By Campbell Morin
Boston University News Service
The Copley Art Society hosted The New Members Show of 2023 at their gallery on Newbury Street. They welcomed 10 local artists to the oldest non-profit art association in the United States. The show opened on Jan. 12 and ran through Feb. 11. It included traditional still lives, landscapes and contemporary paintings.
The gallery showcased paintings and pastel drawings from nine women and one man, all currently based on the East Coast. The artwork of the potential new members was presented anonymously to the Copley Art Society Jurying and Membership Committee.
“We never accept art based on the style, medium, or the materials it is made out of. It is always based on the quality of the art,” said Paige Roehrig, the gallery coordinator.
According to the Copley Art Society mission statement, they support over 300 living artists helping them engage with the public through community outreach programs, while simultaneously providing a platform for artists to sell their work. The society was founded in 1879.
As a non-profit organization, when pieces are sold 60% of profits went to the artists, and 40% to the gallery for operation costs. Typical for-profit galleries split the profits 50/50 between the artist and the gallery.
In this show, four out of 32 pieces were sold. All the pieces ranged in price from $400 to $4000.
The Copley Art Society also has an online platform that started during 2020. Viewers who cannot attend the show can browse the gallery in a virtual room and make purchase online. According to Roehrig, this helps artists spread their platform and provides a higher accessibility to the gallery for the public.
Masha Keryan, an Armenian Artist based in Boston and featured in the New Members Show of 2023. Although none were sold, she held a solo show over the summer at Copley Art Society where she sold 8 pieces.
While her paintings reflect the turbulence of 2022, especially in Armenia, Keryan encourages the public to pay more attention to local art.
“It is important for the people themselves who are looking at the art, because artists usually catch the emotional realm of the time, their times. Maybe by paying attention to the local artists, people can be more in tune with themselves and the time,” said Keryan. “I think that is the biggest curiosity of mine that pushes me to keep up with the local artists.”