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YOUR WEEKEND: Mental Mapping, MFA and FHA…


It’s a big weekend for art in one of the nation’s most creative communities – and we’re happy to start it off right here at Groundwork! with the following…

Mental Mapping

FRIDAY, APRIL 7 – Mental Mapping (is Heavy Lifting), new paintings by Mark Phelan holds its opening reception tonight in the Groundwork! Gallery from 6:00-8:00 pm. Mental Mapping (is Heavy Lifting) is a collection of new paintings by recent UMASS Dartmouth MFA graduate Mark Phelan. Mark writes in an artist’s statement: No matter how long I work on my relationships with people in the present and the past, I feel as though I am not prepared to do the work at hand. These paintings lay out all the necessary tools for me to do my job of sorting through my wants and desires, and organize them into manageable categories. A torch allows me to apply heat to the stubborn rusty bolts that will not budge. The plane smooths the rough edges, and refines my finish. Block and tackles aid in the heavy lifting, bearing burdens I could not carry on my own. Despite all the tools at my disposal, I am still not prepared to arrange all the hopes, fears, and dreams and make the impossible come true.” The opening is free and open to the public; Groundwork! Is located at 1213 Purchase Street – but enter via the Maxfield Street entrance.

Their Finest Hour

FHASATURDAY, APRIL 8 – Downtown New Bedford welcomes another new business to Purchase Street today. Come check out Finest Hour Athletics – FHA – all day from 10:00am until 6:00pm as they celebrate their grand opening at 763 Purchase Street – down the block from Hippo and near Purchase Street Records. FHA is a “blend of urban clothing and fitness” in the words of one reviewer on their Facebook page.


MFA Thesis Exhibition

SATURDAY, APRIL 8 – This is a huge event every year – featuring the promise of one heck of a lot of talent. The UMass College of Visual and Performing Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition has its opening reception this afternoon from 3:00-5:00pm at the downtown New Bedford Star Store campus (715 Purchase Street). The UMass Dartmouth 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition is a much anticipated and celebrated annual event showcasing the artwork of graduating students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The creative work of 12 graduating students ranges from traditional media such as printmaking and painting to video, photography, book arts, mixed media work, sculptural objects as well as site-specific installation.

As for the previous three years, the MFA Thesis opening reception happens on the same day as the BFA Senior’s Exhibition, taking place up the street at the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!.

Exhibiting artists this year are: Lisa A. Bryson, April Claggett, Heather Davis, Kate Dickinson, Yunjie Gao, Natasha Jabre , Andrew Laverty ,Monica Lopes, Andrew Leo Stansbury , Marita Torbick, Hanna Vogel , Amanda C. Watkins. An Artist’s Talk is scheduled for Thursday, April 13 at 7:00pm during AHA! New Bedford night. Groundwork! congratulates all the students represented in what is always an amazing show.


Entering Metropolis…

BONUS: THURSDAY, APRIL 13 – Drop by Pour Farm Tavern (780 Purchase Street) during AHA! New Bedford from 5:00 – 8:00pm to check out your very own faithful chronicler of all things New Bedford’s side gig. At the invitation of Standard-Times art reviewer Don Wilkinson, I’ll have a selection of comic-book themed signs on display here for the month of April. Tonight is the “opening” – by which we mean an opportunity to drink beer and chow down on some good pub grub. It promises to be “Boffo”!


Steven Froias