The Idea

The original idea for Pictures at an Exhibition: A Tribute to Friendships, a multi-media event and celebration of the connections between the arts, came from the moving story of composer, Modest Mussorgsky, and his artist friend, Viktor Hartmann. Mussorgsky wrote a work for piano as a tribute to Hartmann after the painter’s sudden and untimely death. The composer used the artist’s paintings and the idea of an exhibition of his works to give shape to the music that became known as Pictures at an Exhibition.

This event seeks to continue this creative flow by allowing Mussorgsky’s famous work, as interpreted by concert pianist Yelena Beriyeva, to inspire visual artists in and around the Greater Boston Area. Beriyeva has always loved to play Pictures, and has often imagined a display of artwork as an appropriate complement to a performance of it. The idea sparked a collaboration with Ose Schwab of Malden Creates and Pictures Reframed was born.

The Event(s)

The event will be a juried show of two-dimensional art which will be displayed at a public performance of the piano work featuring Beriyeva at Jenkins Auditorium in Malden, Massachusetts on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The event will also include a dramatic presentation inspired by the friendship between the two original artists, a special high school art exhibit, and projections of select submissions during the concert. The exhibit of accepted artists’ work will continue in the gallery at MATV, Malden’s Media Center and online until January 12, 2017.

The exhibit-concert and following art exhibit are intended not only to provide stimulation and inspiration for visual artists in Greater Boston, but also to enhance the enjoyment and understanding of music, visual art and the creative process for the general public.

The Process

The Call for Entries for Pictures at an Exhibition Reframed is different from the usual kind—this is an enhanced experience! Interested artists are strongly encouraged to LISTEN to a recording of a private workshop held on Saturday, June 11, 1-3pm.  Yelena Beriyeva will be played Pictures at an Exhibition in its entirety as well as discussed the piece and her interpretation of it with the artists in the audience. Artists can request this recording now.

Artists will have until Saturday, September 10, 2016 to create artwork directly inspired by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (the piano work, rather than the orchestral version). Access to other piano recordings of Pictures at an Exhibition are available on YouTube, but this workshop will help artists appreciate Beriyeva’s perspective and artistic interpretation. From the works accepted for the exhibit, Beriyeva will help to select one for each movement to be digitally projected as an accompaniment to the performance of the piece on November 5th.

Accepted artwork will be on display for viewing before the performance. The exhibit will then be moved to the MATV Gallery until January 12, 2017 and will be available online. The MATV Gallery exhibit will be accessible Monday-Thursday 10am to 9pm, Friday 10am to 6pm, and Saturday, 10am-2pm. Recordings of the concert will also be available via podcast to enhance the viewing experience.

“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Malden Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.”