Malcolm Montague Davis & TAC

Beacon Gallery’s current show (through March 11th) is called “Praxis: Malcolm Montague Davis” and features Davis’s extraordinary paintings and models in a one-man show dedicated to selected themes from Davis’s work.

Davis’s colorful paintings and the models on which he based them are rooted in his training as an architect. He graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1958 and went to go work at The Architects Collaborative soon after.

The Architects Collaborative is well-known in the world of architecture. It was founded by eight leading architects, including Walter Gropius, one of the founders of Germany’s Bauhaus school, and a pioneer of modernist architecture.

To learn more about the importance of The Architects Collaborative, here is a good article from Architecture Boston.

Davis’s years with the firm were spent working both in the Boston area as well as in Rome and Yangon, Myanmar, where he helped to design such buildings as the University of Beirut and the University of Yangon. Eventually, Davis went on to join another practice in the Boston area where he continued to design both residential homes and commercial buildings.

Davis began painting about eighteen years ago once he retired. He focuses on both man-made and natural forms in his work. This process often begins with a model, which he creates and then photographs from different angles and with different light. Davis then designs his color scheme to reflect his artistic intentions.

As Davis says in his own words, “The paintings are generated from my architectural drawings, which have been surveyed to yield visually stimulating compositions. Colored paper maquettes are made to study the proportions and color relationships. From these paper studies, candidates are culled to be enlarged into paintings. A single building may result in several paintings, which depict its diverse features.

Paintings are also generated from my sculptures. The sides are colored to convey a concept and to represent a particular locale. The sculpture becomes a mandrel, or mannequin, onto which the color system is applied.”



Come check out Davis’s work while it’s up at the gallery, and join us for a talk by Malcolm Montague Davis on his work at 6 pm on Saturday, March 10th as part of a closing reception!




Chasing ghosts…

A woman called the gallery last weekend looking for work by a certain artist named “Rodolfo.” She had bought his artwork at a gallery appropriately called “Art Mystere” in the North End that has since closed.

His artwork is compelling and this collector wanted to buy more, but she, like me had only hit brick walls in her searches… I offered to do some research on her behalf.

The surrealistic nature of the paintings and the signature (“Rodolfo” and works dated ’94 and ’07) are just about all I had to go on.

I searched all my usual haunts online, looking for any trace of “Rodolfo” but all I came up with is other, different Rodolfos (many dead in 2007), and no mention of Gallery Mystere. No mentions of the gallery or Rodolfo in the Boston Globe going back through the 1990s either.

Rodolfo and this mysterious art gallery remain irritatingly out of grasp. There are many “Rodolfos” in the world of art, but none of them the one I’m searching for.

Many artists come and go like unseen tides – I often wonder about the talent that has been hidden, lost, undiscovered… Is Rodolfo destined to remain a mysterious artist? Someone who painted for a few years and then gave it up and moved on with his life? Or will I unmask the man behind Rodolfo the artist and be able to bring him and his admiring collector together?

For now, the identity of Rodolfo remains a mystery, but one that I hope to eventually solve. For any sleuths out there, let me know if you find anything!

Spotlight on: Youssef Abou Kashef

Youssef Abou Kashef is an aspiring young artist currently living in Germany.

Youssef 1

He tells his compelling story in his own words:

“My name is Youssef Abou Kashef. I’m 21 years old. I was born in Syria and lived there up until the revolution. Ever since I was 5 years old, I have loved drawing. I found that I was best able to express my feelings that way.

One reason why it has been so important for me is due to the fact that I could not study because I am deaf. Since I was not able to study art I worked on developing this talent myself, with only my father’s help and encouragement.

Youssef 2

After the Syrian revolution, my father took us out of Syria and to Turkey in 2012. Since then I have been waiting to return to my homeland. At first, I was able to live peacefully and to work on my art, but things went from bad to worse and we decided to go to Germany as refugees.

Youssef for Blog

We crossed from Turkey to Greece, where we waited for one year and two months. Since my arrival to Germany, I am in need of help. I need someone who can sponsor me to study and develop my talent. Because of my disability, I don’t know how else to sustain employment here in Germany. I am so new, and I don’t know how to navigate German life.”

Youssef needs help in order to make his dreams come true. Assistance will help him both realize his ambition, but will also give him a badly needed way to provide for himself and his family.

If you would like to help, there are a few ways to do so:

  • Youssef is available to do commissions – and will receive 100% of the profits for all commissions arranged through Beacon Gallery.  See samples of his art here


  • Donate to Leslie Meral Schick (who co-created the Lives in Limbo exposition) – you can earmark funds for Youssef, or know that there are thousands of other equally needy refugees out there who will receive your money if you don’t indicate a specific cause.


  • Help Christine O’Donnell & Leslie Meral Shick find an art school, art gallery, and community in Germany for Youssef (meaning a deaf community, and – ideally – people who speak both German and Levantine Arabic Sign Language). Youssef’s specific city in Germany is available upon request. If you have any connections in Germany and would like to help, email Beacon Gallery!





Thank you for your support!



“Lives in Limbo” Featured in the Globe

Our current show, “Lives in Limbo: Refugees at the Gates of Europe” was featured in Boston Globe’s “The Ticket” on Sunday January 7th.

We were particularly delighted as Salam Noah‘s artwork was also pictured for all Globe readers to enjoy!

LIVES IN LIMBO: REFUGEES AT THE GATES OF EUROPE Aid worker Leslie Meral Schick helped organize this exhibition of photos, drawings, videos, and more. It spotlights individual refugees in portraits and biographies, and documents life in camps in Greece and elsewhere. Pictured: A detail of “Hope behind shadow of pain!” by Salam Noah. Through Jan. 28. Beacon Gallery, 524B Harrison Ave. 617-718-5600, CATE McQUAID”

Boston Globe Whole Page

Come and check out the exhibit!

Lori Mehta in the Boston Globe

We were delighted to see our talented artist, Lori Mehta, featured in January 6th’s Boston Globe!

The article focuses on her fabulous instagram account. You can follow her at @lorimehtaart

Save your eyes! Click here for enlarged version

Lori Mehta Globe Jan 6 2018 jpg

Lori’s work is currently showing at the Copley Society of Art as part of their New Members Show.

She will be showing again at Beacon Gallery in the spring as part of a two-person exhibition!




Salam Noh & his family

Salam Noh (also written Noah) is one of our refugee artists in the upcoming “Lives in Limbo: Refugees at the Gates of Europe” show.

Salam Noah Cropped

His family was recently profiled on PRI’s “The World” program, describing their escape from Iraq and resettlement in France.

Check out his family’s story

Salam Noh’s work is based partially on his experiences in refugee camps and all his work being shown at Beacon Gallery comes with an original poem in addition to the painted piece.

Born in War

Boy in Camp
Little child opening his eyes for the first time ,The first thing he saw was his mothers tears…
Sound of people screams , under bombing sound, was the first
thing he hears…
Little child feeling scared even In his mother arm cuz he 
grow up in fears…
As he grows up… things never get fine and war never stops over years…

Carrying the little child over hands 
Walking away from home trying to escape from the war lands…
Like a a bird his wings been broken and try to run until that time he could fly again over all the borders…
But when his wings healed again… 
He couldn’t come back to home where the war yet didn’t stopped…
Neither he could find a land where he can build his nest again…

While Salam’s personal story itself isn’t told in the PRI interview, he has graciously shared his story in his own words:

“My name is Salam. I am from Iraq, and I am 28 years old. I was living in Baadre village in Kurdistan, with my family of 14 members. We were living in difficult material conditions. We were threatened because we are Yazidi, which is an ethnic minority. Despite all of this, we challenged life’s difficulties and started going to school to get proper education. We were high achievers in all levels. That is when I started my studying journey.

I studied six years, and completed my primary school. But then, I had to stop studying because we couldn’t afford the fees, and because, as I have a very big family, I needed to earn money to support them. I started working in order to give my brothers and sisters the opportunity to finish their studies.

[After many years of work and sacrifice for my family I was able to start my university education. In my final year,] I only had two more months of studying to graduate. But one day, when I came back from university, I heard my family talking about the fact that we had to leave Iraq and go to a safer country. When I heard this I was in a shock and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew if we left, I would not graduate and make my dream come true. But I had no choice, I had to go with them.

The decision was made to leave, but first, we had to find a way to collect the money necessary to make the journey. Because we are a big family, we needed a lot of money to pay the smugglers. So we decided to sell our house to a smuggler who would promise to take us to a safe country in Europe. Our house, the house we had built with our own hands, and we had worked on it for years, day and night. We had dreamt of this house for a long time. It was the only thing we had, and now we had to sell it.

We also had some goods and furniture in our house which we sold too, because we needed money for the journey. Because we were under the pressure to leave as quickly as possible, we had no time to bargain properly and sold our goods at a very cheap price.

Then, we started to prepare ourselves for the long journey ahead. I went to my University for the last time, to say goodbye to my friends. I told my friends that I was sorry to leave, but I had no choice. I didn’t want to leave but I had to. There were tears in my eyes when I left the university, because I was about to give up on my dream.

On the 9th of February 2016 we traveled to Turkey. We stayed in Turkey for about one month, trying to cross the Bulgarian border but we couldn’t, after trying six times. The family was suffering and tired, and we decided to find another way; to try crossing the sea by boat to Greece. We spent one month trying to cross, during which we suffered physically and mentally. After trying three times, we finally made it and we reached Lesvos Island on the 6th of March 2016. We stayed in Mytilene for six days, and then we were taken to Ritsona Refugee Camp on the 13th of March 2016. 

My father and mother, with seven of my brothers and sisters were relocated to France on the 20th of September 2016. But I’m married now, and here with my wife. One of my brothers is also married with a son, and both our families are considered independent from my parents, and so we were not relocated with them. So five of us after 6 months were also relocated to France, and now we are in Bordeaux.” 

[Salam took up painting while he was living in Greece and waiting for his family’s asylum case to be processed]

“I just started [not too long] ago, without taking classes or anything just on my own. I wanted to paint to deliver a message through my paintings, to tell everyone what it is like to live a refugee life, how we feel, and how hard it is to fight for a better and safer life. I want everyone to know about our situation”.

Salam also plays three instruments; Saz, Oud, and Guitar, and plays music everyday, as a way to express his feelings and frustrations. He compares his painting to playing music:

“It’s just a way for us to express ourselves, to have our voices heard, and to show that we refugees, paint, play music, we are just like you, in the end, we are all just human beings.”

Salam has painted over 70 paintings, and he had exhibition in Switzerland, and is part of the upcoming “Lives in Limbo: Refugees at the Gates of Europe.”

You can see more of his work at Beacon Gallery or follow him on Facebook at Salam Noah ART.

If you would like to learn more about the Yazidi religion, click here.

NB: As a refugee artist, Salam will receive 100% of the profits for any of his work sold through Beacon Gallery.