There is nothing wrong with spending half a day shamelessly indulging yourself with art, wandering and experiencing. For this lovely purpose, let me recommend the 56 Bogart building located right across the street from Morgan L train stop. The building is home to numerous artist studios, but mainly to 10 galleries on the ground floor and at the basement level. The high concentration of art at 56 Bogart makes the building a go-to destination when you acutely need large quantities of great art. Here is what to see right now:

#1 Tad Beck / Diana Cherbuliez  @ Theodore:Art  (on view until February 24, Friday to Sunday, 1-6PM)

If you planned on skipping the basement of 56 Bogart building, I have to stop you right there. The cozy galley Theodore:Art makes the basement well worth visiting. In the current show, Theodore:Art is featuring the works of Tad Beck  and Diana Cherbuliez. Both artists have been living and working in Vinalhaven, Maine for over 20 years and have shared a practice and friendship.

Beck works in photography, video and installations; Cherbuliez in sculpture and video. The exhibition emanates an acute feeling of nostalgia, maybe the solitude of an isolated island community. Solitude for a city dweller may sound synonymous to sadness, but at Theodore:Art solitude means the comfort of being with one’s self.

The exhibition reads like a good novel that uncovers layers of emotions and sensations; the works of both artists communicate and subtly complement each other.

I was particularly struck by the lenticular prints of Tad Beck. This interesting printing technique is known mainly through its use in kid’s school supplies and advertising, but has found an interesting use in silent, thoughtful photography work.


#2 Elise Engler: Travel/Log @ Robert Henry Contemporary (on view until February 10, 2013, Thursday to Sunday, 1-6PM)

Robert and Henry curated an exhibition of NYC-based artist Elise Engler that makes every order-seeking mind very happy. Elise Engler has been creating colored pencil drawings of miniature objects related to her travels – everything from her passport and suitcases to souvenirs she has brought from Galapagos. Her drawings are extensive, very orderly representations of items related to selected situations (Everything I Took on the Research Vessel Wecoma; Everything I Brought Back from the Galapagos). Her pencil sprites reveal personal experience and unleash a whimsical story within.

#3 Jene Highstein: The Cape Breton Drawings @ Art Helix (on view until March 11, 2013. Thursday to Sunday, 1-6PM)

Were you a fan of unconventional gallery The Bogart Salon under the reign of its former director Peter Hopkins? Well, don’t be sad anymore, because Peter Hopkins reinvented the concept of a gallery by mixing traditional exhibitions and discussion forum, and opened his new gallery Art Helix in the same building (just the hallway from The Bogart Salon). They have some good art on display at Art Helix right now. Jene Highstein’s drawings on etching paper with dry pastel or chalk will sooth your peace-seeking soul tormented by the rough New York winter. The drawings are easy, delightful, almost spring-welcoming and remind us of hope and new beginnings.