Francis Bacon’s studio. Photo from www.graft.co.nz.
Alumna, painter and sculptor Allison Hornak ’09 is the owner of MINE ART! Gallery, the space is formerly known as Migrant Salon in downtown Sandy Hook, CT. Hornak is hosting an event this Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7 pm at 117 Church Hill Road, Suite D, Newtown, CT.
PREPARING FOR ART: A Conversation with Artists
Montserrat Alumna Leah Rafaela Ceriello 12 - Providence, RI - www.leahrafaela.com
Jessica Gaddis - Boston, MA - www.jessicagaddis.com
Montserrat Alumna Jessica Lee Hughes ’07 - Lynn, MA - www.agirlcalled672.carbonmade.
Montserrat Alumna Elizabeth Sultzer ’13 - New York, NY - www.elizabethsultzer.com
Please join MINE ART! Gallery for a riposte to the recent institution, ‘National Preparedness Month’. I will talk with dedicated artists about how they ready their studio, and themselves, to do the work of making meaningful things. You are welcome to attend, listen and, if you wish, participate in the conversation.
Just over the Salem bridge, Montserrat College of Art’s Continuing Education Program is hosting a terrifyingly awesome Silicone Mask Making & FX Class this fall for teens & adults! If you like special effects and have ever wanted to learn how to do it yourself, then this course is for you! Click here to learn more!
|Silicone Mask Making & FX
Instructors: Robert McLaughlin & Jonathan Brown of Frightful Acts
Sat. 10am – 4pm | Oct. 4 – Nov. 8 (6 sessions)
Let your wildest dreams come to life with our silicone custom casting and mold making course. You will work with silicone, plastics, foams and other materials to create molds for masks, props, and body castings. Learn how to conceptualize, create, wear and display your own performing silicone mask!
In this course taught by Robert and Jon’s effects team, Frightful Acts, you will learn the process used by a professional silicone mask making company of how to design, create and finish your own silicone mask. You will start with character/creature concept design fundamentals; next you will learn sculpting techniques used by FX masters in the industry, how to properly sculpt your design in clay, and how to mold and cast your mask in silicone rubber. Finally, you will learn how to paint and finishing your mask for display, portfolio, and for wear. This course will consist of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on learning. All materials included. Be prepared to learn a lot about special effects!
Prerequisite: none required
About Robert McLaughlin:(primary, everyday)- Rob attended and got his BFA at our very own Montserrat College of Art and has also been working at the college for over 8 years. Rob also Co-owns a special effects business known as Frightful Acts and has done work for a number of amusement parks, haunted houses, film, world known organizations, and conventions. (pictured on right)
About Jonathan Brown: (secondary, half days) Jon also attended and got his BFA at Montserrat College of Art and is known for accomplishments as a costume designer, character creator and has won awards for them all over the north east. Jon also is a Co-owner of the special effects business known as Frightful Acts which has done work for a number of amusement parks, haunted houses, film, world known organizations, and conventions. (pictured on left)
Our Weekly Friday Health Center Updates from our Wellness Coordinator Susan Calhoun RN, MSN are back!
Here’s a Frozen Banana Bites Recipe
- 1 C. Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 T. Solid Shortening (Coconut oil works fine)
>>First, Cut the bananas into sections ( 1 -2 inch pieces).
>>Secondly, Insert Toothpicks for easy dipping.
>>Combine 1 c. Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips and 1 T. shortening in a the top of a double boiler.
>>Melt the chocolate over low heat until smooth.
>>Dip each banana piece in chocolate and place on wax paper. Add a walnut half to the top, or roll in chopped nuts, shredded coconut, granola, rice krispies, colored sprinkles, etc.
>>Place the entire tray in the freezer until frozen solid (2-4 hours). Store in ziploc bags in the freezer.
Remove and enjoy!
Learn more about our Health Center at montserrat.edu/student-life/healthy-artist
Montserrat College of Art’s Book Rats presents:
Artists’ Books Reading Room
Thursday, Sep. 25, 9 am – 9 pm
Paul M. Scott Library, 2nd Floor (23 Essex Street, Beverly)
100 Artists’ Books by artists from the past 50 years, available for viewing to the entire Montserrat community for one day only!
Come and actually read works (with your hands!) by established artists such as:
Carl Andre, George Brecht, Chris Burden, David Byrne, John Cage, Chuck Close, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Dick Higgins, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Douglas Huebler, Ray Johnson, Sol Lewitt, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Raymond Pettibon, Deiter Roth, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Keith Smith, Telfer Stokes, Emmett Williams… and many more.
Franklin Evans: juddrules
Artist Talk: Friday, September 12, 7:30pm
Location: 248 Cabot Street Room 208
Montserrat Galleries is proud to present juddrules featuring New York-based artist Franklin Evans. While Evans considers himself first and foremost a painter his works are process-based physical environments, surrounded by the very source materials that conceptually inform his paintings. “It’s like walking into a painting,” describes Evans, anticipating how Montserrat Gallery will evolve into a ‘landscape’ of ephemeral and factual materials over the course of his three week residency. One way that Evans communicates sources of influence and inspiration is through the titles of his work. For the exhibition at Montserrat, Evans will work with the writings of Minimalist artist, Donald Judd, specifically those that were highlighted or underlined during Evans’ original reading of the text. Creating self-imposed guidelines or “rules” for which excepts to incorporate into the installation results in the title, juddrules.
*Franklin Evans will be in residence installing juddrules in the Montserrat Gallery through September 16, 2014. Open studio hours are Mondays-Thursdays 11:10 am – 12:30pm or contact Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, Pam Campanaro: pamela.campanaro@montserrat.
For more information, please visit: http://www.montserrat.edu/
Anne Gatling Haynes, Director of Transformative Development for Mass Development Finance Agency. Anne leads a new initiative for the agency to spur accelerated redevelopment in the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts. In partnership with locally-driven plans, this new cross-divisional systems-based approach for the agency will deploy targeted investments in strategic districts, while coordinating the investments of other public and nonprofit agencies, in order to leverage follow on private investments and activity.
Eleni Varitimos, Vice President, Community Development – North Region for MassDevelopment. Eleni joined MassDevelopment in June 2014 as Vice President of Community Development for the Northern Region of Massachusetts. Previously, she spent 11 years as Chief of Staff to Senator Steven A. Baddour focusing her work on statewide transportation policy and fiscal affairs.
Jenn Faigel, Independent community economic development & commercial real estate consultant. Jenn focuses on utilizing commercial real estate as a means to create jobs, support business development, and bring goods and services to low-income communities across Massachusetts.
Greg Bishop, Managing Partner of Oliver Brothers Fine Art Restoration, Beverly and Boston. Oliver Brothers performs restoration and conservation of paintings, works on paper, picture frames, sculpture and objects. They also provide custom framing services. Greg has over 11 years of business experience, building and growing Oliver Brothers. Since becoming a partner in 2003, Oliver Brothers went from a sole proprietorship in 2002 to a business that today employs 11 individuals.
Please RSVP by Sept. 12 to Elizabeth.Gianino@montserrat.edu
For questions, contact Jo.Broderick@montserrat.ed
Montserrat College of Art’s Paul Scott Library is currently exhibiting selections from their Special Collections: Zines and Pop-Up Books.
College Librarian Cheri Coe invites the community to check out the two new watercolors.
LIBRARY FALL HOURS
Mon. – Thu. 8 am – 9 pm / Fri. 8:30 am – 6:30 pm / Sun. 12 – 6 pm / Closed on national holidays.
CONTACT: Cheri Coe, College Librarian
Alumna Cynthia Woehrle ’93 is exhibiting her artwork at Old Sculpin Gallery in Martha’s Vineyard this month. If you happen to be on the island this weekend, please join her for a reception on Sept. 7, 5-7 pm. Also on view will be four other solo exhibits as well as the members gallery.
The exhibit will highlight several landscapes and new paintings of the recent Supermoon, which she was fortunate to watch rise over Chappaquiddick Island this summer. Coincidentally, while this exhibit is on view, the final Supermoon of the year will rise!
“I am honored and proud to have been accepted by the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association as an exhibiting artist and to have the opportunity to display in Edgartown, MA.” - Woehrle
On View: Sept. 6 – 13, 2014
Old Sculpin Gallery
58 Dock Street, Edgartown, MA
To keep up to date with Woehrle, visit her links:
Current student Dino Rowan Traite ’16 is in his third year of studying Photography at Montserrat College of Art. He is currently taking classes at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, through Montserrat’s AICAD Mobility Program, available to Montserrat juniors. During the Mobility Program, students have the opportunity to spend a semester studying at another school for no additional cost of tuition. This enables students to utilize the unique opportunities available to them at Montserrat.
Before Traite began his Mobility Program in Florida, he had recently returned from spending the summer semester in Viterbo, Italy through Montserrat’s Study Abroad Program.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunities that are available to me at Montserrat,” said Traite. “And I hope that whatever I learn at Ringling, I can bring back and contribute into the Montserrat community.”
At the end of the Spring Semester, Prof. Ron DiRito and Prof. Ethan Berry suggested that Traie start a travel blog, and so he did! He will be continuing to update this blog as he continues his studies: deemo-the-distance.tumblr.com
Above Photo: Traite took this photo with his phone looking over the Ringling campus from his dorm room.
Alumna Melissa Silveira Guimaraes ’03 is a Peabody resident who graduated from Montserrat College of Art with a major in Illustration and Minor in Art Education in 2003. By September 2004, she was teaching visual arts at Peabody High School, the same high school she graduated from, and has been teaching there ever since. She is currently enrolled at Salem State University and has almost completed her Masters in the Art of Teaching with a concentration in Visual Arts.
Guimaraes has started a traveling paint party business, Melissa’s Budding Artists, that focuses on kids and teens. She throws parties hosted by local family-friendly venues and offer private parties, too. While she’ll be focusing on Budding Artists, kids and teens, she welcome and encourage artists of all ages to create!
FIRST THURSDAY AT PORTER MILL:
CHROMA: VOL 2 BOOK SIGNING
SEPTEMBER 4TH, 5 – 8PM
Porter Mill and Tryptic Press will be hosting a special book signing on September 4th to celebrate the long-awaited release of CHROMA: VOL 2! For one night only, CHROMA 1 & 2 will both be available to purchase, and featured artists from each volume will be in attendance. This event is free and open to the public, as a part of Porter Mill’s monthly First Thursday series.
The book, released in August 2014, is the second collection of exclusive artist interviews released by Tryptic Press. Featured Volume 2 artists who will be appearing at this event include Tom Torrey, Amanda Beard, Bob Packert, Meghann Brideau and Forrest James. Several artists featured in Volume 1 will also be present, including Andrew Houle ’00, John Cardinal ’99, Michael Crockett ’97, Adam Miller ’00 and Emily Dumas.
The signing will take place at the Porter Mill Gallery located at 95 Rantoul St, Beverly MA, between 5 and 8 pm. During this time, the art studio building will also be open to the public.
More info about Tryptic Press and CHROMA can be found on www.TrypticPress.com.
For more information about this or other events at Porter Mill, visit www.PorterMill.com or email email@example.com
Alumnus John Cardinal ’99 also had a new children’s book come out recently from Evolved Publishing, Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle.
When Thomas finds a talking turtle in his yard, he’s amazed and surprised—especially when the turtle insists, “I’m not a turtle. I’m a tiger!” After a visit to the zoo and a fun chase, the turtle—or is it a tiger?—discovers an important truth and makes a fast friend.
Montserrat Galleries would like to welcome Boston-area artist Destiny Palmer to our Frame 301 Gallery! Her installation “Day and Night: Part 4 of Continuous” will be on view on Cabot Street through Friday, September 26th.
Destiny Palmer is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Palmer is also the co-founder of Traditions Remixed, an artist collective that creates a supportive community for young artists, especially artists of color, by encouraging collaboration and networking. She has been in numerous group exhibitions in the area: Boston City Hall, Hancock 309 Gallery in Dorchester, Piano Factory Gallery in Boston, among others. Palmer has permanent collections and installations at The Whittier Health Center and Lincoln Property Company. Currently, Palmer is an adjunct faculty member at Boston Arts Academy.
Alumna Loren Doucette ’13 and Assoc. Prof. Caroline Bagenal are currently exhibiting in the group show “afloat” at Flatrocks Gallery in Gloucester. The Opening Reception is Saturday, August 30, 6 – 8 pm and the exhibit will remain on view through September 28.
Included in the show are: paintings by Shaun McNiff, sculptures by Caroline Bagenal, photographs by Paul Cary Goldberg and collages by Loren Doucette
77 Langsford Street,Gloucester, MA
Hours: Thu – Sun 12 – 5 pm or by appointment
Bagenal also has a solo show at Winfisky Gallery, House of Words: Sculpture by Caroline Bagenal , Curated by Professor Ken Reker. On view: Sept. 3 – Oct. 1. Reception: Wednesday, September 17, 2 pm at Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St. Salem, MA.
Caroline Bagenal’s sculptures express the idea of the printed word as a shelter and a refuge. In several pieces she evokes architecture by balancing books on stilts. Another series is inspired by African meeting houses called Toguna, translated as “House of Words”. Using reeds that she collects from the marshes near her Newburyport home, Bagenal creates works that draw upon forms found in the rural and seaside landscape such as bird blinds, haystacks, fences and lobster traps. Marsh reeds do not grow in straight lines and this imbues the geometric forms which she creates from these materials with a distinctive, hand-drawn quality.
History’s Child is a work of natural beauty—or rather the beauty of its artifice is so intelligently and lovingly constructed on such a fine-grained level that it appears natural; it mimics the natural world with seeming artlessness. I mean, by that last part, that this book masterfully renders the subtle electricity of life as it flows and flashes through the eyes of people and animals, animating the wings of insects and the strange hearts of human beings; it renders the beauty and mercilessness of the world. - Mary Gaitskill, Judge.
Charles M. Boyer has an M.A. in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now teaches English and Humanities at Montserrat College of Art. He has received a writing grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board and a Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. His chapbook of poetry,The Mockingbird Puzzle, was published by Finishing Line Press. History’s Child is inspired by and loosely interprets his wife’s father’s experiences during post-World War II opposition to Stalin’s occupation of Poland.
This book, for intermediate readers, takes place on the Boston Harbor Islands, and includes a geocaching twist! Ollie follows Erin’s companion novel Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, another book set in Boston that focused on the Gardner Art Museum heist. Please see the Salem Evening News article about the book here: salemnews.com/
Here are some events that Dionne is doing this fall to support Ollie & the Science of Treasure Hunting.
Sept. 11, 7 pm- Wellesley Booksmith Young Adult Murder and Mystery Panel Speaking with authors Diana Renn, Laurie Faria Stolarz and Kim Harrington
Sept. 27, all day – Participating in the Boston Teen Authors Festival at the Cambridge Public Library
Oct 4 - Appearing with authors Jennifer Malone and Anna Stanizewski at an event for the Girl Scouts in Littleton, MA
Nov. 14 & 15 - Appearing at the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, Rochester, NY
Nov. 21 – 23 - presenting “Mentor Texts” at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Washington, DC
Alumna Mori Clark ’12 is currently employed at the Akron Art Museum as a Visitor Services Associate! Her piece “Coyote + The Columbia” (left) was selected to be apart of the Group 10 Gallery’s first regional juried exhibition! Learn more here: grouptengallery.com
Alumna Ania Gruca ’14 will be in a group show at gallery 263 in Cambridge called folk which is up till the end of August. She is also doing an installation for the Ellis Square Performance Series on Friday, August 22 at 7pm on Cabot Street in Beverly. She will be playing with fellow band so sól.
Learn more here: www.gallery263.com/
Alumna Ellen Topitzer ’13 is now the Concept Artist at Ding! Games in Springfield, MA! She is responsible for the visual development, concept design and character creation as well as generating visual representation for objects and environments.
She also recently announced that she will be illustrating her second children’s book this summer for self publishing author Deby Gervais!
Topitzer is a freelance illustrator living in Western Massachusetts. She graduated from Montserrat College of Art, where she received her BFA in 2013. Drawn to children’s books from a very early age Topitzer has an incredible passion for art and storytelling. She has already illustrated one children’s book.
See more of her work at www.ellentopitzer.com
Montserrat College of Art’s student-run Bear Gallery is happy to announce their first show of the upcoming school year!
The reception for Japan 2014 will take place on Wednesday, August 27, 4:30 – 6:30 pm at 248 Cabot Street, Beverly on the second floor.
Japan 2014 is an exhibit of work from the students who took part in the school trip to Niigata, Japan this past summer. Woodblock prints and sketchbooks will be on show. This work reflects their time and experiences while there.
Please drop by and see the work and the rehabbed space. Questions can be directed to: len.thomas-vickory@montserrat.
(Several murals like the one above were created as a collaborative project with Northeast Arc and Montserrat College of Art)
Applications Now Being Accepted for College & Career Access Project Benefiting Young Adults With Intellectual, Developmental And Learning Disabilities
Slots are still available in the new College & Career Access Project (CCAP), a collaborative effort of North Shore Community College and Northeast Arc, made possible by a grant from The Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.
CCAP, launching this September, is designed to prepare young adults (18 to 26 years old) with developmental, intellectual or learning disabilities for careers in specific fields. This new program will provide the necessary educational and hands-on practical experience that will assist people in securing jobs in their chosen pathways by the end of the year. The successful student will have a definite advantage entering the work force.
“Through surveys, meetings and feedback from students, their families and staff, and evaluating the current workforce needs, three pathways of Horticulture, Canine and Feline Care and Arts/Entrepreneurship were selected,” said Lea Hill, CCAP Coordinator, North Shore Community College. “Each of these has many possibilities for employment, and for the entrepreneur, each of these tracks can provide the skills to go out and create specialized business opportunities.”
Applicants must have a documented developmental, intellectual or learning disability and be ready for the challenge of the non-credit college program. They also should be comfortable being independent on a college campus and interested in work experience. CCAP students take three classes specific to their chosen field and an internship seminar each semester. The classroom experience includes syllabi, textbooks, homework assignments and projects.
In addition, CCAP connects students to the workplace through a structured internship in the student’s field of study for eight hours per week, on-site support that fades to independent work over the course of the year, and an internship seminar. Students will receive support throughout the program to meet the academic and workplace expectations.
Choosing the Horticulture track may lead to a job working as a landscaper, at a nursery, a garden center or on a farm. This track is also the perfect stepping stone for someone wanting to work at a florist or at one of the many industrial complexes in the area that hire people to take care of their indoor plantings.
The Animal Care track opens the door for someone looking to work at a doggie day care, a grooming center or a veterinarian office. For the entrepreneur who loves animals, the dog walking business can be very profitable as well!
The Arts Based track is equally expansive. Students will be exposed to a variety of mediums, such as paint, pottery, and chair caning, focusing on the fundamentals of art and has classwork that will introduce basic accounting principles, on-line marketing and the use of social media. Montserrat College of Art in Beverly is a partner for this track.
“The North Shore is rich in opportunities for a person who wants to go out on their own, or be employed by one of the many businesses involved with the local creative economy,” said Tim Brown, Director of Day Services, Northeast Arc. “Instructors working with the students will not only focus on assisting them in improving their own preferred medium, but also in finding paid employment that will complement their skills and abilities. The North Shore is rich with opportunities for people to become employed within businesses that pair nicely with the skills this curriculum will offer.”
“We live in an area filled with museums, galleries and historical places that have needs for employees,” added Brown. “There are commercial potters, glass blowers, furniture makers, restorers and repair specialists. There are opportunities for matters and framers, a skill that is in high demand. Media, marketing, and web design are also growing industries in the area that require employees with a variety of skills and talents to succeed.”
The Creative Economy Association of the North Shore, which is based at Montserrat College of Art, reports that the creative economy represents about 10-12% of private employment on the North Shore, representing 2,200 businesses and 20,000 employees. The creative economy generates $3 billion in sales. These statistics continue to increase each year and demonstrate the need to have a workforce prepared and ready to support this ever growing sector.
CCAP is a noncredit, tuition based program. Scholarship assistance is available. Interested students should act now. For more information and to apply for admission to the College and Career Access Project, please visitwww.northshore.edu/ccap. Employers interested in providing internships for CCAP participants please contact Dylan Girard at 978 624-3062.
Alumna Kerry Karner ’96 is currently working as the Senior Graphic Designer at Omega Engineering, a temperature measurement, flow, pressure and data acquisition instrumentation company in Stamford CT. Kerry works in the in-house creative department, made up of two senior graphic designers, two graphic artists, a proofreader and an advertising coordinator. Her office does all the creative services (catalogs, handbooks, etc.) for the company and for more than 20 of their international sites.
Kerry also does some of her own creative work on the side. She’s currently working on branding for a new company who will be manufacturing liquid for e-cigarettes.
She also has an ongoing project she calls ‘my heart phenomenon‘. For the past 16 years she has encountered hearts in everyday situations, in her food, out in nature, on others. “You wouldn’t believe the situations where they appear to me,” she said. She has photographed 95% of the hearts she has come across. Kerry self published a book four years ago with these photographs. “I’ve since gotten a following on facebook where if someone finds a heart they photograph it, send it to me and I post it in an album which I tag them in. That’s been going strong for quite a few years now. I love that people share with me. Makes me realize that love is surrounding us at all times. And funny enough they usually pop up whenever I seem to be needing them most!”
This summer Boston-based artist Nathan Miner has been the artist-in-residence at the Montserrat Gallery for a major solo-exhibition: The Long Now. Over the course of the past two months, Miner has used the main gallery as his studio, creating two new large experimental paintings and exhibiting five previously completed large-scale works. The Long Now featured in The Boston Globe and The Salem News.
Miner’s work is concerned with subjective studies of time, materials and sensory properties, known as phenomenological experience. At the moment, digital interconnectedness has radically shifted how the world is viewed. Miner’s work counteracts the fast pace of contemporary life necessitating slower optical engagement. The artist’s process supports the idea of slowing down and making decisions that reflect and respond to careful observation.
* Open Studio Gallery Hours: Tue., Wed., Thu.: 10 am – 6 pm, Sat.: 1 – 5 pm
For more information, please visit: www.montserrat.edu/
Montserrat College of Art Galleries | 23 Essex St. | Beverly | MA l 01915
Above Photo: Nathan Miner, Chimera, 2014, Credit: David Le, The Salem News
Northeast Arc Creativity Crew
(L to R) Tim Brown, Director of Day Services, Northeast Arc; Dr. Steve Immerman, President of Montserrat College of Art; and Jerry McCarthy, CEO of Northeast Arc met recently to discuss opportunities to expand the relationship between the two organizations.
Learn more about how Montserrat College of Art’s Art Connection has been benefiting Northeast Arc here: www.montserrat.edu/blog/category/art-connection
Children’s Friend and Family Services, of Salem, visited Montserrat College of Art last week as part of their Summer College Road Trip series! The Montserrat Gallery staff designed an informal learning experience for them in the gallery that involved conversation and building connections between the work and themselves. The students also spent time visiting with our artists-in-residence Nathan Miner in his studio and were introduced to some of the techniques and tools he was using. They learned how an airbrush worked and saw some of Nathan’s preliminary drawings/sketches. “The kids went on and on about how cool it was to actually meet a real life artist, and how the project was neat.” - Samantha Alves, LCSW, Director of Youth Mentoring Health Information Technology Resource Coordinator, Children’s Friend and Family Services, Inc.
Exhibiting Instructors and their Students from
Opening Reception: Sunday, August 3, 2 – 4 pm
Ever Evolving is a celebration of the creative community formed by a special group of instructors and their students who come together each summer at Montserrat College of Art. Artists Timothy Hawkesworth, Lala Zietlyn, Barbara Moody and Maria Malatesta have ignited the passion of devoted participants for four summers, and in turn have cultivated a rich dialogue amongst themselves, instructor to instructor. We are proud to present an exhibition which gives testament to the unique community they have created, and pleased present works by all four instructors and their most recent students. The exhibition is sponsored by the Marblehead Arts Association and Montserrat’s Department of Continuing Education.
Timothy Hawkesworth grew up in Ireland and immigrated to the U.S. in 1977. Since then, he has shown internationally, and his work can be found in collections such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Dublin City Hugh Lane Gallery. His work has received considerable critical attention, including reviews in the New York Times, Art News, the New Yorker, theLA Times, the Boston Globe and the Irish Times. He teaches around the country.
Lala Zeitlyn claims her real education as an artist took place on the family farm, although she studied painting at Bard and Philadelphia College of Art. She has shown in the Philadelphia area and her work is in many private collections. She is a practicing body worker and brings this knowledge to her teaching, exploring the many forms of access we have between body, mind and spirit. She has taught workshops with Tim Hawkesworth for the past eight years.
Barbara Moody is a professor at Montserrat, where she also served as Dean for nine years. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in Higher Education Administration from Harvard University and a BFA from Syracuse University. Over the past 10 years, she has had five solo shows at the Kingston Gallery in Boston. Her work has been exhibited in California, New York and Chicago, as well as at the DeCordova Museum. Moody’s large-scale, commissioned mural projects are installed at Meditech Corp. in Fall River, MA, a company that has more than 60 of her artworks in their collection.
Top artwork from left by Barbara Moody, Timothy Hawkesworth, and Maria Malatesta.
Montserrat Instructor Wilber Blair exhibited and was a featured speaker at the IVOH Media Summit in the Catskills. IVOH believes the media can create positive change in the world. For more information, please visit their website at www.ivoh.org.
“I have had a very busy year of large projects, solo shows, and new work. All That hard work was evidently noticed by the press, including the writers and jurors for Improper Bostonian Magazine who recently awarded me the title of ‘Best Boston Artist of 2014.’ I am awed, humbled, honored, overwhelmed…, to accept this honor. I would like to point out that I did not accomplish all of this work alone, many generous people are always behind what I do.” - Elizabeth Alexander
Congratulations, Wilbur and Elizabeth!
Last Saturday, alumna Bea Modisett ’07 and assistant Morgan Dyer ’13 (shown above) completed their series of murals at Northeast Arc. They have been working on the ‘Mother Mural’ in the kitchen of the Meridian Day Habilitation program of Northeast Arc and the ‘Offspring Murals’ in two other locations throughout the building, for the last several weeks.
On July 8, Modisett and Dyer worked with clients of Northeast Arc on the main ‘Mother Mural’ throughout the morning and early afternoon. The clients participated in the mural’s creation in smaller groups, so that it was an intimate experience and more clients could be involved in the project.
The feedback from the ARC has been extremely positive. “The Zen garden is amazing!!! They did such a great job and had the worst heat to work in. Everyone has had such a nice time with all of these projects and so far all has been very well received!!!” - Tani Shimmin, the Director of Day Habilitation Services
Here are some photos of the completed Rock Garden. The small trees will reach full growth within several years and will cover the neighboring brick wall, which will increase aesthetics for the ARC clients immensely.
|Film in Quebec: A Documentary Lover’s Field Trip to Montreal|
“A Better Cup of Tea” is an ongoing project that Christiane Corcelle has been working on since 2011. The installation encompasses a wide variety of pieces sharing one common element: used tea bags and their components. Within the space, she has created a series of 138 square panels each composed of tea bag labels. Corcelle collects discarded objects as part of her creative process. She explains how “living in a society of consumption, I would like to share with viewers the many fascinating aspects of what one could do with the simple and everyday.” Corcelle is fascinated by found matter and through this installation she explores the multidimensionality of these objects.
Christiane Corcelle was born in France and her career began as a landscape designer in Paris. Upon moving to the United States, she pursed her passion for fine arts by studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Corcelle’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States, China, Vietnam, and Peru. Her prints are in private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Public Library, the Art Complex Museum, the Contemporary Art Center, the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in Hanoi, and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China. She has taught workshops and classes at the Maud Morgan Center, Shepherd Print Studio, the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and Framingham State College.
Learn more about her installation process here: christianearts.wordpress.com
Well known artist in Mexico and several other countries, Jorge Obregón, was one of the students in nationally recognized leading realist painter George Nick‘s Plein Air class during Montserrat College of Art’s Summer Immersive Program this year. He paints landscapes and travels the world painting volcanos.
Here are some photos taken by both Jorge Obregón and Montserrat’s Directive of Interactive Design Terry Slater documenting some of the artwork he created during his time at Montserrat this July.
Learn more about his work here: jorgeobregon.com.mx
Here are the eight oil paintings he created from the week-long course he took at Montserrat College of Art’s Summer Immersive Program.
What a great few weeks it has been for our Summer Immersive program (June 16 – July 11)! From painting and fiber arts to comics and book arts, our diverse summer immersives are designed to allow participants time and instruction to explore new avenues of creative inquiry.
Here are some highlights!
Plein Air with George Nick
Plein Air with George Nick
Letterpress with Sarah Smith
Weaving a Sculptural Narrative with Nathalie Miebach
Collage with Tim Harney
Classical Portraiture with Kathy Speranza
…and weekly Artist Talks in our 3 galleries
Photo Cred: Katie Longo & Terry Slater
Alumnus Craig Schaffer ’98 (BFA Illustration) recently won two Keystone Press Awards from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association for his exceptional visual journalism work! The association awarded him 1st place for his illustration work on the Reading Eagle’s 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg series “Hell and High Water.” The historical series by reporter Ron Devlin, photographer Jeremy Drey and artist Craig Schaffer also won 1st place. Schaffer has previously won five Keystone awards for his illustration and graphic design work for several suburban PA newspapers.
Schaffer has worked for the Reading Eagle Company for the past 10 years as a designer and illustrator and was recently promoted to visual journalist in 2013. He illustrates a statistical weekly column, Snapshot, for Business Weekly and draws another column, Sketchbook, about wildlife for “Berks Country.” Both are Reading Eagle publications. Schaffer’s position as a visual journalist is rare in the industry and no other artist is known to have an illustrated column in a US newspaper. His work can be found on his website www.craig-schaffer.com.
- Courtesy of Craig Schaffer
The most recent unique setting for Montserrat College of Art’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour reading was on July 2 at the recently decommissioned and iconic Footprint Power’s Salem Harbor Station in Salem, MA, built in the 1950′s.
In conjunction with the exhibition of Across the Bridge, a collaboration between Montserrat College of Art and Footprint Power, this reading continued the goal of creating to honor and document the lives and work of the power plant employees, most of whom will lose their jobs and move on to other opportunities when the coal plant closes this summer. On this tour stop, the massive turbines were quiet, but poetry spoke loudly to the power of work and the work of power. In addition to the readings, there was also an opportunity for guests and poets to see portions of the power plant itself, with mini-tours of the vintage operating equipment and control room.
The tour was featured in several publications including, but not limited to:
“The poetry tour has always been about the place,” Colleen Michaels said. “The power plant was such an amazing opportunity. It’s a place that the public never had access to.” … The audience packed into the belly of the plant, among the stagnant machinery, while locals like Elizabeth Hart, January Gill O’Neill, Susanna Brougham, Melissa Varnavas, Mary Ann Honaker, Rick Matthias and Eric Wright recited their poetry. - The Beverly Citizen: Making the Improbable possible
The poetry reading was, in part, a farewell to the power station in the Salem community — we even heard a recording of the turbine’s deafening “voice.” But once the poets began reading their industry-related works, the evening shifted to an incandescent realm of words, imagery, imagination, speculation and humor. Listeners were easily engaged with lyrical perspectives on a variety of themes — grids, laborers, history, ecology, power and the industrial landscape. The juxtaposition of massive turbine to evocative poet escaped no one and added a magical element.
- Peabody Essex Museum: Poetic industry
The power plant’s control room was a striking setting for the writers’ work. The audience — close to 80 people — sat near gray, metal channels carrying electrical cords past massive vertical cylinders. Above, was a balcony with a curved edge. Sickly yellow lights beamed down on the reading. The plant’s employees didn’t read poetry themselves, but the poets gathered to honor their efforts. In front of the poets, a hard hat sat on a stationary vertical wheel. At the end of the reading, a recording of the power plant’s background noise was played. It sounded like a mechanical waterfall. - ecoRI News: Closing Coal Plant Shines at Salem Poetry Reading
When I heard that Footprint Power was going to host an art show and poetry reading inside of the defunct coal plant, my first thought was that we should infiltrate…When we actually got the art show, I felt a little ashamed of my Climate Summer shirt. Who was I to deny these workers their livelihood, their family? The artwork by the students of Montserrat Art College gave voice to the workers without tokenizing their labor or passing judgement on their industry. Reading quotes from the workers and looking at portraits of them, I began to see the workers as people. One of the pieces invited viewers to take a small container of coal, take a story. It felt like power, but then I looked at it closer and realized it differed only slightly from the charcoal I use to draw. - Climate Summer: Structures of Water: Poetry as Activism
Above photos taken by Paul Van Ness. See more photos of the Across the Bridge exhibit and the poetry reading on Montserrat’s Facebook Page!
The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected. Learn more here!
Render Coffee is owned by Montserrat College of Art alumna Alison Dadey ( Mayo ) ’03 and her husband Chris Dadey. It was recently featured as one of America’s 50 Best Coffee Shops on thedailymeal.com!
43. Render Coffee — Boston
“It seems Bostonians have grown to love craft coffee almost as much as they love their Red Sox (almost). Render is a great establishment amongst the exploding Boston coffee scene, serving up Counter Culture and some guest roasters with finesse.” — Bill Walsh of The Pure Coffee Blog
by Kristin D’Agostino
Though it’s been twenty years since he graduated, Swampscott-based graphic designer Steve Dariotis recalls how idealistic he was as a young artist. Art students, he says, often have their own set of dreams that have to be adapted to fit the needs of the real world. For Dariotis this lesson came while he was still in school when a Montserrat professor gave him a job lead that wasn’t quite what the young student had in mind.
“It was to design a hospital brochure,” he recalls. “I could’ve said I didn’t want to design a silly hospital brochure; I had my own interests.” But, luckily, Dariotis took the job because that “silly” hospital brochure was the first step toward a successful career designing websites and graphics for the medical industry.
In the world of graphic design, Dariotis says, medical jobs are some of the most secure. “While other industries come and go,” he reflects, “the hospital stuff never goes away.” Specializing in a niche industry is a great way for a new graphic designer to secure his or her career. In the medical field, one job often leads to another because in the Boston area there are “a million hospitals” that are all connected through the Partners healthcare system.
But, doesn’t specializing in one kind of client get dull after a while? Dariotis says no. He enjoys the variety in his work, everything from company logos and brochures to web sites and three-dimensional exhibits used for trade shows. And, though he primarily works on the computer, Dariotis keeps his drawing skills fresh by sketching illustrations and maps for healthcare magazines.
As for his days at Montserrat, Dariotis says, though he enjoyed the chance to work on in-class projects, it was an internship that proved the most useful after graduation. Working in the college print shop gave him a strong foundation of skills he has drawn upon throughout his career. “It gave me experience working with a printer and doing other pre press stuff,” he says. “It definitely helped me going into the real world.”
Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery
Jason Mathis: Understanding The Understood
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10, 4 – 6 pm
Understanding The Understood is about the intersection, or as the artist Jason Mathis calls it, “the gutters” between audience and art object that accept, reject or elicit an idea. The intent of this exhibition, according to Mathis, is to place his viewer somewhere between observer and participant to understand how the gallery can be a site of action and interpretation. The exhibition combines silkscreen, comics and traditional painting. The work below, “Gallery” is an excerpt from a larger body of work entitled “Gallery Series” that combine traditional subject matter (landscapes, still life) with a superimposed silkscreen image of a viewer. Each figure is portrayed standing still, carefully studying each object as one would in a gallery or museum setting. When Mathis silkscreens directly on an image of a work of art inside his compositions, he questions how we, as audience, study an object as art, and draws attention to the perceived “norms” of gallery etiquette.
Jason Mathis, Gallery, acrylic on canvas
Jason Mathis is a Canadian artist who currently lives and works in Scotland. Awarded his MFA from the Glasgow School of Art, he is now the Course Leader and Lecturer for GSA’s International Foundation program. An active member of the Hope Street Studios – a prominent community of graphic and comic artists in Glasgow – Jason’s work has been shown in the UK, Germany, Canada and the US, and his self published ‘zine ‘All You Can Eat’ has managed to find itself in pockets all across the globe
*In addition, Summer Artist in Residence Nathan Miner will be giving an Artist Talk in the Montserrat Gallery on his exhibition The Long Now on Thursday, July 10th at 4:30 pm. Learn more here: montserrat.edu/galleries/public-programs
Montserrat College of Art Galleries |23 Essex St. | Beverly | MA l 01915
Asst. Prof. Timothy Harney and alumna Loren Doucette ’13 are exhibiting showing their work this summer at Flatrocks Gallery in Gloucester. The galley is hosting its first in a series of summer garden parties, Sunday, July 13th at 5pm. The evening will begin with a guided tour of the gallery, and a brief discussion of their works, by artists Len Richardson, Tim Harney and Loren Doucette. At 6 pm, in the garden, they have the pleasure of presenting guitarist Andrew “Hacksaw” Harney with a repertoire of Blues, Fusion and Funk. A young north shore talent known for being “a ‘fearless’ multi-instrumentalist dedicated to his craft.” He has played with Darrell Scott from the Band of Joy (featuring Robert Plant fronting the band), The James Montgomery Band, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Harper and Midwest Kind, just to name a few.
Light refreshments will be offered, but we encourage you to bring a blanket and snacks and enjoy some great music in the garden!
Congratulations, Tim and Loren!
The Boston Globe had a great editorial highlighting the boost in arts funding due to it’s impact on the state’s economic health.
Arts funding gets a boost
EDITORIAL | JULY 03, 2014
The state budget approved by a House and Senate committee this week covered several urgent big-ticket items: increased funding for the overburdened Department of Children and Families, new money to combat the heroin epidemic, and an increase in state support to cities and towns. But there was also a smaller funding breakthrough made all the more welcome by the fact that it wasn’t precipitated by a crisis: an increase in the annual budget of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, from $11.1 million to $12 million. The bump-up appears to indicate a growing awareness of the importance of arts and culture to the economic health of the state.
As originally recommended by the House Ways and Means Committee, the budget would have actually cut arts spending — by 13 percent, from $11.1 million to $9.6 million. That’s been part of a budget-tightening trend in state funding for the arts from a high of $27 million 25 years ago. Thanks to an amendment by state Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport, the numbers are once again moving in the right direction.
Too often, arts is viewed as a luxury, not a regular function of government. But studies have shown that arts education, for example, improves student academic performance across the disciplines. Moreover, the economic impact of the arts can be quantified in real dollars and cents. A recent report by the non-profit ArtsBoston showed that non-profit arts and cultural organizations inject $1 billion into the local economy every year while supporting 26,000 jobs. The arts audience, according to the report, spent $450 million beyond the admissions price for meals, parking, and other amenities.
State funding for the arts is especially crucial for smaller, more innovative arts organizations that are revitalizing gateway cities, enriching the cultural life of suburban towns, and bringing much-needed youth and vitality to the Boston scene. And the arts are a draw not only for tourists but for new businesses looking to establish headquarters in a stimulating community. It’s good to see the Legislature begin to recognize that the arts not only make the Commonwealth an attractive place to live, but make it economically competitive, as well.
Asst. Prof. John McVey presented his paper, “Hardware and Fiction: Genre Intersections” at the conference “The Prosaic Imaginary: Novels and the Everyday, 1750 – 2000″ at the University of Sydney, July 1 – 4. For more information, please visit the conference website: novelnetwork.org/index.html
It is hard to imagine what kind of machinery lie within the dauntingly large group of buildings, let alone all of the people it takes to run such a system. On the other side of the North River is the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, where, though students study art in all kinds of environments, carrying out the artistic process at a power plant is a first for the college.
Montserrat Professors Ethan Berry, Rebecca Bourgault and Dawn Paul developed the idea with Footprint Power, who recently became the plant’s new owner. These teachers, along with 29 Montserrat students and the plant employees, produced the exhibit “Across the Bridge: Art and Power.” The project is documentary by nature in its exploration of the employees’ histories and daily lives. Students spent their time interviewing the plant’s workers to discover the stories that exist behind normally closed gates.
Outside of the world experience that these students have gained, the public has been given the opportunity to learn about the individuals who have worked at the plant for upwards of 40 years. The plant is in the final stages of shutting down and is to be replaced by a natural gas facility.
Montserrat President Stephen Immerman has appreciated the relationship established between the college and Footprint. “As visual storytellers, the students documented, recognized, and honored the workers,” he said.
In the plant’s turbine room, amidst the seemingly tangles pipes and ladders, a maze of walls was erected to house the students’ art. The works in the show span across the genres of photography, video, drawing, painting, poetry, sculpture and installation as the wide range of media addresses the intricacies of the plant and its employees. Acting as vessels for the stories that were told to them, Montserrat students have relayed what they’ve learned by generating art to be shared with others.
Documenting the community through art challenged Montserrat students to leave their realms of familiarity. “Everybody had to step out of their comfort zone to find these wonderful narratives waiting to be told,” professor Berry said.
For Kayleigh Bird Hawes, the project led to the expansion of her artistic reach. “My work is usually very personal,” she said, “so it was interesting to make work for others.” At the completion of the course, she had made eight artist books, some of which are accordion-structured. They are collectively titled “Reflections.” They hold the stories and memories that she has gathered from those she interviewed at the plant. The books’ form reflects the interwoven lives they represent, by displaying the stories in a zigzagged manner.
Among the diverse pieces, Sarah Graziano’s installation, “Remnants,” creates an environment of artifacts. The carefully organized piece sits in a corner of the gallery. It has battered coats hanging from one wall, and a shelf of manuals and jars of coal on the other. A pedestal holds more stacked jars of coal accompanied by old manual pages, on the backs of which are stories collected from employees. The piece encourages audience involvement by asking individuals to pick and keep few stories from a pile.
Through this process, viewers carry the bits and pieces outside of the plant, into other environments where these histories can be retold.
On the more hand-drawn end of the show is Anthony Corrado’s “Turn Around 1-4,” a character study of four employees in watercolor. Each of the four panels provides a view of workers standing in different positions: front, left, right, back. The playful quality of the illustrations turns workers into possible main characters of an animation. Though the piece is 2-Dimensional, it gives us a literal 360-degree view of the people who work at the plant.
The logistically complicated project at first seemed hard to achieve, but at its culmination, students, workers, and community members were left with rare experiences and meaningful relationships. “Across the Bridge” is not simply a documentary body of work. It is a portrait of the plant and the people within it.
(“Across the Bridge: Art and Power” continues through July 2 at the Salem Harbor power plant, 24 Fort Avenue, Salem, Mass. The exhibition will be on display Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-5 p.m., Thursdays, from 3-7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 2-6 p.m. For more information, call (800) 836-0487.)
View a slideshow of the students’ work, photos by Bethany Acheson:
Kayleigh Bird Hawes, “Reflections,” 2014, hand-printed letterpress book, edition of 40, 4.5 x 4 inches
SALEM, Mass. — In the late 1600s, beset by an inarticulate religious hysteria and the rigors of the New World, the people of Salem set about burning the witches in their midst. Hundreds of years later and under the sway of a far different kind of fervor, they turned their attention to burning coal. Both of these events wove themselves directly into the fabric of this small New England town’s history.
In the case of the witches, the story of the trials (improbably or not) resonated over time, and tourism remains one of Salem’s prime industries. An elongated run-up to Halloween is a mainstay in a city that cultivates a decidedly spooky aura, and where witches still can be seen, albeit hawking lunch specials to tourists outside of restaurants and bars.
In the 1950s the spell cast by the promise of jobs and cheap energy overrode any more modern concerns regarding the environment, pollution, or climate change, and an enormous coal-fired power plant was built on Salem Harbor. As the years passed, a gritty film of coal dust settled across parts of the town, but the plant employed a lot of local people and that seemed to mitigate any concerns.
Flash-forward in time, and the spell has finally been lifted: Salem Harbor Station is being repurposed, changing over to run on natural gas, a process that will take several years to implement. The footprint of the site will be smaller, and many of the employees are losing their jobs (including people who have worked there for decades). The giant turbines that turned for 60 years finally sit silent.
In the wake of these events, a partnership between Montserrat College of Art and Footprint Power LLC (the new owners of the plant) has brought about an exhibition in the monumentally scaled turbine hall (yes, think of the Tate, but on a grander scale). The show is called Across the Bridge, a title that refers not only to how the students get to the plant (via a bridge from the adjacent town of Beverly) but to the cultural divide that separates the worlds inhabited by the students and remaining workers at the plant.
To many, the thought of a partnership with an energy company might ring hollow, summoning up the agitprop regularly delivered by ExxonMobil. Here, however, Footprint Power, to its credit, exerted no editorial control over the content of the exhibition and placed no restrictions on its workers (although any future repercussions remain unseen). For the project, 29 students and four faculty members from Montserrat teamed up with roughly one hundred workers at the plant. The collaboration began with students touring the site and then building up relationships with the workers over time (the project was part of a semester-long class). A good deal of the resulting art is documentary, recording workers’ concerns that range from future employment opportunities to plant safety, to the tedium (and terror) of industrial work. The students and some of the remaining workers also act as docents, leading visitors through both the exhibition and the plant itself.
Salem Harbor Station looms over the coastline with a Brutalist majesty. Enormous smoke stacks rise over the property, dwarfing everything beneath them. Walking in, you immediately feel small; the place is absurdly large, built to specifics that only an engineer might begin to understand. A homage to our large-scale industrial past, the building provokes awe, fear, and puzzlement. There are many levels, sub-floors, and catwalks, all designed with a single purpose: the burning of coal to generate electricity.
The exhibition on the floor of the turbine hall
The exhibition is nestled on the main floor of the turbine hall and initially appears from the catwalks above as would a small encampment viewed from an airplane window. The setting transforms a rather large show into something miniaturized, like a dollhouse placed midfield on a soccer pitch.
The collaborative nature of the exhibit tamps down the personal or expressive gesture, instead mimicking what one imagines are the protocols of the plant floor — protocols that value the group and communal goals, anonymity even. The story told is omnibus versus auteur. Multiple threads weave a narrative of what it was like to work in the plant: photographs capture the space’s rough grandeur; video pieces allow the viewer to hear the workers talk about their experiences in an unvarnished way; in one installation, by Sarah Graziano, workers’ candid reflections on life at the site are printed on old plant manuals. The artists act as documenters of the past and present, drawing a human-scale narrative out of the plant’s closing. For the most part, the work is somber and compassionate.
Sarah Graziano, “Coal Stories”
Still, the physicality of plant itself continues to loom over everything, encasing the experience in the end-pages of a changing industry. For decades, this was the throne where King Coal sat; the students from Montserrat have captured his last choking breath.
Across the Bridge continues at the Salem Harbor Station (24 Fort Ave, Salem, Massachusetts) through July 2.
Montserrat College of Art has registered with AmazonSmile where 0.5% of each eligible Amazon purchase is donated directly back to the college. It’s quick, easy and a great way to help the college, while still getting a little something special for yourself!
Register today for this new way to donate to Montserrat without even having to think about it!
Montserrat is hosting the Travel Program A Documentary Lover’s Field Trip to Montreal this fall. The instructor for the travel program, Erin Trahan, has a few new stories out for the ARTery. See links below:
Montserrat College of Art Gallery’s Asst. Curator of Education Savery Kelley and Asst. Curator of Exhibitions Pam Campanaro installed 12 works at Northeast Arc in Danvers (including Fay Chandler’s Something on My Mind!) They worked with the individuals who came to Montserrat to select the work and helped to guide them where each piece should be installed and were very involved. It was a really special day and the clients seem thrilled with the final installation.
“Thank you so much for your participation in this project! I know everyone has been so excited about the selection of art. The group has been talking about it non-stop since their trip to the school! Having Jessica explain why different pieces were selected yesterday and explain the whole selection process again was great! I look forward to seeing Bea’s mural!” - Tim Brown, Day Services Division Director at the Arc
Alumna Bea Modisett’s ’07 site specific mural will be completed very soon. Here are some installation shots with the clients.
Great leaders earn the trust of people
by Montserrat College of Art President Steve Immerman
We are blessed on the North Shore with exceptional leadership across every aspect of our business and community environments. According to the Essex County Community Foundation, there are an estimated 18 to 20,000 volunteer trustees and directors serving the not-for-profit community in Essex County. This extraordinary number of volunteer leaders does not include the countless number of volunteers leading youth sports, or the number of people serving on community committees in their towns or volunteering at schools and churches. If you also include the number of civic, municipal, and business leaders serving in our communities, the volume of individuals helping to make the North Shore a better place to live, learn, and work is truly remarkable.
Leadership is important. It matters. We all recognize it when it is good, and we all know it when it is lacking. As humans, we are “wired” to sense authenticity. We are drawn to the charismatic, but are less able to predict competence in advance of evidence of deeds over inspiring words. We want to believe the best about the people who lead but can be disappointed or and sometimes cynical when we hear news of the latest fall from grace or learn of a violation of trust, public or private.
Trust is central to effective leadership. The development and stewardship of trust are primary responsibilities of all leaders. Trust is tested in every interaction, and once lost, very difficult, if not impossible to regain. We expect a lot of our leaders, perhaps not being entirely fair when we fail to recognize that everyone has “feet of clay”.
Leadership, too often equated with position, is actually more accurately defined by relationships (Rost, J. C. (1993). Leadership for the 21st century. We consent to being led, at work, in our volunteer organizations, and by our public officials. It is this relationship, when capably shared, that helps create the amazing, the remarkable, and the heroic as well as the day-to-day hard work of carrying forward our collective goals and aspirations. Therefore we invest our hopes, dreams and aspirations, in our leaders. Because of that tendency, we are emotionally linked to them potentially expecting more of them than we might expect of ourselves.
After all each of us is a leader in her or his own right. It is easy to forget that we first must lead ourselves through our own daily lives and our own goals and objectives. In our families, volunteer organizations, recreational pursuits, and work places, we all take initiative, solve problems, and collaborate. Almost everyone, every day must work to find the balance between our own individual needs and the needs of the groups of which we are a part. Leadership is most often exercised when our individual needs come in conflict with the needs of the group or the collective. Someone needs to steward the process by which consensus is achieved, and someone needs to eventually decide among competing priorities.
Because there are always unlimited wants and needs and there are always limited resources, conflict is inevitable. We all see the scenario of this kind of conflict displayed in our local and national politics. Individual rights vs. states rights or the rights of our respective states vs. federal control and regulation are the grist of many political and judicial battles. This essential tension designed into our constitutional form of government requires the kind of effective leadership described above in order to reasonably navigate the inevitable public disagreements about policy and the distribution of resources we read about in the news every day.
The current political dysfunction in our national government is abundant evidence of the importance of competent leadership. So, when our local communities, volunteer organizations, schools, businesses, and civic leaders get it right (which most times they do) let’s all take a moment to reflect on the value of the leadership we enjoy on the North Shore and appreciate their good work. Leadership matters. It is important.