Boston’s Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists

April 14, 2014 6:00 AM

(Photo by William B. Plowman/Getty Images/CBS photoshop)

 (Photo by William B. Plowman/Getty Images/CBS photoshop)

(Photo by William B. Plowman/Getty Images/CBS photoshop)

Every year, Boston has a new crop of up-and-coming visual artists who are showing enough promise that people take notice. Everyone from installation artists to photographers have a chance at being noticed in this city full of studios and public displays. Whether they are recent graduates or artists reaching their dreams later in life, it is worth paying attention to what Boston-area artists are doing. It is hard to know from whence the next big thing will come.

Jessica Francois
Boston, MA 02115

One of RAW’s 2014 spotlight artists, photographer Jessica Francois certainly has the talent to move forward in her career. Boston is represented heavily in her urban work, though she does take some natural shots as well. While her photos are heavily edited, it is, in part, the editing that makes her pieces stand out. She knows the focal point of her photographs and is not afraid to draw the spectator’s eye there forcibly. When she is not busy working on her degree in psychology, she is working for a youth non-profit in the city.

Paul Endres, Jr.
Somerville, MA 02143

Paul Endres, Jr. is a diverse painter working in the Boston area who produces sometimes surreal and perhaps a bit pop art paintings. These are based on edited photos he takes as inspiration. His collection “Paintings From the American Burden” has some excitingly realistic fantasy pieces as well as some images that seem drawn from everyday life in an unadulterated way. These are from his comic collection “Burden America,” which is clearly his main focus in his work. Keep an eye on his website for local showings.

Greg MacKay
Boston, MA 02115

Like many up-and-comers, the only way to catch Greg MacKay’s photography is online or to look for his shows in the Boston area. Boston provides him with a great deal of inspiration for night photography. However, instead of turning up the darker aspects of nightlife in the city, MacKay chooses to go with a brighter approach to his cityscapes. Whether it is traffic whizzing by on a time lapse or a brightly lit Boston Children’s Museum, Greg MacKay gives the viewer an ultimately optimistic look at Boston after dark.

Related: Boston’s Best Artistic Photographers

Dmitry Popov
Swampscott, MA 01907

Dmitry Popov is an artist of several mediums. Guests to his local Boston showings will find everything from watercolors to jewelry. As well as a range of mediums, fans will also find a range of feelings with his work. Some of his photographs and paintings project a dark anxiety while others are bright watercolors that exude cheer. This Russian-born and trained artist currently lives in Swampscott, MA and shows his minimalist jewelry and diverse visual art around Massachusetts.

Katya Popova
Boston, MA 02115

Russian artist Katya Popova is a graphic and fine artist, among other things. She has already made quite a name for herself, having designed book covers for major publications and given lessons in the Boston area. However, her eerie paintings are perhaps not as known as her other work. She shows some of them around the Boston area and viewers are pleasantly surprised at the dichotomy between her crisp graphic designs and her surreal paintings and drawings. It is easy to appreciate the delightful strangeness of her work.

Related: Boston’s Best Art Walks

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at