At the risk of generalizing, one might say that community spaces get short shrift in the art world. It’s not entirely clear why, but most likely it has something to do with their lack of marketability, their focus on engaging people rather than money — and perhaps more specifically, people without much money to spend on art. Community spaces are often seen as provincial, the official “art world” as — well, worldly.
Walking past Open Space Gallery’s temporary space on Franklin Street I saw several anthropomorphic boxes lined against the walls, their hyper-simplicity too charming to dismiss. I walked inside where, as fortune would have it, artist Raphaela Riepl was manning the show, titled Adorable Steamed Sea Urchin. We spent some time discussing her work and creative process, and then I explored the exhibition’s crew of energetic sculptures. These coy creatures are the results of spontaneous outbursts of creative energy, a haphazard layering of whatever materials are available, laying strewn about her studio.