City Hall Galleries

The Mayor's Gallery exhibits work by Boston artists who have received recognition for their artwork through grants, awards and other types of public display.

The Scollay Square Gallery showcases the many arts organizations and artists community groups that support Boston artists throughout the city.

Currently Showing:

Escapism & Adventure/Vanessa Michalak

  • Location: Mayors Gallery, 5th floor (Directions)

  • Dates: May 22 - June 26, 2015

Escapism & Adventure

Vanessa Michalak is a painter living and working in Boston, MA. She graduated with her BSN in nursing 2004 from the University of Maine, Orono and earned her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2013. As a Maine native, nature and landscape have served as significant inspirations for her recent body of work. She was awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in painting, 2014. Her work is included in New American Paintings #110 and her painting, “On the Way Home” was included as the cover image for Fresh Paint Magazine, issue 3. Her work was also exhibited in the MFA National Competition.

"Ideas about escapism and adventure are explored in paintings created by the synthesis of memories, imagination and found photos. Unexpected color and inventive brushwork blend representation with abstraction, constructing worlds that are dreamlike yet familiar. Although the paintings depict naturalistic forms, elements of human interaction within the landscape are always present. Figures move through forests and viewers are forced to make their way through overgrown paths. Particular structures within the landscape allude to impermanence. The paintings become a reflection of my inner restlessness and my longing to reconnect with nature."

Full Tilt Studios

  • Location: Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd floor (Directions)

  • Dates: May 18 - June 26, 2015

Full Tilt Print Studio has 26 members who benefit by being part of a community of experienced printmakers. Members share technical expertise in a quiet, collegial workplace. As Boston’s only nonprofit cooperative printmaking studio, Full Tilt offers an open space that encourages free thinking.

Since its beginning, the studio has attracted strong, innovative printmakers. It began in 1970 as Experimental Etching Studio (EES), founded by Deborah Cornell, Jeannette Silverio, and Gretchen Ewert. By 1983, it had evolved into a cooperative, operating under the name EES Arts, which two decades later became a nonprofit. As members began exploring printmaking techniques beyond etching, the organization sought a name change. Thus, in 2013, Full Tilt Print Studio was born—a name that reflects not only the group’s creativity, but its drive and energy.


I Want You to Have This

         Location: Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd floor (Directions)

  • Date: April 6 - May 22, 2015

A photography exhibtion highlight 826 Boston's book written by Eleventh Graders from the Boston International High School.

Meaningful thingspublished in the Globe 8/13/2013

British Museum director Neil MacGregor’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects” was a wildly popular BBC radio series and book. It took 100 curators four years to decide which objects to include.

Now 826 Boston, a nonprofit writing center, has published a poignant variation on that theme. In “I Want You to Have This: A Collection of Objects and Their Stories from Around the World,” 50 recent immigrants from 14 countries — all 11th-graders at Boston International High School — write about a treasured possession. Tutors from 826 Boston worked with the students twice a week from November to February, sharing ideas and polishing drafts.The students write not only about what they left behind, but about the objects that inspire confidence in their new lives. When Salman Al Janabi, a native of Iraq, fled his war-torn country in the middle of the night in 2003, he could take only a few things. One of these was a silver spoon his grandmother gave him. It was the one his uncle used to eat with. “My spoon is meaningful to me now because it is the only thing I have from my country,” he wrote.What seized Betsaida Vicioso’s imagination were the juicy avocados grown in the Dominican Republic. On Saturdays her grandmother would buy two avocados, one for that day and one for the next. “She says that when an avocado is ready to eat, it has to be soft, and when you shake it, you have to hear the sound of the big round seed moving,” Vicioso wrote.Pedro DaVeiga played soccer in his native Senegal but it was very hard to get on a team, especially if you couldn’t afford the fee. He was thrilled when his coach in the States gave him a pair of soccer cleats. “I think that I don’t have half the skills he has, but every time I look at the cleats, they make me chase my dreams,” DaVeiga wrote.Sometimes the value of an object isn’t immediately apparent, as Cassania Gilson of Haiti learned when her grandfather gave her a pair of wooden shoes. “How could a ten-year-old girl love a weird pair of yellow shoes?” she asked herself. In time, she learned. The shoes embodied the struggles her grandfather had endured to make money. He wore them when he worked as a comedian. They were, Gilson wrote, “the tools that Grandpa Fanis used to keep his family from falling apart.”

In an afterword, Boston International teachers Laura Gersch and Kristin Russo suggest that the students have something to teach everyone: “This book asks us to reevaluate the material wealth in our lives, to look for significance instead of abundance, and to consider what the things we hold on to tell us about who we are and what we value.”


Directions & Locations

Directions to City Hall »

  • Mayor's Art Gallery:

    Located on the 5th floor of City Hall. From City Hall Plaza or Congress St. entrances, take South Elevators to the 5th floor, follow signs to Mayor's Office: signage marks the gallery entrance. If you are planning to attend an opening you must enter from Congress Street.

  • Scollay Square Gallery:

    Located on the 3rd floor/main lobby of City Hall. When entering from Congress St, take elevators to 3rd floor, proceed through lobby, passing the information desk on your right. The gallery is ahead of you. When entering from City Hall Plaza, proceed through lobby, passing the information desk on your right. The gallery is ahead of you. Signage marks the gallery entrance. If you are planning to attend an opening you must enter from Congress Street.

  • Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery:

    Located on the 2nd floor near the South Elevators. From City Hall Plaza or Congress St. entrances, take South Elevators to the 2nd floor.

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