Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness had a theatrical run at Alkyonis New Star Cinema in Athens, Greece. The run was extended 11 more days than originally planned and opened at a second theatre, New Studio Art Cinema, as well.
Richard Michelson‘s picture book Fascinating has been selected for as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2017 by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council.
Monica Raymond‘s short play Hijab (with Adrianjne Krystansky) will have a reading at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (2/16, 12:30 PM). It’s part of a program, HIJAB and Notes From the Field, that will discuss the cultural significance of women’s veiling around the world. Also, Monica’s monologue Ernesto had a staged reading at Theater Iati (NYC) in January.
Shelley Reed has a solo exhibition, A Curious Nature, at Fitchburg Art Museum (2/12-6/4). Her painting Predator/Prey (after Oudry) will also be the fulcrum of the group exhibition A Feast of Beasts (2/12-9/3).
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 email@example.com 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.
Monica Rayond‘s play A to Z was a finalist for both the Jane Chambers Award and ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting. Paper of Plastic, a short opera for which she wrote the libretto (music, Charles Turner), won second prize in Opera Kansas’s short opera competition.
Jendi Reiter‘s debut novel Two Natures will be published in September by Saddle Road Press of Hilo, HI, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, MA is hosting her local book launch (10/19, 7 PM).
Five new works created by teams of women artists – which include four past MCC awardees – will be presented as the latest Art on the Marquee by Boston Cyberarts. Ambreen Butt, Mags Harries, Nathalie Miebach, and Deb Todd Wheeler are all creating work for the 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED marquee outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (opening reception 6/1, 6:30-8:30 PM).
Ben Sloat is one of the artists in the three-person show Uncannyland at One Mile Gallery in Kingston, NY (6/4-6/25, opening reception 6/4, 6-9 PM).
Naoe Suzuki had an artist residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA, organized by the Assets for Artists Initiative, in April. In 2016, she is Artist in Residence at Broad Institute, a collaborative community pioneering a new model of biomedical research, based in Cambridge, MA. Check out Naoe’s Tumblr site for her project Flow, an extension of the participatory installation she created at UMass Lowell last year.
Jung Yun‘s novel Shelter got a great review in the Briefly Noted section of The New Yorker. She has an article, My Fargo, in the April edition of The Atlantic.
It can be challenging to balance artistic creation with the business, financial, or other career aspects of artists’ work. Artists are encouraged to see their art career as a “business” – but how does that translate into practice? We asked artists in different disciplines, What is your approach to the business of art, and how has it changed over time?
Jake Fried, animator
Ultimately, my experimental animations must transcend financial concerns, otherwise they become something else for someone else. Luckily, making deeply personal work that I believe in has increasingly led to new and rewarding paid opportunities.
My main source of income is teaching, mostly at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This past year I have created commissioned work for Adult Swim and the Marionette Record label, among others. I have screened my films at many international festivals, gallery shows and artist talks that provide awards and fees. And finally I’ve been awarded grants and fellowships, including one recently in Film & Video from the MCC.
As much as possible I want my artistic and financial success to stem directly from being true to my vision – it’s a hustle and I’m always chasing new opportunities to make this happen, but it’s worth it to make the work I believe in.
Jenine Shereos, sculptor/installation artist
A few years ago, some of my work was featured on a popular art and design blog. I received a lot of exposure from this, and it had a ripple effect over the years as people continued to share the images on social media and other online venues. Many positive opportunities arose from this publicity, but it was definitely a learning experience as well. I had people contact me with bizarre commission requests, dealt with copyright issues, and even had an offer from Ripley’s Believe it or Not! This experience taught me the importance of being my own agent. To say no to things that don’t fit with my vision and to seek out the opportunities that I feel will enhance my career as an artist. I spend a lot of time researching residencies, grants, and other opportunities online. Recently, artist residencies have played a significant role in my artistic journey and have afforded me time away to focus on my art.
Similar to my artistic practice, I see the business aspect of my work as an organic process that continues to grow and evolve over time. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to support myself fully from my art, but the obstacles keep me thinking creatively. Sometimes I feel frustrated by a sense of disconnection in my life, although I know I am not alone and many artists face the same struggle. On the one hand, my work has been shown internationally in museums and included in major publications. At the same time, I am nearing forty and waiting tables while piecing together odd jobs. Recently, I was sharing my frustrations with a friend and he asked if there was anyone I know personally who is making their living exclusively as an artist who I could look to as a model. After thinking through the many artists I have met over the years, I couldn’t think of a single one. I am slowly realizing that maybe this isn’t necessarily the end goal. I try to focus on the fact that I love making art and know I will always find a way to continue to do so against any odds.
MJ Halberstadt, playwright
People joke that Masters Programs in playwriting are “red headed stepchildren” that can’t be boxed neatly into more easily articulable Theatre or Creative Writing programs. Similarly, reconciling playwriting within the framework of a business model presents questions and problems. On one hand, I’m an artist-for-hire because different companies present my work. When they do, I am not the play’s “producer.” On the other hand, I am a free-lancer because I am the sole proprietor of my own playwriting “business.” The minimum viable product of what I can produce is a script, not a play, which is not sellable by itself – except, arguably, in the case of having the script published. It becomes necessary to tease apart distinctions, especially between my script and a company’s production of it. Combined, they make the product (a “play”) but assigning value to my part in it is tricky, especially when all of the theatre world is starving for monetary resources and many of the producers of my work are personal friends. I’m not a playwright for gain; in fact, only about a dozen American playwrights sustain themselves entirely off royalties. That’s why I have a totally unrelated day job at present; this is getting more and more difficult to reconcile since my playwriting “career” demands more of me each year.
[MJ takes a sip from a glass of whiskey.]
If my “brand” has “worth,” it’s not quantifiable. If anything, I’m building up artistic capital through making myself known and archiving reviews and, yes, “networking.” The hope is that it’ll pay off if and when I sell a TV pilot or get a job teaching playwriting.
Jenine Shereos (jenineshereos.com) is a sculptor and installation artist specializing in fiber and textile processes. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, and Canada, and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, Make Magazine, and and the compendium Textiles: The Art of Mankind. Her work is currently on view at Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands, and in 2017, she will have a solo show at the Hampden Gallery at UMass Amherst.
Images and Media: BRAIN LAPSE by Jake Fried; Jenine Shereos, LEAF (2013), human hair, 5×3 in, photo by Robert Diamante; publicity photo from THE LAUNCH PRIZE, written by MJ Halberstadt, produced March 2016 at the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, featuring Katharine Chen Lerner, Bari Robinson, John Tracey, and Angela K Thomas.
In April: MCC artists venture into books and onto screens, up on stages and out on the airwaves, and just generally do great things in the Commonwealth and beyond. The latest news from our Fellows/Finalists…
Pelle Cass has work from his Selected People series in three books: Photoviz (Gestalten, Berlin); Deleuze and the City (a scholarly book which features an entire chapter based around a discussion of Pelle’s photo of Quincy Market; and Langford’s Basic Photography. He will have work in UNM Art Museum/Center/516 Arts’ PhotoSummer festival. Also, he will have a summer fellowship at Yaddo.
Mary Bucci McCoy has work in the group show Drishti: A Concentrated Gaze, presented by NurtureArt and curated by Elizabeth Heskin and Patricia Spergel at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, New York, NY (4/11-7/1, opening reception 4/11 6-8 PM).
Richard Michelson announced that he has an upcoming book about Leonard Nimoy (Nimoy’s visual art is represented by Richard Michelson Gallery) called Fascinating, to be published in September. Richard has poetry readings this month at AWP (4/1 and 4/2), the Split This Rock Conference in Washington DC (4/16), and at the Pelham Library (4/27, see above).
Nick Rodrigues created the interactive installation CAR-A-OKE and the Auto Umwelt The New Children’s Museum in San Diego, on view thru Spring 2017. He contributed to The Felt Book, a collaborative publication featuring a collection of home remedies created by 90+ invited artists.
Anna Ross has a new chapbook, Figuring, to be released by Bull City Press in May. The book was the Editor’s Selection in the 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Anna will have her first reading from the book at the AWP conference in LA.
TRIIIBE, aka the identical triplets Alicia, Kelly, and Sara Casilio along with photographer Cary Woliknsky, will give a gallery talk at Fitchburg Art Museum 4/24, 1:30 PM, in conjunction with their exhibition TRIIIBE: same difference (thru 6/5).
It can be challenging to balance artistic creation with the financial, marketing, or other career aspects of artists’ work. Artists are encouraged to see their art career as a “business” – but how does that translate into practice? We asked artists in different disciplines, What is your approach to the business of art, and how has it changed over time?
Caleb Neelon, international public artist
Last year while on a mural project in Sarajevo I passed a funny milestone: first time out at some bar (legally) downing beers with people half my age. I was 38 then and the guys were 19. They were eager young graffiti writers and they were taking the chance to grill me with nerdy graffiti history questions and ask about their favorite international graffiti writers that I had met or painted with over the years. They wanted to do their own individual version of what I had done, which was to make a career out of the doors-of-possibility-blowing-open passion of my youth. And one thing that I realized, and said to them, was that while I had been in some way a professional artist since I was their age, and those 20 years feel like forever, I’m consumed with how I positively navigate the next 40, or however long fate has in store for me. In many ways, the goals for me have shifted from a list of specifics (show here, sell for this much, publish this, paint a mural there, etc) to the end goal of doing good work up to the time I’m done here on Earth.
Crystal King, novelist, writer, and marketing/communications professional
Over the last few years, I’ve taught many classes to artists and authors on how to use social media. Many of them are there to learn only because someone, usually an agent, has told them that they need to be on Facebook or Twitter. Often, they are not happy about it. Some people do their best to engage with and build their audience. Others start social accounts but let them languish a month or so after their show or their book comes out, then bemoan the fact that no one is interested in their work.
To me, the business of art is just as important as the art itself. This is a world in which anyone has the chance to be successful. But unless you’ve managed to get lucky, you have to pay or play for your art to be noticed. If you can’t pay for publicity, then you need to learn and work for it. I’m always baffled when people are unwilling to promote themselves. If you believe in the work that you do, why on earth wouldn’t you do EVERYTHING you can to help others see your vision? This is more important than ever for me, as I prepare for my own book to come out in 2017.
Mariko Kusumoto, metalworker and textile artist
My artistic choices have changed over time, and the business side has followed the creative. Metal constructions had been my main focus since 1995, but in 2013 – after completing a very involved and technically challenging metal piece – I felt the need to move away from using purely representational imagery and do something more abstract, organic, and in a different material; the result has been fabric work. Fabric is completely opposite metal, and I like the softness, gentle texture, and atmospheric quality of the fabric I use.
In a formal manner, the financial aspects of my work are completely managed by my gallery although we work in unison to establish pricing. My metal pieces are quite expensive. But in developing smaller-scale fabric pieces, I felt that a wider audience/collector would find them more accessible, both aesthetically and financially. The public exposure for this new work (e.g., print, websites) has expanded audience interest as well.
What else has changed over the course of my career are opportunities and invitations that require an increasing amount of time to attend to thus removing me from the necessary concentration needed to make my work. I am flattered and grateful for the interest, but I have to politely refuse certain requests.
Top: metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto from 2007; bottom: Mariko’s recent textile work
Crystal King (crystalking.com) is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran who has directed global social media programs for companies such as Pegasystems (were she currently works), Keurig, CA Technologies, and Sybase. Crystal is also a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her first novel, Feast of Sorrow, will be published by Touchstone Books in 2017. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, and UMass Boston. At Grub Street Writers’ The Muse and the Marketplace Conference (April 29-May 1), she will present workshops on electronic tools to streamline writing and self-promotion using social media.
Mariko Kusumoto (marikokusumoto.com) is a metalworker and printmaker who is now working in fiber. Her intricate metal box sculptures have exhibited at Fuller Craft Museum, Morikami Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Society for Contemporary Craft, and her fiber creations have been featured in American Craft and Fiber Art Now magazines. She is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, which has a Spotlight Exhibition of her work thru April 16, 2016.
Caleb Neelon‘s (calebneelon.com) wall murals and other works have exhibited in dozens of countries and in many galleries, museums, hospitals, and educational settings. Along with his artist monograph Caleb Neelon’s Book of Awesome, he is the co-author of The History of American Graffiti, Street World, and Graffiti Brasil, among other publications. His most recent projects, the documentary film Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence and an accompanying art book from Ginko Press, are forthcoming.
Images: wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni); Mariko Kusumoto, RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell; recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery.