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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Beacon Gallery wows crowds with final exhibition

The+last+installation+at+The+Beacon+Gallery+named+Unaccustomed+Earth+on+display+till+Jan.14.
William Fithian
The last installation at The Beacon Gallery named “Unaccustomed Earth” on display till Jan.14.

Beacon Gallery, nestled in Boston’s South End, opened its last exhibit before its move into a nonprofit and rebrand under the name ShowUp.

“Unaccustomed Earth” debuted at the gallery Nov. 3, showing the artwork of Emily Rose and Beatrice Whitehill, inspired by the book “Unaccustomed Earth,” authored by Jhumpa Lahiri. 

“Unaccustomed Earth” is a novel centered around a series of vignettes of Bengali families in the United States, and how they express their culture. Like the novel, the exhibit is organized into vignettes from both artists enhancing the idea that each person’s perspective of their culture varies. 

Chenoa Baker, the gallery’s associate curator, said she came up with the idea after she read the book and fell in love with it.

“I’ve always loved Jhumpa Lahiri, she’s such a talented writer,” said Baker. “But when I moved here to the Boston area how she came up with the title was directly critiquing Nathaniel Hawthorne. She’s critiquing his idea of moving from place to place and how that is more reflected of a diasporic experience, so I thought it would be punchy and fun to do that in New England.”

The exhibit was full of vibrant colors and breathtaking artwork that left the viewer thinking about the true meaning and significance behind the work. 

Since 2019, there has been a sister nonprofit supporting the gallery’s values. However, associates and staff decided to move all responsibilities to the nonprofit because they feel Beacon Gallery does not have much of a commercial focus. 

“We have done more than a gallery typically does, so one thing I really enjoy doing is helping artists with their artist’s statements, different applications, their bios and CV’s,” said Baker.

The gallery is trying to honor more of an educational focus rather than just selling their art work. 

With the move, Beacon Gallery, soon to be ShowUp, will have different streams of funding. This gives it the opportunity to partner with different organizations that have similar values.

The gallery, under the nonprofit, has partnered with Boston University to gain a more educational standpoint, giving them the ability to help out more local artists. Baker hopes to gain more educational institutions to gain more funding, but heighten their ability to help students as well.

Under the new change into a nonprofit, the gallery is allowed to do a different commission split when selling artwork. Like usual for-profit galleries, the commission split is 50-50. However, with the transformation, 70% of the profit will go towards the artist, while 30% will remain with the gallery, said Baker. 

The exhibit, “Unaccustomed Earth,” will remain at Beacon Gallery until Jan. 14, and their change into a nonprofit under the new name ShowUp will happen in January.

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William Fithian, Staff Writer | he/him

William is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When he is not writing for the Journal, he's usually trying new foods around Boston and exploring the city with his friends.

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