Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2017

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

The ninth annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival will be held May 5-7, 2017 in downtown Salem, Massachusetts.

The festival is a schedule of events, workshops, performances, and readings organized by Mass Poetry. Not to be missed: a reading by Mass Cultural Council Poetry Fellows Scott Challener, Aaron Krol, Richard Michelson, Sarah Sousa, and Elizabeth Witte on Saturday, May 6, 2 PM, at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Other current and past Artist Fellows/Finalist taking part include Tom Sleigh (one of the headliners), Kathleen Aguero, Maria Luisa Arroyo, Carrie Bennett, Duy Doan, Danielle Legros Georges, Regie Gibson, Richard Hoffman, and Rosann Kozlowski.

Learn more and see full schedule.

What Is Your Greatest Need as an Artist?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Periodically, we pose questions to artists about issues they face in their work and lives. This month, we asked practitioners in a variety of disciplines, What is your greatest need, as an artist?

Image from GODDESSES DESCENDING, choreography by Michelle Marroquin. Photo by Tracey Eller.

Michelle Marroquin, choreographer
My needs, if all things were possible?
1. Funding that would be earmarked specifically for dancers to engage in new work. Residencies might include a stipend for the choreographer but rarely pay for dancers. Because I cannot get enough time with my dancers this season, I am working on a solo.
2. Consistent access to space and more performance venues that are supportive and equipped to produce dance. A crew. Someone other than my husband to climb up and down ladders.
3. Administrative support to help enhance work flow. Someone to help increase outreach, search for opportunities, and fundraise. A dream is to have a production assistant.
4. Lifestyle support: Food stamps for artists. A guaranteed minimum income for the process, not just the products. Health insurance for artists. Affordable continuing education. In sum, less intermittent support and more ongoing, lifestyle support.

Robert Knox, writer and poet
I’m a fiction writer and poet. My greatest need is ways to connect with readers. Happily, I’m in a stage of life when my most pressing needs are no longer time or money. But I want to see the books that I finally have time to write get into print, or get read, or even noticed somehow. Commercial publication of fiction is a narrow funnel, except for certain formulaic genres, and agents look to meet specific marketing needs. Newspapers, a declining industry in which I’m partially employed, review few books. After my novel Suosso’s Lane was published a year ago by a small independent, I find most of its readers myself through public programs at libraries. Many of the fiction writers I know publish their own books and sell them on Amazon. Poetry is an even more self-contained universe. I’m not proposing any solutions here, just stating a need: How do we get read?

Dana Clancy, WINTER WEIGHT (2015/2017), oil over acrylic on panel, 36x48 in

Dana Clancy, painter
As an artist-professor-parent, I structure my life around building and maintaining artistic momentum. Momentum arises from consistent and focused time in the studio (including that hour before class or late night after our family dinner). It is also fed by important conversations with artist friends and with students. For me, as a painter whose work is based on responding to contemporary museums, it is vital to my work to spend time with other artists’ work that I find moving and important.

Recently, as part of BADA Second Saturdays, I hosted a conversation event at Alpha Gallery about what artists look for and gain from seeing work in person in the context of the museum. Many of us spoke about how the role of the museum has shifted to symbolize a space apart from fast-click looking. If I have to work quickly and efficiently in the studio, momentum for me includes time to slow down to look on a more critical level and feel highly present with what I am seeing.

As I start a new body of work, the momentum I seek also includes connecting more broadly to other artists, and feeling that I’m doing my part to give voice to the importance of art and culture at a time when funding and support are under threat.

Duy Doan, poet
Outside of the daily search for time and space to write, having mentors has been vital to my writing life. Mentors – writers who have read more, written more, and of course experienced more – can give you career advice and feedback about your writing, detailed as well as overarching, in ways that your peers cannot. I’m grateful to have had a range of extremely supportive mentors both in the literary world and outside of it. When I was an undergraduate at UT Austin, Martin Kevorkian, Judith Kroll, Joseph Slate, Oscar Casares, and Ian Hancock – scholars, poets, fiction writers – all gave me the language to talk about writing with a close eye and ear. These professors encouraged me through challenging times and guided me through the dizzying MFA application process. I attended Boston University where I studied with Robert Pinsky, Louise Glück, and Rosanna Warren, all of whom pushed me to pursue writing, first and foremost, in an organic way. Many writers encounter these kinds of supportive relationships through school, but I think the important conversations continue outside of an academic setting. Casual conversations about poems, outside of the professional world of poetry, are always a pleasure, a vital one.

Yuri Tozuka, BUNNY (2016), sterling silver, fine silver, garnet, coral, 17x3x1.5 in

Yuri Tozuka, metalsmith
A studio space has been my greatest need as an artist for a quite long time. I have been creating most of my work on my bench underneath a loft bed in my little apartment. Because of this, I am constantly in a battle when it comes to the actual construction of the piece; between what I can really make in this space and what I truly want to create. Noise, dusts, and fumes have to be minimal in this environment, which sounds better for everyone’s health, but as a metalsmith, this limits opportunities to play with different techniques, scales, ideas and to go outside of the box.

Having said that, this creative space issue made me focus on my technique, such as lost-wax casting, and also pushed me to try out different materials other than metal.

I have tried having a separate studio space, and the only down side was that it was too far away for me to get to as frequently as I needed. In the near future, I am planning to move into a house with an actual studio space, where only my husband and our dog will be able to complain about my hammering.

 

Dana Clancy has work in the group show All Things Great and Small at Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington (5/3-5/28, opening reception 5/6, 5:30-7:30 PM). She recently had a solo exhibition, Sightlines, at Alpha Gallery – read a Boston Globe review.

Duy Doan recently won the Yale Younger Poet Competition, selected by Carl Phillips, for his manuscript We Play a Game. Yale University Press will publish We Play a Game in April 2018. Duy is the director of the Favorite Poem Project.

Robert Knox discusses his novel Suosso’s Lane at the Ventress Memorial Library in Marshfield (4/13, 7 PM). He’ll read from his poetry collection Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty at Plymouth Public Library (4/24, 7 PM). Currently, he has poetry published in Verse-Virtual.com, where he is a contributing editor.

Michelle Marroquin is a dancer and performance artist whose training includes ballet, modern dance, Mexican folk dance, and Odissi Classical Indian dance. She premiered her most recent work Goddesses Descending at Park Hill Orchard in September 2016.

Metalsmith Yuri Tozuka has exhibited at galleries and institutions including Mobilia Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Hancock 309 Gallery, and 24K Studios in San Francisco.

Images: from GODDESSES DESCENDING, choreography by Michelle Marroquin, photo by Tracey Eller; Dana Clancy, WINTER WEIGHT (2015/2017) , oil over acrylic on panel, 36×48 in; Yuri Tozuka, BUNNY (2016), sterling silver, fine silver, garnet, coral, 17x3x1.5 in.

Fellows Notes – Apr 17

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

In April, a shower of news from past and present MCC Artist Fellowship awardees.

 

Natalie Alper, Anne Neely, Jo Ann Rothschild, and Maxine Yalovitz-Blankenship are part of the group exhibition Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters from 1950 to Now at the deCordova Museum (4/7-9/17).

MCC Artist Fellowship Program awardees Colleen Coyne, Cynthia Gunadi, Thomas McNeely, and Rosalind Pace read at Porter Square Books (4/21, 7 PM).

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Amy Archambault created the installation Hideout at Boston Children’s Museum (thru 6/18). Read about the installation in The Boston Globe.

Steven Bogart directs Peerless for Company One Theatre (C1), performed at the Boston Public Library (4/27-5-28, 7 PM). All tickets are pay-what-you-can in this production, produced in conjunction with the Library’s “All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare.”

Meryl Cohn‘s play The Final Say is part of the Smith College New Playreading Series (4/6, 7:30 PM).

Nicole Duennebier‘s paintings are featured in Hi-Fructose, a contemporary art magazine.

Beth Galston has a solo exhibition, Luminous Garden, at the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT (thru 7/17).

Christy Georg will give a slide lecture at Santa Fe Clay (4/14, 1 PM) about her project Great Guns, one of the most ambitious projects attempted in the 43-year history of the Kohler Arts/Industry Residency Program. Read about the project in ArtSake.

James Heflin‘s debut poetry collection Krakatoa Picnic will be published by Hedgerow Books (5/1).

Robert Knox‘s novel Suosso’s Lane, based on the Plymouth, Mass. origins of the infamous Sacco-Vanzetti case, was published by Web-e-Books as an ebook in late 2015. The paperback edition was published in April 2016. Robert discusses the novel at the Ventress Memorial Library in Marshfield (4/13, 7 PM). His first poetry collection, Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty, is scheduled for publication later this month by Finishing Line Press. He reads from the collection at Plymouth Public Library (4/24, 7 PM). Currently, he is a contributing editor to the online poetry journal Verse-Virtual.com, and he currently has poetry published in the March edition.

Niho Kozuru‘s sculpture Longfellow Column has been acquired for the permanent collection of the Fuller Craft Museum. The mold for Longfellow Column comes from a balustrade at the Cambridge home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Danielle Legros Georges reads at the Rozzie Reads Poetry/Open Mic at Roslindale House (4/27, 7 PM).

Yary Livan, master ceramist and National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, returns to the Loading Dock Gallery in April with One Man’s Journey: Restoring a Lost Tradition(3/29- 4/30).

Stephanie Lubkowski‘s solo viola piece Avanc will be performed in the Equilibrium Concert Series as part of their commissioning project concert at the New School of Music in Cambridge (4/15, 8 PM).

Rania Matar‘s work will be part of The Photography Show at AIPAD with Pictura Gallery in NYC, and of the exhibition Action at a Distance at Angela Meleca Gallery, in Columbus, OH. She has an artist talk at Gund Gallery at Kenyon College (4/4, 4 PM), coinciding with her current Mellon artist-in-residency and with the exhibition Aftermath: The Fallout of War — America and the Middle East.

Nathalie Miebach is exhibiting in State of the Art, Discovering American Art Now at the Mint Museum in Charlotte NC (4/22-9/3). She is also giving artist talks at Crystal Bridges Museum, part of a symposium called “Art in Conversation: Environment, Identity and Memory” (4/7-4/8), and at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL as part of their “Future Environments” lecture series (4/19).

James Morrow and his company james morrow/The Movement present a free House Dance Jam at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion 4/8, 6 PM).

Congratulations to Ethan Murrow, who won the 2017 Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Arts Prize from the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. This month, his solo show The Cowboy will exhibit at Winston Wachter Gallery in Seattle (4/18-6/20, reception 4/18 6-8 PM).

Abraham Ravett‘s film Holding Hands with Ilse will screen in the Massachusetts Multicultural International Film Festival at UMASS Amherst (4/19, 7:30 PM).

Monica Raymond wrote the texts for two songs, Snow Queen and The Garden in the Snow (composed by Charles Turner) to premiere at an all-day arts festival at Arts at the Armory (4/14).

Susan Rivo‘s documentary Left on Pearl has its official premiere at the Boston International Film Festival in the Paramount Center’s Bright Family Room (4/14, 5:30 PM).

Dawn Southworth has a solo exhibition of paintings and sculpture, Premonition, at Clark Gallery (4/4-5/9, reception 4/8, 4-7 PM).

Peter Snoad‘s documentary play, The Draft, about personal experiences with the Vietnam War draft, is now available on DVD and streaming through the Media Education Foundation. The play was filmed in performance during its premiere at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury where Peter was Visiting Playwright from 2013-15. Peter returns to Hibernian Hall when his short play Apple Pie is performed by Roxbury Repertory Theatre as part of its “Six Playwrights in Search of a Stage” festival (4/15-4/16).

Laurel Sparks is among the artists exhibiting in Witches at September Gallery in Hudson, NY (thru 5/7). Laurel will participate in an event, Witches Performance Night, on 4/22, 6–8 PM.

Joyce Van Dyke has a staged reading of her new play The Women Who Mapped the Stars at Central Square Theater (4/17, 8 PM). There will be a workshop production at the same theatre in May/June. Her play Daybreak will have a staged reading (4/21, 7:30 PM) at Pan Asian Repertory Theater in New York. Her new play Ballad for Americans will have a staged reading at Northeastern University (5/1).

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

Image: trailer for LEFT ON PEARL by Susan Rivo, premiering this month at the Boston International Film Festival.

MCC Literary Awardees Read at Porter Square Books

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Every two years, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) awards grants to some of the most talented writers and poets working in the Commonwealth. Literary artists awarded through MCC’s Artist Fellowships Program will share work at Porter Square Books on Friday, April 21, 2017, 7 PM.

Friday, April 21, 2017, 7 PM
Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge MA
Readers:
Colleen Coyne
Cynthia Gunadi
Thomas McNeely
Rosalind Pace

The event is free, accessible, and open to the public.

What Do You Strive to Avoid in Your Art?

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Periodically, we pose questions to artists about issues they face in their work and lives.

We were curious about ruts, pitfalls, or other counter-productive things from which artists make a conscious effort to steer clear. So we asked, What do you work hardest at trying to avoid in your work?

The answers range from technical or material concerns, issues of art history, creative decisions, and (in one case) become a poetic expression all their own.

Mara Superior, AMERICANA (2016), porcelain, salt glazed white stoneware, 14.5x18x2 in

Mara Superior, ceramicist
My material is porcelain, and there are so many technical issues and things that could go wrong all along the way before a piece is completed. As I’m making, I’m always trying to avoid mishandling the materials.

Porcelain is a high-risk material because it shrinks about 15 percent. Working with it is all about timing, moisture content, construction, drying slowly then bisque firing. I am interested in the beauty of the final product. I bear with the process.

To add a little more excitement into the mix, I work with an atmospheric kiln which means the results are not consistent each time as it might be in an electric kiln. As I work I am imagining the ideal outcome. There is always an adjustment and surprise when the kiln is opened.

Esthetically speaking I try to avoid being too decorative, although I love ornament. I try to balance beauty and content. I believe that some difficult content delivered in a beautiful package is intriguing and alluring.

 

Scott Challener, poet
avoidance procedures

comfortable writing

harmlessness…

READ the poet’s visual-poetic response

 

Marky Kauffmann, MAGGIE: DISINTEGRATION, from the LOST BEAUTY series

Marky Kauffmann, photographer
It is really important to me to make photographs that have an originality of expression. Of course, I understand that being original is impossible. We all stand on the shoulders of the artists who have come before us. Perhaps what I’m calling originality is really creativity – having a strong creative element in my work, something no one else has thought to try. By combining darkroom techniques and digital technologies in a unique manner, I try hard to avoid having my work look like someone else’s. If someone says to me, “Your work looks like so and so’s,” I know I have failed to accomplish what I set out to do.

At the same time, whatever technical devices I use, I want them to make sense in my work. I want to avoid cheap tricks at all costs. This can be a delicate balancing act, but I strive to speak forcefully, purposefully, and skillfully with all the tools in my toolbox.

 

Shubha Sunder, writer
Thomas Mann put it this way in The Magic Mountain: “There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.” As a writer of fiction, I work hard to avoid cleverness in my work. This means being on the lookout for things like heavy-handed metaphors, striking images that fail to resonate with the themes of the story, or sentences that twist themselves into pretzels to convey, in the end, what could be said in a few simple words. Cleverness is not the same as complexity, when the world on the page reflects and illuminates the messiness of real life. That sort of effect comes not from clever technique but from a deep exploration of characters and situations. I used to delight in showing off my pyrotechnics as a writer; now, I’m obsessed with doing everything possible to immerse a reader into the world of the story – to make the words disappear, rather then stand out.

 

Evan Morse, SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment 9x18x15 in

Evan Morse, sculptor
My earliest sculptural works were so close to historical precedents that what I thought was a commentary on the past seemed to most people to be merely copying the past. Most people can’t not think Greek, Roman, Renaissance, or Rodin when they see a marble nude. This has been my struggle throughout the youth of my sculptural career and is the thing that I am continually seeking to avoid in my work. How do I make art that speaks for itself first, and its historical counterparts second? How do I make figurative sculpture that builds upon history rather than repeats it? Not to mention that all the aforementioned acts are tough ones to follow…

After some searching and experimentation, I realized that the traditional methods and materials are important to me. Taking part in the millennia-long visual conversation in the representation of the human figure is important to me. This means that the content of my work has to be strong enough on its own to both embrace its historical allusions and seem original at the same time. It’s a fine line to walk, and I’m working to avoid the pitfalls all the time.

 

Scott Challener is a doctoral candidate in Rutgers University. His most recent poems appear in the online publication Pangyrus (out of Cambridge) and Lana Turner Journal.

Marky Kauffmann is a photographer who curated Outspoken, an exhibition of seven female photographers that recently closed at the de Menil Gallery at Groton School. The show will travel to the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill next fall.

Evan Morse‘s sculpture has been exhibited at Boston City Hall, Danforth Art in Framingham, and Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, among many other venues.

Shubha Sunder‘s fiction has been appeared in Crazyhorse magazine, where it won the 2015 Crazyhorse Fiction Prize; Narrative Magazine, where it was a winner of “30 Below, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Bangalore Review. She teaches at GrubStreet and recently completed her first novel, Boomtown Girl.

Mara Superior has received five awards from the Artist Fellowships Program since 1986. Her ceramic work is currently on exhibit in A Sense of Place, the 73rd Scripps Ceramic Annual exhibition at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery in Claremont, CA.

Images: Mara Superior, AMERICANA (2016), porcelain, salt glazed white stoneware, 14.5x18x2 in; Marky Kauffmann, MAGGIE” DISINTEGRATION, from the LOST BEAUTY series; Evan Morse, SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment 9x18x15 in.

Fellows Notes – Mar 17

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

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

 

Elizabeth Alexander, Ambreen Butt, Fred H C Liang, Lisa Nilsson, Jane South, Randal Thurston, and August Ventimiglia are among the artists featured in Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH (thru 5/21.)

Laura Chasman and Leslie Sills join Nancy Gruskin for the exhibition Life: from life at room83 Spring in Watertown (3/9-4/22, reception 3/11, 3-5 PM).

Frannie Lindsay and Lynne Potts read as part of the Brookline Poetry Series at the Brookline Public Library Main Branch in Brookline Village (3/19, 2 PM).

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Sophia Ainslie has an exhibition of paintings at the Boston City Hall Mayor’s Art Gallery, in conjunction with Women’s History Month (thru 3/31).

Simeon Berry reads at the Gloucester Writers Center (3/15, 7:30 PM).

Ben Berman will read from his new poetry collection Figuring at the Figure at Brookline Booksmith (3/16, 7 PM).

Sarah Bliss curated and is presenting From the Farm at the Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival in Scotland. From the Farm is a curated program of 13 films made at the Independent Imaging Retreat (aka Film Farm) offered in rural Ontario every summer by Canadian experimental filmmaker Philip Hoffman and his dedicated staff.

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.

Kim Carlino has a solo exhibition, The Primary Line, (3/1-3/28), at the UMass Amherst Herter Art Gallery.

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and collaborator Véréna Paravel, who are among the Foster Prize Artists at the ICA Boston, will give an in-gallery Foster Talk (3/16, 7 PM).

Caleb Cole has a solo show of photography, To Be Seen, at Gallery Kayafas (3/3-4/8, opening reception 3/3, 5:30-8 PM).

Harriet Diamond has a new installation, Driven from their Homes, at the Oxbow Gallery (3/2-3/26, reception 3/10, 5-8 PM, artist talk 3/23, 7 PM).

Congratulations to Duy Doan, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The poet’s manuscript We Play a Game was selected by Series judge Carl Phillips.

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).

Andrew Haines has an exhibition of paintings, Distracted Driving, at Clark Gallery (thru 4/1, reception 3/4, 4:30-7 PM).

Shannon Heaton has a new podcast, Irish Music Stories, available on iTunes. This month, she performs in Portland, ME (3/17, 7 PM) and Medford, MA (3/18, 8 PM).

Joo Lee Kang has a solo show VictoriANimals at Gallery NAGA (3/3-3/25, opening reception 3/3, 6-8 PM).

Congratulations to Stefan Lanfer, whose play Prudence was selected to be part of a first ever reading of new plays at American Stage in Tampa, FL. Locally, the play will have public readings by the open theater project at Bella Luna Café (3/20) and by the Emerson Theatre Collaborative in CT (4/8) in April.

Stephanie Lubkowski‘s composition Right now, in a second will be performed by Transient Canvas at the Music Mansion in Providence, RI (3/3, 8 PM) and at the Equilibrium Concern Series at Third Life Studio in Somerville (3/4, 8 PM). Also, the Charles River Wind Ensemble will premiere all three movements of Stephanie’s wind ensemble piece Circles Circling at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington (3/13, 3 PM).

Richard Michelson‘s children’s book Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy was awarded the 2017 Sydney Taylor Silver Medal from Association of Jewish Librarians and a 2016 Junior Library Guild Gold Medal. His just-published picture book The Language of Angels received a 2017 Junior Library Guild Gold Medal. Richard will reading from my work in Seoul, South Korea (3/30) and at the Poetry Center at PCCC in Paterson NJ along with Mark Doty (4/1).

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).

Congratulations to Ethan Murrow, whose children’s book The Whale, co-created with Vita Murrow, was selected for the Longlist for the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal.

Anne Neely is in the group exhibition Thinking About Water: Artists Reflect (3/22-6/30, opening reception 3/22, 7-9 PM) at The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Boston.

Brad Nelson has a solo exhibition This Tells Me Where I Am, at frosch&portmann in New York City (3/0-4/23, opening reception 3/9, 6-8 PM).

Masha Obolensky‘s play Marvelous Fruit will be read at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (3/19, 7 PM).

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.

Shelley Reed has a solo exhibition, A Curious Nature, at Fitchburg Art Museum (thru 6/4, opening reception 3/12, 2-5 PM).

Tara Sellios has a solo exhibition of photography, Testimony, at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland OR (3/2-4/2, reception 3/2, 6-9 PM, artist talk 3/3, 12 PM).

Laurel Sparks is among the artists exhibiting in Witches at September Gallery in Hudson, NY (3/18-5/7, opening reception 3/18, 6-8 PM).

Naoe Suzuki has recently returned from a month-long residency at the Tokyo Wonder Site. Currently, she’s exhibiting in Cloudlands at the Albany International Airport (thru 7/31).

Cam Terwilliger‘s as yet unpublished novel Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart is the winner of the 2017 Caledonia Novel Award.

Sarah Wentworth‘s photograph Rugosa Window, is one of the pieces in the Maud Morgan Art Center Chandler Gallery‘s 2017 Small Works Salon (3/20-4/14, reception 4/2, 3-5 PM). The exhibition was juried by gallery owner Howard Yezerski.

Kris Willcox‘s essay Love and Compost will soon be published in the Portland Review.

Evan Ziporyn was featured in WBUR’s ARTery for his orchestral version of David Bowie’s album Blackstar.

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

Image: interview with Lisa Nilsson, from the 40 Years of Fellowships project. This month, the artist exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art.

Poet Ben Berman Reads in Brookline March 16

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Cover art for FIGURING IN THE FIGURE by Ben Berman (Able Muse Press 2017)

Ben Berman (Poetry Fellow ’08) is a teacher, poetry editor at Solstice Literary Magazine, and author of two books. Ben discussed the evolution of his first poetry collection, Strange Borderlands, in an ArtSake post from December 2012.

Ben’s most recent poetry collection Figuring in the Figure is being published this month by Able Muse Press, and Ben will read from it at Brookline Booksmith on Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7 PM.

Based on ArtSake’s brief interview with Ben shortly after he won his 2008 award, it’s no surprise that humor plays an important role in Figuring in the Figure, which explores (among other things) the poet’s experience of fatherhood.

Reading by Ben Berman and Krysten Hill
Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7 PM
Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446

Learn more about Ben on his website.

Image: Cover art for FIGURING IN THE FIGURE by Ben Berman (Able Muse Press 2017).

Fellows Notes – Jan 17

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Each month, we share the news and honors of Artist Fellows & Finalists. Here’s the newest, in this new month of the new year.

Cover art for BEFORE YOU by Rebecca Doughty (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017)

Regie Gibson, Letta Neely, Monica Raymond, and David Valdes Greenwood are among the artists whose work will be performed at Pinning Our Hopes, an evening of poems and scenes exploring the years ahead under the new president. The show, which is curated by David Valdes Greenwood, has two performances (1/14, 4 PM and 8 PM) and is free/donation-based.

Marky Kauffmann and Rania Matar both have photography in Outspoken: Seven Women Photographers at the de Menil Gallery at Groton School (opening reception 1/18, 7 PM). Marky Kauffmann curated the exhibition.

Kenji Nakayama and Ben Sloat are among the artists in the exhibition All That Glitters Is Not Gold at Drive-by Projects (1/28-3/11, reception 1/28, 4-6 PM).

Rachel Perry, Joe Wardwell, and Deb Todd Wheeler are among the artists exhibiting in Loud and Clear at Miller Yezerski Gallery (1/6-2/7).

Daniela Rivera and Evelyn Rydz are both exhibiting in latinx@mericañaza at Samson Projects.

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Kati Agócs had the U.S. premiere of her string quarter Tantric Variations, performed by the Cecilia String Quartet on Stradivari instruments, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in December.

Alexandra Anthony has a one-week theatrical run of her film Lost in the Bewilderness in Athens, Greece (1/12-1/18) at the Alkyonis Art Cinema. National Greek TV (ERT) will broadcast the film 1/15. The film’s December premiere in Greece received press attention in Madame Figaro and THETOC.gr.

Carrie Bennett has poetry in Issue 30 of jubilat.

Steven Bogart has a staged reading of his play Rehearsal at First Church in Boston Unitarian Universalist (1/24, 7 PM).

David Bookbinder has recently published two books: 52 (more) Flower Mandalas (an adult coloring book collaboration with Mary O’Malley) and Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas.

Rebecca Doughty has a new picture book, Before You, which will have a book launch event at Joie de Vivre in Cambridge (1/15, 4-6 PM).

Michael Dowling co-wrote the feature film Brave New Jersey, and it’s screening at the Berkshire Film Festival (1/12, 6 PM reception, 7 PM screening, q&a to follow).

Samantha Fields has a performative sculptural installation in the exhibition Is this Something at the Lasell College Wedeman Gallery (1/24-2/11, reception 1/29, 4-6 PM). Next summer, she will be Artist-in-Residence at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin.

Sean Greene has a solo exhibition, Impulse Control, at the Williston Northampton School Grubbs Gallery (thru 1/30, reception 1/14, 1 PM).

Carrie Gustafson is exhibiting in the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair (1/18-1/22).

Michael Hoerman‘s poems “Disoriented Fascination,” “The God-box Killer,” and “The B-side of Stuxnet,” published in Eureka Literary Magazine, were nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Eric Hofbauer‘s album Three Places in New England (with The Eric Hofbauer Quintet) was named one of the Boston Globe’s Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2016.

Joel Janowitz has a solo exhibition, Protected Trees, presented by Cambridge Arts at Gallery 344 (1/23-4/7, reception 1/30, 6-8 PM).

Niho Kozuru is among the artists in Plastic Imagination Fitchburg Art Museum (thru 1/15).

Scott Listfield is exhibiting in Supersonic Invitational (New York City), Platinum Blend 3 at Modern Eden Gallery (San Francisco), BRINK at Antler Gallery (Portland), and a Rick and Morty-themed exhibition at Gallery 1988 in LA.

Caitlin McCarthy is included in the book The Top 100 Indie Writers in the World.

Nathalie Miebach is in the group show Weather or Not, That Is the Question at the Children’s Museum of New York City (1/16-5/23). She’s also exhibiting in Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America at the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archeology (1/27-5/14).

Anna Ross has a poem, Back Porch Aubade, published on Harvard Review Online.

Evelyn Rydz‘s exhibition Floating Artifacts is at Tufts University Art Gallery (1/24-5/21, opening reception 1/26, 5-7:30 PM). As mentioned above, she’s also exhibiting in latinx@mericañaza at Samson Projects.

Jenine Shereos has a solo show of new work, Thaw, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston (1/14-3/8, reception 2/25, 5-7 PM).

Karen Skolfield won the Jeffrey Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry at Missouri Review.

Shubha Sunder wrote about the writing workshop experience for the Grub Street’s GrubWrites blog.

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

Image: cover art for BEFORE YOU by Rebecca Doughty (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017).

How Do You Approach Art-making During Times of Emotional Distress?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Recently, WBUR had a story about how events out of our control – such as the recent election – create stress and internal turmoil that can disrupt all aspects of our lives.

For artists creating (or trying to create) new work, this can mean a serious disruption of their art-making process. We asked artists, How do you approach art-making during times of emotional distress?

Jodie Mim Goodnough, NORTHAMPTON STATE HOSPITAL (2015) from the PROSPECT project, Three Inkjet Prints on Cotton Lawn, 36x78 in

Jodie Mim Goodnough, multidisciplinary artist
My work for years has been about emotional distress, both mild and pathological, and the coping mechanisms we use to self-soothe, so you’d think I’d have all the tools I need. Based on the research for my recent work, what I should be doing is going for long walks in the woods and taking deep breaths of forest air. What I’m actually doing, however, is sitting on the couch reading about how much better I would feel if I went for a walk in the woods.

But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you can’t beat yourself up for slowing down occasionally – it only compounds the misery. When I don’t have it in me to hit the studio I do small things in the direction of productivity. I research and I plan for future projects. And I look for non-art tasks that feel productive as well, like studying Spanish. I’m currently living in Providence, which has a large Latino population. I feel like I need to find ways to better connect with people in my community right now, and learning another language, even at a basic level, will help me do that.

Jessica Reik, writer
There are always emotions. Some of them are more uncomfortable for me to be with than others. Some, like elation, feel really good but interfere with my ability to write – elation wants the external and so I’m out doing, not home writing! Fear, sadness, insecurity, they pose different challenges. Seeming bottomless (they never are), they threaten to take over the executive self and with it, all those evolved capacities of the human brain – like perspective – I rely on to write.

I like to sit with a difficult emotion and feel where it’s lodged in my body, then find out what’s underneath. Take fear (often in my lower abdomen). Fundamentally, it’s a lack of basic safety, so I look for that safety in tangible ways and identify what is trustworthy and supportive — my bones, my breath, the chair I’m sitting in. Simple stuff. I like to give structure for the emotion, a house I’ve built for it to roam around in, because the emotion itself isn’t the problem, it’s my reaction to it.

Always, in the end, I find myself in the same place at the end of this process — back to the work. My writing comes out of those very same vulnerable places where sadness takes root — where all emotions do — and yet is also one of the sources of stability that gets me through.

Michael Joseph, photographer
In times of emotional stress, not only making art, but also viewing art can provide a much-needed emotional release. Often my most productive periods are when I feel a need to disconnect with my own internal stressors and reconnect with life that is happening around me. Grabbing my camera and going for a walk breaks up a physically sedentary day but also an emotionally clouded one.

Street photography is unique in that it allows the artist to be present with the world in a way that working in a studio cannot. It shifts our role from being a participant to being an observer. Working on the street has a unique duality: the sometimes frustrating challenge of dealing with the unforeseen but also the excitement and reward of capturing the serendipitous. Events out of our control and uncertainty therefore become positives. By paying close attention to unpredictable actions and emotions of others in fluid environments, we are forced to focus less on our own internal thoughts to capture external narratives in real time.

I always saw the camera as a powerful tool of connection. Making street portraits of strangers whose personalities and places in the world are different from my own, forces me to engage with others and learn from them. It presents the challenge of making their unique, internal story come to the surface through a portrait. There is no time for subjects to look in the mirror, change clothes, fix hair or put on make-up, and I can’t ask the sun to change or the clouds to move… I am forced to make art from what is before me. And in that reality, I make my most powerful work.

Michael Joseph, SOPHIE (2013), archival pigment print, 16x16 in

 

Jodie Mim Goodnough is a Providence, Rhode Island-based artist whose work revolves around the use of images in psychology and psychiatry, and includes photography, sculpture, performance, video and sound. Recently, she received a 2017 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Photography and was named a 2017 Traveling Fellow by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. Her work will exhibit in Building a Lineage at Piano Craft Gallery in Boston, January 2017.

Michael Joseph is a street and street portrait photographer. His “Lost and Found” series, which has been featured on CNN, will be included in the December 8 slide presentation night (Dec 8, 6:30 PM) to complement IDENTITY: The List Portraits at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Recently honored in PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass 2016 Top 50 list, he’ll have work in the accompanying exhibition (Apr 7-May 2 at the Artwork Network Gallery Space in Denver). He has an article coming out in the December issue of the Czech Republic magazine CILICHILI. Find him on Instagram and Facebook.

Writer Jessica Reik was awarded a fellowship position in Grub Street’s Memoir Incubator Program, where she worked on the memoir The Fathom-Long Body. Recently, she received a fellowship to attend a Ucross Foundation residency and was named a finalist in StoryQuarterly Non Fiction Prize. On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 7 PM, she’ll read her work in an event featuring MCC literary awardees.

Images: Jodie Mim Goodnough, NORTHAMPTON STATE HOSPITAL (2015) from the PROSPECT project, three Inkjet Prints on cotton lawn, 36×78 in; Michael Joseph, SOPHIE (2013), archival pigment print, 16×16 in.

Fellows Notes – Dec 16

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Here’s a December-ific roundup of the latest news from MCC’s Artist Fellows/Finalists.

Kelly Popoff, BARRICADE (2015), oil on canvas, 63x88 in

Laura Baring-Gould, Niho Kozuru, and Gretchen Romey-Tanzer are all exhibiting in CraftBoston Holiday (12/2-12/4) at Hynes Convention Center.

David Bookbinder and Mary O’Malley have collaborated on the adult coloring book 52 (more) Flower Mandalas. Mary converted David’s “flower mandala” photographs into illustrations, to color for inspiration and stress relief.

Ryan P. Casey, Wendy Jehlen, and Candice Salyers have all received funding in the inaugural cycle of NEFA’s New England Dance Fund.

Sean Downey, Cristi Rinklin, Joe Wardwell are exhibiting in Irregular Landscapes (thru 2/22, opening reception 12/8, 6-8 PM) at the Hynes Convention Center.

Nicole Duennebier, Asia Kepka, Rachel Mello, Mary O’Malley, and Nina Wishnok are all exhibiting in Plenty at 13 Forest Gallery (thru 1/14).

Warner Friedman, Janet Rickus, and Dawn Southworth at SCOPE Miami Beach with Clark Gallery (12/1-12/4).

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Sophia Ainslie is participating in Vernon Street Open Studios (12/3-12/4). She also has work in Holiday Smalls at Gallery NAGA (12/17). Recently, she completed a commissioned mural for the lobby of Enso Flats in Brockton.

Alexandra Anthony will attend the official Athens, Greece premiere of her film Lost in the Bewilderness (12,15, 7:30 PM, Alkyonis New Star Cinema). Read about the event.

Robert Beavers is among the artists in the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Ben Berman will have a new book of poems, Figuring in the Figure, coming out from Able Muse Press, March 2017 (now available for pre-order).

Cree Bruins has a solo show, Drawn to Light, at Kingston Gallery (thru 1/1).

Caleb Cole‘s photography exhibition Other People’s Clothes is at the Mayor’s Art Gallery of Boston City Hall (thru 12/9). He’s also exhibiting in Fertile Solitude at the Boston Center for the Arts Mills Gallery (thru 12/18).

Mary Jane Doherty has two upcoming screenings: her dance documentary Secundaria screens at Prince Theater in Philadelphia (12/14, 7 PM), hosted by the Pennsylvania Ballet and Philadelphia Film Society. Her film Primaria has its Latin American premiere at La Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine LatinoAmericano in Havana, Cuba (12/16, 5:30 PM).

Amy Dryansky reads at Blacksmith House (with Paul Breslin, 12/12, 8 PM), as part of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series.

Congratulations to Janet Echelman, who recently won a fellowship from United States Artists.

Christy Georg has work in the group exhibition Breaking the Block at the Santa Fe Convention Center Community Gallery (12/16-3/2, reception 12/16, 5-7 PM). She is also featured at the New Mexico Museum of Art in the Alcoves series: small one-person exhibitions featuring contemporary artists working in New Mexico (12/9-1/29, reception 12/11, 10:30 AM-12 PM).

Asia Kepka has a booksigning at 13 Forest Gallery (12/8, 6-8 PM) for the book Horace and Agnes: A Love Story, along with co-creator Lynn Dowling.

Jesse Kreitzer has received the James Goldstone Award for Emerging Vermont Filmmaker from the Vermont International Film Foundation, with an awards ceremony 12/15, 7 PM, at the Main Street Landing Film House.

Scott Listfield has work in SCOPE Miami Beach, through Thinkspace Gallery (11/29-12/4).

Rania Matar is exhibiting at PULSE Miami Beach with Pictura Gallery (12/1-12/4).

Rachel Mello has a solo show, That Space Between Flying and Falling, at Laconia Gallery (thru 12/18, artist talk 12/2, 6:30-7 PM).

Kelly Popoff has a solo show, O Children at Herter Art Gallery at UMass Amherst (thru 12/16).

Monica Raymond is part of the first Artists’ Lab at Studio 550 in Cambridge, which is having an end-of-lab open (12/7, 10 AM-1 PM) at 550 Mass Ave, Cambridge.

Jendi Reiter‘s short story “Taking Down the Pear Tree” won the 2016 New Letters Prize for Fiction from the literary journal of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Susan Rivo‘s documentary Left on Pearl was accepted at the Black Maria Film Festival, with the additional honor of receiving a Director’s Choice Award.

Kay Ruane has an exhibition, Two Drawings, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 12/23, artist reception 12/2, 5-8 PM).

Karl Stevens has a weekly comic strip, Penny, in The Village Voice.

Sarah Wentworth has a solo show of performed photos of Fishline Creature at the St Botolph Club (12/7-1/13, opening reception 12/7, 5:30-7 PM). Also, her work has been included in White Columns’ Artist Registry.

Michael Zelehoski has a solo show, Surface Tension, at Mackin Projects (12/10-1/7, opening reception 12/11, 6-8 PM).

Michael Zelehoski, ANIMISM (2016), assemblage with repurposed wood and florescent bulbs, 65x67 in

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

Images: Kelly Popoff, BARRICADE (2015), oil on canvas, 63×88 in; Michael Zelehoski, ANIMISM (2016), assemblage with repurposed wood and florescent bulbs, 65×67 in.


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