Suffolk University Gallery

Imagination on display

The Suffolk University Gallery is the Art & Design Department’s main exhibition space. Located on the sixth floor of the Sawyer Building, the gallery presents exciting exhibits and related programs that reflect our increasingly visual and image-driven world. The gallery aims to engage the whole Suffolk community while adding to larger conversations taking place in Greater Boston's cultural arena. Exhibits of student work from all departments, as well as themed curated exhibitions, provide an important link between and for students, faculty, and visitors.

Current Exhibit 

Dreaming Flora: Artists and Flowers

June 11 – July 22, 2024

Speaking of Flowers - Gallery talk with the artists about their love of flowers at June 13th 5:30 pm followed by a reception at 6:00pm

Mary Kocol, Two Dahlias Opening, 2018Flowers are often seen as symbols of growth, transformation, and renewal. In dreams, they can represent the journey of self-discovery and personal development. Dreaming of flowers blooming or witnessing a garden in full bloom can signify a period of flourishing and expansion in one's life.

Flowers are evocative for cultures around the world. They remind us of both joy and mourning, of human frailty, of death. One thinks about the 17th century Dutch obsession with tulips, beautiful paintings of flowers as warnings of Vanitas. They have a rich cultural history as symbols and motifs through many genres of art, including as still lifes and botanical studies.

The artists in the exhibition work in a variety of medium and often evoke earlier response to the natural world.

Participating Artists

Mary Kocol

The Botanica series is a contemplative look at the garden, as a timeless place to dwell, refresh, and think about the profound yet fleeting beauty in the plants around us. Exquisite and luscious details instill wonder from simple garden flowers. I’m fascinated by the colors, scents, textures, and details of plants - they are fragile and ephemeral yet return year after year. I grew most of these myself, or they came from friends and family gardens. All of the plants have been grown in a typical New England garden. These images are Scan-o-grams, made without a traditional camera. Instead, the plants are scanned in high-resolution using a film scanner to capture high level of detail, evident in the large archival inkjet prints, revealing the shadows of something; the plant material is arranged on the glass scanner bed, the scanner’s beam gives even illumination, capturing the objects as they lay on the glass. My inspirations include the iconic floral still life paintings of the Dutch Masters; as well as the traditional Japanese tea hut wherein one blossom is displayed to contemplate the current season; and the Bird-and-Flower scrolls of Ito Jakuchu from the 1700s.

Vaughn Sills

When asked, I’ve said I understand the symbolism and the metaphors, and I can imagine stories – a young family torn from their homeland, crossing to a new place, brought in and nurtured (flowers on one stem, the vase, the sea, the shadowed stormy sky all so meaningful). A cluster of young women, dressed in their finery, the party ends, tragedy strikes (fluttery orange flowers, drooping petals, an elegant and fragile vase, a sweet sunset under dark clouds). But truthfully, for me, each photograph is not a story, there is no beginning or end. Each photograph is more like a poem – a moment, an image, metaphor. And in each one, I feel both joy and sorrow, intertwined – just as I do in my life.

Robin Reynolds

My work brings beauty to the table. Painting en plein-air, I create lush, luminous, layered surfaces in my garden. My senses are heightened to color, texture, light, and smell. I dive into the tangled life cycles of plants and flowers with energetic mark-making, exuberant color and line, intuitive looking, layering, and wiping. It’s a meditative, spiritual process. I want people to experience that heightened awareness and see beauty in our vulnerable environment. I like my garden wild and unstructured, both flowers and the messy, jumbled parts. I start by planting for how I’ll want to paint: colors, heights, when things bloom, where my easel will be. My garden has become my subject and my sanctuary.

Kirstin Lamb

I call the gridded high-detail paintings on transparent acetate embroidery paintings. I began creating these paintings primarily for inclusion in my textile-influenced installations and the practice has grown to include stand-alone artworks and works influenced by my studio and installation. Many of the embroidery paintings I have placed in installations are images of floral wallpaper cropped from French wallpaper of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. Much of the other paintings in this group were made using vintage embroidery patterns from the 50s, 60s and 70s or generated from my own photography, primarily of landscapes and portraits. In order to paint the images that are not already patterns set on a grid, I generate a digitized grid and paint each gridded stitch by hand with acrylic and acrylic gouache on Durarlar (wet media acetate).

Amy Laskin

My paintings often focus on an anonymous nonrepresentational figure comprised of natural elements and unusual combinations. I am interested in decorative language and the assemblage of forms which are placed in situations existing in a natural worldly environment. Ostensibly, these combinations are of a surrealistic and mythical nature presented in a cogent way to suggest something phantasmagorical.

Suffolk University Art Gallery
Sawyer Building, 6th floor
Monday—Friday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The Importance of Mentoring: Deborah Davidson and Keith Kitz in Conversation

View the transcript [PDF]

Gallery Hours

Weekdays 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., and by appointment.
To make an appointment contact Deborah Davidson by email or at 617-816-1974

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Past Exhibits