Artist Proof for Brooke Stewart, Carving Out Self, 2023, Woodbock print and handmade paper. Image by Liz Morlock.

Brooke Stewart: BAD MATH

Curated by Liz Morlock

Brooke Stewart: BAD MATH, Curated by Liz Morlock

The struggle to pursue life as an artist is a battle known by many but attempted by few.  In an age of inflation and financial uncertainty, the process of devoting your life to an artistic practice is an unrelenting and arduous task; however, amidst this hazardous swarm, a glimmer of artistic community swells at the center.

In BAD MATH, Brooke Stewart constructs a love letter to the artists and makers of Boston who, much like the medium of woodblock printing, continuously carve and build their lives in service of their work.

Brooke Stewart: BAD MATH features nine portraits. Each has been tenderly constructed and sewn together with handmade paper, fashioned by combining a delicate slurry of personal items, fibers and glue. Embedded in the surface, we can see clippings from Terri’s garden, a meeting place for the transfer of ideas and emotions, Makenzie’s frayed embroidery strings entwining with flower stems, and even the resulting wooden splinters from the artist’s own self-portrait.

These materials are a physical reminder of the labor required in every step—for Stewart in creating each portrait, but also for each subject as they continue their own process of making: dissolving, carving out, taking out time, taking out part-of-self, wearing down, and once again building back up.

As we grind through local constraints and financial coefficients, Stewart reminds us that though these variables might not perfectly add up, it’s in our community we may find a solution.

Public Programs

Public Reception and Curatorial Walkthrough

Saturday, April 29 | 6–9pm

BCA Mills Gallery, 551 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116
PLEASE NOTE: Masks are optional. Respect for others’ choices is required.

The public reception for BAD MATH at 6pm on April 29, will be part of a full day of BCA programming. BCA will also be hosting an Open House in the Artist Studios Building next door and a Project Room Show with BCA Studio Resident Szu-Chieh Yun within the Mills Gallery.

Big Ink Print Workshop

Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7 | 11am–4pm

To keep the thread of community active, Stewart and Morlock have also partnered with Big Ink to present a woodblock printing workshop on May 6–7 in the Mills Gallery. Local artists will converge at the Boston Center for the Arts to print oversize wood carvings. The public can attend to help and watch the printing process unfold.

The first day of that workshop, we will be celebrating International Print Day On May 6, together with Boston Printmakers. People are invited to gather at Boston Center for the Arts to celebrate International Print Day by watching watch large-scale printing in action at the Big Ink workshop in the Mills. Guests will also be welcome to visit Boyang Hou and Kate Conlon, BCA Studio Residents and the founders of Limited Time Engagement Press.

Artists participating on Saturday, May 6:
  • Deborah Cornell
  • Juan Lopez
  • Adrian Tio
  • Aurora Goodland
  • Rebecca Potter
  • Lauren Adelman
  • Kiara Reagan
  • Casey Park
  • Steph Shapiro

Artists participating Sunday, May 7:


About the Artist

Brooke Stewart

Brooke Stewart (b. 1994, Topsfield, MA) is an artist living and working in Boston, MA. She received her MFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Boston, MA) in 2018. Stewart’s debut solo exhibition, No Potatoes, was hosted by The Distillery Gallery (Boston, MA). Stewart will be featured in an upcoming exhibition titled Peace Love and Understanding at the Danang Museum of Fine Arts (Danang, Vietnam), on view starting April 17th. Recent group exhibitions have been presented by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA), Los Angeles Printmaking Society (Los Angeles, CA), LaMontagne Gallery (Boston, MA), Tokyo University of the Arts, Geidai (Tokyo, Japan), Edinburgh College of Art (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Artist Proof Press (Johannesburg, South Africa), among others. Her work has been written about in The Boston Globe, New American Paintings and Boston Art Review. Stewart currently serves as a postgraduate teaching fellow for Northeastern University. 

About the Curator

Liz Morlock

Liz Morlock (b. 1993, Long Beach, CA) is a curator and writer living and working in Boston, MA. She currently serves as the Director of Steven Zevitas Gallery with a focus on providing space for emerging, contemporary artists. Morlock also works as the Marketing Manager for New American Paintings, a bi-monthly art publication featuring contemporary painters across all regions of the United States. She previously worked as the Assistant Director of Samsøñ, a gallery specializing in the representation of underrepresented artists and recontextualization of established artists. Recent writing projects consider the site-specific distribution of arts capital in the city of Boston.

Thank you to Karen Kunc and Hannah Demma at Constellations Studios Press (Lincoln NE), Stacey Friedman and Andrew Stearns of New Impressions Print Studio (Somerville, MA), BIG INK (Regional), Andy Li for his sewing expertise, Ella Isgar for her video work, and all of the artists depicted in the show for providing their time and participation in the project.