Beacon Gallery has the unique opportunity to meet and work with a range of artists, partners and members of the wider art community. Beacon Gallery Connections allows us to take a closer look at their personal journey, and get a better understanding of their relationship to art.

Lost & Found: Sofia Plater’s Cultch



1. (US, New England) An accumulation of small items of little value.

“Cultch is the New England word for that clutter of partly worn-out or obsolete objects that always gathers…there’s everything there- old bolts, old wrought-iron cut nails, bits of unrelated metal, old wood, wiping rags, coffee cans, broken hacksaw blades, a divorced work glove or two, parts of a dog team harness…it’s a mess, but it’s better to have this one big mess in the corner of the kitchen than a patina of messiness spread all over the house.”

Louise Dickinson Rich, We Took to the Woods, 1942
Cultch @ Webster Court

In September, Beacon Gallery welcomes the work of Sofia Plater as well as that of Ari Hauben and Sam Belisle for “Lost & Found”

One of the showstoppers (at least in this writer’s opinion!) is Plater’s Cultch installation piece.

This room-size installation is on view at the enclosed area at the back of the gallery. We are delighted to feature such an exceptional and original piece of artwork, and one with such layered roots and meanings, relevant both to New England and our time in history.

The Cultch is made up of pieces spanning the 19th through the 21st century, and is an installation of found objects integrated with Plater’s unique textural artwork. It’s truly a meditation on our throwaway culture and ways in which objects we may ignore or discard can be turned into artwork.

Time lapse video of the installation

The final product

Here are some photos of the show

Cultch artist Plater (front) with two visitors (Photo Credit: Juliet Lockwood)
Artist and visitors discussing the Cultch (Photo Credit: Juliet Lockwood)
Former Beacon Gallery intern Melissa He and owner and director Christine O’Donnell at the entrance to the Cultch (Photo Credit: Juliet Lockwood)

Material Origin List

no 1. Art piece: Grey Pyramids(2019) 12”x18” $350

no 2. By-product from manufacturing poster tubes (Rhode Island Recycle Center)

no 3. Electrical filter (Mission Hill Recycle Center)

no 4. Art piece: Glue Tubes (2018) 18”x24” $1000

no 5. Cast-iron heating grate (late 1800s, donated by B. Amore)

no 6. Styrofoam packaging for Christmas ornaments (Home Depot)

no 7. Foam packaging from shipped Georgia peaches (2010)

no 8. Wood from PopPop’s barn (Kintnersville, PA. 2011)

no 9. Plastic vacuum-formed over a blanket (SMFA)

no 10. Cast-off honeycomb cardboard packaging (Rhode Island Recycle Center) 

no 11. Lego mat found during Allston Christmas (Donated by Cal Rice, 2018)

no 12. Sound-proofing foam (Side of road; Allston, MA)

no 13. Insulation spray foam mistake (SMFA, 2018)

no 14. Repurposed art piece, Enveloping Moss(2018) 

no 15. Art piece: Shards and Shavings (2018) 30”x40” $3000

no 16. Art piece: Tar Rings (2017) 18”x24” $900

no 17. Old fashioned contact lense cases (donated by Fran Nussbaum, 2015) 

no 18. Bose speaker packaging (donated by Beacon Gallery, 2019)

no 19. Rusty sewer grate found buried in the sand, reformed (Provincetown, MA)

no 20. Foam by-product of jewelry packaging (Rhode Island Recycle Center)

no 21. Insulation foam and sound proofing foam (Side of road,  Allston, MA)

no 22. Discarded trellis from my childhood best friend’s house (Sondra Saporta. Newton, MA) 

no 23. Art piece: fiberglass Strips 1 (2019) 28”x22” $850

no 24. Art piece:Pyramid Push Through (2019) 19”x12.5” $1000

no 25.  Painted window blinds under louver (donated by Doug Breault)

no 26. Wood model airplane wing (Makerspace, Rutland, VT)

no 27. Shattered glass from Real Art Ways (Neil Daigle Orians, Hartford, CT)

no 28. First ever welding experiment (SMFA, 2016)

no 29. Knife block insides (donated by Kathy Gearon)

no 30. Art piece: fiberglass Strips 3  (2019) 20”x20” $1000

no 31. PVC flanges from garbage (Somerville, MA)

no 32. Plastic flooring for mold prevention in antique box (Mission Hill Recycle Center) 

no 33. By-product from manufacturing poster tubes (RIRC)

no 34. Vacuum-formed plastic over by-product from manufacturing poster tubes (RIRC)

no 35. Wacky wood scrap (donated by Dave Macdonald)

no 36. Found spray paint caps (SMFA spray booth, 2017) 

no 37. Board game card cutouts (donated by Aaron Girelli) 

no 38. Screen (attic of Webster Court. Newton, MA)

no 39. Stick curtains (from my tree house; 1998)

no 40. Art piece: Remnants #1(2018) 30”x40” $2000

no 41. Insulation spray foam mistake (2019)

no 42. 1920’s metal sign hanger my PopPop found (Kintnersville, PA)

no 43. Art piece: Fiberglass Strips 2  (2019) 18”x24” $850

no 44. Art piece: Cement Circles(2019) 15”x15” $400

no 45. Wood scraps from the laser cutter (Makerspace, Rutland, VT)

no 46. Barn wood frame with by-product from manufacturing poster tubes (Kintnersville, PA)

no 47. Vacuum-formed plastic over by-product from manufacturing poster tubes (RIRC)

no 48. Cast-off honeycomb cardboard packaging (Rhode Island Recycle Center) 

no 49. Perforated metal sheeting (Rutland Steel, VT)

no 50. Vacuum-formed plastic over by-product from manufacturing poster tubes (RIRC)

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