The Massachusetts Cultural Council is honored to announce the 2017 Artist Fellowship awards in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Sixteen artists will receive fellowships of $12,000, and 16 artists will receive $1,000 finalist awards. See a list of this year’s fellows and finalists, to date.
The awards are anonymously judged, based solely on the artistic quality and creative ability of the work submitted. Applications were open to all eligible Massachusetts artists. A total number of 561 applications were received; 141 in Crafts, 135 in Dramatic Writing, and 285 in Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
The Crafts panelists were Honee A. Hess, Ji-Eun Kim, Daniel Kornrumpf, and Beth McLaughlin. The Dramatic Writing panelists were Maria Agui Carter, Anne G. Morgan, and Rebecca Noon; the Readers were Steven Bogart and Talaya Delaney. The Sculpture/Installation/New Genres panelists were Nicholas Capasso, Dana Filibert, Jen Mergel, and Allison Maria Rodriguez.
This is the first series of Artist Fellowships awards to be given by the Mass Cultural Council in 2017. In late May 2017, MCC will announce awards in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography.
Images: Mara Superior (Crafts Fellow ’17), THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2014), porcelain, wood, gold leaf, 24x20x15 in; Evan Morse (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’17), SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment, 9x18x15 in; Nora Valdez (Crafts Fellow ’17), LONG PATH (2013), limestone and marble, 12x52x7 in; from the Off-Broadway production of EXPATRIATE by Lenelle Moise (Dramatic Writing Fellow ’17), photos by Vanessa Vargas.
October-y news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.
Caleb Cole, Dana Filibert, Shelley Reed, and Sarah Wentworth are among the artist exhibiting in Fertile Solitude at the Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts (10/14-12/18, opening reception 10/14, 6-8 PM). The exhibition, curated by FLUX.Boston creator Elizabeth Devlin, explores the idea of reprieve from everyday life through the physical framework of a maze that exhibition visitors are free to explore.
Alice Bouvrie is screening her film A Chance To Dress at MIT (10/13, 7 PM). The filmmaker along with the subjects of the film, Dr. John “Tephra” Southard and his wife, Rev. Jean Southard, will be present for a post-screening Q & A.
Matt Brackett‘s first solo show in Boston in four years will take place at Alpha Gallery (10/7-11/2, opening reception 10/7, 6-8 PM). One of the included paintings, Moonstone, was one of 35 works out of over 2,400 applicants to receive a Certificate of Excellence in the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition last spring. See the artist’s Studio Views post on ArtSake.
Marky Kauffmann was invited to participate in the Berlin Foto Biennale after being named a finalist in the 2015 Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers. Also, she’ll exhibit in the group show Mirror with a Memory at the Peter Miller Gallery in Providence, RI (10/20-11/12, opening reception 10/20, 5-9 PM).
Lisa Kessler received a George Gund Foundation commission to photograph in the Cleveland public schools. The photography collection will be on exhibit at the Cleveland Public Main Library in downtown Cleveland (thru 10/28). A smaller traveling exhibit will be on display at several library branches around the city.
Melinda Lopez has a new play, Mala, at ArtsEmerson (10/27-11/20). Also, she contributed a short play to Still Waiting a series of vignettes created to accompany the play Waiting for Lefty at Boston College Robsham Theatre (10/13-10/16).
Rania Matar has photography in the exhibition Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth at Tufts University Art Center (thru 12/4). Her solo show Becoming: Girls, Women, and Coming of Age exhibits at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN (10/7-11/26, opening reception 10/7 5-8 PM, artist talk 10/11, 7 PM). In December, that same gallery will exhibit Rania’s work in Pulse Miami. Her work is included in Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East at Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL (thru 12/ 31. artist talk 10/23, 2 PM) Her work is also exhibiting at Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut Lebanon and at C. Grimaldis Gallery
Mary Bucci McCoy is in the experimental group exhibition Fiction (With Only Daylight Between Us) at boeckercontemporary in Heidelberg, Germany (10/15-31). Also, she will have a public conversation with Brooklyn artist David Mann at Rafius Fane Gallery in SoWa, Boston (10/8, 2-4 PM).
Angela Zammarelli is exhibiting in the group show The Unity of Opposites at A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA (thru 10/30, opening reception 10/14, 5-8 PM). She is currently in residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA and will be participating in an open studios 10/19, 5-7 PM.
Poets Entries are now being accepted for the New Criterion’s Poetry Prize of $3,000 and publication by St. Augustine’s Press. The prize is given annually for a poetry collection that pays close attention to form. Erica Dawson, Roger Kimball, and David Yezzi will judge. Submit a manuscript of up to 60 pages with a $25 entry fee byVisit the website for complete guidelines. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016
Artist Business Grants MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is seeking Boston-based applicants for its Matched Savings Program, which supports creative entrepreneurs with a matching grant and artist-focused business and financial training. Eligible applicants must have a home or studio address in the City of Boston. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016
Poets, Fiction Writers Entries are currently being accepted for the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes. Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel or novella. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016
Short Fiction Entries are now being accepted for the University of Iowa Press Short Fiction Awards. Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016
MCC Artist Fellowships The Massachusetts Cultural Council is currently accepting Artist Fellowship applications for Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged grants for Massachusetts artists in recognition of artistic excellence. Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000. Learn more.
Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016
STARS Residencies The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residencies Program (Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants of $500-$5,000 to schools to support creative learning residencies of three days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Learn more.
Application opens October 6, 2016 at 4pm
Videos, Animations, Computer Generated Work Proposals for the next round of Art on the Marquee are currently being accepted. Looking for work 30 second videos, animations or computer generated work, that use the entire Marquee in creative ways. Please submit a storyboard, statement, work samples, and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org The call is limited to artists who live anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Learn more.
Deadline: October 16th, 2016 (midnight)
Boston Choreographers The Boston Foundation and The Aliad Fund have announced Next Steps for Boston Dance, a new grant program that provides multi-layered support for Boston-area choreographers creating original work in any genre. Offers 250 hours of rehearsal space; 6-10 consultations with experts in chosen areas of need/interest; $5,000 in implementation funds for the artist to take a “next step” in his/her work or career; a series of cohort meetings to connect choreographers, build relationships, and allow for co-learning. A minimum of three grants will be awarded in this pilot round/first year of Next Steps. Learn more.
Deadline: Oct 24, 2016 at 5pm
Ten-minute Plays Submissions of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights are now being accepted for the Boston Theater Marathon XIX to be held May 14, 2017, at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2016
Writing Conference Scholarships If you’re interested in attending Muse and the Marketplace, GrubStreet’s national conference for writers, in Boston Spring 2017 but could use financial support, GrubStreet is offering numerous $250 scholarships for attendees. Learn more.
Deadline: November 21, 2016
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship Program. The Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged, competitive grants for individual artists in recognition of artistic excellence.
Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000.
There are two deadlines per fiscal year, divided by discipline. Applications are now being accepted in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016.
MCC will accept applications in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography beginning December 15, 2016. Deadline: Monday, January 23, 2017.
In May’s news from MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists: books, pop-up shows, crowdfunding campaigns, Spring arts festivals, and excellence aplenty.
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2016 (4/29-5/1) in downtown Salem is a festival of readings, workshops, talks, and other poetry-related events, many featuring past awardees of MCC’s Artist Fellowships Program – read more.
Danielle Legros Georges, the Boston Poet Laureate, reads from her poetry collection The Dear Remote Nearness of You, reads at Boston Public Library on 5/15, 2-4 PM, in an event co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture.
Stefanie Lubkowski was commissioned to write Circles Circling, a three movement piece for the Charles River Wind Ensemble. The first movement will be premiered on their Boston, You’re My Home program (5/15, 3 PM, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington). The concert is free and includes works by Michael Gandolfi, Charles Ives, and John Mackey.
Ethan Murrow is currently at work on preparing for a large-scale wall drawing for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL (7/16-10/30). His new children’s book The Whale, created in collaboration with his wife Vita Murrow, is now available. Previously, Ethan published a monograph with German art book publisher Hatje Cantz.
During the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s, Yary Livan‘s training in traditional Cambodian ceramics put his life in dire peril. But later, it also saved him – and a centuries-old tradition found new roots in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Video features music by past Music Composition Fellow Scott Wheeler
Yary Livan’s (Traditional Arts Fellow ’12) story exemplifies how keepers of tradition not only maintain vital practices but also deeply enrich their cultural and local communities. Such work is proudly supported by MCC’s Folk Arts and Heritage Program.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is celebrating 40 Years of Fellowships, exploring the stories of amazing artists Massachusetts has funded since 1975.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council gratefully acknowledges Middlesex Community College, the Parker Foundation, and Lowell National Historical Park for providing vital support to the building and maintenance of the Cambodian Wood-Fire Kiln referenced in this video.
Two recent announcements reflect a steadily growing landscape of support for artists in Boston.
Brother Thomas Fellowships
Congratulations to the ten artists named as 2015 Brother Thomas Fellows – a list that includes four past MCC awardees. The Brother Thomas Fellows receive unrestricted grants of $15,000 through a fund established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and world-renowned ceramic artist.
Last week, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) announced that 11 artists (including four past MCC awardees) were selected for the City of Boston’s first artist-in-residence program, Boston AIR.
Funded in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Boston AIR will allow the artists to “expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a group of liaisons from city agencies, including: Public Works, Property and Construction Management, Parks and Recreation, Veterans’ Services, Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Education, Policy, Neighborhood Development, Women’s Advancement, Elderly Commission, and the Boston Police Department.” The artists will work City liasons to co-design proposals to work with a city department.
Craft Artists The Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation gives annual awards of $1500 to individual artists and craftpersons living and working in the United States, and who are engaged in or planning a new craft or visual art project. Learn more.
Deadline: July 15, 2015
Printmakers The Monotype Guild of New England (MGNE) is currently accepting entries for ONCE, a juried exhibition of monotypes and monoprints at Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, MA. Juror: Scott Schnepf. Learn more.
Deadline: July 20, 2015
Gallery Seeking Members The Kingston Gallery in Boston’s SoWa Gallery district is currently accepting applications for membership. The gallery is governed and run by dues-paying, exhibiting artist members. Learn more.
Deadline: July 20, 2015
Artist Grants Artist’s Resource Trust was established in 1996 to provide grants to talented mid-career visual artists who have demonstrated substantial commitment and who have a financial need. A.R.T. supports artists (aged 35 or older) living in New England, or Columbia or Northeast Dutchess Counties, NY. Grants awarded range from $1,500 to $10,000. Learn more.
Deadline: August 1, 2015
Artist Residency Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY, offers year-round residencies of an average of 5 weeks for writers, media artists, visual artists and performing artists working at the professional level in their fields. Facilities include dance/choreography studios, exhibition/installation spaces, metal shop, music studio, and performing arts space. Residency provides housing, meals, studio, travel assistance, and materials stipend. Artists responsible for additional materials or travel costs. Learn more.
Deadline: August 1, 2015
Ceramic Artists Entries are now being accepted by Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA, for UN-WEDGED (November 7 – 28, 2015), a ceramic competition and exhibition of contemporary ceramic work. Learn more.
Deadline: August 1, 2015
Call for Art Entries are now being accepted for NEW DIRECTIONS ’15, 29th Annual National Juried Contemporary Art Exhibition
(September 26 through October 31, 2015) at the Barrett Art Center Galleries in Poughkeepsie, NY. Visual media eligible for entry are: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation art, glass, ceramics, fiber and mixed media Learn more.
Deadline: August 8, 2015
Playwrights The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2016 playwriting competition. The judge is Nicholas Wright. The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Lincoln Center Theater. Learn more.
Deadline: August 15, 2015
Crafts Applications are now being accepted for CraftBoston 2016, a biannual show and sale of fine contemporary craft and design. CraftBoston welcomes exhibitor applications from both established and emerging artists making original work that shows exemplary execution of design, quality craftsmanship, and creative use of materials. Learn more.
Deadline: September 12, 2015
Call for Art The Fountain Street Fine Arts, in Framingham is seeking all artist/all types of media for the exhibition Terrain: Finding Elusive Ground, juried by John Colan, the Chair of Design at Monserrat College of Art. Learn more. Questions, contact Marie Craig (gallery director) at email@example.com
Deadline: September 15, 2015 (6 PM)
New England Play Anthology The New England New Play Alliance is calling for New England-based theatre companies to submit full-length plays and short plays, written by New England residents and produced by that theatre company within the last five years, for a new printed anthology of New England plays. Between 4-6 full-length plays and a handful of short plays will be selected and published. Questions: NPAsubmission@statesource.org. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Roughly once a month, we pose a question to artists about an issue they face in their work and lives.
This month, we’re interested in how setbacks shape (or don’t) an artist’s work. So we asked artists in different disciplines, Have you ever had a setback that had a major impact on your trajectory as an artist?
Toni Pepe, photography artist Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett
Failure is an inevitable part of the creative process. It is something I try to welcome, understand, and put to use. After recently becoming a new mother I struggled with the balance between work, family, and art. That wonderful weight of guilt that settles in when I haven’t been in the studio started to become heavier and heavier. My previous method for shooting, which often involved locking myself away for hours and days to make one image, needless to say, was not feasible.
My time was no longer my own and I had to adjust my expectations drastically. I have always mined the family album and personal experience for content and incorporating my children into the work felt like a natural progression. At first, I failed magnificently. Each shoot led only to blurry baby arms and legs, and I was peed on more times than I’d like to admit. It took a full year before I made an image I was excited about.
Working with my children opened up a new avenue for spontaneity in my work. They are creatures with individual wills and while they’ll follow my direction, their interpretations are what make the images successful.
Emily Ross, writer
My biggest setback as a writer came during a meeting with an agent at a writing conference. Thanks to GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program I’d just finished the novel I’d worked on for seven years and was ready to find an agent. But I wasn’t ready for what I heard. After saying some nice things, the agent told me I needed to make my YA mystery thriller, set firmly in the Sixties, contemporary. Other sessions I attended confirmed that I’d inadvertently stepped into the Bermuda Triangle of marketing by setting my YA novel over fifty years ago.
It was hard to hear but I listened. I took a stab at making my book contemporary, but my story was intricately tied to the decade it was set in. Changing that would mean writing a new book. Then I put my novel aside for a while and read literary thrillers I hoped were like mine. They made realize that the most important thing was the dark story I was telling. When I finally started revising again I removed cultural references that weren’t essential and focused on strengthening my story. My setback had made me more aware of the market but also reinforced my commitment to the novel I’d written. A year after that writing conference, I started querying in earnest and found my wonderful agent Rebecca Podos. Half in Love with Death, my YA novel set in the Sixties, will be published by Merit Press in 2016.
Warren Mather, ceramic and photography artist
I don’t really want to answer this question because of the jinx possibilities in that I feel fortunate not to have experienced any recent “setbacks.” Contracting polio and nearly drowning as a child were wake up calls that happened too early to affect my art direction (unless now, subconsciously). Rejections in affairs of the heart during my 20’s pumped up the intensity and volume of my art production but there was no change in what I was doing. Now in my mature years, energy that fuels my working is more like water seeping downhill through rock ledges than, say, steam propelled geyser eruptions of years past. Recently, none of my emotional circuit breakers have been tripped by setbacks.
Warren Mather is a ceramic and photography artist who fires photographic, video, and computer drawn images in ceramic glaze. He has work in the Basic Black exhibition at the Concord Art Association (through 4/3).
Emily Ross graduated from GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, and she has been published in Menda City Review and Boston Magazine. Her YA novel Half in Love with Death is forthcoming from Merit Press in 2016.
Images: Toni Pepe, UNTITLED (from the series ANGLE OF REPOSE); Warren Mather, ASPEN GROVE (2013), ceramic mounted on wood, 30.5×30.5×2 in.
Last year Seyrel Williams, Jenny Rangan, and Susan Hershey started a ceramics festival in Gloucester in hopes of educating the public to see pottery as art as well as functional work. They teamed up with the Pucker Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston and presented work by some of Pucker’s world- renowned potters as well as local professional potters. This year they will again have an exhibition of work by several famous potters, including Hideaki Miyamura, whose stunning glazes are the result of thousands of test firings, along with work by Cape Ann and North shore potters.
The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck in the heart of Gloucester’s historic arts district will present the second annual Ceramics Arts Festival from August 7 – September 1, 2014. During the Pottery Trail visitors will have the opportunity to visit many different studios and watch the potters at work, each in their own style. The artists are always delighted to discuss why an every day object such as a teapot might be considered a work of art. Learn more about the upcoming Cape Ann Ceramics Festival.
Image credit from top to bottom: Jar with Blue Hare’s Fur Glaze by Hieaki Miyamura; Porcelain Teapot by Hayne Bayless; Stoneware Urn by Roger Cramer.