Montserrat College of Art Gallery is reopening its renovated facility with a colorful, whimsical exhibition by artist Wells Chandler on Monday. Sept. 25 from 5-7 p.m. The public is welcome to meet the artist at the opening reception at 23 Essex St.
Psychedelic Soccer Dada highlights Chandler’s extensive drawing practice to create an immersive experience featuring the artist’s crocheted drawings of whimsical yarn figures, works of craft, clay, and cake, as well as objects like patchwork beanbag chairs.
Chandler, who uses his mixed-media work to help build queer community, also brings that collaborative, communal practice to this exhibition. In addition to work made solely by Chandler’s hands, the exhibition includes work made in collaboration with Chandler’s friends and students as well as selections from Chandler’s collection of drawings by neurodiverse artists. The effect is an exhibition that engages with the long history of art as a social experience and social project; celebrating diversity and queerness as its dominant language.
Wells Chandler is a Bronx-based artist who explores ecology, community, gender and queer iconography through the mediums of crochet, embroidery, drawing and cake. He received his MFA from Yale in 2011 where he was awarded the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques. His work has been reviewed by Roxane Gay, Art Forum, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and more.
Chandler is a Soloway gallery member. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Purchase where he has taught for four years. In the Spring of 2023, Chandler was appointed the Teiger Mentor in the Arts at Cornell.
The gallery renovations were made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. A grant to assist in funding the promotions for the show has been received by the college from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.