Archive for the ‘public art’ Category

Fellows Notes – Nov 16

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

It’s November, a month to vote, eat sweet potato casserole, and celebrate new art.

Here’s the latest news from current and past MCC Artist Fellows/Finalists.

Liza Bingham, CARTOON CONTRAIL (2016), acrylic and oil on muslin over panel, 14x20 in

Claire Beckett, Caleb Cole, and Stephen Tourlentes will participate in an Artadia Art & Dialogue event with Whitney Museum of Art Curator Elisabeth Sherman (11/9, 6:30-8:30 PM) at the MassArt Design and Media Center Lecture Hall.

MCC Artist Fellowship Program awardees Kathleen Brennan, Anna V.Q. Ross, and Gary Whited read at the Public Library of Brookline (11/15, 7 PM).

Michael Joseph and Molly Lamb are both included in PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass 2016 Top 50 list.

Congratulations to Georgie Freidman and Emily Lombardo, both of whom are among the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) 2017 Traveling Fellows.


Kati AgocsThe Debrecen Passion is Music Web International’s Recording of the Month. Two songs from the album are up for consideration on the 2017 Grammy ballot.

Liza Bingham has a solo exhibition of paintings, Hot Pink, Soft Pink, Rusty Orange, White, at the new Boston project space and gallery How’s Howard (11/4-12/11, opening reception 11/4 5-9 PM).

Janet Echelman will give a presentation, Soft Structure: Sculpting at the Scale of Cities, hosted by the MIT Department of Architecture, on 11/17, 6-8 PM.

Georgie Friedman has work in Constructed Video at Boston Cyberarts Gallery (11/12-12/18, reception 11/11, 6-8 PM). Also, she has a site-specific video installation at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, Traces of Wind and Water (thru 11/14), with “Artist Hours” at the site 11/6, 5-6:30 PM. (See news about the artist’s award from SMFA, above.)

Raul Gonzalez has a solo exhibition of drawings and paintings, Forbidden Frontera, at Carroll and Sons Gallery (11/2-12/21, reception 11/4 5:30-7:30 PM).

Justin Kimball has a solo exhibition of photography, Elegy, at Carroll and Sons Gallery (11/2-12/21, reception 11/4 5:30-7:30 PM). Signed copies of Justin Kimball’s book Elegy will be available for purchase.

Niho Kozuru has a solo show, Positive Vibration, at Miller Yezerski Gallery (thru 11/15, opening reception 11/4, 5-8 PM).

Danielle Legros Georges will read at the MIT Stata Center (11/7, 7 PM) and at Porter Square Books (with Kirun Kapur and Steve Yarbrough, 11/11, 7 PM). Her book The Dear Remote Nearness of You was awarded the 2016 Sheila Motton Book Prize by the New England Poetry Club. She will be sitting on the panel “New Directions in Caribbean Poetry” at the Miami Book Fair (11/20).

Scott Listfield is among the artists in Lunar Attraction (thru 9/4/2017) at Peabody Essex Museum. He’s also in the two-person exhibition Anthropecene at Antler Gallery in Portland, OR. Read an interview with the artist on the gallery’s blog.

Melinda Lopez has a new, one-woman play, Mala, at ArtsEmerson (thru 11/20). In recognition of the playwright’s achievements, Mayor Marty Walsh named October 29, 2016 Melinda Lopez Day in Boston. Read excellent reviews of Mala in the Boston Globe, WBUR’s ARTery, and Boston Magazine.

Rachel Mello has a solo exhibition, That Space Between Flying and Falling at Laconia Gallery (thru 12/18, Artist’s Talk 12/2, 6:30-7 PM).

Nathalie Miebach is exhibiting in the group show Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space at Akron Art Museum (thru 1/15). The museum will host a concert featuring work by Boston composers Christian Gentry and Mischa Salkind-Pearl, created in collaboration with Nathalie Miebach (11/3, 7 PM). Also this month, the artist has talks or events at the University of Akron Synapse Art Science Lecture series (11/2), the Sculpture Center in Cleveland (11/4, 11/5) and the New York Art Teacher Association at their annual conference in Albany, NY (11/18).

James Morrow and his dance company, james morrow/The Movement, present A Quarter Past Midnight at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion (11/11 and 11/12, 8 PM). The performance is part of the dance artist’s Choreography Residency at the BCA.

Carl Phillips will read in the Blacksmith House Poetry Series (11/7, 8 PM).

Monica Raymond was selected as a Visiting Scholar for 2016-2018 at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. Also, “The Bag Song” from Paper of Plastic (an opera co-created with composer Charles Turner and performed at the Arkansas Science Slam in Oct) won Rough Magic Shakespeare Company‘s First Prize for a science song.

Jo Ann Rothschild is in the group exhibition Painting Is Not a Good Idea at HallSpace in Dorchester (11/19-1/7, opening reception 11/19, 3-6 PM).

Tracy Heather Strain and Randall MacLowry‘s film company, The Film Posse, created The Battle of Chosin, the latest documentary on the PBS series American Experience.

August Ventimiglia is among the artists in Wood + Paper + Earth at Drive-By Projects (11/5-12/17, reception 11/5, 4-6 PM).

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).

Elizabeth Whyte Schulze‘s exquisite basketry, described as “three dimensional paintings,” are the Spotlight Exhibition at Mobilia Gallery (thru 12/15).

Suara Welitoff has an exhibition of multimedia and installation work, What Time This Feels at 186 Carpenter in Providence, RI (thru 12/10).

Cary Wolinsky has a solo exhibition of photography, Cary Wolinsky: Fiber of Life at Fuller Craft Museum (thru 2/26).

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

Image: Liza Bingham, CARTOON CONTRAIL (2016), acrylic and oil on muslin over panel, 14×20 in.

All Eyes on Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

yoko eyes
“Art is my life and my life is art.” Yoko Ono

Call to Collaborate with Yoko Ono Yoko Ono has announced a call to women for her upcoming participatory exhibition Arising. Women are invited to send a testament of harm done to them for being a woman. Write your testament in your own language,  in your own words, and write however openly you wish. You may sign your first name if you wish, but do not give your full name. Send a photograph of your eyes. The testaments of harm and photographs of eyes will be exhibited in her installation Arising, October 7, 2016 – February 5, 2016 at the Reykjavik Art Museum. Arising is an ongoing project and it will always be possible to add testaments. Bring your testaments and photographs of your eyes in person, send them by mail to Arising, Listasafn Reykjavíkur, Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavík or send them by email to

Painters Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston is hosting their first annual Plein Air Paint Out on Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18, 2016. The three-day Paint Out invites professional, amateur, and student plein air painters to capture iconic Boston scenes of architecture, markets, crowds, and street performers. Painters are encouraged to use any painting medium over the three days. A final show, group draw, prizes, and two-week exhibition, will offer artists many opportunities to exhibit their work to thousands of daily visitors to the marketplace. Learn more.
Registration: September 16, 2016 from 10am-2pm, September 17, 2016 from 10am-12pm

Free Public Art Workshops UMass Arts Extension Service is offering an Introduction to the Public Art Process workshop. Open to artists of all mediums interested in creating public art projects, participants will receive a broad overview of the unique issues, skills needed, and steps required to create a competitive public art project application at the local and national level. This workshop will include an interactive exercise, information sheets, artist meet-and-greet, and Q & A. Workshop is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by contacting AES at or 413-545-2360. Learn more for schedule of workshops.

Political Cartoons Entries are now being accepted by the South Arkansas Arts Center. To enter, draw an editorial or political cartoon about any current event or political campaign issue of local or national interest. Judging will be based on originality; clear expression of a point of view; and visual presentation using one or more of the tools of a political cartoonist, such as humor, irony, caricature, symbolism, metaphor, sarcasm, and exaggeration. Learn more and then apply.
Deadline: September 25, 2016

Luminarium Dance Cultural Community Outreach Project

Call to Historic/Cultural Organizations Each season, Luminarium Dance Company of Boston ventures to a new town in Massachusetts to couple with an historical and/or cultural organization for its annual Cultural Community Outreach Project—highlighting the organization through a customized, grant-funded project that integrates dance and the arts with the venue at hand. Past projects took place at key landmarks including: Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House (Concord, 2012); New England Quilt Museum (Lowell, 2013); Arlington Reservoir Water Tower (Arlington, 2014, and Gold Star Award winning event); Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, 2015); Longfellow’s Wayside Inn (Sudbury, 2016). The company has created everything from visual art to choreographic work focused on the organization’s importance as a local landmark within the context of the town, and each project culminates with a live performance held at the institution. Each year, Artistic Director Merli V. Guerra has chosen the venue, but for its 2017 season, Luminarium is turning to you – Massachusetts’ important cultural organizations – to put your name forward as this year’s chosen venue! Learn more and apply.
Deadline: Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

Film and Video CCTV will host a juried screening of film/video work at MIT’s Bartos Theater on 10/26 that addresses the theme of horror. They are looking for all types of short films and video projects in any category of horror for their Second Annual HorrorFest – International Film Festival. Running time must be under 20 minutes. Submission is free. The screening will be free and open to the public. Learn more.
Deadline: October 11, 2016

Local Cultural Council Grants The MCC’s Local Cultural Council Program applications are now available. Applicants may apply to the LCC Program for projects, operating support, ticket subsidy programs, artist residencies, fellowships or other activities, based on local priorities and needs. The Massachusetts Cultural Council‘s Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually.  Learn more.
Deadline: October 17, 2016

Greater Boston Playwrights The Huntington Theatre Company is accepting applications for the Huntington Playwriting Fellows Program. The program provides a framework for an in-depth two-year artistic conversation and a long-term professional relationship. Meetings will be held bi-weekly. Submit a recent, completed full-length play. To be eligible, writers must be live at least nine months of the year in the Greater Boston area. Learn more.
Deadline: October 27, 2016

How Do You Approach the Business of Art?

Wednesday, March 30th, 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 financial, marketing, 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 one of a two-part discussion.

Wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni)

Caleb Neelon, international public artist
Last year while on a mural project in Sarajevo I passed a funny milestone: first time out at some bar (legally) downing beers with people half my age. I was 38 then and the guys were 19. They were eager young graffiti writers and they were taking the chance to grill me with nerdy graffiti history questions and ask about their favorite international graffiti writers that I had met or painted with over the years. They wanted to do their own individual version of what I had done, which was to make a career out of the doors-of-possibility-blowing-open passion of my youth. And one thing that I realized, and said to them, was that while I had been in some way a professional artist since I was their age, and those 20 years feel like forever, I’m consumed with how I positively navigate the next 40, or however long fate has in store for me. In many ways, the goals for me have shifted from a list of specifics (show here, sell for this much, publish this, paint a mural there, etc) to the end goal of doing good work up to the time I’m done here on Earth.

Crystal King, novelist, writer, and marketing/communications professional
Over the last few years, I’ve taught many classes to artists and authors on how to use social media. Many of them are there to learn only because someone, usually an agent, has told them that they need to be on Facebook or Twitter. Often, they are not happy about it. Some people do their best to engage with and build their audience. Others start social accounts but let them languish a month or so after their show or their book comes out, then bemoan the fact that no one is interested in their work.

To me, the business of art is just as important as the art itself. This is a world in which anyone has the chance to be successful. But unless you’ve managed to get lucky, you have to pay or play for your art to be noticed. If you can’t pay for publicity, then you need to learn and work for it. I’m always baffled when people are unwilling to promote themselves. If you believe in the work that you do, why on earth wouldn’t you do EVERYTHING you can to help others see your vision? This is more important than ever for me, as I prepare for my own book to come out in 2017.

Mariko Kusumoto, metalworker and textile artist
My artistic choices have changed over time, and the business side has followed the creative. Metal constructions had been my main focus since 1995, but in 2013 – after completing a very involved and technically challenging metal piece – I felt the need to move away from using purely representational imagery and do something more abstract, organic, and in a different material; the result has been fabric work. Fabric is completely opposite metal, and I like the softness, gentle texture, and atmospheric quality of the fabric I use.

In a formal manner, the financial aspects of my work are completely managed by my gallery although we work in unison to establish pricing. My metal pieces are quite expensive. But in developing smaller-scale fabric pieces, I felt that a wider audience/collector would find them more accessible, both aesthetically and financially. The public exposure for this new work (e.g., print, websites) has expanded audience interest as well.

What else has changed over the course of my career are opportunities and invitations that require an increasing amount of time to attend to thus removing me from the necessary concentration needed to make my work. I am flattered and grateful for the interest, but I have to politely refuse certain requests.

Metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto: RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell
Top: metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto from 2007; bottom: Mariko’s recent textile work
Recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery


Related reading: Getting More Out of Getting Online by Jessica Burko, and What Decision Most Impacted Your Career?

Crystal King ( is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran who has directed global social media programs for companies such as Pegasystems (were she currently works), Keurig, CA Technologies, and Sybase. Crystal is also a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her first novel, Feast of Sorrow, will be published by Touchstone Books in 2017. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, and UMass Boston. At Grub Street Writers’ The Muse and the Marketplace Conference (April 29-May 1), she will present workshops on electronic tools to streamline writing and self-promotion using social media.

Mariko Kusumoto ( is a metalworker and printmaker who is now working in fiber. Her intricate metal box sculptures have exhibited at Fuller Craft Museum, Morikami Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Society for Contemporary Craft, and her fiber creations have been featured in American Craft and Fiber Art Now magazines. She is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, which has a Spotlight Exhibition of her work thru April 16, 2016.

Caleb Neelon‘s ( wall murals and other works have exhibited in dozens of countries and in many galleries, museums, hospitals, and educational settings. Along with his artist monograph Caleb Neelon’s Book of Awesome, he is the co-author of The History of American Graffiti, Street World, and Graffiti Brasil, among other publications. His most recent projects, the documentary film Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence and an accompanying art book from Ginko Press, are forthcoming.

Images: wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni); Mariko Kusumoto, RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell; recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery.

Twisting Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016


Fiction The Glimmer Train Press is currently accepting entries for their Short Story Award for New Writers. A prize of $2,500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories is given three times a year for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. Learn more.
Deadline: February 29, 2016

Call for Artists Entries are now being accepted for re: Development, a Fort Point Arts Community Exhibition at the Gallery at Atlantic WharfWorks in Boston. The show is designed to have artists to reconsider their definitions of development in order to unveil the true potential of private and shared public spaces. All media will be considered. Learn more.
Deadline: March 4, 2016

Public Art The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco is currently calling artists to submit proposals for a public art to be placed at the rooftop park at 500 Pine Street, SF. Project budget is $145,000. Open to international artists. Learn more.
Deadline: March 14, 2016

Visual Artist Residency The Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico provides studio based visual artists with the opportunity to concentrate on their work in a supportive, collegial environment for a whole year. In residence grants are offered to all professional visual artists 21 years of age or older, involved in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation and other fine art media. Learn more.
Deadline: March 15, 2016

Exhibition Proposals NURTUREart in Brooklyn, NY, is currently accepting proposals from emerging artists and curators for their 2016/17 exhibition season. Emerging artists wishing to present new ideas and projects in the context of a gallery space and emerging independent curators committed to developing their professional practice are invited to submit exhibition proposals. Learn more.
Deadline: March 25, 2016 (midnight)

Playwrights The Department of Theatre at The College at Brockport – State University of New York has announced a call for its tenth biennial Festival of Ten-Minute Plays. Each script must have a running time of seven to fourteen minutes. Learn more.
Deadline: April 15, 2016 (midnight EST)

Image credit: Album cover photograph of Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker song The Twist.

Call for Proposals for BCA Summer Public Art Residency

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Photo by Melissa Blackall Photography of INMOTION: MEMORIES OF INVENTED PLAY by Amy Archambault, Boston Center for the Arts Plaza, Summer 2015

An intriguing public art opportunity, in Boston.

The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) has issued a Call for Proposals for the Summer 2016 Public Art Residency. The goal of the residency is to engage diverse members of BCA’s community through a unique, site-specific artwork in any medium that – in a safe and maintainable way – enlivens the BCA Plaza.

From the BCA:

This year, as it enters its fourth cycle, the Public Art Residency at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) will be selected through a juried, open call process. This twelve-week, process-oriented residency provides an environment for artists to experiment with their craft, develop their focus or test new ideas while simultaneously engaging in active public dialogue.

The residency is awarded to one artist (or artist team) per year to create a temporary public artwork for the BCA’s historic plaza that highlights the BCA as an artistic hub. The program encourages artists to connect to the public not only by way of the completed, temporary artwork, but also throughout the process of developing and realizing their residency project. It is an ideal opportunity for emerging or experienced artists who would like to further develop a piece that engages a variety of audiences and adds to the arts experience of the BCA campus.

This year’s jurors: Camilø Álvårez, Owner/Director/Curator/ Preparator, Samsøñ, Boston, MA; Maggie Cavallo, Curator, Educator and Co-Founder of Alter Projects; and Meg Rotzel, Arts Program Manager at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Photo by Melissa Blackall Photography of BOUNCE by Liz Nofziger, Boston Center for the Arts, Summer 2014

Past Residents have included two past MCC Fellows: Amy Archambault, whose inMotion: Memories of Invented Play was a large-scale, interactive structure inviting participants to “uncommonly explore one of the most ubiquitous learned activities – riding a bicycle;” and Liz Nofziger, whose interactive installation Bounce encouraged community games of ping pong.

Learn more and apply for the residency.
Deadline: February 21, 2016
Find more artist opportunities on ArtSake

Images: both photos by Melissa Blackall Photography: INMOTION: MEMORIES OF INVENTED PLAY by Amy Archambault, BCA Plaza, Summer 2015; BOUNCE by Liz Nofziger, BCA Plaza, Summer 2014.

Drastic Shifts in Your Art

Friday, October 9th, 2015

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

Whether prompted by external or internal forces, artists often make major adjustments to their art and process. We asked artists in different disciplines, Have you ever taken your work in a drastically new direction?

View a gallery of some of the diverse work of the responding artists.

Corey Corcoran, mixed media artist and illustrator
My work has shifted several times over in recent years: from mixed media drawings and sculptures to engravings using real tree fungus to digital drawings and animations. Part of this is just the natural process of responding to new ideas and images in daily life, but the most dramatic shifts are usually the result of a new studio space or taking on a project that’s outside my comfort zone in terms of scale or format. I used to regard these shifts as problematic or as a setback to the overall trajectory of the work, but now I really look forward to the change in perspective, even if the jump looks drastic to an outsider. Taking on ambitious projects or being confronted with a very different working environment can be an effective way for me to reassess process, learn new techniques, or move concepts from off the back burner. Over time, it’s exciting to see patterns emerge across media or from seemingly disparate bodies of work.

Simeon Berry, poet
I have this affinity for formalists who explode in the middle of their careers and write wildly dark and playful things like Galway Kinnell‘s The Book of Nightmares or Donald Hall‘s The Museum of Clear Ideas. Not surprising that I sort of did the same.

When I started out in poetry, I wrote nothing but chiseled little portraits for about 10 years, stuff that was like hypercubes: precise and mathematically suggestive. Then I grew impatient with the size of that psychic aperture, and felt driven to make the lyric as objectionable and sprawling as I could. This became my first book, Ampersand Revisited, where I sent the line all the way across the page and overshared in every place I felt lyric poems typically withheld.

For my second, I wanted a text that would be unassuming and casual. I’d heard about how Eddie Van Halen decided to play with his back to the audience after other guitarists began stealing his technique. I hungered for something that would be the opposite of that defensiveness, that would be as close to my speaking voice as possible. I aimed for the radical silences of poetry, but relied on fictional, rather than imagistic, devices to advance the plot. This turned into Monograph.

Zehra Khan, visual artist
I love exploring different mediums, which often means I am in unfamiliar territory. I try to make art that is guided by intuition, and that will hopefully surprise me. I try not to judge or worry about whether the piece fits into the work I have created previously. Some of my most fruitful work was started on a whim.

Part of what drives me in art is problem solving within the confines of each project. Figuring out how to glue together a paper mask, or make it using the least amount of paper. Switching direction in medium or content is something I do to keep me on my toes.

Allison Cekala, interdisciplinary artist
This past year I learned a new medium: film. I had been working on a project about Boston’s road salt, which began as a formal series of salt pile photographs, but quickly expanded to documenting the movement of the road salt from its source in South America. I felt the conceptual shift required a change in medium to more accurately represent the movement and time inherent in the process – and also convey the narrative that I wanted to tell.

Learning the skills necessary to capture, then edit, moving images and sound was not, however, an easy task. But the benefits have been tremendous. I began hearing subtle timbre and noticing particular nuances in movement that I had previously overlooked. The new sensitivities carried over in both my life and my work, heightening my ability to perceive and observe. I am currently continuing to make films, but anticipate taking more leaps – both conceptually and materially in the future as my ideas evolve to demand different kinds of representations.


Simeon Berry lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has been an Associate Editor for Ploughshares and received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant. His first book, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books), won the 2013 National Poetry Series, and his second book, Monograph (University of Georgia Press), won the 2014 National Poetry Series. Upcoming readings include the KGB Bar in New York (10/19) and the Belt It Out Reading Series in Cambridge, MA (10/23).

Allison Cekala is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working in film/video and photography. She will be exhibiting a group of photographs, Salt, at the Mayor’s Gallery at Boston City Hall this January 4–29. She was a recent artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and is currently working on a series of short films.

Corey Corcoran is a mixed media artist and illustrator. His digital art is part of the 15th round of Art on the Marquee works projected onto the Boston Convention Center Authority’s 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED marquee, opening October 14. He also has work in the 24th Drawing Show Feelers at the Boston Center for the Arts Mills Gallery, October 9-December 20, opening reception Friday, October 9, 6-8 PM.

Zehra Khan is a visual artist working in sculpture, drawing, mask and costume making, performance, and film. Her upcoming shows include Animal/Animist at Room 83 Spring Gallery, in Watertown, MA, Nov 5 – Dec 20, and in the group show Lost Cat at Cape Cod Museum of Art, in Dennis, MA, Nov 24-Jan 17.

Samuel Rowlett: Itinerant Painter

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Samuel Rowlett, one of the participating artists, will be exhibiting new work. “New” as in, painted-day-of-the-opening new.

Samuel Rowlett, ITINERANT PAINTER (2013) acrylic on canvas, wood, gouache on paper, mixed media, 6x6x3 ft

Itinerant Painter Map
Samuel Rowlett and his mobile portrait painting studio will be roaming to locations in Newton on Friday, September 18, 2015 (opening day for the exhibition). You can stop by for a free portrait, which will then be on display in the gallery during the show. The paintings will even be available for pickup on October 20.

Itinerant Painter Schedule:
**Approximate times, subject to change.
11:00 Newton Senior Center
12:00 Newton North High School
1:00 Walnut St. near Cabot Street
2:30 Newton Free Library
3:30 Newton City Hall 5:30 Walnut St. near Newtonville Ave.
7:00 New Art Center

More info.


Samuel Rowlett, ITINERANT PAINTER, at Nuite Blanche in Toronto (2014), Photo by Andrew Williamson

Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres
September 18 – October 17, 2015
Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM
New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460

Images: all images courtesy of Samuel Rowlett, photo of Nuite Blanche exhibition by Andrew Williamson.

Fellows Notes – Sep 15

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Back to school. Bummer!/Awesome! (Depending on whether you like school.)

Take a break from the syllabus and read this news from past MCC awardees.

From the ONE TO ONE project by Linda Bond

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and The New Art Center (NAC) will present the MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, 9/18-10/17) at the NAC, with an opening reception on Friday, September 18, 2015 from 7-9 PM, and MCC Support for Individual Artists, a talk about state grants and services for artists, on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 7-8:30 PM.

Harriet Diamond co-created the installation Rising and Falling, exhibiting alongside the exhibition Human Impact (which includes work by Rachel Perry Welty), at the Deerfield Academy von Auersperg Gallery (9/20-10/30).

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson, Christian McEwen, Anna Ross, and Rodney Wittwer are all participating in the New Hampshire Poetry Festival on 9/19 – schedule.

David B. Harris and Mimi Rabson join drummer Phil Neighbors in the band Triarky, which will give a free performance 9/10, 7:30 PM, at the Berklee Uchida Building in Boston.


Sophia Ainslie has been commissioned to create a new, site-specific work for the new Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex at Tufts University, and the exhibition In Person—574: Sophia Ainslie (9/10-12/6) in the Remis Sculpture Court explores the creation and installation of the commission. The artist also has her first solo show with Gallery NAGA, Pata Pata (9/8-10/3, opening reception 9/11, 6-8 PM).

Amy Archambault and her artist residency at the Boston Center for the Arts are featured on the New England Foundation for the Arts blog.

Simeon Berry has published his second book of poetry, Monograph. His first book, Ampersand Revisited, was published in April. Both books won the National Poetry Series (2013 for Ampersand Revisited and 2014 for Monograph).

Linda Bond has a solo exhibition, Reconnaissance, at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis (thru 10/27, opening reception 9/17, 5-8 PM).

Prilla Smith Brackett has a solo show, Fractured Vision IICatamount Arts in Vermont (9/16-10/25, reception 10/2, 5-7 PM, artist talk at 6 PM). She is also in a 3-person show, Reveal, at 13 Forest Gallery (9/19-11/13, opening reception 9/19, 4-6 PM, artist talk 10/17, 4-6 PM).

Vico Fabbris will teach a painting workshop at the Provincetown Association and Art Museum (9/26-9/27) and a five week course at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Watercolor and Inventive Thinking (11/2-11/20).

Georgie Friedman‘s large-scale sculptural video installation Eye of the Storm is on view in the Roberts Gallery at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center (thru 11/1). Also, her works Sky Study I (premiere), Snow Study II, and Snow Study III will be on view in the Vandernoot Gallery.

Steven Gentile‘s film A Pirate Named Ned screened at the National Gallery of Art in D.C., in July, as part of the Black Maria Film & Video Festival.

Christy Georg has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Gardiner Art Gallery at Oklahoma State University and was awarded a John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry residency in 2016.

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson has published a new book, Opinel, and will read from it at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton (9/16, 7 PM), at the New Hampshire Poetry Festival (9/19, 9:15 AM), the Grolier Book Shop in Cambridge (9/29, 7 PM), and more.

Joo Lee Kang is exhibiting in the group show No Dead Artists at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans (thru 9/26).

Barry Kiperman had work in three exhibitions this summer: Picture This! Community of Artist exhibition at Danforth Art, Art of the Northeast at the Silvermine Arts Center (where his work Of Rhetoric and Reason 2 was voted “Best in Show”) and the National Juried Competition 2015: Works on Paper at the Long Island Beach Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Dawn Lane‘s new dance work ALL RISE: Court Dance will be performed at Shakespeare and Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse 9/24-9/26, 8 PM.

Scott Listfield is exhibiting in LAX/LHR at Thinkspace Gallery in London (9/3-9/26). Recently, he had a “Hot Wheels”-inspired painting in the official Mattel show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles.

Sarah Malakoff has a solo show, Sarah Malakoff: Second Nature, at the Vermont Center for Photography (9/4-9/27, opening reception 9/4, 5:30-8:30 PM).

Jane Marsching is co-organizing (with Andi Sutton) Stitching the Shore, a day of environmentally-focused art events, including a collectively-stitched shoreline tarp map of Boston Harbor, on 9/12, 10 AM-1 PM, on the banks of the Mystic River. Visit the Facebook page for more info. Jane is the Fall 2015 Artist in Residence at the Boston University Dept of Earth and Environment. She’ll be moderating an event, Footprint: Building a dialog at swissnex Boston 9/30, 6 PM.

Tara Masih is series editor of the new collection Best Small Fictions, coming in October 2015.

Lisa Olivieri‘s film Blindsided was an August selection for the Just Film Awards Festival in San Francisco.

Cecelia Raker has a play in Eager Risk Theater’s Shoebox Festival at John DeSotelle Studio in NYC (9/3-9/6).

Evelyn Rydz has work in Gyre: The Plastic Ocean at Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles (thru 11/21).

Jenine Shereos was recently featured in the art journal HiFructose.

Peter Snoad‘s new multi-media play, The Draft, about personal experiences with the military draft during the Vietnam War, premieres at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury (9/10-9/20), where Peter has been Visiting Playwright. The play will then go on the road for performances at Westfield State University, The Academy of Music in Northampton, and Trinity College in Hartford, CT, a tour supported by a crowdfunding campaign.

Rachel Perry Welty‘s fifth solo exhibition at Yancey Richardson Gallery in NYC, Chiral Lines, runs 9/10-10/17. The works are ambidextrous, two-panel drawings made using every writing instrument in the artist’s home.

Linda K. Wertheimer‘s new book Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance has gotten recent reviews in the Boston Globe, New York Times Sunday Book Review, and Publishers Weekly, among others. She’ll read from the book at Newtonville Books (9/10, 7 PM), Cary Library in Lexington (9/17, 7 PM), and BookEnds in Wichester (9/27, 2 PM).

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

Image: from the ONE TO ONE project by Linda Bond.

Vintage Vinyl Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015


Poetry Entries are now being accepted for the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award is given annually to a woman poet over 40 years of age who has not published a book in any genre. The winner receives $1,000; publication in Voices From the Attic, the university’s literary journal; and round-trip transportation and lodging to give a reading at Carlow University with this year’s judge, Lynn Emanuel. Learn more.
Deadline: September 5, 2015

Media Art The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and Boston Cyberarts are issuing the fifteenth call for media art to display on the Marquee at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. They are looking for 30-second videos, animations, or computer-generated motion works by Massachusetts artists that push the creative limits of this 80-foot, seven-screen, three-sided LED sculpture. Learn more.
Deadline: September 7, 2015 (midnight)

Short Films Boston Open Screen, an open mic for film, encourages local filmmakers to bring their short films to screen at the next event at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Boston Open Screen will play any film on the big screen as long as it’s 10 minutes or under. More info and tech specs on the Facebook page.
September 8, 2015, 7-10 PM

Public Artists, Designers, Data Visualizers, Environmentalists Applications are now being considered for an Energy Feedback Sculpture at Harvard University. Selected applicants will be awarded funding to develop proposals to be considered for a major public art installation on campus. Learn more.
Deadline: September 14, 2015

Studios at MASS MoCA The Studios at MASS MoCA, a new program from Assets for Artists, offers two professional development tracks: artists can apply for self-directed professional development residencies of 1-4 weeks in length, and/or enroll in week-long “workshops-in-residence” with individual studio space and housing complemented by instructor-led programming. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Learn more.
Deadline: September 14, 2015

Glass Artists The Workhouse Arts Center (WAF) has announced a call for entries for its 1st Annual Workhouse Glass National Exhibition 2015,  for functional and/or sculptural glass artworks. The juror is Maurine Littleton. Learn more.
Deadline: September 16, 2015

Crafts Artists Entries are now being accepted for the annual Smithsonian Craft Show,  a juried exhibition and sale of contemporary American crafts and design.  Artists are selected on the basis of the originality, artistic conception, and quality of their work. Learn more.
Deadline: September 20, 2015

Amherst/Pioneer Valley Writers Calling all writers in the Greater Amherst/Pioneer Valley region: Luminarium Dance’s “Amherst Storybook Project” is in its final stage. Using artwork from local artists, the company has created 12 fanciful images for a new children’s storybook. Writers are asked to choose an image, and write a poem or short story inspired by the scene. Submissions are completely free, and writers are welcome to submit as many entries as they wish. One submission per image will ultimately be chosen to be printed alongside the artwork in the final book, which will debut at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on November 8th. See images, learn more, and submit writing here.
Deadline: September 25, 2015, 5 PM

Dissertation Fellowships in American Art Applications are now being accepted for the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art designated for graduate students in any stage of PhD dissertation research or writing. Stipend: $25,000, plus up to $2,000 as a travel allowance.
Learn more.
Deadline: October 21, 2015

Nominate a Jazz Master Fellowships of up to $25,000 are awarded to living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including the jazz community. The NEA encourages nominations of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. Nominees must demonstrate significant contribution to the art form through their body of work in the field of jazz. Learn more.
Deadline: December 31, 2015

Image credit: Original image, via Smithsonian Libraries, from Academy sketches (1877).

Megan and Murray McMillan: This Land is a Ship at Sea

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The Isles Arts Initiative (IAI) is a series of series of exhibitions, site-responsive installations, events, and performances on and around the Boston Harbor Islands, in Summer 2015.

The Boston Harbor Islands are a National Park that reflect natural splendor and historical importance – as well as the pressing implications of climate change. In their work for the IAI, artists Megan and Murray McMillan make use of the region’s complex identity, exploring its rich local history as well as the contemporary urgency of rising seas.

Megan and Murray are creating a site-responsive installation on Georges Island for Cove (opening 7/11), will project their work This Land is a Ship at Sea on the exterior wall of WGBH Boston studio over Mass Pike (7/16, all day), and will exhibit in 34 at Boston Sculptors Gallery (opening 7/26).

We asked the artists, a married couple who have been collaborating since 2002, about their unique path as artists working at the cross-section of many disciplines.

Still from THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake You’ve created a remarkably wide range of work, and I’m curious about your process. Is there a consistent trajectory that a new work of yours tends to follow?
Megan and Murray: We usually begin with a specific location or material resource that forms the backbone of the project. Sometimes, this comes through a commission or curatorial invitation to work with an unusual location for filming, like with This Land is a Ship at Sea, the project we shot in Fort Warren on Georges Island, or In What Distant Sky, which we filmed in the coal bin of the former boiler plant building at MASS MoCA. Other times, the work might begin when we acquire a unique material resource, like 150 cardboard tubes (The Listening Array) or two truck-loads of industrial plastic conduit (What We Loved and Forgot). In either case, we look for the architecture or the set elements to represent metaphorical properties that intersect with whatever narrative we’re designing.

We think of our short videos as sort of visual tone poems – employing elements of space and choreography and performance to evoke ideas that are difficult to articulate in words: what does it mean when two people inflate a military parachute in a field of construction laser levels in a former military prison on an island that’s sinking into the harbor? Can the parachute become the island? Can the laser lines become the markers for the rising sea levels?

ArtSake: How would you describe your work to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
Megan and Murray: We make sculptural sets for short videos which performers activate in an object-centered choreography. These videos are then shown in related installations that often use elements of the original set.

Click for larger image - still from THE SHIFTING SPACE AROUND US by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: A recent project in Toronto (The Shifting Space Around Us – image, above) struck me as a departure for you in its focus on live performance. What (if anything) surprised you about the experience?
Megan and Murray: We started working together in 2002 and for the first four years of our collaboration, we exclusively made performance installations for live audiences, so the project in Toronto was actually a throw-back to an older way of working for us. We switched to filmed performances in 2006 in part because the spaces we wanted to work in were challenging for bringing in audiences (The Stepping Up and Going Under Method in 2006 was filmed in and around the conveyer belt in an abandoned former paint factory). The project for Nuit Blanche in Toronto was an opportunity to work with a massive audience (1.5 million people) while using an incredibly unique architectural space: a fully functional roundhouse turntable. We decided to try to incorporate both modes of working by doing a live film shoot during the dusk-to-dawn festival. What surprised us was how challenging it was to simultaneously address the needs of a live audience with the needs of a film shoot.

ArtSake: Scale plays a fascinating role in your work. The sets and sculptures you build are often large-scale and expansive, yet there’s something intimate and personal both in the content and in the way viewers tend to experience the work in a gallery setting. Is scale something you intentionally explore?
Megan and Murray: Yes, definitely, scale is a major consideration in our work. We are always looking for the affective quality of the spaces: for what a site or the set elements within that site can evoke emotionally that speaks to the human condition. For the project we filmed in the Boiler Plant, one property of that location is that it’s been partially remediated, so the roof has been removed and the building is open to the elements – which meant we could bring in a camera track and have it move up through the levels of the building. That vertical camera movement reminded us of the composition of traditional Japanese hanging scrolls, which opened up a whole range of possibilities for the development of the video narrative.

The scale of the architecture became a vehicle for the intimate human narrative that happens as the camera moves through the building. We are always trying to find that blend of expansiveness and intimacy.

ArtSake: Can you describe the work you are creating for the Isles Arts Initiative?
Megan and Murray: We were fascinated by Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort which housed Confederate prisoners of war. In particular, we were drawn to the “Dark Arches” section of the fort, which feels like catacombs and right out the windows of this subterranean series of rooms is the open water and the haunting clang of a buoy. The history of the space seemed to resonate with poetic potential. As fascinating as its military history was, we were also drawn to the fact that the Boston Harbor Islands are “sinking” as the sea levels are rising due to global warming. In fact, Georges Island is known as a “sentinel site” where six geodetic markers serve as benchmarks for charting the rising seas. For our video, we brought in 99 construction laser levels the Dark Arches and had performers lofting a military parachute through a field of laser lines, in effect, using the parachute as a stand-in for the island as it sinks through the laser level marks.

Still from THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: What is the most surprising response to your art you’ve ever had?
Megan and Murray: My (Megan’s) mother worked as a social worker at an inner city elementary school with a population of at-risk kids. Once, she was working with a young girl and happened to show her our video What We Loved and Forgot. Without knowing anything about it, the girl said “that’s like what happened when my mom died: she disappeared into a white light and now she’s always watching over me.” We’ll often get reactions like that, people who personally relate to the content of the work even through it’s not explicitly stated.

Still from WHAT WE LOVED AND FORGOT by Megan and Murray McMillan

ArtSake: After the Isles Arts Initiative, what’s next?
Megan and Murray: Next May, In What Distant Sky, the work we filmed at Mass MoCA in the Boiler Plant, will open as a large-scale video installation in Explode Everyday: An Inquiry Into the Phenomena of Wonder, curated by Denise Markonish.

Still from IN WHAT DISTANT SKY by Megan and Murray McMillan

The Isles Arts Initiative is a Summer 2015 public art series on the Boston Harbor Islands and in Boston that will capture the intrinsic beauty of the 34 harbor islands. An exhibition at Fort Point Arts Community’s Atlantic Wharf Gallery and installation at Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center are on view now. The site-responsive installations of COVE and the performance series SEEN/UNSEEN both begin July 11, 2015. Exhibits at the WGBH Digital Mural, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston Children’s Museum open later this summer.

Megan and Murray McMillan are Providence-based multidisciplinary artists whose work has been exhibited in Italy, Denmark, Greece, Bolivia, as well as locally at the RISD Museum, AXIOM Center for New and Experimental Media, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and MASS MoCA (forthcoming).

Images: all images courtesy of Megan and Murray McMillan; stills from (top to bottom) THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA; THE SHIFTING SPACE AROUND US; THIS LAND IS A SHIP AT SEA; WHAT WE LOVED AND FORGOT; IN WHAT DISTANT SKY.