NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 17, 2014

Eyes to the sky

Art show reminds viewers that we all have at least one thing in common

A new exhibit in downtown Haverhill is open to the public with one caveat: You must leave your wallet at home.

“I do it because it’s a nice thing to do for the arts,” said organizer Sharon Silverman of Methuen.

“Under the Same Sky” displays 750 4-by-6-inch photographs of the sky from around the world, taken by 93 artists in 19 countries. The exhibit runs through the end of February at Angles & Art.

Silverman came up with the idea for the show more than a year ago.

“I was sick of all the negativity that we get bombarded with,” she said. “This exhibit is a metaphor for peace. No matter what your circumstances, we are all under the same sky. People really responded to that idea.”

Silverman reached out to the International Union of Mail Artists, an organization that supports free art events. Artists in the union submit their work to the person putting on a show, with the understanding that the show must be free to the public and that none of the work is for sale during or after the exhibit. Silverman has been part of the group for years and has sent her art to shows around the globe.

“The whole philosophy of ‘free’ is something that I’m really passionate about,” Silverman said. “It is a totally different philosophy from what this country is used to. When you take the ego out of art and take the money out, it blows people’s minds. They can’t wrap their heads around the fact that it’s free and there is nothing to buy.”

In addition to submitting her art for exhibits, Silverman has organized shows in the past. One of them, “The Contemporary Faces of Jesus,” was seen by more than 100,000 people.

For the “Under the Same Sky” project, Silverman asked people around the world to take pictures of the sky above them. She didn’t want landscapes, wires or birds — just straight shots of the sky.

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