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Community Colors spreads art in Boston’s South End

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

By Abigail Collins, Globe Correspondent / December 19, 2013 05:46 PM

Tucked into a corner of Massachusetts and Columbus avenues, the Harriet Tubman House is home this holiday season to a unique art exhibit.

Until Jan. 1, the interior walls of the building will be filled with community art, or Community Colors, as the exhibit is titled.

Here, artists of all ages and skill sets from throughout the South End Community have the opportunity to display up to four pieces of their two-dimensional artwork. This year, fourteen artists are displaying their work.

“It’s really an exhibit that showcases a lot of local artists who either live, work, or participate in different activities and programs in the South End,” said Chelsea Revelle, director of arts and culture at United South End Settlements. Community Colors 1.JPG

Community Colors is one of five exhibits organized by United South End Settlements each year. Each is held at the Harriet Tubman House, a community center that provides a diverse audience for the arts.

“People come into our building who might not necessarily go into a gallery in the South End,” Revelle said. “So they get to be kind of absorbed into the art.”

Through Community Colors, the South End community is exposed to many different styles of art created by artists ranging from preschoolers to professionals with work in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit is free.

“The South End is really rich with galleries, but a lot of the times artists have to pay a membership fee so this really allows artists of all income levels to participate and of all ages,” Revelle said.

Helen Schroeder, 25, is the program coordinator of Children’s Art at United South End Settlements. She also has work hanging in the exhibit.

“I love both how diverse the art is and how connected it is,” said Schroeder, whose students have art in the exhibit as well.

Schroeder said the process of bringing together the art simultaneously brings the community together.

“I have work up, and right next to mine is some of my preschoolers art,” she said, “and then right across the way is a painting by a very prominent South End artist.”

Schroeder has three collages hanging at the Harriet Tubman House this year.

“They’re all part of a series,” she said, “They are mixed media collages.”
The collages are made with photographs from the Children’s Art Center archives.

“My goal ,” she said. “was to imagine the different ideas coming out of those kids’ heads.”

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