Archive for the ‘environmental art’ Category

Artist’s Voice: Deb Todd Wheeler

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

One of the exhibiting artsts, Deb Todd Wheeler (MCC awardee in ’15, ’11, ’03) blends photography, sculpture, mixed media, and installation in her ongoing project in the atmospheres. Here is more about the project, in the artist’s own words.

imposters

In this atmosphere, an atmosphere that scuba divers call 1 bar (101325 pa of pressure), we breathe the air, a perfect mixture of gases that we instinctually suck into our bodies… it’s our atmosphere, and we inhabit it and fill it with our expulsions: the things we shed, we expel, expunge…

searching

Off and away… a scream, an emotion, things we are done with, byproducts of living, of productivity… the residue of making…

walden under

Extra chemicals, turpentine, wrappers, fumes, all that stuff we want to disappear, and leave us with the treasure we made…

imposters still

By-products be gone! Evaporate into the other atmospheres, up or down the drain, flushed away into the vast and uninhabitable depths of space and sea… but you know the planet’s cycles spit it all right back at us.. oceans return flotsam to the shores, evaporated liquids rain back down – nothing is truly gone forever, nothing dissipates into thin air… it’s just not true. It will always return to us, eventually absorb back into our bodies, tangible hauntings of our own productivity….

deb todd underwater

See more at:
MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres
September 18-October 17, 2015 (opening reception on Friday, September 18, 2015 from 7-9 PM)
New Art Center, 61 Washington Park in Newtonville, MA

Images: all images courtesy of Deb Todd Wheeler.

Vintage Vinyl Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

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Poetry Entries are now being accepted for the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award is given annually to a woman poet over 40 years of age who has not published a book in any genre. The winner receives $1,000; publication in Voices From the Attic, the university’s literary journal; and round-trip transportation and lodging to give a reading at Carlow University with this year’s judge, Lynn Emanuel. Learn more.
Deadline: September 5, 2015

Media Art The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and Boston Cyberarts are issuing the fifteenth call for media art to display on the Marquee at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. They are looking for 30-second videos, animations, or computer-generated motion works by Massachusetts artists that push the creative limits of this 80-foot, seven-screen, three-sided LED sculpture. Learn more.
Deadline: September 7, 2015 (midnight)

Short Films Boston Open Screen, an open mic for film, encourages local filmmakers to bring their short films to screen at the next event at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Boston Open Screen will play any film on the big screen as long as it’s 10 minutes or under. More info and tech specs on the Facebook page.
September 8, 2015, 7-10 PM

Public Artists, Designers, Data Visualizers, Environmentalists Applications are now being considered for an Energy Feedback Sculpture at Harvard University. Selected applicants will be awarded funding to develop proposals to be considered for a major public art installation on campus. Learn more.
Deadline: September 14, 2015

Studios at MASS MoCA The Studios at MASS MoCA, a new program from Assets for Artists, offers two professional development tracks: artists can apply for self-directed professional development residencies of 1-4 weeks in length, and/or enroll in week-long “workshops-in-residence” with individual studio space and housing complemented by instructor-led programming. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Learn more.
Deadline: September 14, 2015

Glass Artists The Workhouse Arts Center (WAF) has announced a call for entries for its 1st Annual Workhouse Glass National Exhibition 2015,  for functional and/or sculptural glass artworks. The juror is Maurine Littleton. Learn more.
Deadline: September 16, 2015

Crafts Artists Entries are now being accepted for the annual Smithsonian Craft Show,  a juried exhibition and sale of contemporary American crafts and design.  Artists are selected on the basis of the originality, artistic conception, and quality of their work. Learn more.
Deadline: September 20, 2015

Amherst/Pioneer Valley Writers Calling all writers in the Greater Amherst/Pioneer Valley region: Luminarium Dance’s “Amherst Storybook Project” is in its final stage. Using artwork from local artists, the company has created 12 fanciful images for a new children’s storybook. Writers are asked to choose an image, and write a poem or short story inspired by the scene. Submissions are completely free, and writers are welcome to submit as many entries as they wish. One submission per image will ultimately be chosen to be printed alongside the artwork in the final book, which will debut at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on November 8th. See images, learn more, and submit writing here.
Deadline: September 25, 2015, 5 PM

Dissertation Fellowships in American Art Applications are now being accepted for the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art designated for graduate students in any stage of PhD dissertation research or writing. Stipend: $25,000, plus up to $2,000 as a travel allowance.
Learn more.
Deadline: October 21, 2015

Nominate a Jazz Master Fellowships of up to $25,000 are awarded to living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including the jazz community. The NEA encourages nominations of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. Nominees must demonstrate significant contribution to the art form through their body of work in the field of jazz. Learn more.
Deadline: December 31, 2015

Image credit: Original image, via Smithsonian Libraries, from Academy sketches (1877).

Fellows Notes – Aug 15

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

As our Artist Fellowships turn 40, here’s the current news of the awards’ recent and past recipients.

Still from THE EMPTY SIGN, film-in-progress by Kathryn Ramey

Watch 40 Years of Fellowships videos featuring Diane Arvanites & Tommy Neblett, Niho Kozuru, Melinda Lopez, and Rania Matar.

Mark Cooper and Joo Lee Kang are both exhibiting at the Seattle Art Fair, as part of the Samson Gallery.

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Sandra Allen‘s drawing Warrior is exhibiting in the Minneapolis Institute of Art Michael Graves Stairwell (thru 7/2016). She was recently included in the group show Land and Sea at Danese/Corey Gallery in NYC.

Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness was screened for the closing night event at the International Classics Conference Time & Space in Greek Myth and Religion at the University of Patras, Greece, in July. It also screened in the Independent Film Festival of Bogota in July. As part of that festival, the filmmaker did a master class at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University called “Women Behind the Lens.”

Denise Bergman was interviewed by Mass Poetry about her poetry book A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea.

Nancy Berlin is exhibiting paintings and drawings this summer in Line as Structure or Continuation at Causey Contemporary in New York. She was recently in Cape Whale at SEA Space Gallery in Provincetown and had drawings as well in Appearances at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, as part of the Eco-Arts Festival.

Poems by Kristin Bock were recently published in Apercus Quarterly.

Vico Fabbris is exhibiting work at Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown (8/20-9/9). He will also teach a workshop, “Exploring Drawing & Mixed Media,” at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (8/24-8/28).

D.M. Gordon was Mass Poetry’s July Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight.

Zehra Khan is exhibiting a series of drawings on bed sheets and blankets at artSTRAND Gallery in Provincetown (8/7-8/26). She recently designed the 2015 Swim for Life! logo.

Colleen Kiely‘s painting Beau (Skyward) was included in the exhibition Faces at Post Office Gallery in North Truro, MA, in July.

Holly Lynton‘s in among the artists in The Disrupted Landscape at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 8/14).

Congratulations to Randall MacLowry, who received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the documentary The Mine Wars.

Ilana Manolson is included in the group show Images of Grief and Healing at the Maud Morgan Arts Chandler Gallery (8/10-9/1).

Greer Muldowney curated the group exhibition Landscape as Fetish at Gallery Kayafas.

Congratulations to Kathryn Ramey, who received a LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund Pre-Production Grant for a new film project about the history of US involvement in Puerto Rico.

Pat Shannon is exhibiting in VILLISSIMA! Des artistes et des villes, curated by Guillaume Monsaingeon, at the Hôtel des Arts, Toulon France (thru 9/27).

Linda K. Wertheimer‘s book Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance will have its book launch 8/18, 7 PM, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. She’ll also be reading at Tewksbury Public Library (8/25, 7 PM).

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

Image: still from THE EMPTY SIGN, film-in-progress by Kathryn Ramey.

Megan and Murray McMillan: This Land is a Ship at Sea

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The Isles Arts Initiative (IAI) is a series of series of exhibitions, site-responsive installations, events, and performances on and around the Boston Harbor Islands, in Summer 2015.

The Boston Harbor Islands are a National Park that reflect natural splendor and historical importance – as well as the pressing implications of climate change. In their work for the IAI, artists Megan and Murray McMillan make use of the region’s complex identity, exploring its rich local history as well as the contemporary urgency of rising seas.

Megan and Murray are creating a site-responsive installation on Georges Island for Cove (opening 7/11), will project their work This Land is a Ship at Sea on the exterior wall of WGBH Boston studio over Mass Pike (7/16, all day), and will exhibit in 34 at Boston Sculptors Gallery (opening 7/26).

We asked the artists, a married couple who have been collaborating since 2002, about their unique path as artists working at the cross-section of many disciplines.

Still from THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake You’ve created a remarkably wide range of work, and I’m curious about your process. Is there a consistent trajectory that a new work of yours tends to follow?
Megan and Murray: We usually begin with a specific location or material resource that forms the backbone of the project. Sometimes, this comes through a commission or curatorial invitation to work with an unusual location for filming, like with This Land is a Ship at Sea, the project we shot in Fort Warren on Georges Island, or In What Distant Sky, which we filmed in the coal bin of the former boiler plant building at MASS MoCA. Other times, the work might begin when we acquire a unique material resource, like 150 cardboard tubes (The Listening Array) or two truck-loads of industrial plastic conduit (What We Loved and Forgot). In either case, we look for the architecture or the set elements to represent metaphorical properties that intersect with whatever narrative we’re designing.

We think of our short videos as sort of visual tone poems – employing elements of space and choreography and performance to evoke ideas that are difficult to articulate in words: what does it mean when two people inflate a military parachute in a field of construction laser levels in a former military prison on an island that’s sinking into the harbor? Can the parachute become the island? Can the laser lines become the markers for the rising sea levels?

ArtSake: How would you describe your work to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
Megan and Murray: We make sculptural sets for short videos which performers activate in an object-centered choreography. These videos are then shown in related installations that often use elements of the original set.

Click for larger image - still from THE SHIFTING SPACE AROUND US by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: A recent project in Toronto (The Shifting Space Around Us – image, above) struck me as a departure for you in its focus on live performance. What (if anything) surprised you about the experience?
Megan and Murray: We started working together in 2002 and for the first four years of our collaboration, we exclusively made performance installations for live audiences, so the project in Toronto was actually a throw-back to an older way of working for us. We switched to filmed performances in 2006 in part because the spaces we wanted to work in were challenging for bringing in audiences (The Stepping Up and Going Under Method in 2006 was filmed in and around the conveyer belt in an abandoned former paint factory). The project for Nuit Blanche in Toronto was an opportunity to work with a massive audience (1.5 million people) while using an incredibly unique architectural space: a fully functional roundhouse turntable. We decided to try to incorporate both modes of working by doing a live film shoot during the dusk-to-dawn festival. What surprised us was how challenging it was to simultaneously address the needs of a live audience with the needs of a film shoot.

ArtSake: Scale plays a fascinating role in your work. The sets and sculptures you build are often large-scale and expansive, yet there’s something intimate and personal both in the content and in the way viewers tend to experience the work in a gallery setting. Is scale something you intentionally explore?
Megan and Murray: Yes, definitely, scale is a major consideration in our work. We are always looking for the affective quality of the spaces: for what a site or the set elements within that site can evoke emotionally that speaks to the human condition. For the project we filmed in the Boiler Plant, one property of that location is that it’s been partially remediated, so the roof has been removed and the building is open to the elements – which meant we could bring in a camera track and have it move up through the levels of the building. That vertical camera movement reminded us of the composition of traditional Japanese hanging scrolls, which opened up a whole range of possibilities for the development of the video narrative.

The scale of the architecture became a vehicle for the intimate human narrative that happens as the camera moves through the building. We are always trying to find that blend of expansiveness and intimacy.

ArtSake: Can you describe the work you are creating for the Isles Arts Initiative?
Megan and Murray: We were fascinated by Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort which housed Confederate prisoners of war. In particular, we were drawn to the “Dark Arches” section of the fort, which feels like catacombs and right out the windows of this subterranean series of rooms is the open water and the haunting clang of a buoy. The history of the space seemed to resonate with poetic potential. As fascinating as its military history was, we were also drawn to the fact that the Boston Harbor Islands are “sinking” as the sea levels are rising due to global warming. In fact, Georges Island is known as a “sentinel site” where six geodetic markers serve as benchmarks for charting the rising seas. For our video, we brought in 99 construction laser levels the Dark Arches and had performers lofting a military parachute through a field of laser lines, in effect, using the parachute as a stand-in for the island as it sinks through the laser level marks.

Still from THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: What is the most surprising response to your art you’ve ever had?
Megan and Murray: My (Megan’s) mother worked as a social worker at an inner city elementary school with a population of at-risk kids. Once, she was working with a young girl and happened to show her our video What We Loved and Forgot. Without knowing anything about it, the girl said “that’s like what happened when my mom died: she disappeared into a white light and now she’s always watching over me.” We’ll often get reactions like that, people who personally relate to the content of the work even through it’s not explicitly stated.

Still from WHAT WE LOVED AND FORGOT by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: After the Isles Arts Initiative, what’s next?
Megan and Murray: Next May, In What Distant Sky, the work we filmed at Mass MoCA in the Boiler Plant, will open as a large-scale video installation in Explode Everyday: An Inquiry Into the Phenomena of Wonder, curated by Denise Markonish.

Still from IN WHAT DISTANT SKY by Megan and Murray McMillan
 

The Isles Arts Initiative is a Summer 2015 public art series on the Boston Harbor Islands and in Boston that will capture the intrinsic beauty of the 34 harbor islands. An exhibition at Fort Point Arts Community’s Atlantic Wharf Gallery and installation at Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center are on view now. The site-responsive installations of COVE and the performance series SEEN/UNSEEN both begin July 11, 2015. Exhibits at the WGBH Digital Mural, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston Children’s Museum open later this summer.

Megan and Murray McMillan are Providence-based multidisciplinary artists whose work has been exhibited in Italy, Denmark, Greece, Bolivia, as well as locally at the RISD Museum, AXIOM Center for New and Experimental Media, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and MASS MoCA (forthcoming). www.meganandmurraymcmillan.com

Images: all images courtesy of Megan and Murray McMillan; stills from (top to bottom) THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA; THE SHIFTING SPACE AROUND US; THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA; WHAT WE LOVED AND FORGOT; IN WHAT DISTANT SKY.

Fellows Notes – Jul 15

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

As we continue to celebrate 40 years of fellowships in Massachusetts, here are some of the star-spangled, firecrackin’ July honors and accomplishments of the program’s awardees.

inMotion

Eighteen past Fellows and Finalists, including awardees from each of the four decades in the Artists Fellowships’ history, are among the artists participating in the Isles Arts Initiative, in and around the Boston Harbor Islands this Summer. Elizabeth Alexander, Amy Archambault, and Samantha Fields, and the !ND!V!DUALS Collective (which includes Luke O’Sullivan) have created site-responsive installations for Cove on Georges Island; Marilyn Arsem is among the artist performing in SEEN/UNSEEN on Spectacle Island; Christopher Abrams, Matt Brackett, Allison Cekala, Rosalyn Driscoll, Christopher Frost, Mags Harries, Scott Listfield, Kenji Nakayama, Andrew Neumann, Nick Schietromo, Candice Smith Corby, and Hannah Verlin are exhibiting in 34 at Boston Sculptors Gallery; and Sarah Wentworth is among the artists in Islands on the Edge at the Atlantic Wharf Gallery of Fort Point Arts Community. The project is led by curator and FLUX.Boston creator Liz Devlin.

Elizabeth Alexander, Rosalind Driscoll, Mags Harries, Niho Kozuru, and Nancy Selvage are exhibiting in The Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015 (thru 10/12).

Current and past MCC awardees including Karen Aqua, Prilla Smith Brackett, Caleb Cole, Gary Duehr, Matthew Gamber, Nona Hershey, Greer Muldowney, Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz, Debra Weisberg, and Sarah Wentworth are exhibiting in the exciting exhibition In/Sight at the new Lunder Art Center at Lesley University (7/9-8/9, opening reception 7/9, 6-8 PM). The exhibition is curated by Randi Hopkins, Associate Director of Visual Arts at the Boston Center for the Arts and celebrates the diversity of artists in Cambridge and Somerville.

Samantha Fields and Andrew Mowbray are among the artists in Tactile Textiles, featuring multidimensional fiber work, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center thru 12/2015.

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Amy Archambault was named Artist in Residence for the Boston Center for the Arts Public Arts Residency. She is creating a large-scale interactive installation, inMotion: Memories of Invented Play, for the BCA’s Tremont Street Plaza (7/23-10/18).

David Binder‘s documentary Calling My Children will again be broadcast on PBS this month, due to the success of its previous broadcasts. Find a broadcast schedule.

Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll‘s new room-sized, multichannel immersive sculptural video and sound installation, Blindsight, exhibits at Boston Sculptors Gallery (thru 7/19). Read a glowing review in the Boston Globe.

Steven Bogart will be directing a new play conceived in 24-hours, as part of the Mad Dash event from Fresh Ink Theatre and Interim Writers (7/11, 8 PM Cambridge YMCA).

Prilla Smith Brackett will exhibit as part of the group show InSight, juried by Randi Hopkins, at Leslie University’s Lunder Center for the Arts (7/9-8/9). She recently exhibited in Fractured Visions at Danforth Art; Smith College Museum of Art acquired her work Remnants: Communion #9 from that show.

Kelly Carmody won the Edmund C. Tarbell Award from the Guild of Boston Artists for her portrait Patrick (Man Holding White Cloth), and her winning painting is on the cover of the July/August issue of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine.

Timothy Coleman is exhibiting in Our Stories, a New Hampshire Furniture Masters show at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene, NH (thru 7/23, artist reception and presentation 7/2, 5:30 PM).

Gary Duehr is among the artists exhibiting in In Passing, a show of hybrid photography that incorporates painting or printmaking, at ArtSpace Maynard (thru 7/10).

Holly Guran read from her recently published poetry book River of Bones at the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton (7/1 7 PM). She’ll also read on 8/1 at the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, with the Jamaica Pond Poets, in conjunction with an exhibit called Arboretum Inspiration: Image and Word, featuring poems by Holly and photographs by Philip McAlary (thru 9/3).

Michael Joseph and his photography were featured in a photo essay on CNN.com.

Ellen LeBow is contributing art writing and commentary in Rice Polak Gallery’s publication Scratching the Surface.

Melinda Lopez‘s new play-in-progress Yerma will have a free public reading (RSVP here) at the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts (7/25, 3 PM), as part of the Huntington Theatre Company’s Summer Workshop.

Mary Lum‘s recent show at Carroll and Sons Gallery was reviewed in the Boston Globe.

Mary Bucci McCoy is exhibiting at Gray Contemporary in Houston, TX, in a solo show, Residuum (thru 7/25).

Gary Metras published a poetry book, The Moon in the Pool through Presa Press.

Nathalie Miebach is doing an artist residency at the Mountain Lake Biological Station in the Virginia Mountains as part of their ARTLab Program.

Monica Raymond wrote the libretto for a new chamber opera, Koan, (Charles Turner, composer) which had a workshop at New Opera and Musical Theater Initiative in June with Teresa Winner Blume and Brian Church.

Peter Snoad‘s new multi-media play, The Draft, about personal experiences with the military draft during the Vietnam War, will premiere at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury (9/10-9/20), where Peter has been Visiting Playwright. The play will then go on the road for performances at Westfield State University, The Academy of Music in Northampton, and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Peter has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance and continue the tour. Peter’s short play, My Name is Art, will be staged by Fort Point Theatre Channel as part of its Inter-Actions festival (7/17-7/19).

Howard Stelzer has a new CD called How To, published by Phage Tapes in Minnesota. The CD is available from the label and a digital version is available from the artist. How To continues the artist’s practice of building compositions using cassette tapes and tape players.

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

Image: in-progress image of INMOTION, a public art project by Amy Archambault (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’13).

Charles Tracy of NPS on the Isles Arts Initiative

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

SEEN/UNSEEN on Spectacle Island, part of the Isles Arts Initiative

Though not volcanic (as far as we know…), something is stirring in the drumlins of the Boston Harbor Islands this summer.

The Isles Arts Initiative is a series of site-responsive installations, events, performances, screenings, and exhibitions in and about the Boston Harbor Islands. Some of the region’s most exciting artists – including 18 past awardees of MCC’s Artist Fellowships Program – are involved as exhibiting artists or performers. IAI is a project by Liz Devlin of FLUX.Boston, in partnership with the Boston Harbor Islands Alliance, Greenovate Boston, DCR Massachusetts, the Boston Art Commission, and (as the islands are designated National Parks) the National Park Service.

There’s a long tradition of artists partnering with federal agencies and initiatives. We asked Charles Tracy of the National Park Service, one of the earliest collaborators on the project, about the origins of the Isles Arts Initiative, art in the National Parks, and opportunities for artists in partnering with the NPS.

ArtSake: How did your collaboration on the Isles Arts Initiative begin?
CharlesTracyCharles: It began with a meeting over a year ago with Liz Devlin at Espresso Love on Broad Street. I was impressed with her seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm for bringing art to the Boston Harbor Islands – two traits I knew that we would need to make it happen.

ArtSake: What has surprised you the most about working on the Isles Arts, thus far?
Charles: The widespread interest in being part of the Isles Arts Initiative within a broad spectrum of the Boston arts community – artists, galleries, museums. It almost seemed as though people were just waiting for this to happen. I think it is also due to Liz Devlin’s networking expertise.

ArtSake: What do you hope visitors to the Isles Arts Initiative will take with them after experiencing it?
Charles: I hope they will see the Boston Harbor Islands and their relationship to it in a new way; I hope they will think about the need to protect these incredible places; and I hope they will leave with a desire to return to the Boston Harbor Islands for recreation and exploration.

Fort Warren on Georges Island, location of site-responsive installations for COVE, part of the Isles Arts Initiative

ISLE DE MONSTRUOS NEWSSTAND by the INDIVIDUALS, part of the Isles Arts Initiative

ArtSake: Why is it important to you to include the work of artists in the National Parks?
Charles: I don’t think it is just important, I believe it is imperative that artists engage in National Parks. We need artists to help us bring a wider range of interpretation and visitor experience than the National Park Service itself provides – so that we can connect with a broader range of visitors.

ArtSake: What opportunities are there to work with the National Park Service that artists might not know about?
Charles: The National Park Service has a growing interest in working with artists, especially on temporary installations, as evidenced by the recent works by Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz and JR on Ellis Island. We have more than 50 national parks that offer artist-in-residencies; beyond that, many more parks without a formal program are exploring working with artists.

The Isles Arts Initiative

The Isles Arts Initiative is a Summer 2015 public art series on the Boston Harbor Islands and in Boston that will capture the intrinsic beauty of the 34 harbor islands. An exhibition at Fort Point Arts Community’s Atlantic Wharf Gallery and installation at Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center are on view now. The site-responsive installations of COVE and the performance series SEEN/UNSEEN both begin July 11, 2015. Exhibits at the WGBH Digital Mural, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston Children’s Museum open later this summer.

Charles Tracy is a landscape architect with the National Park Service who guides long-distance trail development and regional landscape conservation and recreation initiatives in New England, including the newly-designated New England National Scenic Trail. On the national level, he specializes in partnerships with artists and arts organizations to expand the role of artist-in-residency programs in national parks and the use of art as a catalyst for inspiring environmental stewardship. Contact Charles at charles_tracy@nps.gov.

Images: all images courtesy of Isles Arts Initiative: SEEN/UNSEEN on Spectacle Island; headshot of Charles Tracy; Fort Warren on Georges Island, location of site-responsive installations for COVE; ISLE DE MONSTRUOS NEWSSTAND by the !ND!V!DUALS, located at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center; promo image for Isles Arts Initiative.

Fellows Notes – Jun 15

Monday, June 8th, 2015

This June, our past Artist Fellows & Finalists are exhibiting, publishing, premiering, winning, and just generally being excellent, here and abroad.

Still from BLINDSIGHT, immersive sculptural video installation by Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll

Sandra Allen, Dale Broholm, Todd McKie, and Harold Reddicliffe are among the artists exhibiting in Dynamic Conversations, fine craft furniture paired with distinctive two-dimensional works, at the Dillon Gallery of the South Shore Art Center (thru 7/9).

Michael Beatty, Stephanie Chubbuck, Joo Lee Kang, Andrew Mowbray, Cristi Rinklin, and Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz are among the exhibiting artists in Nature, Askew at Suffolk University Gallery (6/11-7/5, opening reception 6/11, 5-7 PM).

Frank Egloff, Raul Gonzalez, Masako Kamiya, Colleen Kiely, and Mary Bucci McCoy are all exhibiting in the pop-up exhibition No Shake, Not Here at the Montserrat Gallery, Montserrat College of Art (6/8-6/12, opening reception 6/11, 7-9 PM).

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Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll‘s new room-sized, multichannel immersive sculptural video and sound installation, Blindsight, premieres at Boston Sculptors Gallery (6/11-7/19, opening reception 6/11, 5-8 PM, artists’ talk 6/25, 5-6 PM).

David J. Bookbinder has signed with the literary agent Stephany Evans of FinePrint Literary Management for his recently completed book Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas, a collection of images and essays that distill into one volume his work as artist and healer.

Sari Boren‘s essay In a Corner of the Hebrew School Classroom is in the Spring issue of Lilith Magazine.

Ria Brodell has five paintings in the 2014 Boston Artadia Awardees exhibition at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA (6/11-6/21, opening reception 6/11, 6-8 PM).

Kelly Carmody‘s painting Father and Son has been selected for the 2015 BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London (6/18-9/20). The exhibition goes on tour to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (October–February ‘16) and the Ulster Museum, Belfast (March–June). Her painting Woman with Rooster is also a Semi-Finalist for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in D.C.

Mary Jane Doherty‘s documentary Primaria (6/9, 8 PM) is screening as part of the Dance for World Community Festival at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre.

Dana Filibert is among the artists with work in the Peep This empty storefront project in Springfield, MA. Her installation will be at 176 Worthington St until 9/2015.

Patrick Gabridge has published a new novel, Steering to Freedom, about an escaped slave who seeks to convince Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops in the Civil War.

Ralf Yusuf Gawlick‘s composition Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände), a large song-cycle for soprano and guitar will be the musical centerpiece of the Boston Guitar Fest (The Eternal Feminine) at New England Conservatory (6/20). It will be performed by Soprano Anne Harley and guitarist Eliot Fisk, the festival’s artistic director.

Holly Guran will read from her recently published poetry book River of Bones at the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton (7/1 7 PM). She’ll also read on 8/1 at the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, with the Jamaica Pond Poets, in conjunction with an exhibit called Arboretum Inspiration: Image and Word, featuring poems by Holly and photographs by Philip McAlary.

Danielle Legros Georges, the Poet Laureate of Boston, was recently profiled in the Boston Globe.

Scott Listfield has new paintings in Astronaut at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, IL (6/12-7/12, opening reception 6/12, 7-19 PM).

Congratulations to Yary Livan, who was named a National Heritage Fellow from the National Endowment for the Arts!

Holly Lynton‘s photographic series Bare Handed exhibits at Goodwin Fine Art in Denver, CO (6/5-7/18) (read a review of her recent solo show in Miami). She’ll be part of the group shows The Disrupted Landscape at Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston (6/12-8/15) and Fraction of a Second at 516 Arts in Albuquerque, NM (6/5-8/8).

Rania Matar exhibits photographs at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, as part of She Who Tells a Story (thru 9/28), a group show that originated at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. She is also exhibiting in a dual show (with Gordon Parks) called Exposure at Richard Levy Gallery (6/13-7/24, opening reception 6/19, 6-8 PM), and in the group show Fraction of a Second at 516 Arts (6/5-8/8); both shows are in Albuquerque, NM.

Caitlin McCarthy‘s TV pilot “Free Skate” recently received a glowing review from the prestigious script reviewing site Black List. Read excerpts of the review.

Congratulations to DK McCutchen, whose novel in progress Ice has won a Speculative Literature Foundation grant, and whose short story Jellyfish Dreaming will be published in the July ’15 issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Nathalie Miebach has work in Mapping Knowledge at the Mundaneum Museum in Mons, Belgium (6/27-5/15/16) and in Flight Patterns at The Welch Gallery at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA (6/4-7/31). Also, she recently completed a commissioned piece for the Troy Boston, a condominium tower in Boston’s South End, and she’ll be giving a talk at the Cannes Lyon Festival in Cannes, France (6/23).

Lisa Olivieri‘s film Blindsided has been selected to show at the OM Film Festival in Kansas City, MO in September. The films for the festival are selected by audience votes, and Blindsided has received more votes than any other film thus far.

Cecilia Raker is co-creator of Shiver: A Fairytale of Anxious Proportions, a devised piece of theater by Project:Project. It premieres at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (6/19-6/28).

Monica Raymond’s play The Owl Girl won the 2015 Jewish Plays Project‘s Jewish Playwriting Contest-Boston, and placed second in the international competition, with over 200 entrants. Also, her play A TO Z has a reading at Virago Theater in Oakland, California (6/8).

Congratulations to James Rutenbeck who, with Diana Fischer, received a $15,000 Production grant from the LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund for The Clemente Project. The film explores the Clemente Course, a rigorous, college-level instruction in humanities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Carolyn Webb is exhibiting in a three person show, with Betsey Garand and Kathryn Fanelli, in the Jannotta Gallery at Smith College (thru 8/21).

Scott Wheeler, currently on a residency fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, recently performed new compositions for the MacDowell Downtown series.

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

Image: still from BLINDSIGHT, immersive sculptural video installation by Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellows ’13).

Fellows Notes – Apr 15

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

This April, MCC’s past Fellows/Finalists are SPRING-ing with news! (Note to self: get better at puns.)

Here is this month’s news and notes from past Artist Fellowships awardees.

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Sachiko Akiyama, Laura Chasman, and Caleb Cole are exhibiting in Revealing Identity, a group show at the Concord Art Association (4/9-5/23, opening reception 4/9, 6-8 PM).

Karl Baden, Claire Beckett, and Camilo Ramirez are all exhibiting photographic work in The Gun Show at Fort Point Arts Community Gallery (4/24-5/4, opening reception 5/1, 6–9 PM), part of Flash Forward Festival.

John Cameron, Carrie Gustafson, and Jennifer McCurdy are all exhibiting in the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington D.C. (4/23-4/26).

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Elizabeth Alexander recently took part in the Polly Thayer Starr Artist Series at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in an event called Rearranging the Gardner.

Alexandra Anthony screened her film Lost in the Bewilderness at Athens Film Festival in Athens, OH on 4/5. Also, the filmmaker and film have been invited to the Bogota Independent Film Festival in Bogota, Colombia, in July 2015.

Simeon Berry‘s poetry collection Ampersand Revisited is published this month by Fence Books. The collection was selected by Ariana Reines for The National Poetry Series. He’ll have a book launch event at the Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery in Cambridge (5/8, 7 PM).

Alice Bouvrie‘s documentary A Chance to Dress will have its world premiere on 4/29, 7 PM, in the Alfond Auditorium at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Prilla Smith Brackett is in a two person show with Amy Ragus called Fractured Visions at Danforth Art in Framingham (thru 5/17).

Andrew Bujalski‘s new film Results is part of the Independent Film Festival of Boston (4/22-4/29).

Congratulations to Patrick Donnelly, who was named the Poet Laureate of Northampton.

Rebecca Doughty is participating in Miller Street Open Studios (4/10-4/12).

Vico Fabbris is teaching a Watercolor Workshop at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum (4/25-4/26).

Lisa Gruenberg‘s essay “A Beautiful Day” was published in Winter ’14-’15 issue of Ploughshares. Lisa, who is co-director of the annual Writing Retreat at Solvik with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, recently completed a Fulbright in Australia.

Mags Harries is exhibiting at Boston Sculptors Gallery (thru 5/3).

Colleen Kiely‘s work is included in MDC, a limited-edition book published in honor and recognition of Mario Diacono.

Shirish Korde has two world premieres: Kala-Chakra will be performed by Boston Musica Viva at Longy School of Music (4/11, 8 PM) and Brooks Music Hall at the College of the Holy Cross (4/13, 8 PM). Then, the chamber ensemble work Lalit will premiere at the Shastra Festival in NYC (4/26, 6-8 PM).

Jesse Kreitzer‘s film The Murder Ballad of James Jones won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the 39th Annual Atlanta Film Festival. Also, his latest film Black Canaries has been selected to participate in Berklee College of Music’s Film Scoring program.

Holly Lynton solo exhibition at Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami has been extended thru 5/30.

Caitlin McCarthy‘s spec script for “The Good Wife” is the 1 Hour Spec Winner in Stage 32’s first annual TV Writing Contest. Also, she’ll be featured in the book “The Top 50 Indie Writers In The World” by Del Weston, Theresa Weston, and Nabi Zee, scheduled for release in mid-2015.

Nathalie Miebach has a solo show, The Weather is Turning Weird at the Tarble Arts Center of Eastern Illinois University (4/8-5/10, artist talk 4/8). She’ll also give a talk at Field Work, a data visualization conference in London, on 4/16. Finally, she’s participating in an intriguing cross-disciplinary music event for the Cambridge Science Festival called Hi-Fi-Sci Art. The event joins music composition, visual art, and environmental science, and it takes place on 4/26, 7:30 PM, at the MIT Museum.

Congratulations to Arno Rafael Minkkinen, who received a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Sally B. Moore has a solo show, Reroute/Reroot, at Barbara Krakow Gallery (thru 4/25, Artist Talk 4/11, 3 PM).

Anne Neely has a solo show, Water Stories at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Gallery in New York (4/23-5/23, opening reception 4/23, 6-8 PM). Also, her work is included in the group show True Monotypes at the International Print Center New York (thru 5/26).

Monica Raymond’s play The Owl Girl has been selected as one of “ten best new Jewish plays for 2015” by the Jewish Plays Project. There will be an event to decide the #1 Boston slot at the Roberts Theater at the Calderwood Pavillion at the Boston Center for the Arts (4/13, 7:30 PM). The play will also have readings in Burlington, VT at Theater Kavanah (4/19-4/20).

Anna Ross was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award. Also, her essay I Don’t Know How She Does It was recently published in Vida.

Zachary Stuart and Kelly Thomson‘s film Savage Memory is available on ITunes.

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

Image: Laura Chasman (Fellow ’96), ART FAIR SCENE #5 (2014), Gouache on Fed-ex mailing box.

Get Ahead Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Kellar

Get your head in the game and take advantage of these upcoming opportunities.

Of Note Spark! Networking Event at Sohn Fine Art in Lenox, MA. Register now for the first SPARK! networking event of the year, held at Sohn Fine Art in conjunction with the 4th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition benefiting Berkshire Creative. Meet other creatives working in the region, make connections, get inspired, and learn something new – all against the backdrop of beautiful and thought-provoking photography. Free, but please register.
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 5:30-7:30pm

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Emerging, Diverse Writers HBO has announced the launch of the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. The program will give emerging writers from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to attend a week of master classes held at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, California focusing on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process. Apply using Withoutabox.com. Learn more.
Deadline: Application portal opens March 4, 2015 and will close when 1,000 submissions have been reached.

Poets of African Descent The Cave Canem Foundation is accepting applications for its Poetry Prize, an award of $1000 and publication by Graywolf Press of a first poetry collection by a poet of African descent. Nikky Finney will judge. $15 entry fee. Learn more.
Deadline: March 9, 2015

First Novel Award The James Jones Literary Society of Wilkes University offers the First Novel Fellowship, a prize of $10,000 for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not yet published a novel. Past recipients include Cam Terwilliger. $30 entry fee. Learn more.
Deadline: March 15, 2015

Temporary Public Art Fort Points Arts Community (FPAC) seeks proposals for a temporary public art installation in conjunction with FPAC’s May 2015 Open Studios. Projects may be proposed for any outdoor site in the Fort and should be accessible to Open Studios viewers as well as the general public. All media considered, one month minimum duration. Q&A session for applicants Monday, March 9, 2015, at FPAC Gallery. Learn more.
Deadline: March 19, 2015

New Music New Music USA is accepting applications for its Spring 2015 Project Grants. The grants support projects that involve new music getting out into the world through a live performance or recording. Awards can range between $250 and $15,000. Projects can take place up to two years past the deadline or up to six months prior. Requests can come from individuals or organizations. Learn more.
Deadline: April 1, 2015

Forest Artist Residency Artists in all media are invited to apply for the 2015 White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) Artist-in-Residence program, a collaboration between the WMNF and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire. The residency program seeks to use art and creative expression to explore the many ways in which people relate to forests in general and to the WMNF in particular. One residency opportunity of at least three weeks will be offered between July and September; the artist(s) selected will be able to indicate their preferred time. Learn more.
Deadline: April 17, 2015

Documentaries The Sundance Documentary Fund provides strategic financial support to cinematic, feature documentaries from independent filmmakers globally. The organization provides $1M-$2M in non-recoupable financing annually across all stages of development, production, post-production, and strategic audience engagement. Learn more.
Deadline: Applications accepting on a rolling basis until August 3, 2015

Image: vintage poster of American magician Harry Kellar, from Weird Vintage.

Disrupting Norms, Defying Expectations

Friday, February 6th, 2015

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

Somewhere along the line, “disruptive innovation” became a buzzy concept in business circles. But disruption, innovation, and defied expectations have long been tools in the artist’s kit. We asked artists, Is it a priority in your work to disrupt norms or defy expectations?

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Samuel Rowlett, visual artist
In my work I only ever try to disrupt the norms I impose upon myself. What my work prioritizes is its own business.

For me (I’m sure I’m not alone in this) my work begins as an idea. Often it is not even visual in nature; it is almost like a word I can’t remember. My work starts as more language than image. In this early, proto-art state, the work is formless, to some extent even boundless. Here, the work has a near unlimited potential, it is purely theoretical, it is something unproven by nature. I wish I could hold the work in this state for longer.

Inevitably, it is in fact “norms” (all the things I know and much of what I really don’t know) that actually give the work “form” and provide a bridge to the physical world. Norms, such as those fostered by the history and traditions of art and visual culture, constitute a complex vocabulary. Disrupting those norms is how artists communicate with each other.

As far as expectations go, I’m more of an expectation avoider. I have this theory that if I can avoid expectations, I might be able to defy disappointment.

Ryan P. Casey, tap dance artist
Because I find that people have very rigid notions or images of what tap is – Fred Astaire twirling with a cane, perhaps, or a Broadway musical – I make it a priority in my work to subvert expectations. I’ve combined tap with poetry; performed with basketballs; choreographed character-driven pieces that integrate tap into a narrative; and other techniques intended primarily to display to the audience tap’s (and rhythm’s) versatility. I want them to think, “I didn’t know you could do that with tap!”

It’s true that tap has a very distinct tradition, which so many of its practitioners strive to emphasize and inculcate in their students, but there is so much innovation within it already: Astaire’s firecracker routine from Holiday Inn, for instance, or the many Vaudevillian variations on tap (in roller skates, on stairs, etc.). Sometimes people think tap can’t tell stories or express emotions or accomplish other feats commonly associated with ballet, contemporary, modern, and other styles. It’s important to me to clarify that tap can, in fact, achieve those kinds of effects in its own way, and that, as a percussive dance style, it has its own special and equally worthy qualities.

Nancy Selvage, sculpture and interdisciplinary artist
I strive to create work that engages me and the viewer in a discovery process. The disruption of norms and defiance of expectations often emerge from these exploration processes; however, neither is the initial impetus or the priority.

In many of my installations the alteration of expectations has been an important factor (but not primary goal) in creating a compelling and emotional experience of space. (See reviews of Convergence, Nuclear Home, and Dwell for viewer responses.)

Whether I start with a plate on a table or a wall in a plaza, I am interested in the convergence of actual, implied, and symbolic content to express social and environmental concerns. (Read more.)

 

Ryan P. Casey is a tap dancer, teacher, choreographer and journalist. He’ll perform his show Gumshoes in Tap Shoes at the Dance Complex in Cambridge 2/6 & 2/7, 8 PM.

Trained as a painter, Samuel Rowlett‘s work filters sculpture, performance, video, and photography through the language and materiality of painting and drawing. He was just named as a 2015 MCC Artist Fellow in Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.

Nancy Selvage, a public artist and sculptor, has support from the New England Foundation for the Arts to create the Point Park Public Art Project in Lowell, MA.

Image: Samuel Rowlett, LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN THE EXPANDED FIELD (FIELD PAINTING) (2012), oil on linen, wood, backpack harness, 96×72 in.


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