Archive for the ‘go local’ Category

Artist’s Voice: Madge Evers

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

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.

Image credit: All images courtesy Madge Evers.

Go Local, Part Two

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

We recently asked artists to share the local artists that excite them. Here is part two of a two-part collection of their responses.

Ariel Freiberg, visual artist
I feel lucky to be living in Massachusetts’s ever-expanding landscapes of creative and inspiring practices. At the moment, these are the artists have me twirling. Natasha Bregel makes tenderly painted domestic scenes, where memory and cinematic languages merge in her painted world on a micro plane. Sometimes the surface is a hoop that is suspended in space, like a film stretched out to reveal a hidden narrative. Recently, Natasha has been experimenting with drawing on the wallpapered walls. The drawings are derived from a collection of historical family documents. Eric Petitti‘s work, now up at Proof Gallery, invents a future history through artifacts and documents. The “historical artifacts” are full of codes and clues that contradict and mimic the inherit constructs of truth, fact and history. Of the artifacts, I’m mesmerized by the hyper detailed ink drawings, which look like lithographs from the 1800’s. Another talent exploring perception of visual materiality is photographer, Yola Monakhov. Yola “re-envisions the documentary genre” of photography. Her series, Tableaux (part I) represents vivid birds and typical “still life” objects between the stage of studio photography and the natural world. With some of the birds you wonder if they are about to take flight or is it all just an illusion of life. The playful nature of the imagery hints to the pulse of the subjects.

Rick Ashley, photographer
When asked to write about some photographer(s) whose work excites me, a number of names ran through my head. I first thought about two former students, men of a certain age – mine, Jim Hooper and David Weinberg. Jim was a student of mine at CDIA. We were both from Baltimore, and had far too much in common. Jim recently teamed up with his friend Buff Chase, a developer, and produced The Providence Portrait Project. One hundred and twenty-two people and over 19,000 shots later, Jim has created a wonderful tribute to Providence, RI, a book, and a piece of history that gets better with every viewing. David Weinberg‘s name should be familiar as he was recently exhibited in the New England Biennial at Danforth Arts and is currently at the Photographic Resource Center’s NEPR Showcase. David, a physician, left his practice and decided to devote his time to photography, risky business at best. At CDIA I was always impressed with his work, but the work David is currently exhibiting is not to be missed. However, if there is one photographer whose work always excites and holds me captive, it is John Chervinsky. He is local, but that qualifier is irrelevant. From the first time I saw his work to his latest explorations, I stand in awe. John’s day job is as an engineer, working in the field of applied physics at Harvard’s Rowland Institute for Science. He has spent eighteen years running a particle accelerator at Harvard University. John’s photography is all about making pictures with a camera and what happens in that space. The work is about our physical world, what happens in it, and our relation to it. It is about our perceptions of time and space and how they are revealed through photography. Each photographic print you encounter is beautiful, compelling, and intelligent. A perfect meal. Did I mention he is also a hell of a nice guy? Thank you John for enriching my life.

Steven Bogart, theater artist
I’m excited about the artists I’m working with in my latest project, a theater event at Oberon called Interference. I’m working with Boston artists from a variety of genres: an animation artist, a video artist, actors, a Butoh performer, singers, composers, visual artists and writers. We’re using Picasso’s painting Guernica as a catalyst to explore the human condition in the face of terror. We are creating the piece by first responding individually to the subject, then coming together to share what we are each thinking about. This is where the collaboration becomes integral to the development of the piece. We influence each other in unexpected ways. It’s like walking on the edge of a cliff together and finding that moment where we all jump, or we might jump at different times and find each other at serendipitous moments of free fall. It’s a wondrous creative leap of faith. I love taking artistic risks where “failure” can be just as exciting as “success.” These kinds of collaborations keep me in a state of awe and ignorance which I have found to be the most rewarding artistic experiences; I don’t want to understand, I want to be filled with fear and exhilaration.


Rick Ashley is a 2013 Fellow in Photography for the Massachusetts Cultural Council and has shown most recently at Danforth Art’s New England Photography Biennial and the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.

Steven Bogart is a playwright, director, painter, and multi-disciplinary artist. His latest project Interference will be performed February 12, 2014 at OBERON in Cambridge. Read more about him and his work, on ArtSake.

Ariel Freiberg is a painter and the curator of The Country Between Us at the New Art Center in Newton, featuring work by Resa Blatman, Ariel Freiberg, Susan Scott, and Zsuzanna Varga Szegedi (thru 12/20). She’ll have a solo show at Boston University’s Sherman Gallery in 2014.

Image: Yola Monakhov, Piero (2013), Archival pigment print, 16×20 in and 40×50 in.

Go Local!

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Every month, we pose questions to artists about their work and their lives as creative individuals. What with the generous spirit of the season, we thought it might make sense, this month, to ask artists to… Go local! Share a local artist (or several) whose work excites you.

Part One of a two-part post.

Mary O’Malley, visual artist
The paintings of Nicole Duennebier simultaneously seduce and disgust. Oozing and dripping with lush overgrowths of berries, fruits, fungi, and all kinds of other, unidentified matter, they draw the viewer in with their dark beauty. But upon closer inspection, one begins to question what they are seeing. Are those really berries, or something far more grotesque and frightening? Gaudy piles of pearls mingle with mold spores, and masses of what resemble lacey Renaissance neck ruffs threaten to choke their wearer. Underwater creatures morph into delicate lace-like structures teaming with insects, while swarms of pests come to life before our eyes. Yet nothing in these paintings are exactly what they seem, as they are part of Duennebier’s constructed world that operates on a logic all its own. The paintings’ rich, glossy surfaces are built up with transparent layers and delicate line, adding to the work’s mysterious presence. Be sure to check out Nicole’s solo show, Low-Light, at 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA, opening in January 2014.

Susan Stinson, writer
These artists all live in Northampton. Annie Bissett has created a fantastic series of woodblock prints, We Are Pilgrims, which reflects the theology of the Pilgrims in vast, starry skies and a text-filled sea as figures evoke stories of a woman overboard, men punished for sexual contact between them, two Native American students at Harvard in the class of 1665, and others. Sally Bellerose (a long-time writing companion of mine) is hard at work on a second novel about old women behaving badly. The Girls Club, her first, is set in Chicopee, MA. It is the story of three working-class, Catholic girls growing up in the seventies. There is great insight about illness here. The book is funny, sexy, ferocious and full of the gorgeous mess of family love. Kelly Link was the editor and, with Gavin Grant, publisher of my latest novel at Small Beer Press. She is also writes fiction that rises from worlds I know and puts words to shapes that I’m afraid to admit I might recognize. Her short stories are weird, extraordinary delights. Her books include Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners (soon to be reissued), and Get In Trouble, coming in 2015.

Lorraine Chapman, choreographer
I am finding it extremely difficult to narrow down my list of local artists whose work excites me as I am a fan of so many! I am always deeply moved by the gorgeous solo dances choreographed by Marcus Schulkind and by the gentle beauty of the Prometheus Elders. Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett weave such intimate and essential dances for them. With the sweep of an arm gesture, a turn of the head and a knowing glace towards the audience, each and every Elder generously offers us their wisdom, their entire story, and their heart. As a young dancer growing up here I had the extreme fortune of training with Samuel Kurkjian and Leo Guerard to the otherworldly accompaniment of pianist Stephen LaRoche, all three now passed on. I know they are conducting ballet classes in heaven for some very lucky angels. Before Sam and Leo I trained with an incredible dance artist, Frances Kotelly, who still owns and operates The Ballet Academy. She gave me the technical base of my dancing that I carry with me to this day. I am in awe of the artistic talent of my nephew Danny Chapman who will graduate from Mass Art in the spring.

Read Part Two of Go Local, featuring the recommendations of a painter, a theater artist, and a photographer.


Lorraine Chapman is artistic director of Lorraine Chapman, The Company. A choreographer and dance artist, she recently won a prestigious Brother Thomas Fellowship.

Mary O’Malley is exhibiting in 13 Forest Gallery’s 6th Annual Holiday Show, Plenty (thru 1/10/14). She’ll be taking part in Open Studios at Porter Mills in Beverly (12/14, 10 AM-4 PM). She’ll be in the December Holiday show Off the Grid at Artstream Studios in Dover, NH, and she’s one of the artists in Still Life Lives! at Fitchburg Art Museum (thru 1/12/14).

Susan Stinson is a writer, poet, editor, and Writer-in-Residence at Forbes Library (learn more). Her most recent novel is Spider in a Tree, and events are upcoming at Bloom Readers in NYC (12/15, 5 PM), Food For Thought Books in Amherst (12/19) and Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley (Open Fiction Book Group, 2/17, 7 PM).

Image: Nicole Duennebier, TURQUOISE FLEECE WASH, acryllic on panel, 37×48 in.