History

Kingston Gallery is an artist-run gallery incorporated in 1982, Boston's second oldest such institution presently in operation. It takes its name from its original location at 129 Kingston Street near Boston's Chinatown. In 1997, the gallery relocated to 37 Thayer Street in the South End (now 450 Harrison Avenue #43), a short walk from the Boston Center for the Arts.

Kingston was founded by two Massachusetts College of Art graduates—Joanne Jolly and David Kay. The pair served as the gallery's first directors, succeeded by Joann Winkler, Nancy Ryder, Rob Todd, Steve Novick, Kathleen O'Hara, Caroline Taggart, Jeanne Griffin, Janet Hansen Kawada, Luanne Witkowksi, Ilona Anderson, Mary Lang, and currently Barbara Moody and Kathleen Archer. The gallery is governed and staffed by dues-paying, exhibiting artist members with the mission of showcasing high-quality contemporary art. In 2015, the membership appointed its first non-member artist, part-time Director, Shana Dumont Garr, then in 2016 the gallery hired non-member Jessica Burko as Director of Marketing, to increase the gallery's profile and reach.

Group and solo shows by members are periodically augmented by exhibitions and events. Past guests artists include the Eclectica film and performance series and the Faculty of the University of Southern New Hampshire. The New Art annual national juried exhibition has attracted participants from across the United States and has been curated by, among others, Al Miner of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Christoph Grunenberg of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Bill Arning at MIT List Visual Arts Center; Susan Stoops from the Worcester Art Museum; and Laura Heon from Mass MOCA.

More than sixty have held membership in and shown at the Kingston Gallery, with hundreds more exhibiting in the aforementioned invitational and juried events. Gallery exhibitions receive numerous visitors and attention in both print and online publications including Art in America, Art New England, ArtScope, The Boston Globe, and Big Red & Shiny.