News and Notes from MCC Artist Fellows
We compile a monthly list of presentations, honors, publications, and events featuring past and present MCC Artist Fellows & Finalists. As you’ll see, the news is good – not just about these award-winning artists, but also about the breadth and vitality of contemporary arts throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
Steve Almond (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Fellow ’08) was recently featured in the LA Times, discussing why he chose to self-publish his chapbook This Won’t Take But a Minute, Honey, using Harvard Bookstore’s print-on-demand machine. Furthermore, Steve will be one of the authors participating in a panel discussion called Being a Writer in the 21st Century, hosted by The Good Men Foundation on Thursday, February 4. Joining Steve and a panel of other writers (all alumni of Wesleyan University) will be Elizabeth Graver (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Fellow ’06). Event details: Thursday, February 4, 2010, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Harvard Club in Boston.
Claire Beckett (Photography Fellow ’07) is one of the artists exhibiting in Trying Them On, presented by Humble Arts Foundation and Hendershot Gallery in New York City. The exhibition, which was curated by Jon Feinstein, explores the cultural fascination of “the other.” It is on view through February 27, 2010.
Ben Berman (Poetry Fellow ’08) was among the artists selected to receive an Artist Grant from the Somerville Arts Council. Congratulations! In other news, Ben has new poems coming out in Drunken Boat, Broken Plate and Smartish Pace. What’s more, his first nonfiction essay was recently published in South Loop Review (though he notes it’s kind of like poems in paragraphs).
David Binder’s (Photography Fellow ’01) film Calling My Children will have its Los Angeles premier on February 11, 12, 16 and 17th as part of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival. The San Diego Black Film Festival screened Calling My Children January 31st as one of the coveted closing films of the festival. The film has just received an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Film Awards and a Jury Citation from the Black Maria Film and Video Festival.
Steven Bogart’s (Playwriting Finalist ’09) play Pigcat (which he submitted when he received his MCC award – read an excerpt) is one of the top five, Main stage selections for this year’s Great Plains Theater Conference. Congratulations!
Santiago Hernandez (Painting Fellow ’02) was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant for 2009-2010, in support of a new body of mixed media work. Congratulations! (You can see some samples of Santiago’s work on the organization’s website.)
Rachel Kadish’s (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction ’08) short story “Come on Zion Put Your Hands Together” (the story that she submitted when she won the 2008 fellowship – read an excerpt) will appear in the anthology Promised Lands, which is planned for publication mid-fall 2010 from Brandeis University Press.
Brian Knep (Sculpture/Installation Finalist ’07) will be in a group show exhibiting images and videos of microscopic nematodes taken as part of his residency at Harvard Medical School. The show is currently running at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NY, NY, and is on view through February 15. Furthermore, he will be showing Healing Pool, a large, interactive floor, at Mois Multi in Quebec City, February 18 – 28, 2010
Tara L. Masih (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Finalist ’96) has a book of short stories coming out in Feb. 2010, Where the Dog Star Never Glows. It will be be launched at the Brookline Booksmith on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Dean Nimmer (Drawing Fellow ’00) was elected by the College Art Association informing as the winner of the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award for 2010. He will be presented with the award at a special ceremony that’s part of the CAA convention in Chicago this coming February 10th. CAA is the largest arts organization in the US, with almost 15,000 members, and their jury selects only one individual from all colleges across the country to receive this prestigious award. The award is given to an artist/educator for their life’s work,and Dean’s citation reads as follows: “Dean Nimmer, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts College of Art, has had a distinguished, dynamic, and astonishing career as an educator, empowering generations of artists through his enthusiasm and unbridled creativity. After thirty-four years of teaching painting, drawing, and printmaking in Boston, Nimmer thwarted all expectations for a retired professor by embarking on a second career as community arts educator, author, and provocateur. His recently published book, Art from Intuition: Overcoming Your Fears and Obstacles to Making Art (New York: Watson-Guptill, 2008), is a vehicle for him to share his wisdom with a new generation of artists and educators.” In addition, Dean has begun work on his second book called, Making Abstract Art for Random House/Watson Guptill.
Daniel Ranalli (Drawing Fellow ’10) just concluded a solo show at Freight and Volume in Chelsea (NYC). It included work from his “Chalkboards” series, also shown in Boston at Gallery Kayafas last winter.
Two one-act plays by Monica Raymond (Playwriting Finalist ’07, Poetry Finalist ’08), HIJAB and TOAST, are receiving full productions at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival in late February and early March. HIJAB is about a Jewish teenager who scandalizes her secular, ex-hippie mother when she decides to wear a Muslim head scarf to high school. Set in NYC in November 2001, TOAST follows Jeffrey Landesman, physics prodigy turned restaurant maven, as he attempts to track down the luncheonette in lower Manhattan that once served the perfect toast.
Jeff Daniel Silva’s (Film & Video Finalist ’09) work-in-progress screening of IVAN & IVANA: VARIATIONS ON AMERIKA will take place on FEBRUARY 8th at ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES courtesy of the Flaherty Film Seminar.
Identity Crisis, a new full-length comedy about race and identity by Peter Snoad (Playwriting Fellow ’09) will receive its first staged reading at the Provincetown Theater in Provincetown, MA on February 10 as part of the theatre’s Winter Reading Series. Productions of three of Peter’s short plays are also in the works. Apple Pie, will be staged by the Valley Repertory Theatre in Enfield, CT on February 19 (and maybe February 20 if it’s voted an audience favorite) in the LabWorks 15-Minute Play Contest. And The Greening of Bridget Kelly and My Name is Art, both widely produced in the U.S., will make their British debuts April 7-10 at the Wimbledon Studio, London as part of “American Bytes”, a series of five plays by emerging American playwrights.
Rachel Perry Welty (Sculpture/Installation Fellow ’09, Drawing Fellow ’04) has a solo show, “Rachel is,” at Gallery Diet Miami Florida, running Feb 12 – March 6. She’ll be showing new work in photography, video, collage, and a site-specific sculpture. Wish Lists and Wrong Numbers, a dual show with Kelly Sherman, is on exhibit at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston MA, through February 7, 2010. Additionally, Rachel is one of the artists participating in Consumed, hosted by the Arts Council of Princeton, NJ, on display through February 27, 2010.
Are you a past fellow or finalist with an event, honor, or other bit of news you’d like to share? Tell us about it.
Image: Santiago Hernandez, GENESIS II (2006), oil on canvas, 60×48 in.