Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

What Do You Strive to Avoid in Your Art?

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Periodically, we pose questions to artists about issues they face in their work and lives.

We were curious about ruts, pitfalls, or other counter-productive things from which artists make a conscious effort to steer clear. So we asked, What do you work hardest at trying to avoid in your work?

The answers range from technical or material concerns, issues of art history, creative decisions, and (in one case) become a poetic expression all their own.

Mara Superior, AMERICANA (2016), porcelain, salt glazed white stoneware, 14.5x18x2 in

Mara Superior, ceramicist
My material is porcelain, and there are so many technical issues and things that could go wrong all along the way before a piece is completed. As I’m making, I’m always trying to avoid mishandling the materials.

Porcelain is a high-risk material because it shrinks about 15 percent. Working with it is all about timing, moisture content, construction, drying slowly then bisque firing. I am interested in the beauty of the final product. I bear with the process.

To add a little more excitement into the mix, I work with an atmospheric kiln which means the results are not consistent each time as it might be in an electric kiln. As I work I am imagining the ideal outcome. There is always an adjustment and surprise when the kiln is opened.

Esthetically speaking I try to avoid being too decorative, although I love ornament. I try to balance beauty and content. I believe that some difficult content delivered in a beautiful package is intriguing and alluring.

 

Scott Challener, poet
avoidance procedures

comfortable writing

harmlessness…

READ the poet’s visual-poetic response

 

Marky Kauffmann, MAGGIE: DISINTEGRATION, from the LOST BEAUTY series

Marky Kauffmann, photographer
It is really important to me to make photographs that have an originality of expression. Of course, I understand that being original is impossible. We all stand on the shoulders of the artists who have come before us. Perhaps what I’m calling originality is really creativity – having a strong creative element in my work, something no one else has thought to try. By combining darkroom techniques and digital technologies in a unique manner, I try hard to avoid having my work look like someone else’s. If someone says to me, “Your work looks like so and so’s,” I know I have failed to accomplish what I set out to do.

At the same time, whatever technical devices I use, I want them to make sense in my work. I want to avoid cheap tricks at all costs. This can be a delicate balancing act, but I strive to speak forcefully, purposefully, and skillfully with all the tools in my toolbox.

 

Shubha Sunder, writer
Thomas Mann put it this way in The Magic Mountain: “There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.” As a writer of fiction, I work hard to avoid cleverness in my work. This means being on the lookout for things like heavy-handed metaphors, striking images that fail to resonate with the themes of the story, or sentences that twist themselves into pretzels to convey, in the end, what could be said in a few simple words. Cleverness is not the same as complexity, when the world on the page reflects and illuminates the messiness of real life. That sort of effect comes not from clever technique but from a deep exploration of characters and situations. I used to delight in showing off my pyrotechnics as a writer; now, I’m obsessed with doing everything possible to immerse a reader into the world of the story – to make the words disappear, rather then stand out.

 

Evan Morse, SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment 9x18x15 in

Evan Morse, sculptor
My earliest sculptural works were so close to historical precedents that what I thought was a commentary on the past seemed to most people to be merely copying the past. Most people can’t not think Greek, Roman, Renaissance, or Rodin when they see a marble nude. This has been my struggle throughout the youth of my sculptural career and is the thing that I am continually seeking to avoid in my work. How do I make art that speaks for itself first, and its historical counterparts second? How do I make figurative sculpture that builds upon history rather than repeats it? Not to mention that all the aforementioned acts are tough ones to follow…

After some searching and experimentation, I realized that the traditional methods and materials are important to me. Taking part in the millennia-long visual conversation in the representation of the human figure is important to me. This means that the content of my work has to be strong enough on its own to both embrace its historical allusions and seem original at the same time. It’s a fine line to walk, and I’m working to avoid the pitfalls all the time.

 

Scott Challener is a doctoral candidate in Rutgers University. His most recent poems appear in the online publication Pangyrus (out of Cambridge) and Lana Turner Journal.

Marky Kauffmann is a photographer who curated Outspoken, an exhibition of seven female photographers that recently closed at the de Menil Gallery at Groton School. The show will travel to the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill next fall.

Evan Morse‘s sculpture has been exhibited at Boston City Hall, Danforth Art in Framingham, and Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, among many other venues.

Shubha Sunder‘s fiction has been appeared in Crazyhorse magazine, where it won the 2015 Crazyhorse Fiction Prize; Narrative Magazine, where it was a winner of “30 Below, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Bangalore Review. She teaches at GrubStreet and recently completed her first novel, Boomtown Girl.

Mara Superior has received five awards from the Artist Fellowships Program since 1986. Her ceramic work is currently on exhibit in A Sense of Place, the 73rd Scripps Ceramic Annual exhibition at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery in Claremont, CA.

Images: Mara Superior, AMERICANA (2016), porcelain, salt glazed white stoneware, 14.5x18x2 in; Marky Kauffmann, MAGGIE” DISINTEGRATION, from the LOST BEAUTY series; Evan Morse, SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment 9x18x15 in.

Fellows Notes – Mar 17

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

It’s March, the equator is about to pass by the center of the sun (happy Spring Equinox), and our past Artist Fellowships awardees continue to shine with honors, exhibitions, readings, and so much more. Here’s the latest news.


Lisa Nilsson, from the 40 Years of Fellowships project. This month, the artist exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art

 

Elizabeth Alexander, Ambreen Butt, Fred H C Liang, Lisa Nilsson, Jane South, Randal Thurston, and August Ventimiglia are among the artists featured in Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH (thru 5/21.)

Laura Chasman and Leslie Sills join Nancy Gruskin for the exhibition Life: from life at room83 Spring in Watertown (3/9-4/22, reception 3/11, 3-5 PM).

Frannie Lindsay and Lynne Potts read as part of the Brookline Poetry Series at the Brookline Public Library Main Branch in Brookline Village (3/19, 2 PM).

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Sophia Ainslie has an exhibition of paintings at the Boston City Hall Mayor’s Art Gallery, in conjunction with Women’s History Month (thru 3/31).

Simeon Berry reads at the Gloucester Writers Center (3/15, 7:30 PM).

Ben Berman will read from his new poetry collection Figuring at the Figure at Brookline Booksmith (3/16, 7 PM).

Sarah Bliss curated and is presenting From the Farm at the Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival in Scotland. From the Farm is a curated program of 13 films made at the Independent Imaging Retreat (aka Film Farm) offered in rural Ontario every summer by Canadian experimental filmmaker Philip Hoffman and his dedicated staff.

Ria Brodell has a solo show of paintings, Butch Heroes, at
Gallery Kayafas (3/3-4/8, opening reception 3/3, 5:30-8 PM). She’ll also be releasing the limited edition book Butch Heroes: Paintings by Ria Brodell, with book signing and panel discussion 3/18, 3 PM.

Kim Carlino has a solo exhibition, The Primary Line, (3/1-3/28), at the UMass Amherst Herter Art Gallery.

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and collaborator Véréna Paravel, who are among the Foster Prize Artists at the ICA Boston, will give an in-gallery Foster Talk (3/16, 7 PM).

Caleb Cole has a solo show of photography, To Be Seen, at Gallery Kayafas (3/3-4/8, opening reception 3/3, 5:30-8 PM).

Harriet Diamond has a new installation, Driven from their Homes, at the Oxbow Gallery (3/2-3/26, reception 3/10, 5-8 PM, artist talk 3/23, 7 PM).

Congratulations to Duy Doan, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The poet’s manuscript We Play a Game was selected by Series judge Carl Phillips.

Mary Jane Doherty is screening two of her early films, Gravity and Three Fish, as well as an excerpt of a new work, Sonic Boom Boom, as part of the DocYard Series at Brattle Theatre in Cambridge (3/20, 7 PM).

Andrew Haines has an exhibition of paintings, Distracted Driving, at Clark Gallery (thru 4/1, reception 3/4, 4:30-7 PM).

Shannon Heaton has a new podcast, Irish Music Stories, available on iTunes. This month, she performs in Portland, ME (3/17, 7 PM) and Medford, MA (3/18, 8 PM).

Joo Lee Kang has a solo show VictoriANimals at Gallery NAGA (3/3-3/25, opening reception 3/3, 6-8 PM).

Congratulations to Stefan Lanfer, whose play Prudence was selected to be part of a first ever reading of new plays at American Stage in Tampa, FL. Locally, the play will have public readings by the open theater project at Bella Luna Café (3/20) and by the Emerson Theatre Collaborative in CT (4/8) in April.

Stephanie Lubkowski‘s composition Right now, in a second will be performed by Transient Canvas at the Music Mansion in Providence, RI (3/3, 8 PM) and at the Equilibrium Concern Series at Third Life Studio in Somerville (3/4, 8 PM). Also, the Charles River Wind Ensemble will premiere all three movements of Stephanie’s wind ensemble piece Circles Circling at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington (3/13, 3 PM).

Richard Michelson‘s children’s book Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy was awarded the 2017 Sydney Taylor Silver Medal from Association of Jewish Librarians and a 2016 Junior Library Guild Gold Medal. His just-published picture book The Language of Angels received a 2017 Junior Library Guild Gold Medal. Richard will reading from my work in Seoul, South Korea (3/30) and at the Poetry Center at PCCC in Paterson NJ along with Mark Doty (4/1).

Nathalie Miebach has an artist talk/concert at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV (3/22, 5-7 PM). It will will include musical performances by composers Mischa Salkind-Pearl and Matthew Jackfert, who have both written pieces about Nathalie’s work. Also this month, she’ll present artist talks at Winchester High School and Abington High School.

Stephen Mishol has a solo exhibition, Place at the Neiman Center at Columbia University School of the Arts (thru 3/17). His work is also featured in DRAW/Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art (thru 3/4).

Congratulations to Ethan Murrow, whose children’s book The Whale, co-created with Vita Murrow, was selected for the Longlist for the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal.

Anne Neely is in the group exhibition Thinking About Water: Artists Reflect (3/22-6/30, opening reception 3/22, 7-9 PM) at The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Boston.

Brad Nelson has a solo exhibition This Tells Me Where I Am, at frosch&portmann in New York City (3/0-4/23, opening reception 3/9, 6-8 PM).

Masha Obolensky‘s play Marvelous Fruit will be read at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (3/19, 7 PM).

Gabriel Polonsky will screen and hold a director’s talk for his film Release from Reason (3/11, 3-5 PM), in conjunction with the Life: from life at room83 Spring Gallery. The documentary, currently in-progress, is about the life and work of Boston Expressionist painter Arthur Polonsky (the filmmaker’s father).

Monica Raymond recently returned from a three-week residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where she showed work as part of an exhibit of Erasure Texts and read new poems and performed improvised poetry and music as part of INsideOUT (3/9). She will be reading poems from the sequence A Walk on Norfolk Street (set in Cambridge 2013, around the Boston Marathon bombings) at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (3/28, 3 PM), part of a daylong symposium Women’s Sense of Place.

Shelley Reed has a solo exhibition, A Curious Nature, at Fitchburg Art Museum (thru 6/4, opening reception 3/12, 2-5 PM).

Tara Sellios has a solo exhibition of photography, Testimony, at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland OR (3/2-4/2, reception 3/2, 6-9 PM, artist talk 3/3, 12 PM).

Laurel Sparks is among the artists exhibiting in Witches at September Gallery in Hudson, NY (3/18-5/7, opening reception 3/18, 6-8 PM).

Naoe Suzuki has recently returned from a month-long residency at the Tokyo Wonder Site. Currently, she’s exhibiting in Cloudlands at the Albany International Airport (thru 7/31).

Cam Terwilliger‘s as yet unpublished novel Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart is the winner of the 2017 Caledonia Novel Award.

Sarah Wentworth‘s photograph Rugosa Window, is one of the pieces in the Maud Morgan Art Center Chandler Gallery‘s 2017 Small Works Salon (3/20-4/14, reception 4/2, 3-5 PM). The exhibition was juried by gallery owner Howard Yezerski.

Kris Willcox‘s essay Love and Compost will soon be published in the Portland Review.

Evan Ziporyn was featured in WBUR’s ARTery for his orchestral version of David Bowie’s album Blackstar.

Read past Fellows Notes. If you’re a past fellow/finalist with news, let us know.

Image: interview with Lisa Nilsson, from the 40 Years of Fellowships project. This month, the artist exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art.

Fellows Notes – Feb 17

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Fevrier, Febrero, Februar… presenting this month’s news from awardees of our Artist Fellowships Program.

Jenine Sheroes, THAW (2015), site-specific installation at at Jamaica Pond in Boston, Massachusetts

Sonia Almeida and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are among the artists recognized by the ICA Boston James and Audrey Foster Prize 2017. Their work will part of the ICA’s Foster Prize exhibition (2/16-7/9).

Samantha Fields, Andrew Mowbray, and Bob Oppenheim have work in Stitch: Syntax/Action/Reaction at the New Art Center in Newton (2/16-3/31, reception 2/16, 6-8 PM). The exhibition is part of the Curatorial Opportunities Program; Samatha Fields co-curated the exhibition with Jessica Burko.

Dana Filibert and Naoe Suzuki are among the artists exhibiting in Cloudlands at the Albany International Airport (thru 7/31, reception 2/17 5:30-7:30 PM).

Kenji Nakayama and Ben Sloat are among the artists in the exhibition All That Glitters Is Not Gold at Drive-by Projects (thru 3/28).

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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.

Karl Baden has a solo exhibit of recently rediscovered prints, Thermographs 1976, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (2/11-3/14, reception and gallery talk 2/11, 3-5 PM).

Mary Bucci McCoy has a solo exhibition, Terra Recognita at Jane Deering Gallery in Gloucester (thru 2/26). She’s also exhibiting in Combined at Gray Contemporary in Houston (thru 2/18).

Kim Carlino has a solo exhibition, The Primary Line, at the UMass Amherst Herter Gallery (2/28-3/27, reception 3/1, 5-7 PM). She’s also recently launched a new website.

Vico Fabbris had a painting, Azumacea, featured on Linda Hoffman’s Apples, Art, and Spirit Blog.

Kieran Jordan has opened a new dance studio space in Hyde Park. She’ll have a New Studio Open House (2/26, 12-4 PM), with live music and pop-up performances.

Rania Matar is exhibiting her photography series Invisible Children at PhotoMed Liban in Beirut (thru 2/8). The series was recently reviewed by Hyperallergic and Photograph Magazine. She will also exhibit in the group exhibition Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East at The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College (thru 4/20). Rania is artist-in-residence at Kenyon College this coming semester, thanks to a Mellon Foundation supported artist residency. She’s also exhibiting in Becoming at RayKo PhotoCenter (thru 2/21) and Outspoken: Seven Women Photographers at the de Menil Gallery at Groton School.

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.

Nathalie Miebach has work in two exhibitions opening this month: Art of the Weather at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV (2/4-8/15), and Crooked Data: (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art at University of Richmond Museum, (2/7-5/5).

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).

Renee Ricciardi is the curator of The Uncertainty Principle, an exhibition about “Chance, Wonder, & Quantum Mysteries by Emerging New England Photographers” at the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery (2/8-2/22, reception 2/16, 5:30-7:30 PM).

Anna Ross has a poem, Back Porch Aubade, published on Harvard Review Online.

Sage Schmett exhibits her sculptural work in Hoarder Vacui at the Harvard Ed Portal Crossings Gallery (thru 2/24).

Jenine Shereos has two solo exhibitions in MA: Thaw, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston (thru 3/8, reception 2/25, 5-7 PM); and Im/material: Cloth in Collaboration with Nature, at UMass Amherst Hampden Gallery (2/26-3/27, reception 2/26, 2-4 PM).

Deb Todd Wheeler, along with exhibiting in Loud and Clear (thru 2/7) at Miller Yezerski Gallery, will perform with her band The LENNYcollective the Lily Pad in Cambridge (2/4, 8 PM).

Jung Yun is a finalist for the 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Awards.

Read past Fellows Notes. If you’re a past fellow/finalist with news, let us know.

Image: Jenine Sheroes, THAW (2015), site-specific installation at at Jamaica Pond in Boston, Massachusetts.

Announcing 32 Awards in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Mara Superior, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2014), porcelain, wood, gold leaf, 24x20x15 in

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.

Evan Morse, SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), Hydrocal, pigment, 9x18x15 in

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.

Find a full list of 2017 Artist Fellowships awardees, to date.

Nora Valdez, LONG PATH (2013), Limestone and marble, 12x52x7 in

From the Off-Broadway production of EXPATRIATE by Lenelle Moise, photos by Vanessa Vargas

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.

Fellows Notes – Oct 16

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

October-y news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.

Shelley Reed, ON THE WALL (AFTER HONDECOETER) (2010), oil on canvas, 48x36 in

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.

MCC Artist Fellows and Finalists will read at Forbes Library in Northampton (10/19, 7 PM). The readers are D M Gordon, Heather Kamins, Richard Michelson, Sarah Sousa, and Elizabeth Witte. Learn more and find the event on Facebook.

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Sachiko Akiyama has a solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures, Sachiko Akiyama: Between Here and There, at Matter & Light Fine Art (thru 10/31).

Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness screens at the Robbins Library in Arlington, MA (10/20, 7 PM), as part of the Arlington International Film Festival’s 2016 Robbins Library Monthly Film Series. Free and open to the public, Q & A with Alexandra Anthony to follow.

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.

Charles Coe is among the artists selected for the Boston Artists-in-Residence Program.

Mary Jane Doherty will have the West Coast premiere of her documentary Primaria at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival (10/23, 2 PM).

Tory Fair has a solo show of drawing/sculpture hybrids, Tory Fair: Paperweight at VERY in Boston (thru 10/22).

Jake Fried‘s animation was featured on the science technology/pop culture blog io9.

Georgie Friedman has unveiled a site-specific video installation at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, Traces of Wind and Water (thru 11/14), part of her work as a City of Boston Artist in Residence Program. There is a Boston AIR reception 11/14 at the Strand.

Beth Galston has a solo show at the Cynthia Reeves Gallery in North Adams (thru 11/13).

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.

Colleen Kiely will have a solo show at the Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery (10/11-11/9, opening reception 10/20, 5-7 PM, artist’s talk 10/26, 12-1 PM). She’ll also have work in the pop-up exhibit Stark Naked at Gallery Kayafas, 10/16, 7-10 PM.

Niho Kozuru has a solo show, Positive Vibration, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 11/15).

Dawn Kramer, along with Stephen Buck, will participate in this year’s Roslindale Open Studios (10/22-10/23).

Yary Livan was featured in the Lowell Sun.

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).

Tara Masih is the Series Editor for the annual Best Small Fictions series, which just published the 2016 edition.

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).

Joshua Meyer has a solo show, Seek My Face: The Art of Joshua Meyer, 2000-2016 at The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA (thru 12/23, reception 10/27, 7-9 PM).

Richard Michelson was featured in WBUR Radio for his children’s book about Leonard Nimoy, Fascinating.

Nathalie Miebach is in the group show Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space at Akron Art Museum (thru 1/15). Also, she’ll give a talk at Ohio Wesleyan University (10/19, 7 PM) as part of the Sagan National Colloquium.

Ethan Murrow has a large-scale wall drawing in Escape Routes at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI (thru 1/15). See an interview about the process.

Jendi Reiter‘s debut novel Two Natures was published in September by Saddle Road Press. Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, MA is hosting her local book launch (10/19, 7 PM).

Jo Ann Rothschild will exhibit work in the Fall Open House at the Studio at 535 Albany Street in Boston (10/27, 5-8 PM).

Samuel Rowlett has a solo exhibition of recent multimedia work, A Thing Not Planned for Imagery or Belief, on view in the South Gallery at Greenfield Community College (thru 11/3). There will be a gallery talk 10/26, 12 PM, and a closing reception 11/2, 5:30-7 PM.

James Rutenbeck‘s film Class of ’27 is an Editor’s Pick from The Atlantic.

Jane Smaldone‘s exhibition Rocks & Roses and The Return of the Fox shows at Clark Gallery in Lincoln (thru 10/31).

Stephen Tourlentes has work in the group exhibition Surveillance at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO (thru 1/29).

Joe Wardwell has a solo show at LaMontagne Gallery in Winchester (thru 11/11) and another exhibition, Soon I Will Be President at Southern New Hampshire University McIninch Art Gallery (11/3-12/17, opening reception and artist talk 11/3, 5-7 PM).

Cary Wolinsky has a solo exhibition of photography, Cary Wolinsky: Fiber of Life at Fuller Craft Museum (10/8-2/26, opening reception 11/6, 2-5 PM).

Jung Yun reads from her novel Shelter at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (10/5, 6-8 PM), sponsored by the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project.

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.

Read past Fellows Notes. If you’re a past fellow/finalist with news, let us know.

Images and media: Shelley Reed, ON THE WALL (AFTER HONDECOETER) (2010), oil on canvas, 48×36 in; Alexandra Anthony’s interview from the 40 Years of Fellowships Project.

Historic Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Untitled-1

Of Note: The National Museum of African American History & Culture has opened in Washington DC.

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 info@bostoncyberarts.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

Image credit: Circa 1940s: “Miss America.” (Joe Schwartz). From the photography collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Apply Now for an Artist Fellowship in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Beth Galston, LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912x12 ft

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.

Who should apply for an Artist Fellowship? Massachusetts artists creating original work who meet eligibility requirements (see guidelines) are encouraged to apply. Read our tips on applying for an MCC Artist Fellowship.

Read full program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application instructions.

 

Image and media: Beth Galston (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’13), LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912×12 ft; video celebrating 40 years of the Massachusetts Artist Fellowships.

Fellows Notes – Aug 16

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

August, that most distinguished of late summer months, arrives with a new array of news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows & Finalists.

Nicole Duennebier (Painting Fellow '16) and Caitlin Duennebier, CONGREGATION ON THE BRIGHTEST NIGHT (2016), acrylic on laminate panel, 48x60 in

Congratulations to Sonia Almeida and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, both of whom are among the 2017 James and Audrey Foster Prize artists!

Amy Archambault and Leslie Schomp are in the Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft at Fitchburg Art Museum (thru 9/4).

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Steven Barkhimer has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to support a new project, the adaptation and staging of a classical Indian play.

Linda Bond is one of the artists exhibiting in Up in Arms: Taking Stock of Guns at Brattleboro Museum (thru 10/23).

Alice Bouvrie is screening her film A Chance to Dress at The Space in Jamaica Plain (8/20, 8 PM).

Timothy Coleman has work in an exhibition at Castle in the Clouds in New Hampshire (8/21, 5:30 PM), with New Hampshire Furniture Masters.

Rebecca Doughty has a show of new work, entitled More Pictures, at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown (8/26-9/14, opening reception 8/26, 6-9 PM).

Nicole Duennebier has a collaborative exhibition with Caitlin Duennebier, Fragment of Sister Head, at Lens Gallery in Boston (opening reception 8/5, 6-8:30 PM).

Samantha Fields is exhibiting in SEVEN: A Performative Drawing Project (Reunion) at Montserrat College of Art (thru 9/10), and is among the artists in Contexture at Jane Lombard Gallery in NYC (thru 8/31).

Basia Goszczynska has a solo exhibition, Rainbow Credits, on view at the Mid-Manhattan Library (thru 8/1).

Michael Hoerman is on the map! Created by poet C.D. Wright in 1994, A Readers’ Map of Arkansas honors writers who contribute to the rich culture of Arkansas literature, whom Arkansas has nurtured.

Zehra Khan is among the artists in AMP: Art Market Provincetown (thru 8/11).

Scott Listfield has a solo show at Lancaster Museum of Art as part of the Made in America series (8/13-10/30).

Rachel Mello is one of the artists exhibiting in TEN Kingston Associates: Our Voices at Kingston Gallery (8/3-8/28, opening reception 8/5, 5:30-8 PM).

Lisa Olivieri‘s film Blindsided got a great review in afterellen.com.

Cecelia Raker‘s play La Llorona was a runner-up for the Princess Grace Award.

Daniel Ranalli will lead a conversation on the work of Liz Deschenes at ICA Boston (8/31, 2 PM). The discussion is free with museum admission.

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).

Read past Fellows Notes. If you’re a past fellow/finalist with news, let us know.

Image: Caitlin Duennebier and Nicole Duennebier (Painting Fellow ’16), CONGREGATION ON THE BRIGHTEST NIGHT (2016), acrylic on laminate panel, 48×60 in.

Fellows Notes – Jun 16

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Summery news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.

Nathalie Miebach, BLUEBERRIES (2016), Wood, rope, paper, reed, 10x6x9 in

Congratulations to Ilisa Barbash, Jane Gillooly, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, and Lucia Small, all of whom will receive funding from the LEF Foundation as part of their Spring 2016 Moving Image Fund awards.

Carrie Bennett and Frannie Lindsay join Jennifer Barber for a poetry reading at Porter Square Books on 6/8, 7 PM and another at Newtonville Books on 6/16, 7PM.

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).

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Elizabeth Alexander will have a solo exhibition, Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year at Boston Sculptors Gallery (6/8-7/17, artists reception 6/11, 2-5 PM).

Sandra Allen is among the artists in exhibiting in TreeMuse at the Suffolk University Art Gallery (6/9-7-7, reception 6/9, 5-7 PM).

Claire Beckett‘s solo exhibition Converts at Carroll & Sons Gallery received a great review in the Boston Globe. Her work was also featured on Slate.com.

Congratulations to Sari Boren, who was awarded a 2016 Emerging Artist Grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. Recently, her essay Failure to Ignite; A Body at Rest was published in the literary journal Hobart.

Christy Georg is artist-in-residence in the Kohler Arts/Industry Program thru July 2016.

Michael Hoerman recently published three poems in the Spring 2016 issue of Eureka Literary Magazine. This summer, he attends the inaugural Sedona Arts Center residency in Sedona, AZ.

Danielle Legros Georges received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Emerson College in May.

Holly Lynton has a solo exhibition of her series Bare Handed in the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, IL (6/3-6/23, opening reception 6/3, 6-9 PM). She recently participated in the FIX Photo Festival in London, exhibiting with Laura Noble Gallery, and she was part of Photo Finish at Station Independent Projects in NYC.

Julie Mallozzi has launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for her film project, The Circle.

Thomas McNeely‘s novel Ghost Horse was recently on the shortlist for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (winner to be announced later this summer) and as a finalist for the 2015 Lascaux Prize in Fiction.

Richard Michelson will read (with David Giannini) as part of the Collected Poets Series at Mocha Maya’s Coffee House in Shelburne Falls (6/2, 7 PM).

Congratulations to Nathalie Miebach, who won a Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant. She exhibits a new body of work, The Little Ones, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 7/5, opening reception 6/3, 6-8 PM). As noted above, she’s one of the artists featured in Boston Cyberarts’ latest Art on the Marquee.

Sue Murad will premiere her new film, A Visitor’s Guide to Reorientation on Spectacle Island, co-created with Maria Molteni and Hermione Spriggs. The 20-minute film will screen as part of the Fort Point Arts Community Spring Open Studios, at the FPAC Space at Envoy Hotel, (6/17, 7:30, 8:30, and 9 PM).

Anne Neely has a solo show, Ireland: Place and Ritual at the Paul Dietrich Gallery (thru 7/8).

Mary O’Donoghue was featured on Christopher Lydon’s NPR program Radio Open Source on a program called Ireland Rises Again!

Lisa Olivieri‘s film Blindsided was featured in Boston Spirit Magazine.

Cecelia Raker will have readings for her play-in-progress La Llorona, first with Playwrights’ Reading Room at Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood (6/6, 7 PM), and then with Fresh Ink Theatre at Boston Public Library (6/14, 6:30 PM). This past year, she has been a Company One PlayLab Fellow and in July, she’ll have work in the PlayLab Fellowship showcase (7/24).

Monica Raymond has poems and a play monologue in the literary journal Drunken Boat.

Shelley Reed has an exhibition, up close, at Sears Peyton Gallery in New York (thru 6/18).

Congratulations to Anna Ross, whose new poetry chapbook Figuring is now available.

Emily Ross and her recent novel Half in Love with Death were featured in a recent Boston Globe article.

Eric Henry Sanders has a radio play to be read in the Life in the 413 event at New Century Theatre in Northampton (6/4, 7 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.

Read past Fellows Notes. If you’re a past fellow/finalist with news, let us know.

Image: Nathalie Miebach, BLUEBERRIES (2016), Wood, rope, paper, reed, 10x6x9 in.

How Do You Approach the Business of Art?

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Periodically, we pose a question to artists about an issue they face in their work and lives.

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?

Part two of a two-part discussion.

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, LEAF (2013), human hair, 5x3 in, photo by Robert Diamante

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.

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

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.

[MJ takes another – longer – sip.]

 

Related reading: Who Is Your Audience? and How Do You Define Success as an Artist?

Jake Fried (inkwood.net) is an experimental animator whose work has shown on Carton Network’s Adult Swim, at the Tate Modern, in the Sundance Film Festival, and many other festivals and venues. He recently screened work in the Boston Underground Film Festival and has upcoming screenings at the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

MJ Halberstadt’s (mj-halberstadt.squarespace.com) new play is That Time the House Burned Down, produced by Fresh Ink Theatre at Boston Playwrights Theatre April 8-23. His play The Launch Prize was produced by Bridge Rep in Boston in March ’16 (read a great review in the Boston Globe). In February, he was profiled by Emerson College, and he wrote about race and privilege in theatre for HowlRound. In 2014, he was one of the artists selected to participate in Assets for Artists, a program supporting artists through financial and business training opportunities and matched savings.

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.


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