Arts & Culture, Interview

5 QUESTIONS: Catching up with Sweety’s


Julia Pimes is one of the co-founders of Sweety’s, an awesome new art space that opened up in April near the 450 Strip in the South End. Sweety’s is run by Julia Pimes, Bryan Rodriguez, Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz and Eduardo Restrepo, a group of artists active in shaking up Boston’s art scene through promoting artistic risk taking and prioritizing people of color. I caught up with Julia Pimes to ask her some questions about the art space and their latest show. 

1. Is Sweety’s a gallery, a collective, an art space, or all three?

Originally we envisioned Sweety’s as a work space for ourselves but we kept falling asleep on the couch so it seemed like we could use it a lot better. Right now we have a resident artist, Nash Glynn, who uses the space for filming in exchange for using their car to transport things for shows as well as the programming that Eduardo, Ximena, Bryan and I do. It’s pretty broad ranging, we’ve had gallery shows, dance parties, and even a poetry night.

2. What inspired you to start Sweety’s?

I think that Sweety’s came from a frustration of trying to make things happen in the spaces we were in. For example, Ximena and I have been organizing lectures in the Museum School and from that experience, although it wasn’t the only one, the atmosphere there in terms of actually having a conversation was restrictive. Why was it that we had to do all the work ourselves to bring artists of color in the school and why were teachers/administration so awkwardly P.C. or downright oppositional about things?

A lot of this comes from a misunderstanding of what we were trying to do, this idea that what was supposed to be the goal of this work was equality. But if we are to talk about race in terms of this sense of balance, it is never going to be a level discussion, seeing as the threat of a brown/black presence within power and defining power is always seen as imbalance or excess.

If we are within spaces that control the terms of how we are able to talk, it ends up being a type of tokenism that pulls off of what our bodies in these spaces are supposed to represent without any actual force. It’s trendy and boring and ultimately makes other people look better. So we decided to have a place away from the school where we could try and define what we were doing.

3. What makes Sweety’s unique?

Well I guess we, the curators, Eduardo, Ximena, Bryan and I all vaguely come from a similar place of thinking that we relate or have been asked to relate in some way to the word Latin@. And we all come from having a relationship with SMFA. So in some way these conflicting and intersecting experiences affect our curatorial practices and how we respond and make collective decisions.

4. Where does Sweety’s plan to go from here?

We have a lot of ideas on the table. Some art shows, we’re thinking about music too. I would love to have a Latin@ punk night/dance party. We’ll just have to see.

5. “Beaching: Matan Golan,” opens on Friday – what can we expect from Sweety’s latest show?

To start the night with a refreshing cocktail while browsing the art, get into a discussion with some of Boston’s most interesting, maybe dance with the artist, but come by to find out for sure!

Beaching: Matan Golan
June, 20, 7:00 pm
59 Wareham St, Boston, MA

When she’s not writing for the Hassle, you can find Suzi Grossman over at Suzi Looks at Lots of Art!


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