Archive for the ‘environmental art’ Category

Fellows Notes – May 16

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

In May’s news from MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists: books, pop-up shows, crowdfunding campaigns, Spring arts festivals, and excellence aplenty.

Camilo Ramirez, from the project THE GULF

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2016 (4/29-5/1) in downtown Salem is a festival of readings, workshops, talks, and other poetry-related events, many featuring past awardees of MCC’s Artist Fellowships Program – read more.

John Cameron and Jennifer McCurdy were both featured in the Smithsonian Craft Show in April.

At the Independent Film Festival Boston (4/27-5/4), Mary Jane Doherty screens Primaria, Michal Goldman screens Nasser’s Republic, Jesse Kreitzer screens Black Canaries, and James Rutenbeck screens Class of ’27. Also, Gabriel Polonsky‘s Release from Reason and Kathryn Ramey‘s The Empty Sign are part of the Mass Works-in-Progress Competition.

Flash Forward Festival Boston is an 8-day photography festival (5/1-5/8) of exhibitions, events, talks, and more. Since one of its primary focuses is New England photography, it’s no surprise that the lots of artists who’ve received MCC Artist Fellowship awards are featured in events: Stella Johnson and Greer Muldowney are in Art/Document (5/3, 5:30-7, Lesley Univeristy’s Lunder Arts Center); Tsar Fedorsky, Michael Joseph, Sarah Malakoff, and Toni Pepe are in the Photographic Resource Center’s Exposure (opening reception 5/5, 5-8 PM); Archiv* (opening reception 5/6, 6-9 PM, Gallery Kayafas) is a solo exhibition of work by Matthew Gamber; Eric Gottesman, Justin Kimball, and Rania Matar are in A Fragile Balance (opening reception 5/6, 6-9 PM, Fort Point Arts Community Gallery); and Stephen Sheffield, Ben Sloat, and Stephen Tourlentes are in [Photo]gogues: New England at Layfayette City Center Passageway (thru 8/26).

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Amy Archambault has a solo exhibition at Boston Sculptors Gallery, Imaginate (5/4-6/5, opening reception 5/15, 4-7 PM, artist talk 3-4 PM).

Sean Downey is exhibiting in the group show Interiors at Dorchester Art Project (thru 5/21).

Samantha Fields gives an artist talk, When Things Touch, at Essex Art Center (5/6, 5 PM). This month, she’s exhibiting in CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Community at Fuller Craft Museum (5/7-7/10, reception 5/7, 2-5 PM) and in Flow at Nave Gallery in Somerville (thru 5/21).

Jared Katsiane‘s film Big Willow was awarded first place at the 7th Sustainability Shorts Film Competition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The film has screened at over 100 international festivals.

Scott Listfield has curated an exhibition for Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco, Vestiges: Scott Listfield & Friends II (thru 5/12). The show includes past MCC Traditional Master Artist Josh Luke.

Melinda Lopez‘s Playwright Residency at the Huntington Theatre will have renewed funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, which recently announced a new round of national playwright residencies. Melinda’s residency at Huntington was featured in MCC’s 40 Years of Fellowships project.

Stephanie Lubkowski was commissioned to write Circles Circling, a three movement piece for the Charles River Wind Ensemble. The first movement will be premiered on their Boston, You’re My Home program (5/15, 3 PM, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington). The concert is free and includes works by Michael Gandolfi, Charles Ives, and John Mackey.

Congratulations to Taylor Mac, who is among this year’s Guggenheim Fellows. Also, Taylor Mac will have an upcoming residency at HERE Arts Center, funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Nathalie Miebach has work in Interconnections: the Language of Basketry at Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ (5/15-9/4). Also, she is Artist-in-Residence at the Jentel Arts Residency Program in Wyoming, in May.

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

Lisa Olivieri was featured on WGBH’s Greater Boston discussing her documentary Blindsided. The film will screen in the My True Colors Film Festival in NYC in June.

Camilo Ramirez has a solo exhibition of photographs, The Gulf at ArtsWorcester (opening reception 5/6 6-8 PM).

Anna Ross has a new chapbook, Figuring, to be released by Bull City Press in May. She was interviewed about her poetry by the blog Speaking of Marvels.

James Rutenbeck, along with screening a film in the Independent Film Festival Boston (see above), has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support his film-in-progress, The Clemente Project. Read about it on ArtSake.

Leslie Sills has an exhibit of figurative sculpture Personnages at Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford (thru 5/12).

Congratulations to Cam Terwilliger, the 2015/2016 winner of the Historical Novel Society’s New Novel Award.

Amber Davis Tourlentes has photography in Grounded at Boston Cyberarts Gallery (5/14-6/16. opening reception 5/13 6-8 PM).

Hannah Verlin has a site-specific installation, Remnants, at the Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery (thru 5/25).

Helena Wurzel is in a two-person pop-up exhibition (with Crystalle Lacouture), called Let’s Talk about the Weather, at Lacouture Studio in Wellesley (5/21 reception, 6-8 PM, 5/22 open house, 12-4 PM).

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

Image: Camilo Ramirez, from the project THE GULF.

Basia Goszczynska: Reclaimed Wilds

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Early in 2015, we were thrilled to work with Basia Goszczynska (Film & Video Fellow ’13), who created an animated title sequence for our 40 Years of Fellowships video project.

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of fellowships in the Commonwealth, we have been asking artists “what came next,” after their state-funded award. We decided to explore the same topic with Basia, as well as ask about her current work exploring environmental grief and the “penance” of art.

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ArtSake: Where were you in your career when you got the news about the MCC Award?
Basia: I received news about my MCC award while contemplating whether or not to apply to grad school. I had been working professionally in somewhat creative positions, but always for a client, and I loved entertaining the idea of spending two years focusing on my own projects and ideas. The boost of confidence that came with the MCC award helped me decide to accept my spot in the MFA program at Rutgers University.

ArtSake: What excites you about the project you’re working on now?
Basia: Since starting grad school, I have shifted my focus from animation to sculpture as it allows for a more tactile and spatial exploration of my interests in ecology and our material culture. My palette these days is made up of colorful, durable and lightweight materials that I find washed up on the beach or in trash and recycling piles. The most exciting moments for me in the studio are those when I successfully redress the value of a material by transforming it from a mundane material into one whose newly-established ambiguity renders it interesting. I like that by re-routing these materials into my studio, I am able to be both creatively fulfilled and environmentally active.

ArtSake: What’s the throughline in your art?
Basia: My work is mainly grief-work. These days, when I visit the beach or forest in search of comfort, I instead experience disheartening landscapes strewn with hazardous materials. Our contemporary vistas are a far cry from the pristine valleys in an Edmund Burke painting. The romance is over, and the only thing left is a mess too big to clean up. Those like me, who still engage in the occasional clean-up effort, are left to deal with the emotional toll that comes with the work. Gathering trash provides ample time to somberly contemplate the damage our species has wrought on this planet.

My sculptures and videos serve to document these meditative janitorial walks that I embark on. With my compulsive collecting of discarded materials, I subvert the tendency to hoard material possessions in our consumption-obsessed culture.

Today, objects of our own making are pressing us out of the spaces we rely on for our material and spiritual sustenance. We are being crowded out by objects. The monumental scale of my sculptures within the gallery setting intends to dwarf our sense of importance in an increasingly-narcissistic culture. These objects remind us of who is really “on top” now.

Swell and Detour are abstract representations of sublime landscapes already conquered and exploited. Synthetic materials have completely overtaken organic ones in a world obsessed with manufactured beauty and single-use conveniences. My sculptures’ cheerful colors attempt to counter, to some degree, the somberness that might overtake those who identify the origins of my materials and their significance. Ultimately, the work aims to bring a sense of normality to the sadness of loss. As Timothy Morton point out in his book, Hyperobjects, we are losing “the fantasy of being immersed in a neutral and benevolent Mother Nature” (196).

In the studio, I untwist marine rope, wrap plastic around wire, and shred plastic bags, among other tasks. Some time ago I learned about the need for ritual within the grieving process. I realized then that these repetitive, meditative gestures were subconsciously appeasing my need for these spiritual rites that help move one through the various stages of grief (denial, anger, depression, and bargaining) and into a space of acceptance. These creative rituals re-establish a sense of meaning despite our loss.

Recently, while cleaning a Brooklyn beach, I was handed a $275 ticket for trespassing. The image of a crumbling wall in Swell and torn fences in Detour, symbolically foreground ideas of land ownership and borders. We are a society in which people rarely take responsibility for anything they do not personally own while the privatization of land leaves little incentive for organized stewardship. Barriers keep us divided so that we fail to pay attention to the decimation of important habitats. Today, only apathy seems to enjoy the freedom of running wild.

In spite of all this, I remain an optimist. I believe art can help produce the level of shock necessary for us to face the ecological trauma of our age, while its production can serve as penance for the damage already done. I think there is hope for us still.

ArtSake: Have you ever revised your work on the spot, during an exhibition (intentionally, I mean)?
Basia: As I gain more experience installing my work in a gallery context, I find myself revising it less on the spot. There are however, many installation decisions that I can only make once I am physically in the gallery; these include lighting decisions and how the work is oriented within the space. For example, after installing the sculptures for my MFA thesis show, I made last minute decisions to fill the entire gallery floor with sand and to add dramatic directional lighting — both significantly impacted the viewing experience.

ArtSake: What’s next?
Basia: This upcoming summer, from June 7th through August 1st, my work will be exhibited as part of the Mid-Manhattan Public Library’s Art in the Windows series. The 3-part exhibition entitled Rainbow Credits for Vacation Penance will include video, installation, and performance elements to problematize ideas of leisure, currency, value, and environmental activism.

See Basia’s title animation for the 40 Years of Fellowships project on MCC’s YouTube Channel.

Images and media: video is excerpt of Basia Goszczynska’s DZIAD I BABA (watch the full film). Images are courtesy of the artist.

Fellows Notes – Dec 15

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Happy December! Read our monthly list of the news and honors of MCC Artist Fellows & Finalists.

Joshua Meyer, PARENTHESES (2015), oil on canvas, 40x36 in

Sheila Gallagher and Deb Todd Wheeler join Eva Lundsager for the exhibition Inscape/Instress, at the Wellesley College Jewett Gallery (thru 12/18). Read a thoughtful review in the Boston Globe.

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Steven Bogart‘s play Alice in War will be performed at the Boston Conservatory of Music (12/8-12/11, 8 PM).

David Bookbinder recently published a book, book, 52 Flower Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book for Inspiration and Stress Relief, based on his Flower Mandala series, which he submitted to win his 2007 Artist Fellowship.

Sean Greene‘s work is on exhibit at the Herter Gallery at UMass Amherst thru 12/14, in a group show at Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington thru 12/19, and in the Hive small works show at the Mingo Gallery in Beverly thru 1/30.

Marky Kauffmann has work in Gendered Perspectives: An Investigation into Contemporary Identities at the Bradley University Hartmann Center Gallery (thru 12/10).

Scott Listfield participated in a fascinating project that auctions off original art work based on the new Star Wars movie.

Holly Lynton has photography shown by the Dina Mitrani Gallery as part of the Miami Project fair in December. Her work is also in Self-Proliferation, the annual exhibition of the Girls Club Foundation Collection in Fort Lauderadale FL, opening event 12/5, 9AM-1PM.

Rania Matar‘s has a solo photography show, Becoming: Girls, Women, and Coming of Age, at East Wing Gallery in Dubai. The same series of photographs is featured in a new book, L’Enfant Femme.

Caitlin McCarthy submitted a script to the Final Draft Big Break Contest and recently learned she was in the Top Ten.

Christian McEwen had a dramatized reading from her play Legal Tender: Women & the Secret Life of Money in November, at City Lore in NYC.

Rachel Mello was selected to become an Associate Member of the artist-run Kingston Gallery. Also, the Calendar and Postcard Book she created, comprised of pencil, ink, and watercolor sketches of Somerville and Cambridge, is now available.

Joshua Meyer is exhibiting with Rice Polak Gallery at Scope Miami Beach (12/1-12/6).

Nathalie Miebach joins science reporter Ari Daniel for a dialogue, Subjective Data, at the Cambridge Innovation Center, 12/10, 6-7PM, 5th floor, Havana Room. The event will explore how data informs us; each will share how they unravel data in their respective projects.

Congratulations to Maryanne O’Hara, whose novel Cascade (Viking/Penguin) was The Boston Globe Book Club’s inaugural pick.

Mary O’Malley has work in two Holiday small works shows: 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington and Mingo Gallery in Beverly. She’ll also be featured in Uppercase Magazine‘s special edition, the Compendium of Craft and Creativity.

Monica Raymond wrote the lyrics for the song After Harvest, part of a winter-themed choral piece composed by Tim Takach called The Longest Nights. The Longest Nights has rolling premieres in 42 different states, and its Massachusetts premiere will be performed by the Oriana Consort on 12/4, 8PM (University Lutheran Church in Cambridge), 12/12, 8 PM (First Lutheran Church of Boston), 12/13, 5PM, United Parish in Brookline).

Emily Ross is publishing her new novel Half in Love with Death this month. Upcoming readings include Trident Books and Café in Boston 12/9, 7 PM.

Joyce Van Dyke‘s play Daybreak had a staged reading in New York in November at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, directed by Paul Meshejian. The play was just produced at the Tufts University Balch Arena Theater (10/29-11/7), directed by Barbara Wallace Grossman. In October, Joyce’s commissioned play Friends of Armenia premiered at Faneuil Hall as part of the annual endowed Najarian Lecture on Human Rights, directed by Judy Braha.

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

Image: Joshua Meyer, PARENTHESES (2015), oil on canvas, 40×36 in.

Fellows Notes – Oct 15

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Wouldn’t it make more sense if they named the eighth month of the year, rather than the tenth month, October? I just thought of that…

(Actually I just checked Wikipedia, and it turns out October was the “eighth month in the old Roman calendar.” They just kept calling it that after it became the tenth month, like how we all still “dial” a phone number even though dials are long gone with old Roman calendars…)

Anyway, this October, tenth month of the year, check out the latest news and notes from past Artist Fellows and Finalists.

Debra Weisberg, installation view of (un)SEA(n), pulp covered wire, foam, sand, and polymer

Sheila Gallagher, Raul Gonzalez, Chuck Holtzman, Fred H.C. Liang, Cynthia Maurice, Jill Slosberg-Ackerman, Randal Thurston, and Debra Weisberg are all exhibiting in Cannot Be Described in Words: Drawing/Daring at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury (thru 1/16). Debra Weisberg gives a gallery talk with curator Deborah Davidson (10-8).

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Deborah Abel celebrates 35 years of the Deborah Abel School of Modern Dance with a Gala Celebration at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington on 10/17, 6:30-10 PM, featuring performance, food and drink, a silent auction, and film and slides of the Deborah Abel Dance Company.

Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness is an Official Selection in the Arlington International Film Festival, screening at the Kendall Square Cinema on 10/16, 2:55 PM, q&a with the director to follow. It will also screen at the Wellesley College Collins Cinema on 11/5, 6 PM, q&a to follow. The film is also an Official Selection of the London Greek Film Festival in England (10/19-10/25).

Steven Bogart is directing the play Dry Land at Company One, Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts (10/2-10/30). Watch a trailer.

Alice Bouvrie‘s new documentary A Chance to Dress will screen at the Arlington International Film Festival at the Kendall Square Cinema, 10/19, 7:30 PM, q&a with the director and with the film’s subject Dr. Southard and his wife Jean to follow.

As director of the Provincetown Community Compact, Jay Critchley organized the 28th annual Swim for Life in September, which raised an estimated $200,000 for AIDS, women’s health & the community with the support of 404 swimmers, 75+ kayakers and safety boats and 150 volunteers.

Dana Filibert‘s work is featured in the Monsters Art Project at MAP Gallery, Eastworks, Easthampton, MA (10/9-10/31, opening reception 10/10, 5-7 PM). Her work is also featured in Artists/Artisans at PC580 Gallery in Holyoke, opening reception 10/9, 6-9 PM.

Georgie Friedman‘s large-scale sculptural video installation Eye of the Storm, on view in the Roberts Gallery at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center thru 11/1, was featured on a segment on CBS News, Boston.

Duncan Gowdy has work in A Long Engagement: Wendy Maruyama and Her Students at the San Diego State University Gallery (10/9-10-30, opening reception 10/9, 6-9 PM).

Vanessa Irzyk has a solo show, Intricasies at the Boston City Hall Mayors Gallery (10/14-11/13).

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson will read from her new poetry collection Opinel at The Bookstore in Lenox (10/18, 2 PM), Trident Cafe and Booksellers in Boston (10/20, 7 PM), the Concord Festival of Authors (11/1, 3 PM) and the Suffolk University Poetry Center (11/4, 7 PM).

Zehra Khan has work in Last Stop Vacationland at artSTRAND in Provincetown (thru 10/12). Also, she designed the 2015 Provincetown Swim for Life image.

Brian Knep created two large Healing Pools for the Illuminus nighttime contemporary art series in Boston’s Fenway 10/3-10/4. Also, work from his Worms/Traces series (made while he was artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School) are exhibiting in Sizing It Up: Scale in Nature and Art at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA (thru 9/18/16).

Sandy Litchfield has work in the upcoming exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Land Ho! (thru 1/10/16).

Julie Mallozzi and co-creator Melissa Ludtke have just launched their transmedia story Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods over iBooks, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the story’s website.

Nathalie Miebach has a solo show at Peeler Arts Center in DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana (10/27-12/11), has work in Off The Charts: Exploring Climate Change through the Arts at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque, NM (thru 10/31), and will give artist talks at the FutureM Conference, Hynes Convention Center in Boston (10/7) and DePauw University (10/29). She was also recently a guest on the BBC Forum radio show on the topic of Wind.

Mary Bucci McCoy has a solo exhibition at CG2 Gallery in Nashville, TN (10/3-10/30, opening reception 10/3, 6-9 PM).

James Morrow presents an evening of dance, Sweaty Epiphany, at the Dance Complex in Cambridge (10/23-10/24, 8 PM). In August, the artist launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the performance. Read about the event on ArtSake.

Monica Raymond has a monologue from her play The Owl Girl included in the new published Best Stage Monologues for Women 2015 from Smith and Kraus.

Laurel Sparks has a solo show, Rubedo at Kate Werble Gallery in NYC (thru 10/24).

Leslie Starobin has a solo show, Dear Dearest Mother: Leslie Starobin’s Wartime Still Life Montages at Danforth Art in Framingham, (thru 1/3, artist talk 10/7, 2:30 PM).

Joan Wickersham has a story in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015 anthology, published this month.

Cary Wolinsky produced the film Raise the Roof, directed by Yari Wolinsky, and it screens this month in a number of cities, including in Boston the The Vilna Shul Center for Jewish Culture (10/4, 7:30 PM) and at Temple Emanu-el in Providence (10/24, 7:30 PM).

Yu-Wen Wu has a solo show, Proximities, exhibiting at the Montserrat College of Art Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery (thru 10/17, reception 10/5, 5-7:30 PM).

Michael Zelehoski has his first solo show in France, Object Permanence, 10/15-11/28. He’s also exhibiting in the group show Wood at the Montserrat College of Art Monsterrat Gallery (10/5-12/5).

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

Image: Debra Weisberg, installation view of (un)SEA(n), pulp covered wire, foam, sand, and polymer.

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.


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