Archive for the ‘playwriting’ Category

Announcing 32 Awards in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Mara Superior, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2014), porcelain, wood, gold leaf, 24x20x15 in

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is honored to announce the 2017 Artist Fellowship awards in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Sixteen artists will receive fellowships of $12,000, and 16 artists will receive $1,000 finalist awards. See a list of this year’s fellows and finalists, to date.

The awards are anonymously judged, based solely on the artistic quality and creative ability of the work submitted. Applications were open to all eligible Massachusetts artists. A total number of 561 applications were received; 141 in Crafts, 135 in Dramatic Writing, and 285 in Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.

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

The Crafts panelists were Honee A. Hess, Ji-Eun Kim, Daniel Kornrumpf, and Beth McLaughlin. The Dramatic Writing panelists were Maria Agui Carter, Anne G. Morgan, and Rebecca Noon; the Readers were Steven Bogart and Talaya Delaney. The Sculpture/Installation/New Genres panelists were Nicholas Capasso, Dana Filibert, Jen Mergel, and Allison Maria Rodriguez.

This is the first series of Artist Fellowships awards to be given by the Mass Cultural Council in 2017. In late May 2017, MCC will announce awards in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography.

Find a full list of 2017 Artist Fellowships awardees, to date.

Nora Valdez, LONG PATH (2013), Limestone and marble, 12x52x7 in

From the Off-Broadway production of EXPATRIATE by Lenelle Moise, photos by Vanessa Vargas

Images: Mara Superior (Crafts Fellow ’17), THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2014), porcelain, wood, gold leaf, 24x20x15 in; Evan Morse (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’17), SEB AND CLAIRE ILLEGALLY STREAM A MOVIE (2016), hydrocal, pigment, 9x18x15 in; Nora Valdez (Crafts Fellow ’17), LONG PATH (2013), limestone and marble, 12x52x7 in; from the Off-Broadway production of EXPATRIATE by Lenelle Moise (Dramatic Writing Fellow ’17), photos by Vanessa Vargas.

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).

Fellows Notes – Oct 16

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

October-y news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.

Shelley Reed, ON THE WALL (AFTER HONDECOETER) (2010), oil on canvas, 48x36 in

Caleb Cole, Dana Filibert, Shelley Reed, and Sarah Wentworth are among the artist exhibiting in Fertile Solitude at the Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts (10/14-12/18, opening reception 10/14, 6-8 PM). The exhibition, curated by FLUX.Boston creator Elizabeth Devlin, explores the idea of reprieve from everyday life through the physical framework of a maze that exhibition visitors are free to explore.

MCC Artist Fellows and Finalists will read at Forbes Library in Northampton (10/19, 7 PM). The readers are D M Gordon, Heather Kamins, Richard Michelson, Sarah Sousa, and Elizabeth Witte. Learn more and find the event on Facebook.

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Sachiko Akiyama has a solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures, Sachiko Akiyama: Between Here and There, at Matter & Light Fine Art (thru 10/31).

Alexandra Anthony‘s film Lost in the Bewilderness screens at the Robbins Library in Arlington, MA (10/20, 7 PM), as part of the Arlington International Film Festival’s 2016 Robbins Library Monthly Film Series. Free and open to the public, Q & A with Alexandra Anthony to follow.

Alice Bouvrie is screening her film A Chance To Dress at MIT (10/13, 7 PM). The filmmaker along with the subjects of the film, Dr. John “Tephra” Southard and his wife, Rev. Jean Southard, will be present for a post-screening Q & A.

Matt Brackett‘s first solo show in Boston in four years will take place at Alpha Gallery (10/7-11/2, opening reception 10/7, 6-8 PM). One of the included paintings, Moonstone, was one of 35 works out of over 2,400 applicants to receive a Certificate of Excellence in the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition last spring. See the artist’s Studio Views post on ArtSake.

Charles Coe is among the artists selected for the Boston Artists-in-Residence Program.

Mary Jane Doherty will have the West Coast premiere of her documentary Primaria at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival (10/23, 2 PM).

Tory Fair has a solo show of drawing/sculpture hybrids, Tory Fair: Paperweight at VERY in Boston (thru 10/22).

Jake Fried‘s animation was featured on the science technology/pop culture blog io9.

Georgie Friedman has unveiled a site-specific video installation at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, Traces of Wind and Water (thru 11/14), part of her work as a City of Boston Artist in Residence Program. There is a Boston AIR reception 11/14 at the Strand.

Beth Galston has a solo show at the Cynthia Reeves Gallery in North Adams (thru 11/13).

Marky Kauffmann was invited to participate in the Berlin Foto Biennale after being named a finalist in the 2015 Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers. Also, she’ll exhibit in the group show Mirror with a Memory at the Peter Miller Gallery in Providence, RI (10/20-11/12, opening reception 10/20, 5-9 PM).

Lisa Kessler received a George Gund Foundation commission to photograph in the Cleveland public schools. The photography collection will be on exhibit at the Cleveland Public Main Library in downtown Cleveland (thru 10/28). A smaller traveling exhibit will be on display at several library branches around the city.

Colleen Kiely will have a solo show at the Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery (10/11-11/9, opening reception 10/20, 5-7 PM, artist’s talk 10/26, 12-1 PM). She’ll also have work in the pop-up exhibit Stark Naked at Gallery Kayafas, 10/16, 7-10 PM.

Niho Kozuru has a solo show, Positive Vibration, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 11/15).

Dawn Kramer, along with Stephen Buck, will participate in this year’s Roslindale Open Studios (10/22-10/23).

Yary Livan was featured in the Lowell Sun.

Melinda Lopez has a new play, Mala, at ArtsEmerson (10/27-11/20). Also, she contributed a short play to Still Waiting a series of vignettes created to accompany the play Waiting for Lefty at Boston College Robsham Theatre (10/13-10/16).

Tara Masih is the Series Editor for the annual Best Small Fictions series, which just published the 2016 edition.

Rania Matar has photography in the exhibition Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth at Tufts University Art Center (thru 12/4). Her solo show Becoming: Girls, Women, and Coming of Age exhibits at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN (10/7-11/26, opening reception 10/7 5-8 PM, artist talk 10/11, 7 PM). In December, that same gallery will exhibit Rania’s work in Pulse Miami. Her work is included in Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East at Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL (thru 12/ 31. artist talk 10/23, 2 PM) Her work is also exhibiting at Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut Lebanon and at C. Grimaldis Gallery

Mary Bucci McCoy is in the experimental group exhibition Fiction (With Only Daylight Between Us) at boeckercontemporary in Heidelberg, Germany (10/15-31). Also, she will have a public conversation with Brooklyn artist David Mann at Rafius Fane Gallery in SoWa, Boston (10/8, 2-4 PM).

Joshua Meyer has a solo show, Seek My Face: The Art of Joshua Meyer, 2000-2016 at The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA (thru 12/23, reception 10/27, 7-9 PM).

Richard Michelson was featured in WBUR Radio for his children’s book about Leonard Nimoy, Fascinating.

Nathalie Miebach is in the group show Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space at Akron Art Museum (thru 1/15). Also, she’ll give a talk at Ohio Wesleyan University (10/19, 7 PM) as part of the Sagan National Colloquium.

Ethan Murrow has a large-scale wall drawing in Escape Routes at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI (thru 1/15). See an interview about the process.

Jendi Reiter‘s debut novel Two Natures was published in September by Saddle Road Press. Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, MA is hosting her local book launch (10/19, 7 PM).

Jo Ann Rothschild will exhibit work in the Fall Open House at the Studio at 535 Albany Street in Boston (10/27, 5-8 PM).

Samuel Rowlett has a solo exhibition of recent multimedia work, A Thing Not Planned for Imagery or Belief, on view in the South Gallery at Greenfield Community College (thru 11/3). There will be a gallery talk 10/26, 12 PM, and a closing reception 11/2, 5:30-7 PM.

James Rutenbeck‘s film Class of ’27 is an Editor’s Pick from The Atlantic.

Jane Smaldone‘s exhibition Rocks & Roses and The Return of the Fox shows at Clark Gallery in Lincoln (thru 10/31).

Stephen Tourlentes has work in the group exhibition Surveillance at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO (thru 1/29).

Joe Wardwell has a solo show at LaMontagne Gallery in Winchester (thru 11/11) and another exhibition, Soon I Will Be President at Southern New Hampshire University McIninch Art Gallery (11/3-12/17, opening reception and artist talk 11/3, 5-7 PM).

Cary Wolinsky has a solo exhibition of photography, Cary Wolinsky: Fiber of Life at Fuller Craft Museum (10/8-2/26, opening reception 11/6, 2-5 PM).

Jung Yun reads from her novel Shelter at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (10/5, 6-8 PM), sponsored by the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project.

Angela Zammarelli is exhibiting in the group show The Unity of Opposites at A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA (thru 10/30, opening reception 10/14, 5-8 PM). She is currently in residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA and will be participating in an open studios 10/19, 5-7 PM.

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

Images and media: Shelley Reed, ON THE WALL (AFTER HONDECOETER) (2010), oil on canvas, 48×36 in; Alexandra Anthony’s interview from the 40 Years of Fellowships Project.

Historic Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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Of Note: The National Museum of African American History & Culture has opened in Washington DC.

Poets Entries are now being accepted for the New Criterion’s Poetry Prize of $3,000 and publication by St. Augustine’s Press. The prize is given annually for a poetry collection that pays close attention to form. Erica Dawson, Roger Kimball, and David Yezzi will judge. Submit a manuscript of up to 60 pages with a $25 entry fee byVisit the website for complete guidelines. Learn more.
Deadline:  September 30, 2016

Artist Business Grants MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is seeking Boston-based applicants for its Matched Savings Program, which supports creative entrepreneurs with a matching grant and artist-focused business and financial training. Eligible applicants must have a home or studio address in the City of Boston. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Poets, Fiction Writers Entries are currently being accepted for the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes. Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel or novella. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Short Fiction Entries are now being accepted for the University of Iowa Press Short Fiction Awards. Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

MCC Artist Fellowships The Massachusetts Cultural Council is currently accepting Artist Fellowship applications for Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged grants for Massachusetts artists in recognition of artistic excellence. Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000. Learn more.
Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016

STARS Residencies The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residencies Program (Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants of $500-$5,000 to schools to support creative learning residencies of three days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Learn more.
Application opens October 6, 2016 at 4pm

Videos, Animations, Computer Generated Work Proposals for the next round of Art on the Marquee are currently being accepted. Looking for work 30 second videos, animations or computer generated work, that use the entire Marquee in creative ways. Please submit a storyboard, statement, work samples, and CV to info@bostoncyberarts.org The call is limited to artists who live anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Learn more.
Deadline: October 16th, 2016 (midnight)

Boston Choreographers The Boston Foundation and The Aliad Fund have announced Next Steps for Boston Dance, a new grant program that provides multi-layered support for Boston-area choreographers creating original work in any genre. Offers 250 hours of rehearsal space; 6-10 consultations with experts in chosen areas of need/interest; $5,000 in implementation funds for the artist to take a “next step” in his/her work or career; a series of cohort meetings to connect choreographers, build relationships, and allow for co-learning. A minimum of three grants will be awarded in this pilot round/first year of Next Steps. Learn more.
Deadline: Oct 24, 2016 at 5pm

Ten-minute Plays Submissions of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights are now being accepted for the Boston Theater Marathon XIX to be held May 14, 2017, at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2016

Writing Conference Scholarships If you’re interested in attending Muse and the Marketplace, GrubStreet’s national conference for writers, in Boston Spring 2017 but could use financial support, GrubStreet is offering numerous $250 scholarships for attendees. Learn more.
Deadline: November 21, 2016

Image credit: Circa 1940s: “Miss America.” (Joe Schwartz). From the photography collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Charlotte Meehan: Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Charlotte Meehan, Artistic Director of Sleeping Weazel and a past contributor to ArtSake, is about to premiere a new play, Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness: a User’s Guide at the Boston Center for the Arts. Here, she shares how her personal background and the country’s “mad time” have shaped her new work for the theatre.

(l-r): Veronica Anastasio Wiseman, Stephanie Burlington Daniels

Some thoughts on the state of our union… and theatre’s place within it

The opening of my new multimedia play, Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness: A User’s Guide, is a singular experience in my life as a playwright, as I consider this production a social intervention during a particularly mad time in U.S. culture. Who would have predicted two years ago when I began researching and developing the script that Donald Trump was about to descend on the scene of a national election and eventually win the Republican nomination for the highest office in the country (and some say the world)?

During these past two years, we have also seen a rise in police brutality against African Americans, or at least an increase in the reporting of it, along with rapidly multiplying acts of gun violence and mass shootings the likes of which this country has never before seen. I have asked myself, over and over, what is going on here? To boot, the daily rounds of hate speech this election cycle provides is starting to remind me of my childhood on the right wing fringe in which my father, a regional leader in The John Birch Society, would frequently say, “terrorism is the answer.” For entertainment value, he threatened on a regular basis (and even once at my cousin’s wedding) to bomb the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Charlotte Meehan, photo by Tina HoweAs I grew into adolescence, I came to realize that my parents’ way of life – their right wing extremist political views and their Pre-Vatican II religious zealotry – were far outside the social norms of the day. This was the 1970s in Levittown, Long Island, where they were also part of the parents group that fought to ban books, including The Catcher in the Rye, in the Island Trees public school district. I was not even attending public school and yet my parents were intent on “being involved” in community efforts to rid the country of whatever they considered sinful ideas. The principal and the priest at the draconian Catholic school I attended convinced my parents that I had “liberal tendencies” and should not be sent to college where I would gravitate towards the Marxists and Jews. I guess they were right about that, at least.

In Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness: A User’s Guide, I portray two Christian housewives who found The Movement to Restore Decency (aka MOTOREDE) and find themselves falling into sexual escapades with each other. In the midst of all this, they decide to buy some guns, they get into big trouble with their pretty awful (onscreen only) husbands, and they even begin chatting with the real God, who is far more reasonable than their fundamentalist Christian leaders would have them believe. It’s mayhem through and through, conveying at every turn the impossibility of adhering to an outmoded morality system no one actually upholds. In real life, my mother and her friend did actually found MOTOREDE, but the story turned out differently for them. Rather than getting “the hots” for each other, as happens in the play, my mother’s friend took up with the local Chief of Police and left her family for him.

Without giving too much away, the play also deals head-on with news stories of today, particularly regarding gun violence, and employs Acts of God to snap its characters back into some semblance of reality, from which they quickly retreat, once the ground beneath them feels solid again. Sadly, this is all so close to what’s happening in mainstream politics at the moment that I hardly see it as an exaggerated version, constructed for dramatic effect, of life as we know it. All I can think is that the past eight years with our first African American President, a diplomat and an intellectual, have threatened some to such an extent that they are willing to support a crazily greedy, megalomaniac to be the next leader of this country. However, like President Obama, I generally believe that progress will continue, even as the tidal waves of ignorance and fear try to wash it away.

Through director Robbie McCauley’s clear-eyed vision, Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness provides an invitation to meditate on the insanity and to collectively find a way out of its maze.

Charlotte Meehan
Artistic Director, Sleeping Weazel
September 13, 2016

 

Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness: A User’s Guide
September 15–17 and 22–24, 2016, 7:30 pm
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Images: (l-r) Veronica Anastasio Wiseman and Stephanie Burlington Daniels from CLEANLINESS, GODLINESS, AND MADNESS; Charlotte Meehan, photo by Tina Howe.

Fellows Notes – Sep 16

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Back to school, kiddos! Here’s the latest news from our esteemed alumni – the past awardees of our Artist Fellowships Program.

Ethan Murrow, RIPARIAN LAW (2016), graphite on paper, 36x36in

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center in Newton (NAC) join together to present the MCC Artist Fellows in Painting, Choreography, Drawing & Printmaking, and Traditional Arts (9/16-10/15, opening reception 9/16, 6-8 PM). The exhibition will feature: in Painting – Dennis Congdon, Nicole Duennebier, Raúl Gonzalez, Joel Janowitz, Catherine Kehoe, Andrew Gordon Moore, and Cristi Rinklin; in Drawing & Printmaking – Kim Carlino, Erica Daborn, Linda Etcoff, Kevin Frances, Emily Lombardo, Stephen Mishol, and Ethan Murrow; in Choreography – Dahlia Nayar, Candice Salyers, and Sara L Smith; and in Traditional Arts – Dimitrios Klitsas.

MCC Choreography Fellow Candice Salyers will perform and literary awardees Jane Dykema, Michael Lowenthal, Shubha Sunder, Sheryl White, and Kris Willcox will read at the New Art Center (9/30, 6:30 dance performance, 7 PM reading). Look for more readings by MCC literary Fellows/Finalists in the months ahead.

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Elizabeth Alexander has a solo show, I May Not Be a Lion exhibiting at Elon University in North Carolina (thru 10/6). Watch her artist talk about the show. Also, she is in the group exhibition For the Saturday Evening Girls at Drive-By Projects (9/17-10/29, opening reception 9/17, 4-6 PM).

Marilyn Arsem performs as part of the Arctic Action: International Action Art Festival in Svalbard, Norway (9/19-9/28).

Sarah Bliss co-created a site-specific 16mm film sculpture-installation, pump, filter, reflect, with Chrissy Hunt and Anto Astudillo, and it will be featured in Temporal Currents, a one-night-only live experimental film and sound event at Boston;s Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, featuring filmmakers from the AgX Film Collective and musicians from NonEvent.

John Cameron is in two exhibitions this month: Furniture Masters 2016: Distinctive at 3S ArtSpace in Portsmouth, NH (thru 9/25, Main Event on 9/25). Also, a showcase of work by recent exhibitors at the Smithsonian Craft Show, called D.C. Current, exhibits at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine (9/23-1/4, opening reception 9/23, 5-7 PM).

Stephen DiRado has been selected to receive the 35th ArtsWorcester Award (9/9, 6 PM), given annually to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the artistic and cultural life of this city.

William Giraldi publishes a new memoir this month, The Hero’s Body. He’ll read from the book at Harvard Book Store (9/10, 7 PM).

Kelly Goff‘s installation Dumpster was featured in an article in the arts journal Hyperallergic about the 2016 Governor’s Island Art Fair.

Sean Greene is exhibiting in a two-person show (with Jen Simms) at Mingo Gallery in Beverly (thru 10/8, opening reception 9/9, 6 PM). He’s also in a group show at Mount Holyoke College Blanchard Gallery (thru 9/15, opening reception 9/8, 5:30 PM).

Colleen Kiely has drawings in About Face at UMass Amherst’s Augusta Savage Gallery (9/12-9/28).

Jesse Kreitzer‘s film Black Canaries was awarded the Vermont Symphony Orchestera’s VSO Award for Best Integration of Music into Film at the Middlebury Filmmakers Festival. The film also received Grand Jury Awards for “Best Short Film” and “Best Cinematography” at the 12th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood, California.

Danielle Legros Georges takes part in Living in Many Languages: Poetry And Music to Celebrate the Act of Translation at Dewey Square Parks (9/2, 2 PM). She’ll also read as part of the ICA Boston’s Powerful Words, an evening of readings, reflections, and community in response to violence, racial injustice, and trauma (9/8, 6 PM).

Sandy Litchfield has a solo show, Deciduious City, at Carroll and Sons Gallery (9/7-10/1, opening reception 9/9, 5:30 PM).

Tara Masih is the Series Editor for the annual Best Small Fictions series, which just published the 2016 edition.

Rania Matar exhibits her new photography series Invisible Children, capturing the portraits of young Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, at C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore (9/15-10/22, opening reception 9/15, 6-8 PM).

Caitlin McCarthy has essays in two upcoming nonfiction anthologies from McFarland & Company: She Loves You: Women Writers Tell How a Teen Idol Changed Their Life and Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow. Also, her script Wonder Drughighlighted in an article in Collective Evolution.

Richard Michelson is publishing a new children’s book, Fascinating: the Life of Leonard Nimoy. There will be a Publication Party and Book Signing (9/9, 6-8 PM) in conjunction with the opening of UNSEEN: Fifty Never Before Exhibited Photographs, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, at R. Michelson Galleries.

Nathalie Miebach is in a group show, Encircling the World: Contemporary Art, Science, and the Sublime at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Bakalar Gallery (9/19-12/3, opening reception 9/19, 6-8 PM).

Ethan Murrow has a solo show of drawings, Water Almanac, at Winston Wächter Fine Art in NY (9/8-10/29, opening reception 9/8, 6-8 PM). The artist utilized portions of his MCC grant to support the creation of art for the show, which features drawings based on the Farmers Almanac.

Lisa Olivieri screens her film Blindsided at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport (9/18, 12 PM). Q&A with the director to follow screening.

Monica Rayond‘s play A to Z was a finalist for both the Jane Chambers Award and ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting. Paper of Plastic, a short opera for which she wrote the libretto (music, Charles Turner), won second prize in Opera Kansas’s short opera competition.

Marian Roth has a solo exhibition, Marian Roth: The Mysterious World of the Camera Obscura, at the Griffin Museum of Photography (9/8-10/2, talk and reception 9/15, 5-8 PM).

Eric Henry Sanders will have a reading of his new play Where’s Annie? at the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton (9/17, 7:30 PM).

Congratulations to Karen Skolfield, named a runner-up in the The Iowa Review’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans writing contest. Five of her poems will be published in the Spring 2017 issue of Iowa Review. This month, she’s participating in events surrounding the Amherst Poetry Festival and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon 2016 (9/15-9/17).

Peter Snoad‘s short play Bull will be produced by The Landing Theatre in Houston as part of its Redemption series (9/21-10/3). The play is about the love/hate relationship of two New York City cops with Arturo DiModica’s iconic statue of the Charging Bull which they’re guarding during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Naoe Suzuki, currently artist-in-residence at the Broad Institute, will have a public dialogue with Broad Institute founding core member Tod Golub called Collaborating at the Intersection of Art and Science (9/27, 3-4 PM).

Scott Wheeler composed the music for Naga, one of the three operas performed as part of the Ouroboros Trilogy at ArtsEmerson (9/10-9/17).

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

Image: Ethan Murrow (Drawing & Printmaking Fellow ’16), RIPARIAN LAW (2016), graphite on paper, 36x36in.

Apply Now for an Artist Fellowship in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Beth Galston, LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912x12 ft

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship Program. The Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged, competitive grants for individual artists in recognition of artistic excellence.

Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000.

There are two deadlines per fiscal year, divided by discipline. Applications are now being accepted in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016.

MCC will accept applications in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography beginning December 15, 2016. Deadline: Monday, January 23, 2017.

Who should apply for an Artist Fellowship? Massachusetts artists creating original work who meet eligibility requirements (see guidelines) are encouraged to apply. Read our tips on applying for an MCC Artist Fellowship.

Read full program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application instructions.

 

Image and media: Beth Galston (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’13), LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912×12 ft; video celebrating 40 years of the Massachusetts Artist Fellowships.

Art from Surprising Places

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Maybe it’s the unremarkable visit to the grocery store that sparks an idea for a new project. Or the stultifying job that drives frantic art-making at night. Sometimes, unexpected places prove crucial to the artistic process, be it in the inspiration, the making of, or both.

As part of our periodic questions to artists about their work and lives, we asked: Has a surprising or unusual locale ever proven a boon to your art-making?

Cover art from THE POINT OF VANISHING (Beacon Press, 2015) by Howard Axelrod

Howard Axelrod, writer
Several readers have asked whether I wrote my memoir, The Point of Vanishing, which is about living in solitude in northern Vermont, while I was living in solitude in northern Vermont. I didn’t. I wrote it mostly in a house just outside of Boston, in my apartment on the third floor, in a room facing a busy street, the windows closed against the noise of deliveries at the local taqueria, and the blinds closed against the sun. Readers tend to find this image, rather than the romantic one of a writer at a rough-hewn desk overlooking the mountains, disappointing.

But the outpost that inspires writing isn’t necessarily conducive to it. To write, it helps me to be in a place that doesn’t call for my attention — to be above a street I can easily forget and then easily return to, to be in a place whose grandeur is less than that of the place I’m writing about. Of course, it helps to have traveled back from a place, like the northern Vermont woods, that I can’t help but remember.

Cecelia Raker, playwright
I am not a morning person. I have visions of my someday self awakening with the sunrise birds and blissfully churning out pages with a cup of steaming tea… yeah, nope, that’s not me. I will stay up until 3am and then sleep until 1pm if you let me. I try not to let me, because of weird stuff like human relationships and day jobs.

I am, however, an airplane person. I remember as a kid staring for hours out the tiny windows, making up stories about the towering clouds’ lives. I love the whoosh of takeoff, the stomach-scramble of turbulence, the patchwork of little lives laid out below.

Unfortunately, given that I’m also an artist on a tight budget, I most often end up on airplanes that leave very early in the morning – cranky, disheveled, exhausted. These seats are not a bed. The air smells recycled. Nothing is beautiful or inspiring. Put that window down, I’m trying to sleep.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered by accident that crack-of-dawn air travel seems to be the exact cocktail I need to write more prolifically than I ever do while grounded. Something about being suspended in a fragile metal wing-can miles above my planet makes me believe that anything I make while in that space won’t be too significant—and somehow that short-circuits my usual loop of procrastination and perfectionism, and I land with a journal full of decently usable and sometimes even funny scenes. I wish airlines had writers’ residencies.

Stephen Mishol, visual artist
My drawings are studio fictions but much of the catalyst for this grew out of my time living in Boston’s South End, on the edge of all the construction that was taking place there at the time. Even though my work doesn’t document a specific place and depends on collections of information from many places, the qualities of that landscape informed much of my work and still does to this day – the diffused light, the compression of forms, and the manner in which the city seemed to reinvent itself on a daily basis.

In that environment, it was easy to experience extreme change – from the open horizon of the sea, to the congestion of the city. In addition, over time, as the landscape became more fused with construction, it developed a very muscular ability to redirect and alter progress and perception as one traveled through it.

Eventually, I came to view the city more as an equation of division and accumulation, reflecting shifts in aesthetics, politics and necessity. To this day, my drawings are still influenced by that time and like that environment, I continue to see them as equations in the process of defining themselves.

Stephen Mishol, SOFT HORIZON (2015), Graphite on paper, 22x30in

 

Howard Axelrod is the author of the memoir The Point of Vanishing: A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Shambhala Sun, and the Boston Globe, among other publications, and he has taught at Grub Street in Boston.

Stephen Mishol is a visual artist who teaches at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He has received MCC fellowships in both Drawing & Printmaking and Painting and is represented by Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston.

Cecelia Raker is a 2016 PlayLab Fellow with Company One Theatre in Boston. Her play “La Llorona,” which recently received an Honorable Mention on the 2016 Kilroys List, will have a reading at Company One on July 24. The play will go on to have a workshop at Fresh Ink Theatre in September, with a full production planned for May ’17.

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).

**

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).

Claire Beckett‘s solo exhibition The Converts is on view at Carroll & Sons Gallery through May 28 (thru 5/28, opening reception 5/6, 5:30-7:30 pm). She also has work in the The Outwin: American Portraiture Today exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, through 2016.

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).

Nona Hershey is exhibiting a new body of work, sublime@subliminal at Soprafina Gallery in Boston (thru 5/28, artists reception 5/6, 5:30).

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.

Danielle Legros Georges, the Boston Poet Laureate, reads from her poetry collection The Dear Remote Nearness of You, reads at Boston Public Library on 5/15, 2-4 PM, in an event co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture.

Scott Listfield has his first London solo exhibition, An American Astronaut in London, at StolenSpace Gallery (5/5-5/29). Read his interview with the gallery. Also, he 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.

Stefanie 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.

Todd McKie has a solo show, Suitable for Framing, at Gallery NAGA (thru 5/28, opening reception 5/6, 6-8 PM).

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.

Ethan Murrow is currently at work on preparing for a large-scale wall drawing for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL (7/16-10/30). His new children’s book The Whale, created in collaboration with his wife Vita Murrow, is now available. Previously, Ethan published a monograph with German art book publisher Hatje Cantz.

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.

How Do You Approach the Business of Art?

Friday, April 1st, 2016

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

It can be challenging to balance artistic creation with the business, financial, or other career aspects of artists’ work. Artists are encouraged to see their art career as a “business” – but how does that translate into practice? We asked artists in different disciplines, What is your approach to the business of art, and how has it changed over time?

Part two of a two-part discussion.

Jake Fried, animator
Ultimately, my experimental animations must transcend financial concerns, otherwise they become something else for someone else. Luckily, making deeply personal work that I believe in has increasingly led to new and rewarding paid opportunities.

My main source of income is teaching, mostly at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This past year I have created commissioned work for Adult Swim and the Marionette Record label, among others. I have screened my films at many international festivals, gallery shows and artist talks that provide awards and fees. And finally I’ve been awarded grants and fellowships, including one recently in Film & Video from the MCC.

As much as possible I want my artistic and financial success to stem directly from being true to my vision – it’s a hustle and I’m always chasing new opportunities to make this happen, but it’s worth it to make the work I believe in.

Jenine Shereos, LEAF (2013), human hair, 5x3 in, photo by Robert Diamante

Jenine Shereos, sculptor/installation artist
A few years ago, some of my work was featured on a popular art and design blog. I received a lot of exposure from this, and it had a ripple effect over the years as people continued to share the images on social media and other online venues. Many positive opportunities arose from this publicity, but it was definitely a learning experience as well. I had people contact me with bizarre commission requests, dealt with copyright issues, and even had an offer from Ripley’s Believe it or Not! This experience taught me the importance of being my own agent. To say no to things that don’t fit with my vision and to seek out the opportunities that I feel will enhance my career as an artist. I spend a lot of time researching residencies, grants, and other opportunities online. Recently, artist residencies have played a significant role in my artistic journey and have afforded me time away to focus on my art.

Similar to my artistic practice, I see the business aspect of my work as an organic process that continues to grow and evolve over time. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to support myself fully from my art, but the obstacles keep me thinking creatively. Sometimes I feel frustrated by a sense of disconnection in my life, although I know I am not alone and many artists face the same struggle. On the one hand, my work has been shown internationally in museums and included in major publications. At the same time, I am nearing forty and waiting tables while piecing together odd jobs. Recently, I was sharing my frustrations with a friend and he asked if there was anyone I know personally who is making their living exclusively as an artist who I could look to as a model. After thinking through the many artists I have met over the years, I couldn’t think of a single one. I am slowly realizing that maybe this isn’t necessarily the end goal. I try to focus on the fact that I love making art and know I will always find a way to continue to do so against any odds.

Publicity photo from THE LAUNCH PRIZE, written by MJ Halberstadt, produced March 2016 at the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, featuring Katharine Chen Lerner, Bari Robinson, John Tracey, and Angela K Thomas

MJ Halberstadt, playwright
People joke that Masters Programs in playwriting are “red headed stepchildren” that can’t be boxed neatly into more easily articulable Theatre or Creative Writing programs. Similarly, reconciling playwriting within the framework of a business model presents questions and problems. On one hand, I’m an artist-for-hire because different companies present my work. When they do, I am not the play’s “producer.” On the other hand, I am a free-lancer because I am the sole proprietor of my own playwriting “business.” The minimum viable product of what I can produce is a script, not a play, which is not sellable by itself – except, arguably, in the case of having the script published. It becomes necessary to tease apart distinctions, especially between my script and a company’s production of it. Combined, they make the product (a “play”) but assigning value to my part in it is tricky, especially when all of the theatre world is starving for monetary resources and many of the producers of my work are personal friends. I’m not a playwright for gain; in fact, only about a dozen American playwrights sustain themselves entirely off royalties. That’s why I have a totally unrelated day job at present; this is getting more and more difficult to reconcile since my playwriting “career” demands more of me each year.

[MJ takes a sip from a glass of whiskey.]

If my “brand” has “worth,” it’s not quantifiable. If anything, I’m building up artistic capital through making myself known and archiving reviews and, yes, “networking.” The hope is that it’ll pay off if and when I sell a TV pilot or get a job teaching playwriting.

[MJ takes another – longer – sip.]

 

Related reading: Who Is Your Audience? and How Do You Define Success as an Artist?

Jake Fried (inkwood.net) is an experimental animator whose work has shown on Carton Network’s Adult Swim, at the Tate Modern, in the Sundance Film Festival, and many other festivals and venues. He recently screened work in the Boston Underground Film Festival and has upcoming screenings at the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

MJ Halberstadt’s (mj-halberstadt.squarespace.com) new play is That Time the House Burned Down, produced by Fresh Ink Theatre at Boston Playwrights Theatre April 8-23. His play The Launch Prize was produced by Bridge Rep in Boston in March ’16 (read a great review in the Boston Globe). In February, he was profiled by Emerson College, and he wrote about race and privilege in theatre for HowlRound. In 2014, he was one of the artists selected to participate in Assets for Artists, a program supporting artists through financial and business training opportunities and matched savings.

Jenine Shereos (jenineshereos.com) is a sculptor and installation artist specializing in fiber and textile processes. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, and Canada, and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, Make Magazine, and and the compendium Textiles: The Art of Mankind. Her work is currently on view at Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands, and in 2017, she will have a solo show at the Hampden Gallery at UMass Amherst.

Images and Media: BRAIN LAPSE by Jake Fried; Jenine Shereos, LEAF (2013), human hair, 5×3 in, photo by Robert Diamante; publicity photo from THE LAUNCH PRIZE, written by MJ Halberstadt, produced March 2016 at the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, featuring Katharine Chen Lerner, Bari Robinson, John Tracey, and Angela K Thomas.


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