Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Having trouble thinking of a Valentine's Day gift for that special someone this year? Simplify your holiday shopping at 13FOREST, where we offer a wide range of art and other gifts to help you declare your feelings. Start with our helpful gift guide below, and make sure to stop by the gallery soon to shop our whole collection.

Sheila Corkery carves the organic forms found in her jewelry out of wax before casting them in silver. She finds inspiration for her pieces in plants and other natural materials that she finds on her travels. She combines her silver forms with other natural materials like red silk and brown leather that add a sensual touch to her work. 

Artist Linda Cordner works in a unique style of painting called encaustic, where the painting is composed using a mixture of molten wax and oil paint. The wax allows Cordner to create thick texture and translucent colors on her panels that creates an effect unlike any other method of painting. 

Working with materials like copper and brass, and even washers found at  the hardware store, Karenna Maraj transforms these humble metals through careful manipulation and thoughtful composition to create show-stopping statement jewelry. 

These petite 6" x 6" framed mixed-media prints by Dominique Lecomte combine the techniques of linocut, a form of printmaking, with watercolor to form sweet images with lots of personality that make the perfect little gift. 

Jennifer Crowe uses cool blue and turquoise glazes to decorate the clean, simple lines of her ceramic vessels, creating visual interest through bold geometric lines. Her pieces offer both style and functionality.  

Inked - Woodcut Demonstration with Andrew Stearns

Visitors at 13FOREST for Stearns' demonstration.

Visitors at 13FOREST for Stearns' demonstration.

On Sunday, January 28 we had a packed house for Andrew Stearns, one of the artists from our current exhibition Etched & Carved, who gave an in-depth look into one of the printmaking processes he uses in his artistic practice. 

Stearns walked us through the steps of creating the small two-color landscape he had brought as an example. To begin he demonstrated how he uses a roller to apply a thin coat of ink to a carved woodblock, explaining his preference for thinner inks with transparencies that allow different colors to combine in unique ways. 

Stearns rolling ink onto the wood block.

Stearns rolling ink onto the wood block.

Taking questions from the crowd, Stearns discussed many different aspects of the printmaking process and his own career as an artist. He brought out the carving tools and gouges he uses to scrape away the negative space on his woodblock. Although he starts out with a basic sketch when carving the block, much of the development of the image happens right on the block with the carving tools. 

Stearns had plenty of tips for the younger art enthusiasts in the audience. Using sticky foam shapes on foam core or materials that are easier to carve like soft linoleum blocks, or even potatoes, amateur artists can experiment with creating their own print blocks at home - preferably with washable water-based inks. Stearns finished his demonstration by letting people try to recreate his print with the tools he had brought with him. It was a great afternoon of learning and art appreciation!

After inking his woodblock, Stearns showed us how to make sure the registration is perfect, meaning that all of the image components line up correctly. To do this he uses a form made out of foam core board that holds a woodblock in position as he prints its image onto a sheet of paper. 

After checking the registration, Stearns applied pressure to the paper to transfer the ink from the woodblock, first by using a smooth round pad called a baren, and then by going over small details with the back of a kitchen spoon. After transferring the image, he carefully peeled the paper from the block and revealed a finished print.    

Stearns revealing his printed image.

Stearns revealing his printed image.

Stearns helping some budding artists make their own prints.

Stearns helping some budding artists make their own prints.


Accessory - 13FOREST Jewelry Show - Sun 12/10, 12-4 pm

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This year 13FOREST Gallery will be hosting Accessory, our first-ever jewelry trunk show featuring six of our talented jewelers. Join us from 12-4 pm on Sunday 12/10 for refreshments, a chance to meet the artists behind our fantastic jewelry collection, and of course some unique holiday gift shopping! Don't forget, all jewelry is 10% off as part of our Holiday Sale.

Preview the artists of Accessory


Sheila Corkery, Medford - new to the gallery!

Ilana Krepchin, Somerville

Karenna Maraj, Belmont

Maeve Mueller, Cambridge

Wendy Jo New, Winchester

E. Scott, Somerville

Also featuring new work from


Lisa Gent, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

State of Awareness

Dorothea Van Camp ,  Frosty Heart , screen printed oil and wax on linen over panel

Dorothea Van CampFrosty Heart, screen printed oil and wax on linen over panel

13FOREST Gallery’s current exhibition State of the Union features paintings, prints and installations by six artists who capture a portion of the confusion, antagonism and alienation that currently define our nation’s political landscape. We are indeed a nation divided. Citizens are turning away from each other along lines of race, income, religion, gender, sexual orientation and other differences that could otherwise be the nation’s source of vitality. It is a situation with a result that makes the problem only worse.

On Saturday, November 4 from 4-6 pm we invite everyone to a special two-part program that outlines our political reality and a means to alter it for the better. Following refreshments, artists taking part in State of the Union will discuss their work as portrayals of the ill of contemporary America. Following them, we will present Baruti KMT-Sisouvong, Director of Cambridge’s Transcendental Meditation Program, who holds that, if there is to be change, it will arise from personal peace, openness to possibilities and ongoing contact with others – particularly people unlike ourselves. This event will be challenging in its political diagnoses and no less so in its appeal to personal action.


About the artists:

Andrew Fish studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York and Middlebury College. He lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts. Fish is interested in depicting and responding to his surroundings as a documenter of contemporary life. As an artist living in an Instagram world, Fish reacts to the ephemeral nature of digital photography by celebrating its popular motifs and rejecting its immediacy.

Joe Keinberger grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts, before attending Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He now lives in Somerville where he paints and illustrates out of his hidden studio deep below the earth's crust. Keinberger works primarily in ink and acrylic, doing loose ink drawings on top of built up texture of acrylic and assorted dry media.

Ted Ollier is a printmaker and conceptual artist working in Medford, Massachusetts. Ollier teaches letterpress and design through the Harvard Extension School at the Bow & Arrow Press in Cambridge, and  is the Pressmaster of Arbalest Press in Charlestown. Ollier's work is concerned with consensus reality and how it is affected and shaped by data.

Dorothea Van Camp studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning at the University of Cincinnati. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Van Camp focuses on the printed mark in her work, using vector-based computer drawings to suggest the intersection of the body with technology.

James Weinberg is a designer, illustrator, and artist based out of Somerville, Massachusetts. Weinberg creates silkscreen prints inspired by natural history, folk-art, printed ephemera, op-art, and old advertisements. His work has been featured on book jackets, posters, and music packaging. His work has been featured in the AIGA BONE show and 50 Books/50 Covers.


About Baruti KMT-Sisouvong:

Baruti and his wife, Mina, serve as co-directors of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Cambridge and the larger metropolitan area of Boston, Mass. He is also the founder of Radical Scholar, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation that brings together information and diverse thinkers to develop critical questioning as well as positive personal and social change. Baruti is the researcher, producer and host of Connecting the Dots (, a podcast exploring surprising connections between spirituality, science and world affairs.

After a few years in the corporate environment, including stints with CIGNA and MassMutual, Baruti matriculated at Georgia State University, where he received Bachelor degrees in History and Sociology and served as president of the school’s Black Student Alliance. In 2009, Baruti earned a Master’s degree in Vedic Science, the Science of Consciousness, from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, where he is now completing his Doctoral dissertation on Mystical Experiences among Early and Modern Freemasons and Rosicrucians. As Baruti continues his research, it is his sincere hope that many will develop a new appreciation for early ideas, idea generators and their associated mystical experiences as valid points of examination and action for continued evolution; both individually and collectively. Baruti may be found on social media at the following locations:
SnapChat: @IAMBaruti
Instagram: @baruti
Twitter: @baruti

Does Anybody Know...Elizabeth Murray?

            On Saturday, October 28, as a part of the 2017 Arlington International Film Festival, 13FOREST Gallery hosted a post-screening reception for the film Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray, featuring a Q&A with the film's director Kristi Zea. Gallery Director Caitee Hoglund gave a short talk before the Q&A that situated Murray's work within the larger context of art history in the second half of the twentieth century. You can read the full text of Hoglund's talk below. 

Caitee Hoglund and Kristi Zea

Caitee Hoglund and Kristi Zea

            After watching the film Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray I did some research on the artist, because in spite of the assertion of its title, until I saw the documentary I did not actually know Elizabeth Murray or her work. In all my years of art history education, she had never been mentioned. I found a review of an exhibition of Murray's work that seemed to encapsulate many of the challenges that Murray faced as an artist, and perhaps explained why I had never heard of her before. The critic categorized Murray as an artist "whose approach is personal and intuitive rather than theoretical or art-historical." In that simple dichotomy, the critic sums up an argument that has been used to marginalize the work of women in the arts since art history began as a discipline. In the hierarchy of "good art," personal and intuitive will always come second to theoretical and art-historical, and how could the work of a woman be anything but feminine, and therefore personal and intuitive?

Jackson Pollock,  Lavender Mist , 1950

Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist, 1950

            Elizabeth Murray came into her career as an artist at a time when painting was a particularly fraught medium. After the domination of Abstract Expressionism in the forties and fifties, when Jackson Pollock's splattered canvases and Mark Rothko's vast color field paintings were considered the pinnacle of theoretical advancement, artists began to turn away from painting completely. The sixties and seventies witnessed an explosion of experimental movements that abandoned the making of precious, individual art objects.
Pop artists like Andy Warhol mass produced images of mass produced goods, while conceptual artists rejected physical objects completely, embracing performance and language-based work. In deciding to become a painter, Murray had to take on the difficult task of re-establishing the medium after it had been whittled away by decades of apathy from critics and theorizers.

Andy Warhol,  Campbell's Soup Cans , 1962

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962

Yoko Ono,  Cut Piece , 1965

Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1965

Elizabeth Muray,  Painter's Progress , 1981

Elizabeth Muray, Painter's Progress, 1981

            Looking at Murray's work, we can see all the ways that she was navigating the complicated history that painting had acquired in recent decades. She began working in the style of Minimalism that was popular after she finished school, but eventually abandoned clean lines and geometry for the organic, balloon-like, colorful forms that would characterize the height of her career. Her work challenged many of the theoretical dichotomies that art historians had imagined for painting; while her work included recognizable household imagery, the images were fragmented and abstracted in ways that often rendered them unrecognizable at first glance. She extended this interest in abstraction to her canvases, disrupting the picture plane with complex, sinuous constructions that supported her vibrant and colorful imagery. The size of her work was monumental, while her subject matter was familiar and personal. Her work exhibits an intense focus on color, shape, and line, while also conveying personal meaning drawn from her own life. Murray's paintings were difficult to categorize because she was crossing well-established boundaries between formalism, humor, and the personal. Her refusal to limit herself to one interest or another made her an incredibly courageous artist, but also subjected her to the gendered criticisms that typically plagued women in the arts.       


            By insisting that Murray's work came from a place of intuition rather than intellect, the critic I mentioned earlier reinforced the harmful stereotype that women are primarily emotional, intuitive beings, as opposed to their male counterparts who are dominated by reason and logic. This assessment not only undercuts Murray's education and keen awareness of the historical moment in which she was working, but serves to place her at a permanent disadvantage in the hierarchy of art history. Over and over, reviews of Murray's work insisted upon the femininity of her style and imagery, saying that her depictions of cups and kitchens rendered her work irrevocably female. Murray herself challenged this criticism, arguing that Cezanne, one of the primary influences early in her career, was never accused of being feminine when painting still lives of fruit and dishes, nor was Van Gogh when he painted flowers and babies.

Elizabeth Murray,  Dis Pair , 1989-1990

Elizabeth Murray, Dis Pair, 1989-1990

Vincent Van Gogh,  A Pair of Shoes , 1885

Vincent Van Gogh, A Pair of Shoes, 1885

            Murray wanted to be seen as more than just a woman artist; she wanted her work to transcend her gender, just as the work of men was not seen as being inherently tied to their gender. However work by a female artist the employs household imagery and personal subject matter was immediately deemed feminine and homey, labels that prevented further critical engagement with the work. Van Gogh's portrait of peasant shoes launched a thousand thought provoking critical essays by art history's greatest minds, but when Elizabeth Murray painted shoes they were seen simply as a woman recreating her own small,  domestic life and nothing more. Despite the way that critics portrayed her work, Murray refused to compromise her artistic interests and create paintings that would be seen as less feminine. Throughout her career and personal life, she displayed an admirable determination to paint and live her life as she saw fit, rejecting the notion that one could not be a woman, mother, and a great painter.

Caitee Hoglund and Kristi Zea next to a print that Elizabeth Murray gifted to Zea for her birthday.

Caitee Hoglund and Kristi Zea next to a print that Elizabeth Murray gifted to Zea for her birthday.

            Kristi Zea's documentary Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray does the important work of bringing Elizabeth Murray out of the margins of art history, where she had been placed by critics and historians who refused to see past her gender. Zea and Murray met each other as members a group of female artists who connected in the late eighties to commiserate over the challenges of trying to make art and raise families in a society that did not value the contributions of women in either field. In addition to celebrating Murray's life and career, Zea's film serves to bring Murray into our collective cultural awareness.   

- Caitee Hoglund

In the Presence of Absence

A Cuban-American artist commemorates Día de los Muertos at 13FOREST

Still from the video In the Presence of Absence - Jose Maria & Ike

Schedule of Events

Fri 10/27/17 - Sat 11 /11/17: In the Presence of Absence window installation at 13FOREST Gallery

Sun 10/29/17,  4-6:30 pm: In the Presence of Absence opening reception; Capitol Square's annual Día de Los Muertos celebration, activities throughout the square

Wed 11/8/17, 6-8 pm: In the Presence of Absence: an Exploration of Cultural and Ecological Loss - artist talk with Allison Maria Rodriguez


Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday of reverence for one's ancestors that dates back to the Aztec celebration of Mictēcacihuātl, Queen of the Underworld. Though Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico, people across the Americas have adopted and modified the tradition with their own unique cultural contributions. Each October Capitol Square brings Día de los Muertos back into focus with Latinx memory altars, food and live music. This year, with financial support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, 13FOREST Gallery is pleased to present the work of Cuban-American artist Allison Maria Rodriguez who will commemorate Día de los Muertos with In the Presence of Absence.

In Rodriguez's words, In the Presence of Absence is a multi-channel video installation that explores the personal, yet collective, experience of cultural and ecological loss embedded in contemporary reality. It merges two primary conceptual concerns of her practice: her personal Latinx identity and environmental conservation. Through portrayals of her hybrid Cuban-American identity, deceased family members, extinct animal species and climate change, Rodriguez creates an interdisciplinary installation that navigates between worlds. In doing so, she draws attention to the emptiness we encounter when we are disconnected from our respective cultures and other species, and to the acts of appreciation and mourning that help keep collective memory alive.

Dress included in the installation In the Presence of Absence

On view through Saturday, November 11, 13FOREST Gallery will feature In the Presence of Absence as part of Capitol Square's Day of the Dead celebration on Sunday, October 29, 4-6:30 pm. In addition, the gallery will host a reception and talk by Rodriguez on Wednesday, November 8, 6-8 pm, titled In the Presence of Absence: an Exploration of Ecological and Cultural Loss.

About the Artist
Allison Maria Rodriguez is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist working predominately in new media, film/video and installation. With themes ranging from human migration to species extinction, her work converges on a desire to understand the space within which language fails and lived experience remains unarticulated. Rodriguez’s work has been exhibited in traditional and non-traditional art spaces internationally, throughout the United States and across New England. Rodriguez's award-winning 16mm experimental film “In Between” premiered in New York City at the NewFilmmakers Spring Festival, and went on to screen in various venues across the country. Her most recent projects include several large-scale public art video installations commissioned by Boston Cyberarts and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

Artist Allison Maria Rodriguez

Rodriguez received her MFA from Tufts University/The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and holds a BA in Language, Literature and Culture from Antioch College in Ohio, obtained also through study at Oxford University in England and Kyoto Seika University in Japan. In addition to being an artist, she is an independent curator of local group exhibitions and screenings, and a participant in artist collectives such as the Boston LGBTQIA Artists Alliance. Rodriguez has also been an artist-in-residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA and, in New York, at Arts Letters & Numbers and The Wassaic Project.  This coming January and March respectively, Rodriguez will be the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Dorchester Art Project and a resident at The Ragdale Foundation.





In the Presence of Absence is funded in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Elsewhere - 13 Paintings by Wilhelm Neusser at the Goethe Institut Boston

On Friday, September 8 at precisely 6 pm the Goethe Institut Boston opened its doors for the public to walk through an installation of 13 large-scale paintings by Wilhelm Neusser. People who knew the artist had been aware of the preparatory work he had undertaken while in residency at MASS MoCA at the beginning of the summer, and then in the solitude of his Somerville studio through the remaining months. But no one had anticipated how the final paintings they were about to see had transformed the Goethe’s interior of ornate ceilings and rococo whiteness into a bright meditation on the spirit of Berlin’s suburban landscape.

ELSEWHERE - provincial perspectives, which will run through September 30, is based on Neusser’s understanding of Berlin as a sexy environment of big politics and avant-garde culture in contrast to its suburbs – the Province – in which buses run irregularly and “the local library is managed by volunteers in their mid-seventies who have trouble with the online catalog.” People are born there, come of age and then move to the city to make their mark on the world, often never to return. With an empathic brush, Neusser defines the Province's melancholia of abandoned swimming pools, vacant hayfields and empty roads without irony or harsh comment. His paintings construct a portrait that is severe, lush and psychologically complex.

During the weeks leading up to his opening at the Goethe Institut, I had visited Neusser in his studio and seen 13 variously sized paper surfaces evolve from an initial state of yellow underpainting to finished works of art. When he said he had been working at the feverish pace of one painting a day I thought he was joking. But he was serious. He also said that when doubt crept in he could sometimes dismiss it by referring back to a cardboard model of the Goethe’s interior that he had built during his residency at MASS MoCA. It was replete with photographic wallpaper of the building’s interior and the dimensions of existing plaster wall frames into which each of his paintings would eventually have to fit. I would leave his studio impressed but nervous over his looming deadline.

After attending the September opening, painter Nicole Duennebier praised her colleague’s preparation and execution as follows: “Wilhelm's perfectly composed paintings fitted within the filigree panels of the Goethe Institut's walls prove the undeniable beauty of difference. Although his paintings are modern in execution and content they look as though they have always lived there.” It is an apt description for the environment Neusser has so painstakingly planned and created.

In terms of stylistic evolution there is something else to be found as well. With this body of large-scale work Neusser has moved the center of what he has previously described as a necessary balance between “the notion of what a landscape really is and reference points to it as a painterly, materialistic appearance on a flat surface.” At the Goethe Neusser's act of painting is recorded onto paper in strokes and thick swipes of paint that had been more typically found in his smaller-scale work. In contrast to the melancholia of the artist's new German landscapes, there is joy in their surfaces, a push/pull between what Neusser depicts and how he has depicted it.

Anyone interested in Neusser, contemporary landscape painting or the Goethe Institut should visit ELSEWHERE - provincial perspectives before it closes on September 30 and before the institute itself closes for renovations through the fall. Neusser has transformed an environment of ornamentation into one of meditation and meaning.

- Jim Kiely


All photos used with permission of the artist.