Faten Hamama to Lebanese singer Fairuz to the icon of Egyptian music Umm Kulthum. Punctuated with rich and colorful details, her dynamic compositions convey her own emotional feelings in front of these famous people.
The artist uses a bright and bold palette of colors and her collage technique gives her paintings a rich diversity of textures. Aula Al Ayoubi’s works are exhibited in Syria and Kuwait. Her painting is also presented in private collections.
In 2015, she participated in the first international meeting of Mediterranean art, organized by Col·lectiu Mediterrani. Fourteen Spanish, Italian, Syrian, Moroccan and Turkish artists take part in a contemporary style exhibition mixing painting, sculpture, poetry or photography.
In 2017, Aula Al Ayoubi participated in the exhibition Radical Love: Female Lust bringing together nearly 50 women Arab artists around Arabic poetry written by women mainly between the 7th century and 12th century. As a response to President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the United States, artists anchor their works and illustrations in women’s sexual pleasure.
MARK BLACKMER, co-host, is a technologist, blogger and cybersecurity professional as well as a local American photographer, who travels quite a bit. Marc has a keen eye for interesting linear relationships. His photographs capture life happening amid the order of line, light and shape. Often photographing architecture and its relationship to the land and people, Marc is drawn in by the order in juxtaposition to the chaos. His photographs capture the beauty of place and often, community. Marc has photographed community and life in Israel, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Amsterdam, Berlin, Puerto Rico, BVI, Costa Rica, Australia, Argentina, Thailand, Africa, Singapore, Prague, Vienna, as well as around the US.
ANTONIO FONSECA is an artist from Puerto Rico living in the Worcester area. Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Antonio has an Associate degree in commercial and illustrative arts and a BFA from ED School of Fine Arts of Puerto Rico. His MFA is from Cornell University. Some awards and distinctions: 1994 Second Biennial of Fine Arts of Casa Roig Museum, Puerto Rico. 1998, best individual showing awarded by the Puerto Rico chapter of the International Art Critics’ Association. 1999 honorable mention “Arte Joven” Ponce Art Museum and an honorable mention in the 30th International Painting Fair in the Cagnes-Sur-Mer Museum. At his second invitation to the International Painting Fair in France he received the third place award year in which Puerto Rico swiped the three main awards. 2011 he received a governmental declaration by the Autonomous City of Caguas and the government of Puerto Rico. Fonseca has exhibited worldwide in countries such as China, Europe and South America and is now known to be one of Puerto Rico’s most valuable contemporary artist. Antonio has been one of the most relevant and respected artists in our community. His intimate work through lines and organic textures representing stories of religion, relationships, nature and desire in a struggle with the tenets of faith and dogma fascinate the eyes.
VLAD BERTE is a Romanian sculptor and photographer from Clu-Napoca. He is an Associate Professor PhD at the Sculpture Dept. – University of Art and Design of Cluj-Napoca. Vlad has shown his work internationally in Lisbon, Portugal, Nebraska, USA, Bratislava, Slovakia and in Liège, Belgium since 2008. Vlad works mostly in granite and creates soft forms of selected objects as well as intricate etchings of world leaders from George Washington to Ceaușescu. His work, which is reminiscent of Constantin Brancusi is all about shape and form and his work in bronze, Crystalline Solid is undoubtedly captivating with a combination of organic metals and shiny angular lines. Vlad’s photographs capture the incredible essence of light and life with a captivating perspective. His colors and compositions are almost as great as his humor. Please check out his IG/vladberte.
BRIAN BURRIS is a local American painter, who we welcome back from a hiatus. Brian’s work is highly sought after. His moody and emotionally charged abstract paintings have caused an “underground stir” in the community. We are thrilled to have him working again and to be a part of this show.
MICHELLE MAY, co-host, is also a local American who is a designer and an artist, she also photographs while traveling.
“This show was a vision of Marc and I, inspired by all of the people we meet, all of the images captured in our lenses and the art we make. We really wanted to share how much meeting people and travel has impacted us as members of the community, not just locally but of the world. Sharing the world through art, photography and music is what people have always done. We want to embolden that idea. My first trip abroad was to Romania, which opened my mind and my heart in ways that would change me forever. Over the years and through other trips and work our network of friends has grown. We know that by overlapping worlds we can create a tighter knit community-globally. We know that art, photography, music, food and dance are catalysts and communicators.
We invite you to share in all the overlapping worlds.
– Michelle May, curator of Voyages of Exploration, 2019
4 (Saturday) 5:00 pm - 26 (Sunday) 4:00 pm
38 Harlow Street, Worcester, MA