CLOUD HOUSE is a unique rain harvesting system that creatively reuses the rainwater it collects to provide a deeper look into the natural systems that give us the food we eat.
On rainy days, a gutter system collects rain that hits the roof and directs it to storage tank underneath the house. Sitting in the rocking chairs triggers a pump that brings the collected rainwater up into the “cloud” to drop onto the roof, producing that warm pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof.
At the same time, rainwater drops from the tops of the windows onto the edible plants growing in the windowsills.
Designed to collect and store rainwater for the “cloud” to rain, this display of the water-cycle illustrates our fragile dependence on the natural systems that grow the food we eat, and at points throughout the year when there is low rainfall, the ‘cloud’ will not rain on the roof because it is simply out of water. CLOUD HOUSE is clad with barn wood and tin reclaimed from a nearby abandoned farm by group of Amish builders.
With rocking chairs on a barn wood floor, the sound of rain on a tin roof, and rain drops bringing the necessary elements for plants growing in the window sills, the look and feel of CLOUD HOUSE is the epitome of a rural farm experience from simpler times, and creates a space to reflect on the natural processes of food production. Located at Springfield, MO’s largest farmers market, CLOUD HOUSE is a poetic counterpoint to the well-attended market and offers a meditative moment to slow down, enjoy the fresh edible plants, and listen to rain on a tin roof.
Watch a video about Matthew Mazzotta’s CLOUD HOUSE.
For the love of fungi, western Massachusetts artist Madge Evers grows her own…ink. Yes, she makes prints by using the spores that fall out of the gills of the mushrooms that she grows.
My art work begins, as so many things do, in the garden.
I make images using the millions of tiny spores that fall from the gills of mushrooms that I grow in piles of wood chips. The microscopic spores contained in one mushroom are the seeds of future generations. Traditionally, the purpose of a mushroom spore print is the scientific identification of a fungus. I make spore prints for the beautiful and mystical stories they tell.
My adventures in spore printing began in the spring of 2015 when I cultivated two mushroom gardens in my shady backyard, using mycelium purchased from one of the many online mushroom growing companies. The mycelium threaded their way through the wood chips and in September, the mushrooms began to fruit. Initially, I made a spore print to ensure the mushrooms I had grown were not poisonous. That spore print proved fateful. Yes, it was the intended cultivar, however I became fascinated by the quality of the image and saw something beyond the culinary in the spores. I began experimenting with the imagery and my life as a spore print artist was born.
Join Madge Evers at an art opening at Roundabout Books, 26 Kenwood Street, Greenfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 5-7pm. Light refreshments will be served. an independently-owned used bookstore in the Town of Greenfield, in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Framed mushroom spore prints in many sizes will be for sale. Madge will donate 20% of all sales to Just Roots, whose ” goal is to increase knowledge about and demand for local food in Franklin County.
It’s March, the equator is about to pass by the center of the sun (happy Spring Equinox), and our past Artist Fellowships awardees continue to shine with honors, exhibitions, readings, and so much more. Here’s the latest news.
Lisa Nilsson, from the 40 Years of Fellowships project. This month, the artist exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art
Ria Brodell has a solo show of paintings, Butch Heroes, at Gallery Kayafas (3/3-4/8, opening reception 3/3, 5:30-8 PM). She’ll also be releasing the limited edition book Butch Heroes: Paintings by Ria Brodell, with book signing and panel discussion 3/18, 3 PM.
Mary Jane Doherty is screening two of her early films, Gravity and Three Fish, as well as an excerpt of a new work, Sonic Boom Boom, as part of the DocYard Series at Brattle Theatre in Cambridge (3/20, 7 PM).
Nathalie Miebach has an artist talk/concert at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV (3/22, 5-7 PM). It will will include musical performances by composers Mischa Salkind-Pearl and Matthew Jackfert, who have both written pieces about Nathalie’s work. Also this month, she’ll present artist talks at Winchester High School and Abington High School.
Stephen Mishol has a solo exhibition, Place at the Neiman Center at Columbia University School of the Arts (thru 3/17). His work is also featured in DRAW/Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art (thru 3/4).
Gabriel Polonsky will screen and hold a director’s talk for his film Release from Reason (3/11, 3-5 PM), in conjunction with the Life: from life at room83 Spring Gallery. The documentary, currently in-progress, is about the life and work of Boston Expressionist painter Arthur Polonsky (the filmmaker’s father).
Monica Raymond recently returned from a three-week residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where she showed work as part of an exhibit of Erasure Texts and read new poems and performed improvised poetry and music as part of INsideOUT (3/9). She will be reading poems from the sequence A Walk on Norfolk Street (set in Cambridge 2013, around the Boston Marathon bombings) at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (3/28, 3 PM), part of a daylong symposium Women’s Sense of Place.
Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness had a theatrical run at Alkyonis New Star Cinema in Athens, Greece. The run was extended 11 more days than originally planned and opened at a second theatre, New Studio Art Cinema, as well.
Richard Michelson‘s picture book Fascinating has been selected for as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2017 by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council.
Monica Raymond‘s short play Hijab (with Adrianjne Krystansky) will have a reading at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (2/16, 12:30 PM). It’s part of a program, HIJAB and Notes From the Field, that will discuss the cultural significance of women’s veiling around the world. Also, Monica’s monologue Ernesto had a staged reading at Theater Iati (NYC) in January.
Shelley Reed has a solo exhibition, A Curious Nature, at Fitchburg Art Museum (2/12-6/4). Her painting Predator/Prey (after Oudry) will also be the fulcrum of the group exhibition A Feast of Beasts (2/12-9/3).
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is honored to announce the 2017 Artist Fellowship awards in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Sixteen artists will receive fellowships of $12,000, and 16 artists will receive $1,000 finalist awards. See a list of this year’s fellows and finalists, to date.
The awards are anonymously judged, based solely on the artistic quality and creative ability of the work submitted. Applications were open to all eligible Massachusetts artists. A total number of 561 applications were received; 141 in Crafts, 135 in Dramatic Writing, and 285 in Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
The Crafts panelists were Honee A. Hess, Ji-Eun Kim, Daniel Kornrumpf, and Beth McLaughlin. The Dramatic Writing panelists were Maria Agui Carter, Anne G. Morgan, and Rebecca Noon; the Readers were Steven Bogart and Talaya Delaney. The Sculpture/Installation/New Genres panelists were Nicholas Capasso, Dana Filibert, Jen Mergel, and Allison Maria Rodriguez.
This is the first series of Artist Fellowships awards to be given by the Mass Cultural Council in 2017. In late May 2017, MCC will announce awards in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography.
Images: Mara Superior (Crafts Fellow ’17), THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2014), porcelain, wood, gold leaf, 24x20x15 in; Evan Morse (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’17), SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment, 9x18x15 in; Nora Valdez (Crafts Fellow ’17), LONG PATH (2013), limestone and marble, 12x52x7 in; from the Off-Broadway production of EXPATRIATE by Lenelle Moise (Dramatic Writing Fellow ’17), photos by Vanessa Vargas.
Georgie Friedman has work in Constructed Video at Boston Cyberarts Gallery (11/12-12/18, reception 11/11, 6-8 PM). Also, she has a site-specific video installation at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, Traces of Wind and Water (thru 11/14), with “Artist Hours” at the site 11/6, 5-6:30 PM. (See news about the artist’s award from SMFA, above.)
Justin Kimball has a solo exhibition of photography, Elegy, at Carroll and Sons Gallery (11/2-12/21, reception 11/4 5:30-7:30 PM). Signed copies of Justin Kimball’s book Elegy will be available for purchase.
October-y news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.
Caleb Cole, Dana Filibert, Shelley Reed, and Sarah Wentworth are among the artist exhibiting in Fertile Solitude at the Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts (10/14-12/18, opening reception 10/14, 6-8 PM). The exhibition, curated by FLUX.Boston creator Elizabeth Devlin, explores the idea of reprieve from everyday life through the physical framework of a maze that exhibition visitors are free to explore.
Alice Bouvrie is screening her film A Chance To Dress at MIT (10/13, 7 PM). The filmmaker along with the subjects of the film, Dr. John “Tephra” Southard and his wife, Rev. Jean Southard, will be present for a post-screening Q & A.
Matt Brackett‘s first solo show in Boston in four years will take place at Alpha Gallery (10/7-11/2, opening reception 10/7, 6-8 PM). One of the included paintings, Moonstone, was one of 35 works out of over 2,400 applicants to receive a Certificate of Excellence in the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition last spring. See the artist’s Studio Views post on ArtSake.
Marky Kauffmann was invited to participate in the Berlin Foto Biennale after being named a finalist in the 2015 Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers. Also, she’ll exhibit in the group show Mirror with a Memory at the Peter Miller Gallery in Providence, RI (10/20-11/12, opening reception 10/20, 5-9 PM).
Lisa Kessler received a George Gund Foundation commission to photograph in the Cleveland public schools. The photography collection will be on exhibit at the Cleveland Public Main Library in downtown Cleveland (thru 10/28). A smaller traveling exhibit will be on display at several library branches around the city.
Melinda Lopez has a new play, Mala, at ArtsEmerson (10/27-11/20). Also, she contributed a short play to Still Waiting a series of vignettes created to accompany the play Waiting for Lefty at Boston College Robsham Theatre (10/13-10/16).
Rania Matar has photography in the exhibition Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth at Tufts University Art Center (thru 12/4). Her solo show Becoming: Girls, Women, and Coming of Age exhibits at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN (10/7-11/26, opening reception 10/7 5-8 PM, artist talk 10/11, 7 PM). In December, that same gallery will exhibit Rania’s work in Pulse Miami. Her work is included in Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East at Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL (thru 12/ 31. artist talk 10/23, 2 PM) Her work is also exhibiting at Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut Lebanon and at C. Grimaldis Gallery
Mary Bucci McCoy is in the experimental group exhibition Fiction (With Only Daylight Between Us) at boeckercontemporary in Heidelberg, Germany (10/15-31). Also, she will have a public conversation with Brooklyn artist David Mann at Rafius Fane Gallery in SoWa, Boston (10/8, 2-4 PM).
Angela Zammarelli is exhibiting in the group show The Unity of Opposites at A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA (thru 10/30, opening reception 10/14, 5-8 PM). She is currently in residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA and will be participating in an open studios 10/19, 5-7 PM.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center in Newton (NAC) join together to present the MCC Artist Fellows in Painting, Choreography, Drawing & Printmaking, and Traditional Arts (9/16-10/15, opening reception 9/16, 6-8 PM). The exhibition will feature: in Painting – Dennis Congdon, Nicole Duennebier, Raúl Gonzalez, Joel Janowitz, Catherine Kehoe, Andrew Gordon Moore, and Cristi Rinklin; in Drawing & Printmaking – Kim Carlino, Erica Daborn, Linda Etcoff, Kevin Frances, Emily Lombardo, Stephen Mishol, and Ethan Murrow; in Choreography – Dahlia Nayar, Candice Salyers, and Sara L Smith; and in Traditional Arts – Dimitrios Klitsas.
MCC Choreography Fellow Candice Salyers will perform and literary awardees Jane Dykema, Michael Lowenthal, Shubha Sunder, Sheryl White, and Kris Willcox will read at the New Art Center (9/30, 6:30 dance performance, 7 PM reading). Look for more readings by MCC literary Fellows/Finalists in the months ahead.
Sarah Bliss co-created a site-specific 16mm film sculpture-installation, pump, filter, reflect, with Chrissy Hunt and Anto Astudillo, and it will be featured in Temporal Currents, a one-night-only live experimental film and sound event at Boston;s Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, featuring filmmakers from the AgX Film Collective and musicians from NonEvent.
Stephen DiRado has been selected to receive the 35th ArtsWorcester Award (9/9, 6 PM), given annually to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the artistic and cultural life of this city.
Sean Greene is exhibiting in a two-person show (with Jen Simms) at Mingo Gallery in Beverly (thru 10/8, opening reception 9/9, 6 PM). He’s also in a group show at Mount Holyoke College Blanchard Gallery (thru 9/15, opening reception 9/8, 5:30 PM).
Colleen Kiely has drawings in About Face at UMass Amherst’s Augusta Savage Gallery (9/12-9/28).
Danielle Legros Georges takes part in Living in Many Languages: Poetry And Music to Celebrate the Act of Translation at Dewey Square Parks (9/2, 2 PM). She’ll also read as part of the ICA Boston’s Powerful Words, an evening of readings, reflections, and community in response to violence, racial injustice, and trauma (9/8, 6 PM).
Rania Matar exhibits her new photography series Invisible Children, capturing the portraits of young Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, at C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore (9/15-10/22, opening reception 9/15, 6-8 PM).
Caitlin McCarthy has essays in two upcoming nonfiction anthologies from McFarland & Company: She Loves You: Women Writers Tell How a Teen Idol Changed Their Life and Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow. Also, her script Wonder Drughighlighted in an article in Collective Evolution.
Ethan Murrow has a solo show of drawings, Water Almanac, at Winston Wächter Fine Art in NY (9/8-10/29, opening reception 9/8, 6-8 PM). The artist utilized portions of his MCC grant to support the creation of art for the show, which features drawings based on the Farmers Almanac.
Monica Rayond‘s play A to Z was a finalist for both the Jane Chambers Award and ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting. Paper of Plastic, a short opera for which she wrote the libretto (music, Charles Turner), won second prize in Opera Kansas’s short opera competition.
Peter Snoad‘s short play Bull will be produced by The Landing Theatre in Houston as part of its Redemption series (9/21-10/3). The play is about the love/hate relationship of two New York City cops with Arturo DiModica’s iconic statue of the Charging Bull which they’re guarding during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Erica Daborn, one of the exhibiting artists, shares how her installations envision a tragic history that’s yet to happen.
I have been working for six years on this project, Dialogues With Mother Earth: A Journey Through Time and Space. I consider the project to be a response to accelerating and irrefutable evidence of climate change. My goal is to provoke a reflection on the relationship between our 21st century societal values and the ways in which they have contributed to the degradation of our environment. The series of mural-sized narrative drawings in charcoal record fictitious historical events related to climate change as seen from the year 2051.
I am using an immersive form of installation to direct the audience’s response to these issues through a comparison of ancient and modern information technologies.
Through this combination of theatre and visual art rather than scientific information I’m challenging viewers to examine the deeper causes of climate change. The installation engages them both intellectually and experientially, by first jettisoning them into a fast-paced technologically dominant environment (THE FUTURE), then forcing a slow crawl back into a quiet, cave-like space (THE PAST).
The FUTURE – a sensory overload Media Room – reduces the ability to think or respond intelligently due to a profusion of images and overlapping, loud voices, a case of Too Much Information. The PAST – these are the murals – provides physical engagement with the environment through restricted movement and limited light source, while simultaneously offering primitive static images that play on intuition and history. Finally. a resting place in a pleasant low light quiet room, the silence only broken by occasional animal and bird cries (THE PRESENT), provides viewers with an opportunity to offer their own thoughts provoked by the experience in the form of letters to “Mother Earth.”
In the drawings I explore, in a non-alarmist, story-book manner, those aspects of contemporary living that have impacted the environment including consumerism, depletion of natural resources, the ravages of the meat industry, disposable plastics, genetic modification etc. Because the completed project will be experiential (as opposed to an Al Gore-style lecture) I intend it to reach beyond the already-converted to a broader audience including one that has been resistant to the subject. I’m also offering this project as a teaching tool for schools and colleges. I want to encourage people who have not thought much about theses issues to recognize, to take action and to prepare for the global crisis that is already here.
All images courtesy of Erica Daborn. From top to bottom: Funeral for the Last Elephant Charcoal on canvas 70 x 154″; Seeking Higher Ground Charcoal on Canvas 70 x 172″; The Murder of Mystery Charcoal on Canvas 70 x 178″; Ahab’s Revenge: Charcoal on canvas 70 x 203″; S.O.S. (Save Our Seeds) Charcoal on canvas 70 x 164″; Oprah and Noah Save the Animals Charcoal on canvas 70 x 159″
Five new works created by teams of women artists – which include four past MCC awardees – will be presented as the latest Art on the Marquee by Boston Cyberarts. Ambreen Butt, Mags Harries, Nathalie Miebach, and Deb Todd Wheeler are all creating work for the 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED marquee outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (opening reception 6/1, 6:30-8:30 PM).
Ben Sloat is one of the artists in the three-person show Uncannyland at One Mile Gallery in Kingston, NY (6/4-6/25, opening reception 6/4, 6-9 PM).
Naoe Suzuki had an artist residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA, organized by the Assets for Artists Initiative, in April. In 2016, she is Artist in Residence at Broad Institute, a collaborative community pioneering a new model of biomedical research, based in Cambridge, MA. Check out Naoe’s Tumblr site for her project Flow, an extension of the participatory installation she created at UMass Lowell last year.
Jung Yun‘s novel Shelter got a great review in the Briefly Noted section of The New Yorker. She has an article, My Fargo, in the April edition of The Atlantic.