6th Congressional District High School Art Competition and Exhibition: March 7

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2015 marks the 21st year that Montserrat College of Art has hosted the 6th Congressional District High School Art Competition and Exhibition. Please join us for the annual Art Competition and Exhibition sponsored by Congressman Seth Moulton and hosted by Montserrat College of Art. The closing reception and award ceremony will take place Saturday, March 7, 3:30 – 5 p.m. at our 301 Gallery located at 301 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA and the exhibition will be on view March 5 – 7, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m..

The exhibition is a juried art show, open to high school students (grades 10-12) from public and private schools within the Sixth Congressional District of Massachusetts, as well as high school students home-schooled within the district. Students from every school in the district are encouraged to participate.

GRAND PRIZE
George Andrias, Grade 12, “Bad Hair Day” 
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School  

FIRST PRIZE
Jackson Stewart, Grade 12, “New Money”
Masconomet Regional High School

SECOND PRIZE
Marissa Giampietro, Grade 11, “Ticonderoga”
Bishop Fenwick High School

THIRD PRIZE
Aimee Casavant, Grade 10, “Fading Memories”
Reading Memorial High School

BEST OF SCHOOL

Amesbury High School: Jane Grogan, Grade 11, “First Photo”
Beverly High School: Tessa Duzz, “Life in Death”
Billerica Memorial High School: Isabella Pesina, Grade 11, “America”
Burlington High School: Kevin Cardoso, Grade 12, “Broken Reality”
Danvers High School: Sadie Hofmeester, Grade 10, “Where I Was”
Gloucester High School: Jennifer Palazola, Grade 12, “Silence”
Hamilton-Wenham High: Caroline Mastrianni, Grade 12, “A Chance of Flurries”
Homeschool (GWUOHS): Kaitlyn Fabre, Grade 12, “The Friendship”
Ipswich High School: Jonathan McParland, Grade 12, “Gameboy Gonzo”
Landmark School: Natalie Lawrence, Grade 11, “Self Portrait”
Lynn Classical High School: Bedelyn Dabel, Grade 11, “My Spirit Animal”
Lynn English High School: Deyjah Nash, Grade 10, “Untitled”
Lynnfield High School: Renee DelNegro, Grade 11, “City Dreams”
Manchester Essex Regional High School: Aisling Batchelder, Grade 12, “Stages”
Nazareth Academy: Kristen Holland, Grade 11, “Save the Jaguars”
Newburyport High School: Annie Clayton, Grade 11, “Reflection”
Pentucket Regional High School: Angela Cannaelli, Grade 12, “Absorbed”
Pingree School: Abbie Williams, Grade 11, “Red Door Stowe VT”
Rockport High School: Emily Abreu, Grade 11, “Skeleton’s Hands Still Life”
St. John’s Preparatory School: Jack Montesanto, Grade 12, “Lighthouses”
Swampscott High School: Andrew Gladstone, Grade 12, “The Diva”
Triton Regional High School: Nicole Mailhoit, Grade 11, “Self Portrait”
Waring School: Isaac Ogle, Grade 12, “Contingency” 

HONORABLE MENTION

Rachel Carlino, Grade 10, “Pink”      
Burlington High School

Jack Leary, Grade 11, “Flip Flops”
Hamilton Wenham Regional High School

Kelly McNulty, Grade 11, “Bystander”
Lynn Classical High School 

Jeremmy Reyes, Grade 11, “Dry Verdent Coffee Leaves”
Lynn Classical High School

Hannah Thorne, Grade 12, “Medieval Town”
Manchester Essex Regional High School

Nevyana Todorova, Grade 11, “Exposure”
Masconomet Regional High School

Kyla Atwell, Grade 10, “Blue Eye”                                                                          
Nazareth Academy

Victoria Butter, Grade 12, (no title)
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School             

Erik Jeter Jr., Grade 11, “Grief”                                                                    
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School 

Margaret Sweeney, Grade 10, “Fox Transformation”
Reading Memorial High School

The exhibition was juried by Artist Judy Schmid and Artist Lee Essex Doyle. It was open to high school students from public and private schools within the 6th District of Massachusetts, as well as high school students home-schooled within the district.

The Award Winners will receive varying amounts of scholarship to Montserrat’s Summer Pre-College Program and the U.S. Postal Service will provide students with the option of having their artwork displayed at their local post office.

At the conclusion of the exhibition, the artwork of the Grand Award Winner will be sent to the U.S. Capitol Building where it will be displayed for one year with the work of other award winners from across the country. The winner from each district, accompanied by one adult, will be invited to attend the opening of that exhibition in Washington, D.C. to be scheduled for a date in June.

For more information, visit www.montserrat.edu/news/HS_Congressional.php or feel free to contact elizabeth.gianino@montserrat.edu

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Internationally Known Artist Wangechi Mutu to Speak at Montserrat College of Art Commencement

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Montserrat College of Art is excited to announce internationally known artist and activist Wangechi Mutu as the 2015 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient. Mutu will address the Montserrat community on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Cabot Performing Arts Center, 286 Cabot St, Beverly, MA as part of the commencement ceremonies. She will also give a public lecture on Thursday evening, May 14. More information to follow.

Mutu is a Kenyan-born, New York based artist whose surrealist works contain personal poetic cultural criticism that engages the complexities of the daily issues, current affairs and diverse environments. She focuses on issues that affect not only all humans, but more specifically the disempowered. Mutu’s inventive and meticulous use of materials matched with the elegant and perhaps horrific figures are found lurking in worlds filled with hybrids. Composites themselves, they’re entrapped between consciousness and dreamscapes, silences and cacophony, seemingly alive, though somewhere beyond the memory of death; still real and yet not. These characters are avatars that reveal their inherent vulnerability in spite of their dynamic potency.

“We are extremely honored to have an artist of Ms. Mutu’s caliber speaking to our graduates,” said Stephen D. Immerman, president of the college. “Her successful career both in the US and abroad will be inspirational to our community. We are excited to welcome her to the campus and to the North Shore.” Mutu joins a long list of illustrious commencement speakers at Montserrat including Bryan Konietzko, Gregory Crewdson, Amy Sillman, Jenny Holzer, Janine Antoni and James Rosenquist, to name a few.

Artist Biography

Mutu earned a BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of the Arts and Science in 1996, and then received an MFA from Yale University in 2000. She is the recipient of the United States Artist Grant (2014), the Brooklyn Museum’s Artist of the Year Award (2013), and was honored as Deutsche Bank’s first Artist of the Year (2010). She has exhibited at major institutions including recent one-person shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatlichen Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina; the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Illinois; and Miami Art Museum.  Mutu recently participated in the Dak’Art Biennial, the Kochi-Muziris Biennial, the Paris Triennial: Intense Proximity, the International Center of Photography’s Triennial and the Moscow Bienniale.  Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; the Brooklyn Museum; and Tate Modern in London. See Mutu’s work at wangechimutu.com.

Montserrat Gallery will be open for viewing of the 2015 All Senior Show May 1 – 15, 2015 at the college’s main campus building at 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA.

For further information, contact Jo Broderick atjo.broderick@montserrat.edu, 978.867.9613 or visit montserrat.edu/news/commencement.


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Montserrat Hosts Annual Artrageous!29 Auction Party March 28

Montserrat Artrageous29 Auction Party

Montserrat College of Art will host its annual Artrageous!29 Auction Party Saturday, March 28 at 6 p.m. 20 Cherry Hill Drive, Danvers, MA.

Artrageous!29 has become the signature spring event on the North Shore. Last year’s event sold out, drew more than 1,000 guests and raised $432,000 to benefit financial aid awards for deserving Montserrat students.

The night offers guests the chance to witness Montserrat’s accomplished students creating artwork in live Art-in-the-Moment stations. There will be more than 250 pieces of art auctioned off for all tastes and budgets donated by faculty, students, staff and alumni of Montserrat, as well as from established and emerging artists from the North Shore to New York to Los Angeles. Artwork includes paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, mixed media and more. There will also be live music and sumptuous food by Capers Catering.

This year’s honorary chair is Beverly native Jack Barnes, president and CEO of People’s United Bank and the featured artist is internationally known artist Bill Thompson, originally from Ipswich. The lead sponsors are People’s United Bank, Windover Construction, Inc., John Drislane and Chuck Thibeault, Footprint Power, Hal and Jodi Hess, Pinck & Co. and Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC.

For further information about Artrageous!29 tickets and art previews visit auction.montserrat.edu or contact Erin Carter at erin.carter@montserrat.edu, 978-921-4242 x1114.

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Where Creativity Works: James K. Hindle ’06

jkh-self-portrait_MODIFIED“The culture of the illustration department at Montserrat encouraged me to work hard and to independently push myself to be the best artist I could be. My teachers helped me develop the perspective of a life-long learner and a strong work ethic which has helped me long after I graduated.”

Alumnus James K. Hindle ’06, has been working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer since graduating from Montserrat College of Art.

As an illustrator, Hindle has done editorial work for magazines and newspapers, narrative illustration for picture books, and self-published mini-comics. His illustration clients have included: The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Roaring Brook Press, NYU Press, Portland Mercury, Seattle’s The Stranger, Narratively.com, Corporate Knights and others.

As a designer, he has worked at several design agencies in Massachusetts, and also spent three years as the in-house designer for a national non-profit organization. He is currently an Art Director at a creative studio in Northampton, MA.

www.jameskhindle.com

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Alumni News: Bianca Picozzi ’13 Lands Teaching Job in Connecticut

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Congratulations to alumna Bianca Picozzi ’13 who has just been offered a full-time job at Tourtellotte Memorial High School in Thompson, CT teaching art!

Picozzi received her BFA and Art Ed Certification at Montserrat in December 2014.
In a message to Montserrat announcing her new job she shared, “thank you so much for preparing me for this wonderful teaching job.”

Above photo: Montserrat’s Chair of Art Education Assoc. Prof. Rébecca BourgaultBianca Picozzi ’13 and Paula Borsetti ’97 at the 300 Hours: Art Education Thesis Exhibition this past December.


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President Immerman Named 2015 Business Person of the Year

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0913_immerman1-600We’re excited to announce that Montserrat College of Art President Steve Immerman has been named as 2015 Business Person of the Year by Beverly Chamber’s Annual Business Awards, on Thursday, February 26, at the Danversport Yacht Club.

Beverly is “a community that knows how to get things done.” – President Steve Immerman

Montserrat College of Art was also nominated as Nonprofit of the Year.

Learn more at www.greaterbeverlychamber.com.

Congratulations, Steve!


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Montserrat College of Art to possibly join Salem State University

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Montserrat College of Art to possibly join Salem State University Both boards agree to exploratory process 

Salem State University President Patricia Maguire Meservey and Montserrat College of Art President Stephen D. Immerman announced this afternoon that the two institutions have entered into a formal discussion regarding the feasibility of Montserrat College of Art joining Salem State University.

In communications with students, faculty and staff on both campuses, Meservey and Immerman revealed that an initial and confidential due diligence process had concluded and that “we are excited by the potentially significant benefits of such an integration.” The boards of trustees on both campuses have agreed to move forward with the next stage of due diligence to determine the feasibility of joining MCA to SSU and to work through the details of such an effort with both campus communities, emphasizing that the goal would be to have a final agreement in place by July 2015. If finalized, it is anticipated that the full implementation will take effect in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Both presidents stated that the reason for publicly announcing this initiative is to “bring both communities into the discussions necessary to more thoroughly consider all implications of this proposal.”

“Montserrat offers a unique brand of arts education for a unique student population,” said Immerman, “however, as a small, private college with less than 400 students, it is challenging to provide the resources needed to maintain and grow the competitive advantages needed for working artists. By joining Salem State, we believe that we can ensure that the Montserrat name and the college’s tradition of excellence and student-centered education will remain available for future generations of aspiring artists and designers.”

“Joining these two institutions would bring together extraordinarily talented faculty and students from both programs,” said Salem State’s Meservey, and “would enhance opportunities for collaboration and expand access to a broader array of artistic and student centered facilities on both Salem and Beverly campuses.” She went on to add that, “this would be a unique academic program on the North Shore, serving students who find their passion in the arts.”

Both presidents acknowledged that there is much more work to be done in assessing the details of such an agreement and stressed that the process is still in the exploratory phase.  Committees comprised of faculty and staff from both campuses will work to evaluate potential benefits and impacts to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of each institution.

Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. The university enrolls 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students representing 44 states and 61 nations, and is one of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  With over 200 veterans currently enrolled, Salem State has been designated a Military Friendly institution by G.I. Jobs, placing it in the top 20% of schools nationwide.

Montserrat College of Art is a small, private, residential college of visual art and design, with a student population of 385 students. Founded in 1970, by artists, for artists, Montserrat educates the creative problem solvers of tomorrow. The college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, continuing education classes for teens and adults, and four galleries exhibiting works by international, national and regional contemporary artists.

Contact:

Jo Broderick
978.867.9613 (office)
978.590.6443 (cell)
jo.broderick@montserrat.edu

Karen Murray Cady
978.542.7503 (office)
508.523.4524 (cell)
karen.cady@salemstate.edu


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Montserrat’s Bear Gallery Exhibts at the Beverly Historical Society

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Montserrat’s student-run Bear Gallery has been given the opportunity to exhibit a sampling of artifacts selected from the Beverly Historical Society’s collections.

Through Our Eyes: Objects From a New Perspective will feature an arrangement of artifacts historically linked to the past residents of Beverly, Massachusetts and the surrounding North Shore area.

The reception will take place on February 25 from 4 to 6 pm at the Beverly Historical Society at 117 Cabot Street.  The exhibit’s hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and Wednesday 1 – 9 pm.

Featured Artists: Alexandra Rious, Brandon Troelstrup, Danielle Franzen, Meaghan Greene, Claudia Valenti, Emily Cyr, Shae Vasile, Haley Anderson & Remy Washington.  

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Faculty News: Diane Ayott in Paperworks

2015-03-02 10_38_42-ISSUU - Warm Springs Gallery – Paper Works 2015 by Warm Springs GalleryAssoc. Prof. Diane Ayott will be featured in a group exhibition called Paperworks.

Paperwork is a group exhibition at the Warm Springs Gallery in Charlottesville, VA. The exhibition consists of works on paper by six women artists that emphasize pattern, accretion, stacking and repeating rhythms that create fields of organized space. The work uses pattern and rhythm to signify connections between people and the repetition of daily life.

 

 

Featuring:
Diane Ayott
Merideth Fife Day
Barbara Grossman
Sydney Licht
Marlene Rye
Eve Stockton

On view: Now- March 31st


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Alumni News: Don Mathias ’98 Featured in “Comically” Speaking Exhibit

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'Comically Speaking' shows the humorous side of art

‘Comically Speaking’ shows the humorous side of art

Thursday, February 5, 2015, By Terry Date Staff Writer

As a boy growing up in Andover, the first thing that Don Mathias (’98) would do each day was tear open the newspaper to the comics. Favorites included “Bloom County,” “Peanuts” and “Garfield.”

Today, his online comic strip, “Peanizles,” draws inspiration from them. The urban strip, which has been published by Skope Magazine since 2002, also plays with meta humor, a comic twist tinged with irony. Characters step out of their roles to make light of their presence in a comic strip — an additional layer of humor, an inside joke that everyone is in on.

The 43-year-old freelance illustrator and cartoonist who once published a weekly family comic strip in The Andover Townsman is among five artists who are showing their humor-driven illustrations and drawings in a new exhibit that opened last month at Essex Art Center in Lawrence.

In the years since graduating in 1998, Mathias has been producing a variety of freelance illustration in all aspects of publishing, the film industry and theater. His cartoons and comic strips have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers across the globe.

“Entering Andover,” a family strip, appeared in The Townsman for about 10 years.

Mathias, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration and graphic design from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, is well-acquainted with the Essex Art Center, where he teaches comic illustration, said Sara Hildago, director of the center’s Sidell Gallery.

Hildago said Mathias is successful in presenting the world through children’s eyes in “Peanizles.”

“He reminds me of a kid,” she said.

Mathias said he is good friends with his fellow exhibitors in the Essex Art Center show — David Sullivan, Sage Stossel, Mark Parisi and John Klossner. The artists draw on their lives and observations for inspiration, he said, and their works blend words and graphics in interesting ways, presenting a range of comedic approaches.

Take Stossel, of Cambridge, a cartoonist who recently became a mom. Some of her cartoons reflect on new motherhood, an often frazzling adventure of 24/7 baby care including bouncing, feeding and cleaning. The executive editor of The Atlantic Online, she is showing a mix of work at the exhibit — pieces on parenting, current events and more.

Sullivan, of Dracut, makes caricatures of real people, and tends to be more political, Hidalgo said. His clients include national publications, textbook publishers and Web designers.

Political cartoonists were once a media staple. Sullivan’s work continues the tradition, drawing on local humor and issues and thought-provoking items, Mathias said.

“It’s neat to see somebody be able to do that,” Mathias said.

Parisi, a Gloucester native who now lives in Melrose, does single-panel comedic drawings. His humor is all over the place. His characters are new creations each day. “It’s really good stuff,” Mathias said.

Klossner’s cartoons and illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. The Maine resident does fine-line work, New Yorker-style social commentary and technology cartoons.

Mathias said New England is full of cartoonists. It’s a region of creative and independent thinkers ready to push the boundaries of their work. And the exhibit is illustrates that well, he said.

What: “Comically Speaking,” an exhibit of cartoonists’ works

When: Through March 6. Regular hours are Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Essex Art Center, 56 Island St., Lawrence

More information: Call 978-685-2343 or visit www.essexartcenter.org. For more on Andover artist Don Mathias’ work, visit www.punkrockcartoonist.com.

Courtesy of The Andover Townsman


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Where Creativity Works for Adam Miller ‘00

“It sounds cliché, but my education provided me with a tool box. Once I had that box, it allowed me to go out in the world and fill it with the tools I would need to attempt art as a career.” - Adam Miller ‘00

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Adam Miller ‘00 was the Creative Director for Terminal Press, a new York based comic book publisher. He co-created the ZombieBomb! Comic Anthology in 2009 which became the company’s largest selling title. With other alumni, he is involved in the publication of the Chroma series of art annuals featuring New England’s most talented underground artists. He also works with agencies in the city of Lynn to promote the arts. Recently, he dove back into exhibiting his photography, one of his first loves. His work is a combination of painting, drawing, photography and collage.

Miller is part of Montserrat College of Art Galleries’ SEVEN exhibit where seven artists are invited to draw directly onto the seven walls of Montserrat Gallery over the course of seven weeks. The gallery will act as an open studio over the course of each artist’s week-long residency, students and guests are welcome to come in.

Adam Miller’s SEVEN Reception: Friday, Feb. 13, 7 – 9 pm
Montserrat Galleries, 23 Essex St, Beverly, MA

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Student News: Sarah Graziano ’15 Selected to Present Paper at Annual Art History Symposium

2015-02-11 14_27_04-Sarah GrazianoCongratulations to Sculpture senior Sarah Graziano ’15, whose paper “Pushing Boundaries: Restoring the Female Nude” has been selected for presentation at the Annual Undergraduate Art History Symposium organized by the Visual Culture Consortium, Boston.

This symposium will bring together undergraduates to present their research in a broad range of topics in art history and visual culture, by students from a cross section of Boston-area colleges and universities.

The symposium will take place at the Alfond Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Saturday, April 11, 2015, 12 – 4 p.m.


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Improbable Places Poetry Tour at The Cabot: February 19

2015-01-06 13_21_41-poetry - Windows Photo ViewerThe Improbable Places Poetry Tour will kick off the New Year with a night of poetry in the newly reopened Cabot Theatre. Poetry will take center stage for one night only on Thursday, February 19th, 7 – 9 pm. Opened in 1920 as a dream palace of vaudeville and silent movies, the beautiful Cabot Theatre has recently been renovated. The Cabot is located at 286 Cabot Street, Beverly MA. Learn more at thecabot.org.

What’s this tour all about? It’s Montserrat College of Art’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. The last tour stop was at the recently decommissioned and iconic Footprint Power’s Salem Harbor Station in Salem, MA, built in the 1950′s.The massive turbines were quiet, but poetry spoke loudly to the power of work and the work of power.

An Iconic Theatre, huh?  That’s right, folks. Poetry is on the marquee. We are seeking poems in any style that speak to the rich history of the Cabot. We also want movie poems, from blockbusters to cult classics. And poems about magic! Disappearing acts and gold capes. Someone must have a villanelle about buttery popcorn and Snow Caps. We promise a night of magic and drama.

I’ve got a great poem about The Princess Bride. Can I read it on the stage?  We are accepting submissions via email at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu and in the Writing Studio, located at 248 Cabot Street, Montserrat College of Art. The deadline is Monday, February 16th. We’d love to read your work!  

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Sure! The event is free and open to the public.  The concession stand will have all your favorites for sale and gift certificates to the theatre will be available to purchase. Come to applaud poetry and support the return of The Cabot.

Wait! I still have questions. Just ask Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director. She’s at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu.

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Founding Faculty News: Roger Martin Exhibits at The Cape Ann Museum

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Bill of Lading: The Art & Poetry of Roger Martin
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, Feb. 14, 3 – 5 p.m.

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Bill of Lading, a special exhibition exploring the art and poetry of Roger Martin. A founder of Montserrat College of Art and a long-time member of its faculty, Roger Martin is Rockport’s first poet laureate and author of three books celebrating the people and poetry of his hometown. 

Also a highly re­spected graphic designer, illustrator and painter, Roger Martin has long been-and continues to be-one of Cape Ann’s most distinguished and creative artists. The exhibition opens with a public reception and will remain on display through June 28, 2015. For exhibition-related programs please visit capeannmuseum.org.

Image credit: November Tide, 2003, oil and oil stick on canvas. Collection of the artist.

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Alumni News: Ashley Brown ’07 Designs Banners for Urban Outfitters

Dreamers + Doers: Secret Holiday

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters Blog

Initially, Montserrat College of Art alumna Ashley Brown ’07, owner Secret Holiday & Co., created work for self-assurance, “a reminder to keep moving forward.” The Massachusetts-based designer today makes a series of minimal yet historically-informed pennant banners inspired by the Woman’s Suffrage Movement emblazoned with reminders of affirmation — “It’s Ok,” “Wild and Free,” “Let It Go.” This January, Urban Outfitters (UO) collaborated with Ashley on a series of exclusive banners. They caught up with her as a part of UO Dreamers + Doers series, which explores the stories of inspiring artists, designers and makers who are doing things their own way. Read on for a look at her studio and to hear more of how she turned her love of DIY art and traditional craft into a full-fledged business.

Can you share more about your background? How did you get started sewing and making things with your hands and how did that evolve into Secret Holiday?

I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember. My mother taught me how to quilt at an early age, and I was a pretty serious painter in high school. I ended up at Montserrat College of Art where I worked in lots of mediums and used my crafting skills in nearly everything I made. I began a love affair with fine art and DIY culture. My work was very conceptual, dealing with personal themes and a strong feminist perspective. I began making and selling tiny stuffed creatures in 2005 as a way to sort of balance out the heavy emotions that came from my “real work.” I called these creatures Fern Animals, and they launched my career via Etsy and the indie craft scene nearly immediately. Secret Holiday followed a few years later as I refined my aesthetic and purpose.

Can you remember when your “ah ha” moment was for the concept of making the banners?

I created the very first “It’s OK” banner for myself, because I needed the reassurance. I was working multiple jobs at the time, and never seemed to have enough free time to bring all my ideas to fruition. I was looking at a lot of imagery from the Woman’s Suffrage Movement, and was especially interested in the handwork involved behind the scenes. Not only were these women fighting for their rights, but they were also creating by hand every sash worn, every banner carried. I was moved by that thought alone. The time spent stitching each letter on an object that would move people to think, to act. I knew I wanted to work with this idea somehow (I actually intended to make affirmation quilts). Very early into this project I stumbled upon a couple other artists using affirmations in wall hangings and I began to feel defeated before I even got started, even though their work was nothing like what I wanted to make. It’s so easy to fall into that trap with the Internet. So I created the “It’s OK” banner to remind myself to keep moving forward. To make my own work, my own way. I never expected to be making that same Affirmation Banner five years later!

Is Secret Holiday your full-time job? What were you doing before this? 

Yes, Secret Holiday is my full time job. Most mornings I still have to pinch myself when I remember I don’t have to go work for someone else. I started doing SH&Co full time in September of 2013. Before that I had lots of different jobs, often multiple jobs at the same time. My husband is also an artist, so we’ve taken turns for the past number of years, one working more at a “job-job” while the other focused on their art, and then trading off. I’ve worked at a candy store, a grocery store, an online fabric retailer, a catering company, and most often as a nanny. Working as artists has always been our top priority, so neither of us has sought out anything that would take away from our art-making. We were pretty poor for many years because of this, but it’s all been totally worth it for us.

How long does it take you to make one of the banners? What all goes into the process of putting one together? 

It takes so long! It’s definitely gotten quicker after having now made nearly 2000, but there are a lot of steps involved. Each banner starts with hand-cutting the letters, laying out the banners (cutting the shape, placing the letters), machine-stitching the text, sewing on the backing, ironing right-side-out, sewing a hem, hand-sanding and staining a dowel, adding the dowel and twine for hanging, and finally, trimming loose threads and cleaning up with a lint roller. Oh, and hand stamping and numbering a hangtag. There are many steps involved in each and every banner made, but every detail is important.

Can you walk us through a typical day in your life? 

Most days are about production. We’ve been pretty busy the past few months working on holiday orders, and a two very large wholesale orders, so we typically have multiple piles of banners going at a time. I tend to work late into the night, so I usually to get to the studio around 11am. I’ll start by laying out a stack of banners with any new letters I’d cut the night before. When my assistant Kaly comes in, she sets right to work stitching the letters on (she’s a real champion and can sew the same thing for hours!) We’ve fallen into a pretty good routine, rotating around the large studio table from stack to stack, sewing, ironing, finishing, repeat. When I get home in the evening, I usually end up cutting letters for a few hours, in preparation for the next day. Somewhere in there I also find time to pack orders and respond to emails.

Do you have any other creative projects in the works, or ideas you’re looking forward to acting on in 2015?

I have so many projects I want to work on! I’ve always loved quilting and really need to find time to make quilts again. I have a ton of banner scraps that I’ve begun dyeing with natural indigo. I’m looking forward to working those into a quilt or two, and making pouches. I also want to work on expanding my shop to include more goods, possibly some work by close friends and fellow artists. I’ve got big plans for 2015.

Can you share more about the special pieces you made for UO? 

I was really excited when UO approached me about collaborating. I knew immediately that I wanted to create something youthful and romantic. Since most of my designs are created solely by me, it was a lot of fun to be sent a mood board and have the input of a whole design team. I’m excited to see the rooms these banners end up in!

What are some of the challenges of running your own business? What are the best parts?

Maybe my biggest challenge right now: letting go enough to grow. I think I really like doing things the hard way sometimes, like continuing to hand-write the address on each outgoing package. It takes a lot longer than printing out a label, but I feel more connected to each customer that way, and it feels more personal. And if someone emails to enquire about their package, I can specifically remember packing it up myself, no matter how many other orders I’d packed that same day because I took the time to write out their name. I’m sure it won’t always stay like this, and I’m sure that time could be better spent doing a different job, but I like my system for now. It’s pretty amazing to start a business from nothing, learn as you go, and then suddenly step back and look at all that has changed and progressed. And take note of the funny things you still do in exactly the same way.

Can you offer some advice for other young entrepreneurs looking to create and sell their own work? 

Make something you believe in. Don’t just make stuff you think people will buy. It won’t work (at least not for the long haul). You have to create something you can stand behind 100 percent. Something that is uniquely yours and made to the best of your ability. Be willing to start off slow, find the best materials, learn the best techniques, be willing to even fail a little, but don’t let that get you down. I was making banners for years before they really caught on. One day I just decided it was time to quit my other jobs and go for it; throw myself into it completely. I took the risk and it worked! I guess I’m pretty superstitious, but I kinda think no one took me seriously until I took myself seriously. If you really want it, you just have make it happen.

Your work is ALL OVER the Internet! It’s awesome! Can you share any stories that stand out about when you’ve seen your work in other people’s homes, or when you’ve been surprised or excited by where your work has turned up?

It is awesome seeing my work everywhere! I feel incredibly honored to have my banners hanging in so many homes around the world. I could list a few popular blogs I’ve been excited to see my banners pop up on, but honestly, I get just as excited when an ordinary, everyday person posts a photo to Instagram and tags me in it. I love seeing all the different spaces my work can occupy, but most of all I love the captions that often accompany the photos. It makes me feel so good about what I do when I receive messages saying how a simple wallhanging brought peace of mind to a stranger. I get emails like this all the time too and it’s amazing. Someone will contact me wanting to purchase a “Be Brave” banner for a close friend who’s been going through a tough time, or a mother wants to hang an “It’s Ok” banner above their baby’s crib. It reaffirms all of my reasons for doing what I do. It makes all the long hours of cutting and sewing so very worth it.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters Blog


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Faculty News: Judith Brown and Masako Kamiya in Mapping the Dorchesterway

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Mapping of the Dorchesterway
Reception: February 7th 5 – 7 pm
Ten native Dorchester artists are showing their work at Medicine Wheel Productions as a part of a multi-year Brooch project.

Featured artists:
Masako Kamiya
Destiny S Palmer
Jusith Bassard Brown
Laurence Martin Pierce
Joel Jean-Pierre
Joanna Tam
Johnetta Tinker
Joseph Wheelwright
Thomas Willis

All free and open to the public
110 K St (Second Floor), South Boston MA 02127
Normal Gallery Hours Wednesday- Friday 12 to 5pm and Saturdays by appointment.


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Where Creativity Works for Cory Wasnewsky ‘14

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“Montserrat attracted me with its small size, yet big possibilities.”

Cory Wasnewsky ‘14 had no idea that his internship at Hatch Show Print would turn into his first job only a few months after graduating in May 2014 with a focus in Book Arts. As a student, “there was always a running joke that I lived in the [Montserrat] printmaking basement,” he said.

A year after completing a highly competitive two month internship in the summer of 2013, the Hatch Show Print manager offered him a job as a production designer and printer. Hatch Show Print is a 136-year-old printing company in Nashville, TN, and is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America. They created many of the posters of great jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll entertainers like Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

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Alumni News: Kathy Archer Exhibits at Kingston Gallery

The Kingston Gallery 
450 Harrison Ave #43, Boston Ma. 02118
www.kingstongallery.com
February 4 – March 1, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, February 6, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Kathleen Gerdon Archer’s work considers the accumulated effect of place, genetics and history on the individual and the family. This series is a momento mori for her family history and echoes Archer’s interest in the geological evidence shaping the coastal New England landscape. She collects stones, seeds, family photographs and personal ephemera from a particular location. These collected elements are arranged in receptacles and frozen, layer by layer, to build conglomerate structures. After removal from the containers, she photographs the icy constructions at intervals, as they disintegrate. It is a constant surprise that these layers of common elements, held together by such a fragile architecture, reveal such an intricate configuration of content. The final images, presented in large format here, are those which have the greatest personal meaning for the artist.

The first Friday of each month is an evening when the galleries and shops of the SOWA District stay open late allowing visitors to drop in and view their work.
It’s a fun way to spend an evening in Boston.

 


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Illustration Theme Show: Shakespeare

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This year’s theme for the Annual Illustration Theme Show is Shakespeare! Current student work is shown alongside faculty, staff and alumni in a broad range of method and media.

Reception: Wed., Feb. 4, 5-8 pm
On view: Jan. 26 – Feb. 6, 2015

301 Gallery, 301 Cabot St, Beverly, MA
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 11:30 am – 2:30 pm & Sat. 12 – 5 pm

Poster by Montserrat College of Art Faculty Member David Ferreira

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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Faculty News: Masako Kamiya and Diane Ayott join Artrageous!29 Featured Artist Bill Thompson in Exhibit at UNH

2014-12-22 15_34_43-Exhibit Invitation and Information - elizabeth.gianino@montserrat.edu - MontserrThe Physicality of Color: Jan. 23 – March 29, 2015
Curated by Director, Kristina Durocher
Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire at Durham
Paul Creative Arts Center, 30 Academic Way, Durham, NH
Opening reception: Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, 6 – 8 pm
cola.unh.edu/moa

The artists selected for this exhibition use color as the subject or subtext of their work, each exploring color tactilely, symbolically to define space as well as physical presence, or formally to create the illusion of space. From a variety of media and artistic practices, viewers are provided multiple entry points to consider artists’ choices. Exhibiting artists include: Diane Ayott, Carlos Jiménez Cahua, Catherine Evans, Masako Kamiya, Catherine Kehoe, Keira Kotler, Paul McMullan, Laura Moriarty, Lynn Richardson, Victor Schrager, Nancy Murphy Spicer, Matt Rich and Bill Thompson, who is also the Featured Artists at this year’s Artrageous!29 Auction Party on March 28, 2015. Learn more at auction.montserrat.edu.

Top images: (left) Gerda Peterich (1906-1974) , Central Park Strollers, 1939-46, gelatin silver print, 6.375” x 6.375”, Collection of the Museum of Art, UNH, Gift of Ms. Lily Hoffman, 1977.1.61; (right) Nancy Murphy Spicer, Biking In Berlin, 12, 2010, flashe, gouache, collage on guidebook page.

MUSEUM HOURS: Mon, Tue, Wed: 10 am – 4 pm, Thu: 10 am – 8 pm, Sat, Sun: 1 – 5 pm, Closed Fridays & University holidays.

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Diane Ayott, “Counting # 18″, acrylic on paper, 8.5 X 8.5″, 2013

Water Dressing, 2014

Masako Kamiya, “Water Dressing”, 2014

www.masakokamiya.com


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Montserrat Welcomes Director of the Studio for Experiential Learning, Kate Luchini

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Montserrat College of Art has appointed Kate Luchini, formerly of the Lynn Museum and Peabody Essex Museum, as the director of StudioXL, Studio for Experiential Learning. This position is grant funded for two years, during which time Luchini, with guidance from an advisory group, will build the academic programming, community relationships and financial support.

According to Montserrat’s Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs Laura Tonelli, “Kate impressed the search committee with her entrepreneurial spirit and vision for StudioXL, and with her strong record of accomplishment at PEM and the Lynn Museum; both involved work in experiential learning, building community partnerships and fundraising.  Kate’s familiarity with the North Shore will be an asset as well.”

The generous grant from the Davis Educational Foundation recognized Montserrat College of Art’s creative teaching style, developed by the college’s academic leadership team, which emphasizes learning that is interdisciplinary, team-taught and project-based.

Last spring the Davis Foundation announced that Montserrat would receive a $150,000 grant over two years for the Gateway project, which emphasizes this experiential teaching style.

The grant will provide funding for two new programs that serve, respectively, as gateways into and out of college. Funding will support the two parts of the Gateway Initiative, including: planning, implementation, outcome assessment and, creation of curricular models (best practices, guidelines, handbooks, documentation, templates, online resources) for future use.

Montserrat College of Art President Steve Immerman said, “Montserrat recognizes the need to go beyond the traditional classroom structure to introduce experiences that relate directly to those students will encounter in their professional lives. We are grateful to the Davis Foundation for providing this opportunity to offer new teaching methods to Montserrat students.”

1.  FX (the Freshman Experience)

Offered to freshman in the first semester, FX serves as a gateway from high school into college. The course is team-taught, interdisciplinary, and integrates studio practice with historical and cultural analysis. Methodologies from studio art and liberal arts (particularly art history) are combined to provide a holistic introduction to the visual arts while helping students to acclimate to college-level academic and studio work. This combination of rich content and tactile experience is designed to fully engage students as visual learners. The aim is to break down preconceptions about art, art making, and contemporary studio practice.

This 3-credit course features a closely coordinated series of lectures, museum/gallery/studio visits, research, writing, class discussions, team-based and individual projects. Small group meetings for discussion, research, and studio immersion complement three keystone lectures and field trips to the Peabody Essex Museum, Mass MOCA and New York City. The course is designed to function in the way that artists interact with the world, across disciplines at the intersections of research, writing, collaborating, current culture, and making.

2.  StudioXL (the Studio for Experiential Learning)

StudioXL serves as a gateway out of college and into the professional world. It provides students with a series of carefully structured opportunities, offered outside the traditional classroom/studio, that build skills such as team-work, collaboration,  project management, and working between disciplines in real world settings.  Some, if not all projects, will have community partners, bolstering our relationships with the local and regional businesses and community-based organizations that fuel the creative economy of the North Shore.

The enormously successful pilot project in StudioXL was a team-taught collaboration with Footprint Power at Salem Harbor Station. Montserrat structured it a course called Across the Bridge: Three Perspectives, it combined fieldwork, research and art making. Students examined and documented the decommissioning of the coal-powered Salem Harbor Power Plant, now Footprint Power, which funded the project. Thirty students guided by three faculty members developed a visual and narrative legacy of the plant and the community of people who worked there, through writings, paintings, photography and video, sculpture and installation, and design. The project culminated in an exhibition in the turbine hall in June 2014 that was seen by more than 1000 visitors; it concluded with an evening poetry reading among the turbines, which was organized by the director of the Impossible Places Poetry Tour. That night the turbines sounded for the last time and the dismantling began the following day.

The second StudioXL project for fall 2014 is a course called Food and Culture. In contrast to the power plant project, this course was initiated in-house; it combines cultural history, research into food economies and politics, resulting in the production of creative work. Among the local partners are the Food Project and Beverly Bees.

More collaborations are being planned for future semesters. For more information about this grant, please contact Montserrat College of Art’s Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs Laura Tonelli at laura.tonelli@montserrat.edu or 978.921.4242 x 1601.


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North Shore Game Jam @ Montserrat Jan. 23 – 25, 2015

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Instead of playing games all weekend MAKE GAMES at the North Shore Game Jam hosted by Montserrat!

Montserrat College of Art is hosting the 1st ever North Shore Game Jam in conjunction with the Global Game JamThe 32 hour weekend event (sleep encouraged from midnight to 9am Friday and Saturday nights) will take place from 5pm Friday, January 23rd thru 7pm Sunday, January 25th, 2015 on the 2nd & 3rd floor of the Hardie Building at Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex Street, Beverly.

All levels of game developers are welcome from the merely curious to the very experienced. You don’t need to have designed a game before and you don’t need to like programming. Various assets and skills are essential like writing, art, animation, sound, and level design. Teams need a mix of people with various backgrounds and experience. You can come to the jam with your team in place or we will help you find a team to work with based on your particular skills and interests. 

There will be time to work on homework in-between game development sprints.

Learn more @ nsgamejam.com or contact blyth.hazen@montserrat.edu

Global Game Jam is the premier annual game creation event that fosters the development of innovative game concepts and promotes international collaboration and teamwork. GGJ brings together thousands of game development enthusiasts participating through many local jams around the world on a single weekend. GGJ has proven itself to be an incubator for creative experiments and new start-ups. Some of the successes have included games being published and exciting collaboration opportunities for participants.

Entrance Fee: None, this event is free and open to the public

The schedule for the event:

Friday, Jan. 23, 5 pm – midnight
     Intro – Info Sessions group creation
     Keynote Speaker Joe Mirabello @ 6:30 pm
Saturday, Jan. 24, 10 am – midnight
    Workday
Sunday, Jan., 25, 10 am – 7 pm
   Workday, Wrap-up & Presentations start @ 3pm

Who Can Participate: Pe-registration required for off campus participants, space priority given to students and alumni, Must be 18+

Learn more @ eventbrite.com/e/north-shore-game-jam-2015

23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA

Keynote: Joe Mirabello started making game art in 1996 by making custom levels in DFuse for Dark Forces and now he makes game art for a living. He’s contributed to five shipped titles, indie games, mass market novels, and Smithsonian documentaries. Joe has given lectures at colleges, moderated industry forums, spoken on industry panels, and written online tutorials. He recently wrote a novel, called the Armpit of Evil, which you can read a preview of and/or purchase here. Currently Joe is working on an indie game called Tower of Guns, which you can follow the development of here.


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Alumni News: Taylor Clough ’14 & Sarah Krizon ’13 Exhibit at Mingo Gallery

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Montserrat College of Art alumnae Taylor Clough ’14 and Sarah Krizon ’13 are exhibiting at Mingo Gallery this winter in their very own show, HEAVY STILL: New work by Taylor Clough & Sarah Krizon. Please show your support and stop by for the Opening Reception Saturday, January 24, 5 – 8 pm. This exhibit is not one to be missed! HEAVY STILL will remain on view January 13 – February 21.

Taylor Clough graduated with a BFA in Painting from Montserrat College of Art in 2014. Taylor’s painting, “Couch” was a top seller in last year’s Artrageous!28 live auction. She currently creates acrylic paintings that explore bold colors, shape and space through recognizable objects and interiors. Each painting goes through its own intimate process of combining representation and abstraction, but they all share a physicality of paint and moments of reflection.

Sarah Krizon graduated with a BFA in Painting from Montserrat College of Art in 2013. One of Sarah’s works on paper started an infamous bidding war in the Artrageous!26 live auction. She now creates works that depict figurative scenes with both oil paint and drawn charcoal line. Her narratives are painted, erased and re-drawn to create a sense of movement across the canvas.

Mingo Gallery & Custom Framing
284 Cabot St, Beverly, MA
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SEVEN |||: A Performative Drawing Project Returns

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 AUGUST VENTIMIGLIA | KENJI NAKAYAMA | SAMANTHA FIELDS | CHRISTOPHER MIR | ADAM MILLER | MARK HOFFMANN | NADIA WESTCOTT

Montserrat College of Art Galleries has invited seven artists to draw directly onto the seven walls of Montserrat Gallery over the course of seven weeks. Highlighting the ways the artists’ bodies and gestures activate the gallery space, this project celebrates the performative aspects of drawing and the individual nature of each artist’s process. SEVEN challenges traditional definitions of drawing, inviting artists of to mark-make in a variety of disciplines including performance, video and textile.

The gallery will act as an open studio over the course of each artist’s week-long residency, students and guests are welcome to come in.

January 12 – 16: August Ventimiglia
Opening Reception Friday, January 16, 7 – 9 pm

January 19 – 23: Kenji Nakayama
Opening Reception Friday, January 23, 7 – 9 pm

January 26 – 30: Samantha Fields
Opening Reception Friday, January 30, 7 – 9 pm

February 2 – 6: Christopher Mir
Opening Reception Friday, February 6, 7 – 9 pm

February 9 – 13: Adam Miller
Opening Reception Friday, February 13, 7 – 9 pm

February 16 – 20: Mark Hoffmann
Opening Reception Friday, January 20, 7 – 9 pm

February 23 – 27: Nadia Westcott
Opening Reception Thursday, February 26, 7 – 9 pm

Montserrat Galleries
23 Essex St, Beverly, MA

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2015 Alumni Show & Founders Exhibition Weekend Jan. 17 & 18

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ANNUAL ALUMNI SHOW

Montserrat College of Art’s Annual Alumni Show will open with a public reception on Sat., Jan. 17 from 4-7 pm in the 301 Cabot St. Gallery. The show will be on exhibit through Jan. 21, 2015.

The exhibition features works of art created by more than fifty alumni. From recently graduated to established artists and curators; the alumni featured find themselves in various stages of their careers, looking towards the future. This multi-disciplinary exhibition is a reunion of sorts, bringing alumni of all ages and from all across the country together to bond over shared experiences as artists.

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Heather Rose Anair ’06, Christine April ’14, Andrew Bablo ’07, Michelle Behre ’14, Clara Bohen ’11, Paula Borsetti ’97, Peter Brefini ’07, Erika Buschmann ’07, Brian Call ’85, Kathryn Chalmers ’04, Mori Clark ’12, Alyssa Coffin ’14, Alex Comfort ’13, Dan DeRosato ’14, Joe Lovasco ’07, Michael Concepcion Velez ’14, Sara Benson ’13, Kevin Duffy ’77, Richard Dolan ’09, Loren Doucette ’13, Suzy Evans ’13, Rosy Farnan ’11, Michael Fletcher ’91, Emma Johnson ’05, George Frary III ’00, Aubrey Gauthier ’14, Ania Gruca ’14, Kate Guillette ’03, Alex Gurney ’14, Amanda Halsdorff ’07, Jill Hedrick ’14, Molly Hoisington ’05, Andrew Houle ’00, Nicole Kircher ’01, Brett Mason ’12, Meg Mason ’74, Tammy Picone Nohelty ’92, Anthony Palocci Jr. ’09, Richard Pawlak ’81, Kristine Roan ’11, Rachel Schmidt ’01, Meaghan Sorce ’07, Janet Souza ’01, Benjamin Stebbings ’07, Christopher Stepler ’09, Chelsea Stewart ’14, Larissa Tapler ’13, Dorothy Tribeman ’07, Haley Vessey ’14, Cory Wasnewsky ’14, Cynthia Woehrle ’93, Alyssa Watters ’07, Martha Stone ’80, Olivia Boi ’13.

Above photos by Michelle Behre, Class of 2014

The following day, an opening reception will be held for a Montserrat College of Art Founders Exhibition at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center, 6 Wonson St., Gloucester, Sunday, Jan. 18, 10 am to noon. Each of the college’s founders will be represented in this exhibit. The public is welcome.

The Rocky Neck Art Colony is pleased to present a special Montserrat College of Art Founders Exhibition honoring the work of its founding faculty. This show, comprising a wide variety of approaches includes the paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography of its eight founders (six now deceased). These noted New England artists, most of whom called Cape Ann their home, include: painters Oliver Balf, George Gabin, Joseph Jeswald, and Roger Martin; sculptor Ray Pisano; mixed media artists Paul Scott and Dennis Sweeney; and photographer Vincent Varvaro.

This is a rare opportunity to experience the widely lauded work of these extraordinary artists and teachers whose creative vision included founding an institution dedicated to cultivating emerging young artists whose work may celebrate the visual arts for generations to come. All are invited. Admission, refreshments and nearby parking are free.

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Artrageous!29 Call for Art Deadline: Jan. 12, 2015

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Artrageous!29 will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Artrageous!28 party was a huge success. The many friends who donated their work helped draw a record 1,000 attendees who raised more than $435,000 for student scholarships. The continued success of Artrageous! relies on gifts of art from our friends

Artrageous!29 offers the opportunity to be discovered by art lovers and collectors, curators and gallery directors – potential new patrons! Be one of the exceptional artists who support the students of Montserrat as they prepare for their life in art, just like you.

To donate art, click here!

Recent years have seen participating donors Morgan Dyer ’13 and Sarah Krizon ’13 awarded solo gallery shows on the North Shore. Other participating artists, Stephanie Chubbuck, Steve Negrón and Ellen Topitzer ’13 have sold additional work from the evening’s exposure.

  • 129 student & alumni were represented in Live & Silent auctions out of the 284 pieces in the auction (45% of items donated)
  • 9 live auction student & alumni pieces generated $12,257 (24.7% of the money raised)
  • 161 silent auction alumni & student pieces raised $51,260 (54.9%! of proceeds)
  • $63,517 total money raised was from alumni & student work (44.5% of the money raised from the auctions)

Artists will receive promotion through a variety of outlets such as the Artrageous!29 website and catalog. Artists whose work is accepted for the live or silent auction are given two non-transferable tickets to attend – a $300 value which will include music, sumptuous food and creative libations to name a few.

Montserrat College of Art accepts digital submissions ONLY. Each artist may submit up to 2 pieces.
    • Digital submissions will be accepted online through Jan. 12, 2015
    • Images should be a jpeg or tiff file, 3.75″ wide @ 300 dpi to include on the auction website and catalog. Please label images: Last Name, First Name, Title.
    • All artists will be notified on Jan. 23 of works accepted and instructions to ship or drop off to: 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915.
    • We ask that works be delivered between Jan. 26 – Feb. 6, 2015.
    • A commission of 40% of the final sale price will be offered on LIVE AUCTION WORKS ONLY. Silent auction pieces will NOT receive a commission.
    • The Live Auction selections will be announced on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.
    • Only a certain number of works can be accepted each year. Montserrat reserves the right to not accept works.
    • Accepted work becomes a gift to Montserrat. This applies to ALL pieces whether sold in the live or silent auctions.
    • Proceeds from Artrageous! directly support financial aid for Montserrat students: THANK YOU!
To submit click here! 

*For more information, please contact: Pam Campanaro, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions 978.867.9604 or pamela.campanaro@montserrat.edu

Learn more about the auction @ auction.montserrat.edu


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Montserrat’s Founders Exhibit at Rocky Neck: Jan. 18, 2015

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Montserrat College of Art is an institution known as a place of inspiration, respect and encouragement where students can simultaneously develop their talents and achieve their visions of the future. Founded in the late sixties by eight bold-thinking artists, Montserrat was a new kind of art school that focused not only on the arts, but on the individual needs of each student as well. It was the combination of these two factors that, during a time of questioning the status quo and seeking new solutions, made the school revolutionary. As part of Montserrat College of Art’s Alumni Weekend, the Rocky Neck Art Colony is pleased to host a special Founders Exhibit to honor the work of the founding faculty.

This show, comprising a wide variety of approaches includes the paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography of its eight founders (six now deceased). These noted New England artists, most of whom called Cape Ann their home, include: painters Oliver BalfGeorge GabinJoseph Jeswald and Roger Martinsculptor Ray Pisano; mixed media artists Paul Scott and Dennis Sweeney; and photographer Vincent Varvaro. This is a rare opportunity to experience the widely lauded work of these extraordinary artists and teachers whose creative vision included founding an institution dedicated to cultivating emerging young artists whose work may celebrate the visual arts for generations to come. 

Montserrat College of Art Founders Exhibition will open with a reception on Sunday, Jan. 18, 10 am – noon, 6 Wonson St., Gloucester, MA. All are invited. Admission, refreshments and nearby parking are free. The exhibit will remain on view through Jan. 25.

Learn more about Montserrat’s Founding Faculty @ www.montserrat.edu/about/history

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Alumni News: Dana Robinson ’13 and Ron Beek III ’13 Exhibit Fantastic Grit at Porter Mill

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Montserrat College of Art alumni Dana Robinson ’13 and Ron Beek III ’13 will be having a gallery show at The Gallery at Porter Mill in January. The show is called Fantastic Grit and will have an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 8, 5 – 8 pm. The event will remain on view Jan. 8 – 31, 2015 at 95 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA.

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Ron Beek III’s contribution to the show will consist of illustrations depicting the nature of the world we inhabit; a world where good and evil hold hands.

Dana Robinson’s work explores organic and geometric forms through both 2D and 3D media. Highly influenced by her book-arts training, the pieces explore the contrast between nature and geometry, as well as the marriage of these elements visually. Strong moments of intense detail and pattern are contrasted with flat, minimalist undertones.

Learn more at www.portermill.com

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Where Creativity Works for Alyssa Watters ’07

alyssa 1“The skills I learned and developed at Montserrat were the start of a great career path for me. I developed my own aesthetic, which became my brand, but also learned the basics of entrepreneurship, and now my business sells in gift shops in seven states.”

Alyssa Watters ‘07 is the definition of an entrepreneurial artist. She has been running her own company, artbyalyssa, in Beverly, since 2008. She contacts shops throughout the country to wholesale her products, attends craft fairs, runs her own solo fairs and art shows, along with the day-to-day business responsibilities. Since graduating, Watters has managed a stationary and gift shop in Hamilton, where she designed many of their print products. After working there for more than three years, she decided to combine her ‘real life’ education with the knowledge she gained from Montserrat, to create her own business, alyssawatters.com.

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Montserrat Commencement Speakers Exhibit at MOMA

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The Museum of Modern Art’s major contemporary painting survey, “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World” includes the work of two Montserrat College of Art commencement speakers: Julie Mehretu (above image) and Amy Sillman (below image). Laura Hoptman, the curator of the exhibition, was also a visiting speaker at Montserrat for the Senior Fine Arts Seminar in the 1997 – 1998 academic year. The exhibit is on view Dec. 14, 2014 – Apr. 5, 2015. Learn more at moma.org

MOMA SillmanFor Hoptman’s take on the exhibition, see her recent conversation with Art in America’s Jessica Dawson, visit artinamericamagazine.com.


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Where Creativity Works for Jeremy Schmidt ’03

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“Today I use the skills I honed at Montserrat to think creatively when problem solving and to appreciate how many different viewpoints people in my industry have.” 

Originally from Elmira New York, Jeremy Schmidt ’03 lives in Lynn with his girlfriend Katherine, their rabbit named Salem and their pug Hermione. Schmidt received his BFA from Montserrat College of Art in 2003 with a concentration in Sculpture. After spending five years managing the water and sewer departments in Chelsea, he became an Assistant Operations and Maintenance Manager at the environmental consulting firm Weston and Sampson.

Most of Schmidt’s time is spent working pursuing an MBA from UMass Lowell, but in his spare time he decorates his house by turning old vending machines into works of art. “I like to take non-traditional objects and rework them to turn them into something functional for the home,” said Schmidt 

“Over the years my work has gone from the abstract to more towards functionality. The work I created at Montserrat gave me a launching off point creativity-wise to be where I am today.” After finishing his MBA Schmidt plans to open a tattoo business in the North Shore area.

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Alumni News: Heather Reid ’07 Featured in North of Boston Magazine

NoBo-Masthead-2013-800x100-Finalized-ColorsHeather Reid Studios: Unconventional Creations with Illustration, Fine Art, & Photography

By Keith Spencer, North of Boston Magazine

A girl with a brush and a million dreams, Heather Reid is a self-described jack of arts, working out of her home studio in Salem and collaborating with numerous local arts organizations including Creative Salem.

Since graduating from Montserrat College of Art in 2007, Heather has been on an adventure to share her unconventional creations with the world, gathering much of her inspiration from the natural world.

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She loves spending her free time combing North of Boston beaches, walking the nature trails of the Ipswich River, and capturing the wildlife she often encounters in her own backyard. Her work has been presented in more than twenty recent exhibitions, magazine features, and news articles.

Heather’s artwork and jewelry are both subtle and striking, and would go great with nearly anyone’s decor or wardrobe. From photographs to jewelry to mixed media, her works are individually created by her in her home studio, and absolutely guarantees their quality.

If you make a purchase on her Etsy shop, all items are shipped in a plastic protective sheet with a cardboard backing to prevent bending, and sent in rigged cardboard envelopes or tubes to prevent potential damage. All photography is professionally printed on premium quality archival photo paper.

To learn more or purchase Heather’s work, visit:

Above image: © Heather Reid Studios. All Rights Reserved


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Montserrat’s Annual Alumni Exhibition Call for Work Deadline Dec. 23

bannerColorMontserrat College of Art Galleries is happy to welcome all former graduates to participate in the second Annual Alumni Exhibition of small works in all media to be held in the 301 Gallery, January 7 – 21, 2015. This is a fun opportunity to connect with both new and familiar faces and to share your current work with the greater Montserrat community.

We will be accepting all entries and will fit as much work as possible onto the walls. Please encourage fellow alumni to join by submitting work or simply coming to celebrating with your peers at the Opening Reception, Jan. 17, 4 – 7pm.

The reception will be followed by an “afterparty” at The American Legion, 3 Judson St. Beverly, 7 – 10 pm. Join us to hang-out, talk art, argue theory, dance, or simply share whatever you’re into now. All are welcome! Just let us know you’re coming.

To participate, complete and send the attached entry form to gallery@montserrat.edu along with a .jpeg image of an image representative of your work (4 x 6″ 72 dpi <1mb file size). We will be accepting all work that does not exceed 24″ in any dimension.

Be sure to ship, or drop off, your work at Montserrat Galleries (23 Essex St. Beverly, MA 01915) by Dec. 23, 2014. Late submissions will not be accepted.

If you’re unable to drop work off, please we are accepting mailed submissions. Please include return postage with your work.

 See photos from last year’s Alumni Show here!

If you have any questions, please email: gallery@montserrat.edu

We look forward to seeing you in January!

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Alumni Update: Yetti Frenkel ’85 Creates Murals and Sculptures Across New England

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Alumna Yetti Frenkel ’85 has just finished a big mural and mosaic project in Central Square, Lynn, working in partnership with artists David Fichter and Joshua Winer. The project took six years and includes mosaics created by students in all of the middle and high schools in Lynn. The mural is designed in a series of painted arches surrounding a mosaic gateway, that shows scenes of contemporary and historical Lynn places and characters. It’s 45′ high x 64′ wide.

Frenkel’s mosaic sculpture Bunny Bench is also included in the Fuller Craft Museum’s Biennial member’s exhibition.

Public murals are a specialty for artist Yetti Frenkel. She has painted murals for nine public libraries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, several of them on the North Shore, and for numerous schools and communities. Her images depict nature, seasons, animals, children, memorials and community history. She has created murals with children in public and private schools during residencies and workshops, and is on the Creative Teaching Partners Roster of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

See more of Frenkel’s Educational Murals here:

educationalmurals.com
mosaicsculpture.com

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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Colleen Michaels Hosts Storytelling Event at the Salem Athenaeum December 12

michaelsGreet the coming cold and dark with some bright holiday cheer at the Athenæum this December. Salem Athenaeum has planned events that will warm your hands and hearts.

Spinning Yarns for the Holidays

Friday, December 12, 7 -10 p.m.

Join Colleen Michaels, host of Montserrat College of Art’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour, for an evening of storytelling.

Warm up with some of the North Shore’s area writers who will take the stage with no notes, nothing but the truth…and the challenge to tell their best holiday story.

info@salemathenaeum.net

Salem Athenæum / 337 Essex Street / Salem, MA 01970 / 978-744-2540


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Faculty News: Rode Olson Exhibits at Susan Maasch Fine Art & Kingston Gallery

Copper Drake, 2014

Prof. Rose Olson will be participating in a group show of gallery artists at Susan Maasch Fine Art located at 4 City Center, Portland, ME. This exhibit is open Mon. – Sun., 10 am – 5 pm all through December, or by appointment 207-478-4087.  Please drop in when you are in the area, since the gallery will be continually rotating the work of all their artists. Learn more @ susanmaaschfineart.com Presently, Olson has a solo show of mainly small works at Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave, Boston. One of her 10 x 10 x 2″ paintings titled “Copper Drake” below,  will be included in this exhibit.

Regular gallery hours are Wed. – Sun., 12 – 5 pm or by appointment: 617-423-4113.

See more of Olson’s work @ www.roseolson.com


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Alumni News: Lara Maville ’89 Wins Design Contest

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Montserrat College of Art Graphic Design alumna Lara Maville ’89 designed the winning logo for Friends of Mascoma Foundation logo and branding contest in Canaan, NH. The foundation “strives to raise and appropriate funds to foster educational advancements within the Mascoma Valley Regional School District.”

Lara Maville Design is a New Hampshire based graphic design studio offering a full selection of custom graphic design services including websites, logos, brochures and print advertisement.

Learn more here: www.mavilledesign.com


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Montserrat’s Art Education Practicum Exhibit 300 Hours Thesis Show Featuring Artwork by Local Elementary and High School Students

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Montserrat College of Art’s six Art Education Practicum graduates are showcasing the artwork created by their students from Danvers High School, Holten Richmond Middle School, Mission Hill School, Lawrence High School, Beverly High School, Wood End Elementary School and Birch Meadow Elementary School. The reception for 300 Hours: Art Education Thesis Exhibition was held Wed., Dec. 3 and will remain on view through Wed., Dec. 17 at the 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA. The exhibit is open to the public Mon. - Fri., 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Sat., 12 – 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Montserrat’s practicum student artists (Left to Right) Haley Vessey, Carly Brasier, Kristen Karchonas, (Montserrat’s Chair of Art Education Assoc. Prof. Rébecca Bourgault), Bianca Picozzi, Kerry McDermott and Zoey Chapin exhibit the artworks produced by students in grades K through 12 from local elementary and high schools. They are committed to educating through the visual arts as a way of keeping young minds creative and inspired.

This annual celebration is demonstrative of the Montserrat Practicum students 300 hours of dedication to Art Education. The work featured in this exhibition is an intimate look at the time Practicum students have spent educating and supporting youth in public school systems while completing their Pre-K-12 Initial Licensure Requirements.

For more information contact Montserrat’s Chair of Art Education Assoc. Prof. Rébecca Bourgault at 978.921.4242 x 1605, rebecca.bourgault@montserrat.edu or visit www.montserrat.edu/galleries/301.

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Photo Cred: Terry Slater


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Freshman Experience Exhibit Opening December 5

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Wondering what FX has been up to? Please join our FX/Freshman Experience Class of 2018 for their Independent Final Projects and celebrate the opening of the exhibition of works on, of and about paper!

 

On view on the 2nd and 3rd Floors of Hardie: Dec. 5 – 10, 2014

 

Opening reception: Friday, Dec. 5, 2 – 3 pm


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Thank You for Participating in #GivingTuesday

Because of YOU Montserrat is pleased to celebrate another successful

This year 49 generous donors contributed more than $4,300, almost a 600% increasein funds and double the number of contributors in 2013!

Every dollar contributed helps to support financial aid for Montserrat students. Your generosity makes you a silent partner in their success. Thank you!


     
Make #GivingTuesday part of your holiday tradition.
Mark your calendars now for #GivingTuesday 2015 on December 1st, 2015!
  

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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Early Action Completion Day- R.S.V.P. Today!

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During this Winter and Spring, we invite prospective students to visit Montserrat College of Art during one of our Saturday Admission Completion Days!

  • January 10, 2015
  • February 14, 2015 (Priority Filing Date for Scholarship)
  • March 14, 2015
  • May 9, 2015

We are currently accepting reservations for the Early Action Completion Day on Saturday, December 6th.

Each Completion Day will include a campus tour, portfolio review with an Admissions Counselor, and the opportunity to drop off any outstanding materials to complete your application for admission consideration. If the application is completed during a Completion Day, we will issue an admissions decision with merit scholarship consideration postmarked within a week of the event.

To sign up for the Early Action Completion Day, please visit montserrat.edu/admissions email admissions@montserrat.edu or call the Office of Admissions at 978.921.4242 ext. 1153.

Early Action Completion Day Sign Up

Office of Admissions:

800·836·0487 ext 1153 | admissions@montserrat.edu | montserrat.edu 


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Montserrat Trustee Olivia Parker to Exhibit at Robert Klein Gallery

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Montserrat College of Art Trustee Olivia Parker is exhibiting in two solo shows this winter at Robert Klein Gallery in Boston.

STILL/LIFE
ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY
38 Newbury St. Boston
Opening Reception: Sat., Dec. 13, 2 – 5 pm
Artist talk at 3:30 pm
RSVP on FACEBOOK
On View: Dec. 13, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015
Hours: Tue. – Fri., 10 am – 5:30 pm,
Sat., 11 am – 5 pm

THE EYE’S MIND
ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY @ ARS LIBRI
500 Harrison Ave. Boston
Opening Reception: Fri., Dec. 5, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
On View: Dec. 5 – 27, 2014
Hours: Mon. – Fri., 9 am – 6 pm, Sat., 11 am – 5 pm

Robert Klein Gallery is pleased to announce its seventh solo show of photographs by Montserrat College of Art Trustee Olivia Parker. This is an exhibition in two parts, with The Eye’s Mind at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY @ ARS LIBRI (500 Harrison Ave) opening this Friday, Dec. 5, and Still/Life at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY (38 Newbury St) opening on Saturday, Dec. 13.

In a press release for Parker’s 1993 show at the gallery, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and Something Else, Robert Klein said: “When viewing Olivia’s photographs, one feels like he or she is participating in a dream. Her carefully constructed still lifes are at the same time eerie, yet illuminating. One experiences the delicate illusion of objects on the verge of change — a movement from the past to the future, yet within the boundaries of a still life.”

Twenty years after that exhibition, Parker’s still lifes continue to grow and change. In Still/Life at Robert Klein Gallery, images of shells, flowers, and bugs crackle with life against shadowy figures and blurred backgrounds; consciousness and subconsciousness play together on the same page. As Parker says, these “objects of comfort and despair” serve as reminders that life and death are inseparable.

At Robert Klein Gallery @ Ars Libri, The Eye’s Mind presents Parker’s consideration of the relationship between visual and verbal thinking. Featuring By the Book, a steel sculpture Parker crafted in 2014, and several of her book-based images, this unique installation is contextualized by the formidable libraries housed at Ars Libri, the rare and out-of-print book dealer that has served as Robert Klein Gallery’s satellite exhibition space since 2012.

Parker’s limited edition, self-published book, Still/Life, will be available for purchase at both gallery locations. More information about this two-part solo show will be announced soon.

Questions? Email inquiry@robertkleingallery.com

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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Alumni News: Mike Ryczek ’06 Interview with Jung Katz

Artist Interview: Mike Ryczek – Oil Painter - Published on Jung Katz

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

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I’m Mike Ryczek and I grew up in Wallingford, CT. I studied at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA and graduated in 2006 with a BFA in Illustration. I primarily use oils to create slightly abstracted realist paintings that often vary in terms of subject matter, and I use Photoshop to make digital collages that I then translate into paint. I also work as a freelance web designer to deal with the financial roller coaster that comes along with being a painter.

How did you get started doing what you do?

I would draw all the typical things a child of the 80’s would draw: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, various Nintendo inspired things and many, many Jaws’s eating people. I guess I always had an appreciation for art, but I don’t think I ever had that moment as a child where I simply knew that I wanted to be an artist as an adult. I can, however, remember going to an art show at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford with my parents when I was really young. The show must have been for kids slightly older than I was at the time, maybe 5th or 6th graders, and I spotted some pencil drawing (that was probably terrible) of a gothic looking figure with long, flowing black hair perched on a gravestone, and I remember thinking “that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and I want to be that good”. Around grade school I had a fascination with comic books. I would obsessively copy drawings of my favorite characters with Micron pens and sell them to relatives, who’d humor me and other kids at school, for ten or fifteen cents each. I remember that being a great source of pride for me. I had very little painting experience by the time I got to Montserrat, and this is where I used oil paints for the first time. I jumped all over the place in terms of style and subject matter throughout school and around the middle of senior year I stumbled upon the work of the British painter, Phil Hale. I had never seen such beautiful, skillfully executed paintings done in a classical medium that dealt with surreal concepts in a contemporary way. If you haven’t seen Phil’s work before, imagine that after Vermeer finished “Girl with a Red Hat”, he decided to slap a sparkly unicorn sticker on her cheek and draw red X’s over her eyes with chalk ­ that’s essentially the effect. He was effortlessly matching the skill level of the greats and then pissing all over them. Phil was someone who I imagined to be almost bewildered and amused by his own talent, and this would show itself in a somber, expertly rendered, muted palette painting with a tiny pop of cadmium somewhere to draw your eye in or a precious, dreamy CConstable Esquecloudscape painted over a filthy garage door in the background or contained in a sketchy speech bubble carved with an X­ Acto knife. Everything was a disposable masterpiece and a total contradiction. Occasionally it felt like he was just flexing his muscles and I wondered how sincere he actually was about his work, but in the end I didn’t really care. He was the first artist I felt a genuine kinship with. I was more passionate about painting than I ever had been and I think that was when I finally settled on a recognizable style. This led to a series of paintings that I’ve heard loosely described as “constructivist”, melding heavy symbolism and flat, out of place graphic elements with intense realism and then dividing it all into rigid sections (essentially aping Hale’s style but not very successfully). Looking back on these never fail to make me cringe a little, especially considering that many involved mixing oil paint with paper collage and spray adhesive (not the most archival combination of materials) and I also didn’t really know what I was doing construction wise They were, to my credit, certainly eye-catching and I can see a logical jump from my old style to what I do now.

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What is art to you?

My very broad definition of art is anything created by someone with the intent of communicating or provoking a thought or an emotional response. However, my definition changes drastically depending on the mood I’m in when you ask me. Somedays, everything that wants to be art has a place under the big art umbrella, and on other days art has a very narrow definition and I hold everything up to a very high standard. Just as easily as I can look at something and say “This doesn’t make me think or feel anything, but it doesn’t mean it’s not art it just means it’s not for me”, I can find myself filing through paintings and asking: “Why is there so much bad art in the world and why are so many people content with it?” I’ll get irritated when I see a new artist being championed by the art world simply because they did something novel that I see as requiring little skill, thought or emotional depth, and instead of “I don’t like this” my first thought is “this is not art”. I climb up onto my little throne and rail against it all. I guess my point is that I can’t definitively tell you what art is to me, and also that I’m a total hypocrite. On the bright side, I think there are plenty of kind, encouraging and humble artists / interpreters of art out there who want to support one another and try not to degrade other people’s work because it’s not what they think it should be. When I left school, I had a pretty bleak outlook on what it was to get along with other artists in the real world. Now I realize that we were all still kids and that most people in their late teens / early twenties are seself centeredicks whether they’re an artist or not (I’m not excluding myself). Ultimately, I want to be someone who can find at least one thing in every piece of art that I appreciate, regardless of whether or not I would own it or make it, and try to rid myself of the black and white “this is or is not art” mentality. That doesn’t mean lying to people’s faces and holding back all of my criticism, but it means not letting the criticism turn unnecessarily cruel. One of the biggest turnoffs for me is to find out that an artist I admire is full of themselves and totally dismissive of other people’s work. Most artists are already insecure enough about their stuff ­ they don’t need someone else twisting the knife just for kicks.

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What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I don’t know if this really counts as advice, but I distinctly remember showing my Illustration work during an end of semester critique at Montserrat, and one of the teachers saying “It’s not bad, but you know this isn’t you”. I remember feeling resentful because I interpreted it as “you’re trying to be something you’re not and no one’s buying it”. In hindsight, I realize that it was probably because I had already committed myself to an Illustration major by changing all my classes, but I knew she was right and I just didn’t want to have to change direction again. I probably would’ve ended up leaving Illustration behind anyway after graduating, but that comment always stuck in my mind and likely reinforced my decision.

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Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?


Try not to to constantly compare yourself to others and certainly don’t let the fear of “stealing” someone else’s style limit your own work. I can remember so many instances where I’ve scrapped ideas or stopped myself from painting a certain way out of fear that I was making trendy paintings. When I look at old sketches or photos of half finished paintings now 5 or 6 years later, I’m like “”What was I thinking? Why did I think these were unoriginal? This stuff is way too fucking bizarre to be trendy!” (granted it wasn’t always in a good way). Or I shelved some idea I jotted down in my sketchbook that I at one point saw as being profound because I thought “this is actually really obvious and a billion people have probably already made this observation ­ why make a painting about it?” or the other extreme: “it’s only you who thinks this, it doesn’t really make sense and other people won’t get anything from it”. There are definitely instances when you should reexamine what you’re trying to say, and to be honest there are some ideas I’m glad never saw the light of day. However, most of the time I’ve regretted not following an idea through to the end and I’ve often seen a similar concept executed by another artist somewhere down the line and regretted that I hadn’t given myself a chance. Make sure you’re only giving the hyper­critical voice in your head enough power to improve your work, not to destroy it before it even starts (which is easier said than done). There’s the old “nothing’s original” maxim, which I think is true and should be used during times when the fear of being derivative paralyzes you, but there’s also definitely a lot of work out there that’s (and I know it may sound hubristic of me to say this) not even remotely trying to be original. There’s a quote by Jean­Luc Godard (which I found buried within a quote by Jim Jarmusch, which somebody else found and designed a poster around, which was then force­fed to me by Facebook, so odds are it’s probably so obscure you’ve never heard it before): “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to”. I think this is a very important companion to “nothing’s original”. Yes, all art has been at least somewhat inspired by previously made art, but there’s a huge difference between someone who makes something relatively fresh with only slight traces of their influences and someone who worships the “old masters” and consciously strives to make carbon copies of what has come before them. I don’t want to sound like I’m condemning a group of artists here, and one could argue that some of my portraits have a classical feel to them. If something’s unoriginal but still beautiful, I can appreciate it for that, but I suppose in my own work I aim to make something beautiful as well as unique. I’m not interested in carrying on a tradition.

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What are your thoughts on art school?

I have mixed feelings about art school. I was lucky enough to have my tuition paid for so I’ve never had to deal with the crippling student loan debts that I’ve seen many other students inherit. I think, and I’m guessing this is the general consensus among most of the American population, that the average tuition cost in this country is insanely exorbitant. It’s hard to see the reasoning behind attending an institution for four years if you know you’re going to graduate with such bleak prospects in terms of getting a steady, well paying and chained to debt for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, I don’t regret my time spent in art school because it gave me the chance to develop along with other artists who were also still in their formative years, and it all ended up leading to something. You inevitably evolve as an artist by constantly being exposed to the work of other students, having the ability to try new mediums and methods, and just by having most of your day revolve around art. My biggest regret is that I didn’t take full advantage of the resources I had available to me: the museum trips, free workshops, exhibition opportunities, etc. In all fairness to myself, I don’t think that many people between the ages of 18 and 22 are able to fully realize these opportunities or care about them (which I suppose is why graduate school exists for those who are lucky enough to attend). They’re far too busy dealing with their personal dramas and social lives to focus on their future careers. But, as with any school you attend, it’s up to the student to take advantage of these things while they can and make the most out of their experience. I remember this being a mantra among the faculty at Montserrat whenever we had to go out of our way and voluntarily sign up for something, but I always tuned it out.

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Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Yes, please check out: Sangram MajumdarPhil HaleNicola SamoriJudy ChungEdwin Dickinson,Diarmuid KelleyAlexander TineiAndrew Fish, Simon Shawn Andrews, Nicole DuennebierSusan Jane Walp, and Catherine Mulligan.

Follow artist, Mike Ryczek on Facebook to see more of his amazing paintings!


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Faculty News: Mari LaCure Exhibits at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in Texas

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Montserrat College of Art Faculty Member Mari LacCure has work in the exhibition Spatial Planes at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, TX.

OPENING RECEPTION

Thursday, Dec 4, 6 – 9 pm

DATES

Dec 4, 2014 – Feb 15, 2015

Spatial Planes includes a selection of artists whose print-based work plays with the visual and conceptual representation of space. In addition to the abstract and often geometric imagery activating multiple planes and pulling the viewer into contemplative space, the works are new statements on perception, an ongoing discourse of artists and theorists. Participating artist include Valerie Arber, Jeffrey Dell, Haylee Ebersole, Angela Fox, Yuko Fukuzumi, Mari LaCure, Monika Meler, Gary Nichols, Elvia Perrin, Samantha Parker Salazar, and Kate Shepherd.

The artist’s representation of dimensional space has evolved over centuries and styles, shifting from accurate representation of the physical world, to abstracting it, to conceptualizing it. A question we present in this exhibition is how does function inform our emotional and psychological perceptions? How do our abstract ideas, emotions, and desires affect perception? Might they inform not only how we see, but permeate and transform the physical world?

For more information, vist www.bluestarart.org


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Published by College Relations Intern Josh Ramsey

Montserrat Participates in Giving Tuesday on Dec. 2, 2014


     Help us reach our goal of 86 donors for 
The #MontserratGivingTuesday Challenge

Montserrat is an official partner in the 3rd annual #GivingTuesday on December 2nd! We’re celebrating seniors again this year: 86 gifts for 86 seniors in the class of 2015! Added bonus this year-our trustees have put up a challenge gift of $10,000 if we can achieve our goal of 86 gifts!

No gift is too small-make yours today! The Montserrat #GivingTuesday Challenge begins at midnight on 12/2!! Be sure to use #MontserratGivingTuesday and tag us!