Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Boston Guild of Artists Hosts Panel Discussion with Award Winning Local Painters

Arthur Mansavage
Six winning artists of the 2023 New England Regional Juried Exhibition, from left, Antonio Lones, Irena Roman, Laura Cooper, Hillary Scott, Dylan McKnight, and John Morgan discuss their award-winning artwork in a panel at the Guild of Boston Artists on Saturday afternoon.

In 1914, 42 of Boston’s most prominent artists came together to create the Boston Guild of Artists, and over a century later, this same passion for art was brought back to the city.

On Sept. 2, the Guild hosted an annual juried exhibition that presented an opportunity for New England-based artists to display their work and compete for esteemed awards. These artists had a shared goal: to promote meaningful work and foster a love of fine art among gallery guests.

The event is hosted within the Guild of Boston Artists’ gallery, an exhibition space nestled on the historic Newbury Street. Created by artists who range in age and experience, the pieces are judged by an esteemed panel of three accomplished artists.

Sitting on the panel were gold medalist Irena Roman, silver medalist Antonio Lones, and bronze medalist Laura Cooper. Also on the panel were the winners of other independent awards: Hillary Scott, Dylan McKnight, and John Morgan. Each artist described their piece and artistic processes.

The President’s Gallery is within the Guild, where the competing artists’ pieces are displayed. Beneath the sweeping skylight, framed paintings line the walls, offering guests the best viewing experience thanks to its sprawling natural light.

Within the gallery, there are 34 paintings ranging from landscapes to still lifes to photorealism. These works are depicted in varying mediums, as some artists used oil paints while others used watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic paint, or pastel.

A true gem in this impressive collection was Irena Roman’s gold-winning painting “Harvey.” This transparent watercolor piece stands out for its artistic brilliance and carries a touching narrative. Roman shared her inspiration—particularly her affinity for painting elderly individuals, drawn to the captivating stories etched into their aging faces.

“Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic where beauty is determined by what happens to the subject over time, it could be architectural, it could be people,” she said.

Roman described to the audience how she and Harvey are connected. She found Harvey while reading a story about the South Shore Conservatory and the music classes they offer for the elderly with no previous musical experience. The article mentioned Harvey as an example of someone without a musical background who wasn’t afraid to jump in.

Inspired by his story, Roman managed to track him down. The two spent an afternoon together, where she got to know him and took over 250 photos of him that she would use throughout her painting process.

When prompted about her inspiration for her portraits, Roman expressed that she was drawn to Harvey because of her curiosity about transitioning from a full-time career as a freelance illustrator to retirement. Roman was intrigued by those who took up a creative hobby after working in opposing fields, such as medicine.

“I just have it built into my DNA to create narratives,” Roman said.

Bronze medalist Laura Cooper spoke on her oil painting “Measure of Beauty – J Class.” The title is synonymous with the original American Cup racers, J Class yachts. These yachts are built to the specifications of eligibility for the cup.

Cooper created this seascape piece from her photos, imagination, and experiences. Cooper has a unique process for creating art一she goes out sailing, brings her photographs back to the studio, and observes them extensively.

Aboard the gorgeously rendered yacht are 15 crew members. Those aboard the boat are working together, Cooper explained.

“I tried to make it look like everybody has a job that they’re doing,” she said. “It all tells a story about how they’re working together as a team to get this beautiful majestic vessel to move as quickly as possible to win the race.”

When describing her creative process, Cooper revealed that she started over several times. She mentioned that she didn’t give up until she achieved her desired result.

“I think that painting is a craft and the more you practice it, the better you get,” she said. “It’s just a matter of not giving up.”

As the New England juried exhibition comes to an end on Sept. 30, the Guild prepares for their Michael Graves exhibition. Starting Oct. 7, the gallery will be featuring Michael Graves’s outstanding works.

This event will have an opening reception and an artist demonstration. A recipient of over 70 awards for his work, Graves is nationally recognized for his remarkable landscape paintings. At the opening reception, guests get to meet Michael Graves and gather for an afternoon of art and beverages. The artist demonstration offers a first-hand experience for art lovers, as visitors get to watch a live painting demonstration from Graves.

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About the Contributor
Margaux Jubin
Margaux Jubin, Staff Writer
Margaux Jubin is a sophomore journalism major from Los Angeles, California. She is currently a Staff Writer for the Berkeley Beacon. Outside The Beacon, Margaux loves live music, hanging out with friends, and spending time in nature.

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