Archive for the ‘environmental art’ Category

Fellows Notes – Oct 14

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

October! Welcome the Great Pumpkin and read this month’s news and notes of past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.

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Sachiko Akiyama and Beth Galston are both exhibiting in Branching Out: Trees as Art at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem (thru 9/20/15).

Andrew Mowbray, Cristi Rinklin, Deb Todd Wheeler, and Joe Wardwell join Dana Clancy, Audrey Goldstein, John Guthrie, and curator Resa Blatman for the exhibition Forecasted: Eight Artists Explore the Nature of Climate Change at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360 (10/1-11/5, opening reception 10/9).

Congratulations to Daniela Rivera and Hannah Verlin, both of whom were named 2015 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Fellows. The award goes to SMFA alumni, supporting travel for exploration and research critical to the artists’ careers; at the end of the fellowship, one artist will be selected for a solo show at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Ben Berman was featured on GrubStreet’s The Grub Daily blog, writing about a file he keeps called “Poems to Plunder and/or Fix.”

Simeon Berry has poetry in issue 41.1 from Black Warrior Review. Read an interview with the poet on the journal’s Web site.

Steven Bogart‘s screenplay Blood’s Child was recently optioned by True Friend Productions.

Vincent Crotty had a solo show of paintings, Paintings of Ireland: A Sense of Place at Borgia Gallery at Elms College in Chicopee (thru 10/4).

Martin Edmunds will teach the workshop “Versification: The Essentials” as part of Open University at Wellfleet Preservation Hall (five Thursdays 10/23-11/20, 4 PM).

Samantha Fields will present a talk, “A Marvel of Modern Inefficiency” at American Textile History Museum in Lowell (10/5, 2 PM). She’s part of the Fiberart International exhibition there, on view thru 10/26. Her work Wallpapered space is featured in the exhibition Unraveled: Contemporary New England Fiber Art at The Museums of Old York Remick Gallery in York, Maine (thru 12/5). In December, she’ll present The Push and Pull—Exploring Liminal Spaces, a gallery walk-through of Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston.

Eric Gottesman is publishing a new photography book, Sudden Flowers. The book is based on the artist’s ongoing collaboration with Sudden Flowers, a collective of children living in Addis Ababa. The book is being launched in London; watch for upcoming events in the U.S.

Joel Janowitz has an exhibition of paintings, Finding Yourself There, with painter Squeak Carnwath at Clark Gallery in Lincoln (10/7-11/22, opening reception 10/11, 4 PM).

Jesse Kreitzer is running a Kickstarter campaign for his film-in-progress Black Canaries, through 10/12. The project is a Kickstarter Staff Pick.

Ellen Raquel LeBow has a solo exhibition, The Storm: Large-Scale Drawings, at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (thru 11/9).

Melinda Lopez wrote a moving essay about grief, playwriting, and translating Lorca, for HowlRound.

Rachel Mello‘s newest cut silhouettes, a pair of “Sky Cranes,” are installed in New York at Red Hook’s Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition (thru 10/26).

Greg Mencoff has a solo exhibition, Chasing Artifacts, at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston (thru 11/1). Watch a video about the exhibition’s installation.

Anna Myer and Dancers will perform the work Between the Lines: A Work in Progress at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury (10/18-10/19, 10/24-10/26).

Monica Raymond‘s play The Owl Girl will be performed at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (10/24-11/2). She’ll present a lecture and poetry reading in conjunction with the production. Also, she’ll have photographs in Cambridge Community Television‘s Narrative Photography exhibit, opening 10/5.

Brian Rosa has a solo exhibition, Convey, at the Mayors Art Gallery at Boston City Hall (10/1-11/17, opening reception 10/24, 4:30 PM).

Jo Ann Rothschild has a solo show, An Important Day at The Painting Center in New York (thru 10/25, opening reception 10/2, 6 PM).

Congratulations to Cam Terwilliger, whose novel-in-progress, Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart received the 2014 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.

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

Image: Brian Rosa, CONVEY, part of an exhibition of the same name at the Mayor’s Gallery at Boston City Hall.

Challenges in Categorizing Creative Work

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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

Often, creative work defies easy categorization. We asked a group of artists working in intriguing ways, What challenges do you face when asked to name a category for your work?

Liz Nofziger, site-specific installation artist
My work doesn’t fit neatly in any category. “Site-specific installation” captures the majority of it quite well, but if the person I’m speaking to isn’t familiar with the genre, this doesn’t help. I use a broad range of materials and practices to suit each specific project, most of which are short-lived. I find that I end up describing the process of making the work, and the physical/personal experience of the work. The end product is most commonly not tangible or fixed as it varies based on individual experience and interaction with the work. I think the most honest thing I can say about my work is that it is impractical, but I can’t help myself.

Kirk Amaral Snow, sculptor
The most important thing in my mind is to use a term that creates the right relationships. Intermedia and Interdisciplinary are terms that I use, but they are pretty nondescript. They lead to discussions that are about Art Practice rather than describing the work. These days I reserve them for my bio.

I have decided for most purposes that the work is Sculpture; it is materials in space, even if one of the materials is sometimes the body. This allows the pieces to engage the conceptual conversations that interest me (the shifting meaning and value of materials; the visual language of building and construction) without getting too bogged down in the minutia of categorization. Maybe the term simplifies the work, but I am all for a bit more modesty in the way art is written about!

Halsey Burgund, sound artist
The biggest challenge for me as a sound artist is not so much which category to choose but rather how to explain what that category means. As far as I can tell, sound art isn’t clearly or consistently defined (how is it different from music? can it be combined with visual/sculptural elements without becoming something else? etc) and more importantly, it is less well-understood by the public.

When having a conversation with someone, writing a description as part of a proposal or giving a talk, I often have to spend a significant amount of time establishing a baseline contextual understanding of the genre before launching into the fun part which is to describe what I do specifically, how I do it and what my motivations and hopes are for the work. If I was a painter, I could say “I make paintings” and then move on to the more interesting discussions immediately, but unfortunately, I find myself using up valuable time/focus/word-count on basic explanations first.

I will admit, however, that despite the frustrations, being forced into these sorts of descriptions and conversations often lets me see my own work in different ways that are enlightening, so as with most things, there are two sides.

D.K. McCutchen, writer
It’s challenging to articulate an “Elevator Pitch;” to quickly categorize my work in a fast-paced world that won’t wait around while I fumble to describe how multiple genres intertwine.

I’m fascinated by creative nonfiction (CNF), but don’t interpret it as simply using fictional concepts to tell a “true” story. I don’t really believe in truth. I do believe in Points of View, and everyone’s differ. That’s one soapbox.

Another conflation of genres, in my work, is science and experimental fiction. I did a CNF thesis for a Fiction MFA, with experimental writer/mentor John Edgar Wideman. I wrote experimental CNF and published The Whale Road, after repeatedly hearing from publishers: “Love the idea, love the writing, but why did you write it that way?” I still get that.

Now I’ve added speculative fiction into the mix. I teach science writing and keep up on the latest research. I write to imagine our world in the near future. As we remove species, add climate change, and stir, who will we be? I experiment with language, science and worlds. We lose language as we lose species. If cats are long-gone, what happens when Sandburg’s “… fog comes on little cat feet?” Everything’s connected.

Recently my pitch became: “my work is sometimes-erotic, post-apocalyptic, gender-bender, speculative fiction.” But then a prospective editor suggested it might also be categorized as YA….

Deb Todd Wheeler, sculptor, inventor, and media artist
So I guess the question I ask back is: who is doing the asking? If it’s me asking myself, which I often do, I tend to get caught up in the “expertise to enthusiasm” ratio. My projects lead me into arenas I feel I have no business sticking my nose or hand into, like say, photography (MCC finalist 2011), but once an idea takes hold, I can’t help but become as much of a sponge as I can, bothering friends and friends of friends for advice or collaboration, and let myself enjoy discovering the material. I suppose that puts me more in the category of Life Long Learner, with the acknowledgement that I will never really have any solid expertise. But if it’s a question about which grant to apply for, or which box to check, that’s a bit tricky. I imagine organizations need to keep the categories pretty general so that artists can be evaluated based on the relation they have to others working in a similar vein. For me, the challenge really is to stay on top of the conversation my work is engaged in, and leave the job of defining it for when I am at my desk and not at my workbench!

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Kirk Amaral Snow (kirkamaralsnow.com) is an intermedia artist whose practice investigates the relationship between the built world and performative aspects of culture. He is co-editor of the online arts journal Temporary Land Bridge and Director of Career Services at Montserrat College of Art.

Halsey Burgund (halseyburgund.com) is a sound artist, musician, and installation artist. His work was recently included in the group exhibition Twelve Nights at Boston Sculptors Gallery, and his audio accompaniment for Water Stories (with paintings by Anne Neely) is on display at the Museum of Science Boston.

D.K. McCutchen (blogs.umass.edu/dkmcc2) is a writer who teaches at U-Mass Amherst and was recently in residence at Vermont Studio Center. She is the author of the book The Whale Road, her essay The Zen of Kakapo Poo – Redux was published in the Fish Prize Anthology 2014, and her story The Greening was published in Route Nine Omnibus Edition in May.

Liz Nofziger (www.nofzilla.com) is an installation and public artist who is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Boston Center for the Arts. BOUNCE, her mutant amplified pingpong table, is set up for play on the plaza at the BCA through 10/15.

Deb Todd Wheeler (babel.massart.edu/~debtoddwheeler) is a sculptor, inventor, and media artist. Her solo exhibition … in the atmospheres will be at Miller Yezerski Gallery 9/5-10/21, opening reception 9/5, 6-8 PM. She’s also in the group show Forecaster: Eight Artists Explore the Nature of Climate Change at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360 (10/1-11/5, opening reception 10/9) and will have work in Walden, revisted at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (10/31-4/26).

Images: photo by Melissa Blackall Photography at Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Liz Nofziger: BOUNCE, July 24-October 15, 2014; detail of work by Deb Todd Wheeler.

Fellows Notes – Sep 14

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Back to school! Scantron days, #2 pencil nights. Here’s a knapsack’s-worth of news from MCC’s past Artist Fellows/Finalists.

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Stacey Alickman and Mary Bucci McCoy are exhibiting in the group show Ground Cover at Kingston Gallery in Boston (thru 9/28, opening reception 9/5, 5:30 PM.

Andrew Mowbray, Cristi Rinklin, Deb Todd Wheeler, and Joe Wardwell join Dana Clancy, Audrey Goldstein, John Guthrie, and curator Resa Blatman for the exhibition Forecasted: Eight Artists Explore the Nature of Climate Change at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360 (10/1-11/5, opening reception 10/9).

Vaughn Sills and Stephen Tourlentes are both exhibiting in Artadia’s 15th Anniversary Exhibition at Longhouse Projects in New York (9/13-10/25, opening reception 9/13, 5 PM).

Elizabeth Alexander was voted Boston’s Best Artist by the Improper Bostonian, and her work is in the group exhibition State of the Art at Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Arkansas (9/13-1/19/15), featuring over 100 contemporary artists “informed by the past, innovating with materials old and new, and engaging deeply with issues relevant to our times.”

Steve Almond has published a new nonfiction book, Against Football, and will have a number of reading events in the Boston area and beyond.

Ben Berman will read in the Newton Library Poetry Series (9/16).

Simeon Berry‘s poetry collection Monograph was among the winners of The National Poetry Series 2014 Open Competition. Denise Duhamel selected his book, to be published by University of Georgia Press.

Liza Bingham is exhibiting in siteChunks at room83Spring in Watertown (9/6-10/16, opening reception 9/20, 5-7 PM).

Georgie Friedman‘s solo exhibition Into the Wind is at Foster Gallery in Dedham 9/2-9/30, opening reception 9/11, 5-7 PM).

Christy Georg has work in the group exhibition Tools at Axle Contemporary in Santa Fe in September 2014. She was invited to a residency at De Fabriek in Eindhoven, the Netherlands in the spring of 2015.

Joel Janowitz has work in the group show Singularity: The Unique Print at the University Gallery at UMASS Lowell (9/3-9/30). He’ll give a talk, Singular and Generative: The Monotype Process 9/18, 3 PM, at the O’Leary Library, reception to follow at the gallery. He’s also participating in the South End Open Studios (9/20-9/21).

Joo Lee Kang has a solo exhibition, Troubled Paradise, at Gallery NAGA in Boston (9/2-10/4, opening reception 9/5, 6 PM).

Suzanne Matson‘s story, Your Best Yet, appeared in Harvard Review 45. Her story, Pie, is a new Ploughshares Solo, available as a Kindle Single. These new works are part of a collection of linked stories in progress.

Greg Mencoff has a solo exhibition, Chasing Artifacts, at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston 9/10-11/1, opening reception 9/25, 5:30 PM).

Nathalie Miebach‘s Three Pieces is at Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston (9/5-9/30). She also has a solo exhibition, The Weather is Turning Weird, at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA (9/16-1/4/15). She’ll be part of Sound / Sculpture at the Bowling Green State Willard Wankelman Gallery in Ohio (9/9-10/25). She’s part of the group exhibition State of the Art at Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Arkansas (9/13-1/19/15).

Liz Nofziger is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Boston Center for the Arts. BOUNCE, her mutant amplified pingpong table, is set up for play on the plaza at the BCA (thru 10/15).

Lynne Potts‘ book Porthole View, which was awarded the book prize by National Poetry Review Press has just been released. A second book, Mame, Sol, and Dog Bark is forthcoming from the same press.

Samuel Rowlett‘s work was featured on the cover of the Spring “Walking” issue of Toronto based arts quarterly, C Magazine.

Nancy Selvage has a solo exhibition, Forecast, at Boston Sculptors Gallery in (9/3-10/5, opening reception 9/7, 4-7 PM).

Deb Todd Wheeler‘s solo exhibition … in the atmospheres will be at Miller Yezerski Gallery 9/5-10/21, opening reception 9/5, 6-8 PM. She’s also in the group show Forecaster: Eight Artists Explore the Nature of Climate Change at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360 (10/1-11/5, opening reception 10/9) and will have work in Walden, revisted at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (10/31-4/26).

Evan Ziporyn has performances at Intersection in Toronto (9/5-9/7), including a special performance of In My Mind and In My Car, created with Christine Southworth. Read more about that project on ArtSake.

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

Image: painting by Liza Bingham, exhibiting this month at room83Spring in Watertown.

Fellows Notes – Jun 14

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

It’s June! Paper plate holders, baked bean mounds, and “picnic” (as a verb) are all emerging from their winter slumbers. Here are this sun-shiny month’s news and notes from MCC awardees.

At Gallery NAGA, Sophia Ainslie, Masako Kamiya, David Moore, and Randal Thurston join John Guthrie in the exhibition On the Wall, and Harold Reddicliffe has work in the group show Color Ways. Both shows run 6/6-7/11, opening reception 6/6, 6-8 PM.

Ben Berman, Marsha Pomerantz, and Anna Ross join Beth Woodcome Platow and Jacob Strautmann for a reading to celebrate the spring/summer issue of Salamander at Boston Playwrights Theatre (6/18, 7 PM).

A recent Off the Radar slideshow at Time.com features work by past MCC photography awardees Judith Black (1999), Cathy Griffin (1984), Sheron Rupp (1987), and Sage Sohier (1979).

Warner Friedman and Timothy Kadish are in a dual show at Clark Gallery in Lincoln (6/10-7/12).

Alexandra Anthony‘s documentary Lost in the Bewilderness will screen at the Ismailia International Film Festival in Egypt (6/4), followed by its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (6/7).

Steven Barkhimer is on a winning streak with his play Windowmen. Recent winner of an IRNE award, it also won a Norton Award in May 2014.

David Binder is using Kickstarter to raise funds for another installment in his Calling My Children Project.

Alice Bouvrie is crowdfunding to support her next documentary, about an MIT geologist and the complexities of gender identity.

Congratulations to Alissa Cardone, who was recently awarded a development grant by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Cynthia Consentino has a solo show, Reconfigurations, at A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, thru 6/29.

Jay Critchley had a staged reading, accompanied by a 9-piece orchestra, of his musical theater work Planet Snowvio, at UC Berkeley Art Museum (CA), in May.

Mary Jane Doherty‘s documentary Secundaria screens at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (6/18, 7:30 PM). A recent screening in San Francisco was written about in the Huffington Post.

Congratulations to Amy Dryansky, who won a Massachusetts Book Award for her poetry collection Grass Whistle.

Congratulations to Xujun Eberlein, whose essay “Clouds and Rain over Three Gorges” won American Literary Review’s nonfiction contest.

Steve Edwards published an essay, One Giant Cliché, in The Rumpus.

Georgie Friedman has work in the exhibition Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource at the El Paso Museum of Art (6/1-8/24). She recently gave the talk Capturing Weather in Video and Installation at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery.

In May, Jane Gillooly‘s nonfiction film Suitcase of Love and Shame screened at Festival EDOC in Quito, Ecuador and at DOCAVIV in Israel.

Raul Gonzalez III is featured, along with Elaine Bay, in New American Paintings.

A sonnet by Holly Guran along with a photo by Philip McAlary are published together in the online journal Postcard Poems and Prose.

Laura Harrington‘s musical version of her novel Alice Bliss will have a workshop at Playwrights Horizons in NYC in June.

Santiago Hernandez was awarded a 2014 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant by The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM). Recipients are awarded an unrestricted grant to support their work in painting and an exhibition in fall 2014 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

Joel Janowitz is presenting a watercolor workshop at the Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown (6/29-7/4) and a monotype workshop at MIXIT Studio in Somerville (7/19-7/22). Later this summer, he has a solo exhibition at gWatson Gallery in Stonington, Maine (8/1-8/23).

Congratulations to Ann Kim, who won a Moving Image Fund Grant from the LEF Foundation.

Scott Listfield co-curated and has work in the exhibition Lost Moment at Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco (6/28-7/19, opening reception 6/28 7-10 PM). He is profiled by FLUX.Boston founder Elizabeth Devlin in the June issue of Juxtapoz.

Holly Lynton has a solo exhibition, Holly Lynton: Pioneer Valley at the Miller Yezerski Gallery (5/23-7/1, opening reception 6/6).

In May, Michael Mack performed his one-man-show at Virginia Theological Seminary, the largest accredited Episcopal Seminary in the world. The Washington Post covered the event with a Metro Section feature story.

Rania Matar has photography in group exhibitions in Bangkok (Thailand) and Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Her solo show Ordinary Lives is on view at The Arab American National Museum in Detroit (thru 8/31).

Caitlin McCarthy has been honored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association with a Human and Civil Rights Award for her activism around DES awareness.

Mary Bucci McCoy and her work were featured on the 365 Artists 365 Days blog.

Vanessa Michalak has a solo show, Everything I Ever Wanted at FOLK Gallery in Kittery, Maine (opening reception 6/6, 5-8 PM).

Nathalie Miebach has work in the exhibition Synergy: Ocean Stories at the New Bedford Art Museum (6/27-9/12).

Liz Nofziger will be in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts this Summer to make BOUNCE, an amplified overgrown ping-pong table to play around the clock on the plaza.

Monica Raymond‘s mini-eco-opera Paper or Plastic (for which she wrote the libretto) is being featured on Atlanta Fringe Audio Festival (thru 6/8). She has visual art in Raise the Roof, an art show of faculty and students of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (thru 6/6). Finally, she’s been selected to participate in the Composer/Librettist Workshop sponsored by Nautilus Music Theater in St. Paul Minnesota (5/24-6/9) and two of her short music theater pieces will be performed as part of the theater’s Rough Cuts series (6/9-6/10).

Evelyn Rydz‘s solo exhibition at MFA Boston (thru 11/14) is featured in Temporary Land Bridge.

Mitch Ryerson was recently was awarded the Spirit Award from the Maude Morgan Art Center in Cambridge.

Peter Snoad‘s play Orbiting Mars will receive a third staged reading on June 7 – this time by Reston Community Players in Herndon, VA as part of its New Play Project. A spoof on militarism and celebrity culture, the play tells the story of a community theater company’s desperate attempt to win a statewide contest by casting the Roman God, Mars, as the lead in a Noel Coward comedy.

Tracy Heather Strain and Randall MacLowry have launched a Kickstarter campaign to support their Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project, running through 6/20.

Congratulations to Grace Talusan, who won the 2014 Dorothy O’Connor Award from the Boston Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. She’ll read from her winning essay, “Angelina Jolie (and I) Will Have Another Preventive Surgery,” at Newtonville Books (6/4, 6:30 PM).

Joe Wardwell has a solo show, Party Over, at LaMontagne Gallery in Boston (thru 7/19).

Debra Weisberg gave a talk at MIT’s Department of Architecture in March, as part of the Spring 2014 Computation Lecture Series. She’ll be giving a shortened version of this talk at the Computational Making Workshop of the Sixth International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (6/21) at University College London.

Elizabeth Whyte Schulze was in the show Considering The Kylix at Peter’s Valley Craft Center Gallery in April and May. She’ll be showing at Marywood University in Scranton, PA in September.

Michael Zelehoski is now represented by the Michael Weiss Gallery. He’s created a site specific installation at the Gallery to coincide with the exhibition Suckerpunch by Joe Fleming.

One of our favorite Fellows Notes of all time: Evan Ziporyn and the “Bang on a Can” group that he co-founded appear in an episode of Arthur! (He’s the clarinet-playing dog.)

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

Image: Nathalie Miebach, SOLAR BEGINNINGS (2008), Reed, wood, weather data collected on Cape Cod, 56x66x27 in.

Fellows Notes – Apr 14

Monday, March 31st, 2014

No foolin’! Here’s the April news & notes from past MCC fellows/finalists.

Three MCC awardees are showing films in the 2014 Boston Cinema Census at the Brattle Theatre (4/10, 8 PM): Kimberly Forero-Arnias (Hay Algo Y Se Va), Cristina Kotz Cornejo (Buena Fe), and Robert Todd (LOVESONG).

Elizabeth Alexander has a solo show, Mary Mary, at Jane Deering Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA (thru 4/26).

Alexandra Anthony‘s documentary film Lost in the Bewilderness was part of the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Rick Ashley‘s photography is included in Fall Back, Spring Forward: Photography in New England, curated by Francie Weiss, as part of the Flash Forward Festival Boston in May. The exhibition is at the Photographic Resource Center and runs 4/29-5/17, opening reception 5/1, 6-9 PM.

Steven Barkhimer‘s play Windowmen was produced in Oct/Nov at Boston Playwrights Theatre and is receiving a David Mark Cohen award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Best Play. The production has been nominated for 5 local awards by the Independent Reviewers of New England (ceremony 4/7), including Best New Play of 2013 and Best Play of 2013.

Ben Berman will read poetry as part of the Mr. Hip Presents Reading Series at UFORGE Gallery in Jamaica Plain (4/26, 6-8:30), along with Gail Mazur, Jamaal May, LaTasha Diggs, Zachary Bos, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Jason Rotstein, and Amber Rose Johnson. He’ll also be taking part in the Massachusetts Poetry Festival (5/2-5/4) in Salem, MA, and was shortlisted for a Mass Book Award for his poetry collection Strange Borderlands.

Rebecca Doughty is exhibiting in a two-person show, Rarefied at the Simmons College Trustman Gallery (4/22-5/30, reception & artist talk 4/30, 5-7 PM).

Holly Guran will have two poems displayed at Boston City Hall as part of a project by The Mayor’s Prose & Poetry Program focusing on the Boston Marathon bombing.

Robbie Heidinger has a solo exhibition, Ceramic Installation by Robbie Heidinger at the Williston Northampton School Grubb Gallery (thru 5/11, artist talk & demonstration 5/7, 1 PM).

Cathy Jacobowitz will give a talk, titled “How I Set Out to Write About the Revolution, and How It Changed Me,” at the Lucy Parsons Center in Jamaica Plain on 5/3, 3 PM. She’ll read from and sign copies of her recent novel, The One-Way Rain.

Lisa Kessler‘s solo show In the Pink will exhibit at Danforth Art 4/6-6/15. An artist talk and reception takes place 4/6, 4 PM.

Fred H.C. Liang has a solo show, Ripples Beyond Singularity, at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, 4/2-5/31, reception 4/4 5:30-7:30 PM.

Scott Listfield is exhibiting in a three person show, Face. Space. Place. at Visionspace Gallery in Lynn (opening 4/12, 6 PM), and he’ll be participating in the Somerville Open Studios (5/3-5/4). Elsewhere in the country, he’s part of two San Francisco group shows, UNIVERSE at Modern Eden Gallery (4/12-5/3) and Space//Squared at White Walls Gallery (5/10-6/7), and is featured in two exhibitions from Gallery 1988 in L.A., the 10th anniversary exhibition (4/11-4/26), and the traveling Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Art Show. Finally, he’s updated his Web site and recently began selling two prints through The People’s Printshop.

Melinda Lopez‘s new play Becoming Cuba is being produced by the Huntington Theatre Campany at the Calderwood Pavilion/BCA, thru 5/3.

Congratulations to Matthew Mazzotta, whose public art project Open House won a Architizer A+ Award (Jury Award for Architecture + Urban Transformation).

Mary Bucci McCoy has a solo exhibition at Kingston Gallery, 4/2-4/27, reception 4/4, 5:30-8 PM.

Nathalie Miebach (along with Jane Marsching and Marina Mangubi) is exhibiting in The Observant Eye at the Wheaton College Beard and Weil Gallery (thru 4/16). She has a solo show of new and older work at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, That Link Between Ocean and Land thru 5/4. Her work can be seen at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport (T North Concourse) in Flight Pattern thru April 2015. She recently finished a residency at the Oxbow School in Napa, CA and is speaking at the at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University on 4/10 as part of their lecture series “Polar Perspectives on Art and Science.”

Monica Raymond‘s monologue play, Martina’s Story, was performed as part of She Speaks, a festival of women’s monologues, in Kitchener, Ontario (3/29). Monica also has photographs in a group show at the Cambridge Community Television offices, showing thru 4/17.

Nick Rodrigues is among the artists in the exhibition The Departed at The Distillery Gallery in South Boston, thru 4/7.

Evelyn Rydz will have a solo exhibition, Evelyn Rydz: Forever Yours at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston 4/19-9/14. New works for the exhibition were created as part of a Hawaii residency when Evelyn was awarded the prestigious Traveling Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, in 2012.

Congratulations to Karen Skolfield, whose poetry collection Frost in the Low Areas won a 2014 PEN/New England Award.

Congratulations to Tracy Heather Strain and Randall MacLowry, whose Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Later this month, the project will launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Deb Todd Wheeler‘s collaborative project Chromatic Energy Mirror is part of the exhibition Surge at Babson College’s Hollister Gallery (thru 5/20).

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

Image: still image from LOST IN THE BEWILDERNESS, a documentary film by Alexandra Anthony.

How Do Social, Environmental, & Political Issues Impact Your Art?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Many artists approach social issues, the environment, and/or politics not only as themes to explore but also areas to effect change, which has implications for the role of the artist in society.

We asked a group of artists in different disciplines, How do social, environmental, and political issues impact your work and role as an artist?

Raul Gonzalez, visual artist
When I first came to the Boston area twelve years ago I immediately began to search for places where I felt I could participate. I found friends working in music, comic books, gallery artists, art directors, writers, future curators, basically young kids who in time began to make strides in the area. I worked as an artist who would draw fliers, illustrate books, participate in coffee shop shows and eventually this somehow lead to gallery and museum exhibitions. Participation in the social lead to so many opportunities that I never thought I would or could be a part of.

My work is a reflection of the world that I actively participate in, whether it’s something close to home or news and events from afar. The series “Lookum Here: it might could have been” simultaneously reflected on the dehumanization of Native Americans and the dehumanized detainees of Guantanamo using symbols both old and new. Most recently my work has reflected circumstances of the border towns I grew up in.

The environment is always present in my work, hot sun bleaching away the colors of the piece itself or threatening the lives of the characters as they bake under it desperately searching for salvation. These are ofttimes created under layers of clothing from my vitamin d deprived body in near isolation while most everyone is in deep slumber, and the funny part is you can make it all up and it becomes true anyway.

Ginger Lazarus, playwright
Burning, my latest play, is probably the most political I’ve ever written but it began from a personal place. I wanted to write a version of Cyrano de Bergerac, one of my favorite love stories, with a lesbian as the main character. She turned out to be ex-Army, kicked out under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and suddenly I found myself confronting the horrible truth about the persecution of queer service members, sexual assault in the military, and the culture of silence that has kept these crimes out of the light. Once I stepped into those waters, I couldn’t not write the play, even though it terrified me. I committed to telling this story as truthfully as I could, for the sake of the people who suffered, endured, or perished in similar circumstances. At the same time, it’s still a love story, intimate and personal.

In real life, I don’t take a very active role in politics or social activism. But I must have my head in the world somehow, because it always works its way in. I start out writing about a couple having a fight, and all of a sudden it’s about 9/11. Yet still really about a relationship. That’s where politics play out in my work.

Kenji Nakayama, sign painter
I’ve been living in Boston for the last nine years. My first job was at a sign shop in the South End. At the time, a homeless woman asked me to make her a professional-looking sign. She was selling wares at Park Street station and wanted to improve her business. I wasn’t able to help her at that workshop, but I wanted to. I started the Signs for the Homeless project partly because of her request years earlier, and in part because I want to amplify voices of the homeless above the street level. The project is about humanizing the homeless and allowing for their stories to be told. The aim of the project is to bring awareness to homelessness and the complicated issues surrounding it.

Danielle Legros Georges, poet
Most, if not all, artists I feel are affected by the social, environmental and political events around them — and reflect these, or address what is missing or perhaps more generally inconceivable around them. The visual artist Fritz Ducheine speaks of being a projector: I don’t forge the image. The image comes to me and I project it. His statement for me addresses inspiration, and stands alongside the idea of the artist as individual genius. It indirectly speaks to the notion of community as source of creation. His image comes from some larger field, moves through him, and goes back out into the world. It’s a beautiful loop. Ducheine is a Haitian immigrant, as am I. As such, my life has been deeply marked by political factors, including a U.S.-backed Haitian dictatorship which forced my family along with so many others to repatriate. I have written many poems about Haitian identity and the troublesome representations of Haiti in the U.S. from my position as an artist of the Haitian diaspora. Toni Morrison writes of the violence that is oppressive language, and the limits it places on knowledge. I often wrestle with such language; and find myself engaging in linguistic experiments, attempting to create new visions, or recuperate hidden or buried sources of knowledge. At the end of the day I’m interested in social justice – especially as it pertains to black people, people of color, and women of color — and I am interested in rigorous and serious and beautiful art.

 

Danielle Legros Georges, author of the book of poems Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001), will read Thursday, November 21, 7 PM, with George Kalogeris as parts of the Rozzie Reads Poetry series in the Community Room at the Roslindale House.

Work by Raul Gonzalez is showing at the University of New Hampshire Museum of Art in Wake Up Call: Recent Work by Raul Gonzalez III and Elaine Bay through December 8, 2013.

Ginger Lazarus is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose most recent play, “Burning,” was performed at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in October 2013.

Kenji Nakayama‘s hand-painted signs were recently in the exhibition Steady Work at Space Gallery in Portland, ME.

Image: Raul Gonzalez, BORN AGAIN (2011) coffee, pencil, Bic pen, acrylic wash and fluid acrylic, 45×45 in.

Fellows Notes – Oct 13

Monday, September 30th, 2013

As Autumn marches on and becomes increasingly, well, autumnal, take a minute to read the latest news from MCC’s past and present Fellows/Finalists.

Still Life Lives! at Fitchburg Art Museum includes work by Matthew Gamber, Mary Kocol, Catherine McCarthy, Mary O’Malley, Shelley Reed, Janet Rickus, Evelyn Rydz, Tara Sellios, Randal Thurston, and Deb Todd Wheeler, among other artists. The exhibition runs through 1/12.

Sachiko Akiyama has a solo show, On Finding Home, at the University of Maine Museum of Art 10/4-1/4.

Rick Ashley gave a spotlight talk at the recent Danforth Art Fall Open House about his “Michael” series of photographs (some of which he submitted to win his MCC Fellowship).

Steven Barkhimer‘s play Windowmen (an early version of which he submitted for his MCC grant), will run at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre 10/31-11/24.

Ben Berman joins Robert Pinsky, Elisabeth Carter, and Gregory Lawless for a poetry reading on 10/6, 3 PM, at Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall Commons in Waltham.

Sarah Bliss is one of six moving-images artists awarded a monthlong residency in rural Scotland, sponsored by the Alchemy Film Festival. She’ll be working with Scottish sound artist James Wyness to document and record the cultural and environmental landscapes of the Tweed River Valley.

Prilla Smith Brackett recently took part in Hyde Park Open Studios. Also, two monoprints from her “Wellspring” Suite have been acquired by the Worcester Art Museum.

Seamus Connolly was honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. as a National Heritage Fellow.

Rosalyn Driscoll‘s work, Generation, a collaborative installation with Czech filmmaker Tereza Stehlikova, will show at GV Art Gallery in London, (thru 10/5)

Jane Gillooly‘s film Suitcase of Love and Shame will screen at the MFA Boston 10/12, 3 PM.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Graver whose novel The End of the Point is on National Book Awards Longlist for Fiction.

Conley Harris received a Visual Art Residency at the Sanskriti Foundation for artists and writers in New Delhi, India, where he’ll be painting for the month of October.

Wendy Jehlen‘s solo dance work Lilith received a great review in Boston’s Weekly Dig.

Sarah Malakoff has published a new monograph of her photographs, Second Nature, and has a solo exhibition at Miller Yezerski Gallery (10/25-12/21, opening reception/book signing on 11/1, 6-8 PM).

Ilana Manolson‘s latest show, Flow, is at Clark Gallery 10/8-11/2. In addition to oil paintings, the show contains a series of large one-of-a-kind prints made this summer in Venice.

Brendan Mathews wrote a guest post about things he’s learned as a writing teacher, for the Ploughshares blog.

Caitlin McCarthy‘s television pilot script Pass/Fail is a quarter-finalist in the 2013 Final Draft Big Break Contest. Pass/Fail was also recently a finalist in the NYTVF’s first annual Voice and Vision: The NBC Drama Challenge.

Nathalie Miebach will have work in the 25th Anniversary of the Visual Arts Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island (10/1-10/30), a celebration of artists who have won the award. She’ll also be showing at Climate Art: New Ways of Seeing Data (10/11-11/27) at the IMC Lab in New York City as part of the Marfa Dialogue series on Climate Change.

Kathryn Ramey was recently featured in an article in the Roslindale Transcript.

Matt Rich is in a group show investigating the intersection of painterly abstraction and the object at the Columbus College of Art and Design (10/11-1/10).

Susan Rivo has launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for her film Left on Pearl, running through 10/25. Read a Cambridge Chronicle article about the project.

Jieun Shin is in the group show System Preferences at SCA Contemporary Art in Albuquerque, NM (thru 11/1).

Leslie Sills will have her sculpture, Blue Hill Boy, published in 500 Ceramic Figures (Lark Publications, February 2014).

Peter Jay Shippy reads with Joshua Weiner as part of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series (10/28, 8 PM).

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

Image: Sachiko Akiyama, DREAM OF BIRDS (2003), polychromed wood, 37x16x19 in.

Studio Views: Susan J. Champeny

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Artist Susan J. Champeny is busy preparing her ReinCARnation Hubcap Lily Pads public art installation for the Art in the Park in Elm Park, Worcester MA, July 25-October 13.

We asked Susan to participate in a “Studio Views” post – recognizing that the “studio” for a work of public art can be decidedly exterior. Here, she shares a journal of the making of the original version of this project (re-published with permission from the artist’s web site).

ReinCARnation had a maiden voyage as part of the Art on the Beltline exhibit in Atlanta GA last fall. It used 63 recycled hubcaps, the maximum that fit in my car for the 1200-mile drive. Half of the hubcaps did not survive the journey, but for a good reason! I gave them to generous folks willing to give Gas Grants to cover the cost of transporting the sculpture to/from Atlanta.


Aug 25: Setting out from Worcester MA. In my Honda fit: Sue, Chris, 63 hubcaps, floatation, canoe, first aid kit, anchors, waders, guitar.


Aug 29: The crew assembled at 8 AM in the Publix Supermarket parking lot. Elan and Jenny, both Beltline employees, cleared the 6 foot high brush with machetes.


I laid out tarps and zip-tied the hubcap lily pads together. Then I climbed in my canoe to receive the artwork.


Jenny, Yvonne, and Chantelle (Light Parade artist) dragged the tarps full of hubcaps down the 10 foot embankment into the water.


I towed the lily pads into place and tied off the anchors. Getting the weights (laundry bottles full of 40 lbs of sand) out of the canoe without tipping over was a challenge! The entire thing, including brush clearing, took 4.5 hours to complete.


Aug 31: while photographing the lily pads, I zoomed in on an annoying leaf – only to discover it was a FROG! The Hubcap Lily Pads are now successfully occupied by wildlife.

Now I am re-building the sculpture for Elm Park — bigger and better. I am feverishly working to prepare the sculpture to go into the water for the Thursday July 25th installation: washing over 100 recycled hubcaps, painting them bright orange and hot pink, and adding pool noodles underneath for flotation. This new edition will sport 20 hubcaps from the original installation and another 60-80 foraged from the streets of Worcester last winter.

ReinCARnation Hubcap Lily Pads will be on exhibit July 25-October 13, 2013 at Elm Park as part of Art in the Park Worcester. You can watch the installation Thursday July 25 9AM-12PM. Opening is Saturday July 27, 5-8 PM. There will be an Artist Talk Thursday, August 1, 2013, 5:30-6:30 PM.

Susan Champeny (susanchampeny.com) graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Fine Arts, with a major in Printmaking. She quickly found employment as a graphic designer, and worked in the field of commercial art for 20 years. While working in the corporate world, she continued to paint and create fine art. In 2006, she changed careers and is now a Fine Artist, painting full-time. Her business plan is based on three principles: have fun, create, and travel.

Images: all images courtesy of Susan J. Champeny, photos by D. Christine Benders.

Artists Among Us: Fellows at the Fine Arts Work Center

Monday, July 8th, 2013

 


Nathalie Miebach, O FORTUNA – SANDY SPINS (2013), reed, wood, rope, bamboo, weather data, 12x12x30 in

Support for artists can mean a lot of things, but it generally boils down to money, time, and/or space. On the money side of things, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) supports artists with unrestricted grants to Massachusetts artists through our Artist Fellowships. The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, an organization funded by several of MCC’s grant programs, supports artists by offering (among other things) time and space: seven-month residency fellowships that gives artists the space and time to advance their artistic practice.

This month, FAWC is presenting an exhibition of artists this month featuring artists supported, during their careers, by both FAWC and MCC Fellowships. Curated by Daniel Ranalli, the exhibition features Linda Bond, Nathalie Miebach, Jim Peters, and Nicky Tavares.

The exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awards to FAWC Fellows: The Importance of Artists Among Us, is in conjunction with FAWC’s 4th annual Summer Awards on Saturday, July 13, 2013, this year being given to Governor Deval Patrick to honor his support of the arts in Massachusetts. Past awardees include Tony Kushner, Michael Cunningham, and Mary Oliver.


Stills from YOUR FOOT IN MINE by Nicky Tavares (2013), 16mm loop installation, foot prints, glue, rose petals, tape, dust & lint


Jim Peters, MOTHER AND CHILD AT THE MOTEL (2007), oil on canvas, wax, wire, wood 25x18x5 in


Linda Bond, a detail from A COUNT (2012), gunpowder fingerprints on gauze bandages, 9x4x30 ft

The exhibition is open to the public July 14 through 26. More info: http://www.fawc.org/events/index.php


Nathalie Miebach, IN THE SHADOW OF A GIANT (2013), 32x32x25 in

Fellows Notes – Jul 13

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Some news from MCC’s past fellows/finalists, to read by the light of the rockets red glare.

Massachusetts Cultural Council Awards to FAWC Fellows: The Importance of Artists Among Us, an exhibition featuring Linda Bond, Nathalie Miebach, Jim Peters, and Nicky Tavares, curated by Daniel Ranalli, is at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown this month. The exhibition is in conjunction with FAWC’s 4th annual Summer Awards on Saturday, July 13, 2013, this year being given to Governor Deval Patrick to honor his support of the arts in Massachusetts. It will be open to the public 7/14-7/26.

Keiko Hiromi, Tara Sellios, and Frank Ward are among the artists selected for the 2013 Exposure exhibition at the Photographic Resource Center.

Liz Duffy Adams‘s play A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World is premiering at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown WV, July 3–28. Read an article about the premiere.

Elizabeth Alexander‘s installation Keeping Up Appearances version #3 premiered in Ellipses: Alumni Works in 3D, Mass Art’s 2nd Biennial Juried Alumni Exhibition, at Bakalar Gallery at Mass Art thru 7/15. Her solo show Double Impatiens is at the Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery at Montserrat College of Art thru 8/3, reception/artist talk on 7/18, 4-6 PM.

Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro will workshop her new play Mammal Heat for two weeks this month (7/10-7/21), followed by a public reading, as part of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows Program.

Steven Bogart‘s collaborative painting/musical exhibition Ten Paintings Ten Songs is at at Bromfield Gallery 7/31-8/24.

Lou Bunk‘s piece “Being and Becoming” for toy piano and electronics is being released on a CD through Innova Recordings, late 2013/early 2014.

Congratulations to Cheryl Clark Vermeulen, named a finalist for Snowbound Chapbook Award by Tupelo Press.

Shawn Cody‘s musical theatre work Water Dream will be part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, featuring Anthony Rapp (Rent), 7/10-7/11.

Caleb Cole‘s solo exhibition Other People’s Clothes is at Drift Gallery in Portsmouth, NH (7/12-8/18). In recent months, his work has been featured online at Wired.com, PetaPixel, PDN Photo of the Day, and Pictureline, and he took part in a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Patrick Donnelly has won a $22,000.00 U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program award, which will fund a 3-month residency in Japan during 2014.

Rebecca Doughty‘s new drawings are exhibited in Ink at Davis Orton Gallery thru 7/28.

Zehra Khan & Tim Winn have an installation exhibition, Holding Hands Running at artSTRAND, thru 7/17.

Henriette Lazaridis Power reads from her new novel The Clover House at Uxbridge High School auditorium (with Marjan Kamli and Chris Castellani, 7/17, 7 PM) and at the Boston Public Library (with Thomas Van Essen, 7/30, 6 PM). Full events schedule.

Tara Masih edited The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays, and the collection has received four prestigious honors: it won the Skipping Stones Honor Award, was a runner-up in the New England Book Festival contest, won a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association, and won a Silver Medal in ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards.

Mary O’Malley has work in Beyond Borders, Walker Contemporary’s inaugural show at their new space in Vermont. Also, Tangent at 13 Forest Gallery, runs thru 7/5.

Monica Raymond wrote the libretto for a new mini “eco-opera,” Paper or Plastic, debuting in a concert performance as part of American Repertory Theater’s participation in the Out of the Box Festival, at 7/17 (noon) at Boston Common. The opera will also be performed at Cambridge Center for Adult Education 7/18, 8 PM, sponsored by the Cambridge Arts Council.

Congratulations to Evelyn Rydz, who was selected from a group of 10 traveling fellows for a solo presentation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) 4/19/14-10/26/14.

Carolyn Shadid Lewis is exhibiting her multimedia installation Seams at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Ireland, opening 7/11-8/11. The project was developed during the Centre’s Artist-in-Residence Programme.

Marguerite White is among the artists in Drawing Connections: 23rd Drawing Show at Boston Center for the Arts, 7/12-9/22, reception 7/12, 6-8 PM.

Elizabeth Whyte Schulze has work in Celebrating the Art of Sculpture, at the Barn Workshop in Danvers, thru 9/13.

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

Image: animation still from SEAMS by Carolyn Shadid Lewis.