FOUND / KEPT / GIVEN

a Curatorial Proposal Series Exhibition

Featuring: Aja Johnson and Paul Theriault

On View: November 9 – December 16, 2017

Reception: Saturday, November 18, 7-9pm

Auction Party: Friday, December 15, 7-9pm

In FOUND / KEPT / GIVEN, Aja Johnson and Paul Theriault find resonance in the raw materials of each other’s work, exploring the continued life of discarded objects and the fleeting nature of the creative act.

The two artists have exchanged finished paintings and embroideries, offering these up to the other for them to reshape and reimagine.  The results will be combined one final time in the gallery, as their patchwork of discrete acts of destruction and creation is arranged into a grid on the gallery wall.  Shown beside original, unaltered works from each artist, the resulting quilt will invite the viewer to question the paradoxical nature of the creative act – fleeting yet enduring; unique yet never isolated.


About the Artists:

Aja Johnsoncollects the overlooked evidence of everyday life – receipts, report cards, tags cut out from new clothing – stitching together the detritus left by life’s passage into objects, textiles and drawings. The physical feat of painting, drawing or stitching, is a spiritual act of meditation for her – a state of conscious dreaming.  Johnson evaluates, dissects, and compartmentalizes the sensory accumulations of the day. In so doing, she creates an abstract, yet personal, visual reference of her surroundings and daily experiences.


Paul Theriault scavenges curbside furniture and secondhand books – discarded furniture that has known the touch of a carpenter’s hand, books whose pages have been turned by past generations of an unknown family, until they are finally discarded. The hands that shaped them may be long gone and forgotten, but the object’s memory lives on in Theriault’s imagination. Paper and wood are spun out, ripped and cut, sawn and sanded, into an expression of harmony.


FIND / KEEP / GIVE – An Auction to Benefit Gallery 263

The exhibition includes thirty-six small works created collaboratively by the artists. Each artist started eighteen pieces, then swapped to allow the other artist to complete the work.  As a continuation of this collaborative exchange, these works will be auctioned off, and all proceeds will be donated to Gallery 263 to support future creative explorations. Bids will be accepted at the gallery throughout the exhibition. Bidding will close at the Auction Party on December 15.

Gallery 263 advances the artistic endeavors of makers and performers, while fostering public engagement, enrichment, and exchange. Functioning as a creative nexus, Gallery 263 provides a contemporary voice for the arts in Cambridge and our regional communities.

Gallery 263 exhibits are free and open to the public.