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Dorchester Open Studios — a showcase of community talent

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Dorchester Open Studios — a showcase of community talent
Franklin Marval’s artwork will be on display at Humphreys Street Studios during Dorchester Open Studios. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF FRANKLIN MARVAL

Semi-annually, local artists throw open their studio doors and welcome the public into their creative spaces. Dorchester Open Studios provides an opportunity for community members to meet artists, learn about their practice and purchase their work in an informal setting. For artists, it’s a way to connect with their neighborhood and with other makers. For one weekend, Dorchester’s explosive artistic talent overflows from historic brick buildings around the neighborhood.

Jaypix, a photographer and artist working out of Humphreys Street Studios, is excited to rebuild Dorchester Open Studios after a period of closures during COVID-19.

“It’s a fruitful thing for the artists because we get to showcase our work and open up our doors,” says Jaypix. “This is a real way for us to meet people. We want to get together as a community and do that more.” The artist plans to show a few framed works as well as excerpts from “B.I.R.D. Street,” a photo book exploring the history of Dorchester. The acronym stands for Building Individuals Reconstructing Dorchester and the book is also available to check out from the Boston Public Library.

Artwork by Franklin Marval. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

This year, the open studio dates are May 20 and 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two anchor buildings are the Dorchester Art Project in Fields Corner and Humphreys Street Studios in Upham’s Corner, but a full list of venues and artists is available online. Artists of all media are participating, from painters and sculptors to jewelry artists and musicians. Visitors can explore the buildings at their leisure, connect with the artists and purchase works directly from them.

Artist Franklin Marval, also working at Humphreys Street Studios, joined the organizational team to bring back Dorchester Open Studios after the pandemic shutdowns. Marval is known for his paintings of hearts, which he began in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing as a way of spreading love during a difficult time. He will have variations on this theme on display in his studio.

“We are building community, we are meeting beautiful people, great people,” says Marval. “And we’re sharing the talent of Dorchester.”

Just like Marval’s energetic heart paintings, Dorchester Open Studios is a way of spreading love and joy through the neighborhood. It gets visitors and artists alike out into the community, making connections and recognizing the significant artistic talent around them.

“I hope that [visitors] take away that there are great artists in the neighborhood,” says Jaypix. “Dorchester is a place of a lot of talent.”

arts, Dorchester, Dorchester Open Studios, visual arts