New year, new exhibitions

The Marblehead Arts Association (MAA) is opening four new exhibitions on Jan. 14 to kick off the new year. The four exhibitions come from Rick Ashley, New England Sculptors Association, Swampscott Arts Association and new members of MAA.

Rick Ashley’s exhibit “Michael” features pictures of Ashley’s brother-in-law Michael, who has Down syndrome. He has been taking pictures of Michael since 1975.

“Their collaboration challenges viewers to reevaluate their assumptions about Michael and, by extension, others,” MAA’s website said. “Michael is a group of individual portraits meant to be seen together as a single portrait and includes oil paintings, historic photographs, and multiple photographs.”

“These photos are wonderful. They just capture Michael so beautifully,” said Xhazzie Kindle, the operation manager at MAA.

The New England Sculptors Association’s (NESA) exhibit features three-dimensional work. NESA has been around for 75 years and has 170 members from all six New England states plus New York.

“Since the Association has no brick and mortar presence, NESA partners with local galleries, museums, historical sites, and communities to bring sculpture in all its amazing forms to the public — the MAA is happy to partner with NESA and bring this exhibit to the Hooper Mansion,” MAA’s website said.

The Swampscott Arts Association will feature assorted works at the MAA.

“There is a fair amount of overlap between our members and Swampscott, so we’ve given their members an opportunity to be seen here,” Kindle said.

The biggest new MAA exhibit is the New Member Exhibit.

“Each year, the MAA juries in new Artist Members in the spring and the fall. Those accepted artists have traditionally been introduced and invited to exhibit samples of their work in our January New Member Exhibit,” the website said.

This exhibit hasn’t been able to happen for the past few years because of COVID-19, Kindle said. It will have new member work from 2020, 2021 and 2022.

“This is going to be amazing,” Kindle said. “We’re going to have the new members from the last three years, and there’s going to be so much work on the walls and on pedestals, and a variety of it all is absolutely stunning and the quality is amazing.”

The MAA is looking forward to opening its doors again and welcoming people back, she said.

“The people of the MAA are really the lifeblood. Our artists who create this gorgeous work and let us have it to display on our walls and then, of course, the community of art lovers and other members who come in and share just creativity — it’s just lovely,” Kindle said.