Maps, locations theme for new Turners Falls art show

  • Left to right, Exploded View members Samantha Wood, Nina Rossi and Trish Crapo cut up old maps for an art project on Sunday. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Linda McInerney draws a map of personal experiences on Sunday at the “You Are Here” art show at the Great Falls Discovery Center. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Right to left, Jack Wynne, Ailey Wynne and Rhyse Wynne, of Templeton, play with a puzzle on Sunday at the “You Are Here” art show at the Great Falls Discovery Center. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 1/20/2020 5:16:08 PM

TURNERS FALLS — An art show focused on maps and places opened a section for community involvement on Sunday, and it will remain open through Feb. 29.

“We’re asking people to be reflective in a personal way,” said Nina Rossi, a member of Exploded View, the local art group organizing the show.

The show is called “You Are Here.” It is Exploded View’s residency at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Running through January and February, the installation features works of art in a variety of genres, all having to do somehow with the theme of mapping a place, according to Samantha Wood, who is also a member of Exploded View.

The residency is sponsored by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Montague Cultural Council, and with funds from Turners Falls RiverCulture.

Although the show was open to submissions from a large region of western New England, almost all of the 28 pieces on display came from the area of Massachusetts from the Connecticut River Valley and west to the Berkshires, Wood said.

The pieces vary in genre, including paintings, photographs, quilt-like works and sculptures. In subject matter, they range from relatively straightforward responses to the theme to abstract works with only conceptual connections to mapping.

For example, an aerial photo of Turners Falls by Barry Scott, called “Avenue A,” was described by Wood as a “very literal interpretation of a map.” On the other hand, Wood said “Stairs” by Julian Parker Burns combines photos of a Nepalese mountain town with painting and 3-D woodcut elements to convey the feelings of navigating the stairs of a mountain town.

“This is a map of an experience,” she said. “It gets to the heart of how we think about the project — understanding our story and its relation to place.”

The new community-oriented part of the project follows in a similar vein. On a poster-size painted map of Turners Falls, community members are asked to mark personally meaningful spots with sticky notes briefly describing their story.

“It’s a way for places to speak,” Rossi said.

The map was painted by Rossi, and is based on a map from a municipal planning document, she said.

“You Are Here” happens to overlap with a public forum on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Discovery Center about municipal planning and economic development in Turners Falls.

Rossi said that this was not planned — Exploded View had to book the Discovery Center long before the forum was announced — but she said the coincidence may lead to interesting results.

“This more artistic and personal expression might provide a balance to the more practical discussions that day,” she said.

“You Are Here” is open during the Discovery Center’s regular hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-772-0261, ext. 261.

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