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Galleries at LynnArts to debut new show, ‘higher PURPOSE’

Sally Jacobsen, left, and Caitlyn Yvonne, right, both of Lynn, the curators of the upcoming GALA exhibit, “higher PURPOSE,” stand with Annette Sykes, president and gallery director of GALA. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — For its new exhibition, Galleries at LynnArts (GALA) asked local artists to “show or describe in artwork your sense of higher purpose.”   

Sally Jacobson, co-curator with fellow Lynn artist Caitlyn Yvonne, pondered: “How can we, as visual artists, address (what’s going on in) our world? That’s what the show is about.” 

The show, “higher PURPOSE,” opens in the main gallery at 25 Exchange St. Friday night. There will also be spoken word presentations, a tarot card reader and a caricature artist (Matt Bernson) onsite. Fresco Exchange of Colombia will present the first public showing of its traveling show in the community gallery in conjunction with Beyond Walls. 

Jacobson said both exhibits perfectly capture the goals of GALA. “These are collaborations that represent the cultural diversity of Lynn, of ethnicity and of thought.  They are joyful and have purpose.”

The opening reception for both gallery shows will be Friday at 6 p.m. Suggested donation is $5. Guests will be able to view the work of local artists, write their aspirations for the world on a ribbon and attach it to a “tree of hope” sculpture. 

Earlier that evening, there will be conversations with Jesus David Rodriguez (Grafica Mestiza), Ivan Salazar (Fundación Culata) and Felipe Ortiz (Fresco Exchange) about their processes and public creative interventions, adaptations, and how they relate their creative approach throughout communities. The 5 p.m. talk in the Black Box Theatre will be in both Spanish and English. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door. 

A sneak peak of “higher PURPOSE” reveals that artists share their connections to a higher purpose many ways. Some offer hope, some offer subtle complaints, others choose to rant.

There’s a photograph of a mountain, but its beauty is obscured by clouds. Another piece features four lovely blue whales, but a closer look reveals they’re swimming in polluted waters. A photo features a family holding a sign that announces “Immigrants are not the enemy” and “People and planet! Not pipelines and poisons.”

Jacobson created several gorgeous textile pieces; the prettiest is held up with barbed wire. Caitlyn Yvonne uses words and abstract images to get her point across. “Accept yourself as you were designed,” she writes. “It takes grace to remain kind in cruel situations” is another thought. 

Participating artists are Alerth Samson, Anselmo Vasques Paez, Ashley Cole, Brett Mason, Caitlyn Yvonne, Emmanuelle Le Gal, Eric Warn, Gabriela Marshall, Jack Holmes, Janice Koskey, Jason Goodwin, Jessica Jordan, Jessie Goodwin, Karen Matthews, Larry Dunn, Leslie Fahn Rosenberg, Loreen Mondello, Maris Prost, Ms Lu, Nicole Werth, Olga Gernovski, Patty Klibansky, Ray Gilbert, Sally Jacobson, Sarah Comins, Sheila Billings, Tamara Wolfson and Tereza Swanda.

On Saturday night from 6-10 p.m., in conjunction with Beyond Walls’ Rock the Block street party on Mt. Vernon Street, guests will be able to explore GALA’s gallery shows and be treated to live painting by Fresco Exchange artists and plein air works being created by GALA artists and community members.

“Higher PURPOSE” is on view through Aug. 23. For more information: www.galleriesatlynnarts.org.

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