Friday, January 18, 2019

Portraits in Masculinity Opens January 24 At Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA— An exhibit of large-scale photographs by Boylston resident Eric Nichols goes on view at the Worcester Center for Crafts’ Krikorian Gallery in PORTRAITS IN MASCULINITY beginning Thursday, January 24.The exhibit opens with a free public reception from 5:30-7:30pm that day and will continue through Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Measuring 40” x 50” in size, Nichols’ prints command a larger than life authority and power when viewed at a distance. Upon inspection, that authority gives way to a sense of vulnerability, exposing for the viewer an instantaneous understanding of flaws and aging that affect sense of identity. The camera in Nichol’s hands offers an objective, mechanical representation unobstructed by the artist’s personal bias but a representation that also reveals the paradoxical nature and fragility of masculinity. 

“The paradoxical nature of masculinity is an interesting one,” said Nichols. “Real men should be powerful and rugged, yet keep their hair trimmed and body hair groomed; men should not be vain but should be handsome; men should not spend time shopping but wear well-tailored suits.” 

Like masculinity itself, PORTRAITS IN MASCULINITY invites the viewer to penetrate the thin veneer of confidence and power which we see from a distance. “The Krikorian Gallery is the perfect space for interacting with this body of Eric’s work,” says Candace Casey, Director of the Gallery and Gallery Store. “It gives the viewer the ability to move across the room to see up close but also to be simultaneously surrounded by these larger than life portraits.”

Eric Nichols is an artist, cinematographer, and photographer based out of Worcester, MA. He holds a MFA in studio arts from Maine College of Art and is a photo lab manager and faculty member at Worcester State University. His work has been shown nationally at the Fitchburg Art Museum, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, ME).

Several programs are planned to accompany the show in addition to the opening reception. 

  • On Thursday, February 7 at 5:30pm, Eric Nichols will give an Artist’s Talk which is free and open to the public. 
  •  On Saturday, February 16, Nichols will be joined by photographers, Matthew Gamber, Colleen Fitzgerald, Greer Muldowney, and Catherine Wilcox-Titus in “INSTA,” a social media and photography discussion. This discussion makes note of the fact that the cellphone camera and the popularity of social media platforms have changed photographic image-making forever and questions what photography is today. Free and open to the public.
  • Studio Lighting & Portrait Photography Workshop: Seeing the Light will be held on Saturday, March 9 from 1-5pm. It will be led by Eric Nichols and will cover how to design your own lighting scenarios to create more interesting photos while exploring the use of modifiers, fills and reflectors. Pre-registration is required for this workshop by phone (508-753-8183, x 1) or online.

“Photography is one of our craft disciplines and we are energized by the great amount of photographic talent in this area,” says Honee Hess, Craft Center Executive Director. “For us to help people appreciate the art and craft of photography, that is part of our mission; Eric Nichols’ work will help us generate conversation about what photography can do and be as an art and craft.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Honee Hess,

About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrants produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to inspire and build a creative community through the promotion, appreciation and teaching of craft." This mission includes the public education initiatives adult education classes and workshops, , exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.