Montserrat Galleries’ Pamela Campanaro Published an Essay on Big, Red and Shiny

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Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Through Abstraction We Shape the World
By Pam Campanaro
April 09, 2014

Through abstraction, we shape the world. Through art, we translate thoughts, intuitions, feelings, and intentions into actions that transform reality.
- Olafur Eliasson

The first time I attended an Olafur Eliasson speaking engagement was at the Education + Activism Salon at Miami Basel in December of 2013. Eliasson was joined by Klaus Blesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 to discuss the social business and emerging global project, Little Sun—a functional, high-quality solar-powered LED lamp developed in collaboration between Eliasson and engineer, Frederik Ottesen. Little Sun is a self-proclaimed “social business” with the aim to sustain a global wave of connecting the world by sharing, delivering, and sustaining an affordable, reliable light source for off-grid communities.

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

The conversation between Eliasson and Blesenbach organically shifted to art’s ability to act as a catalyst for social justice. At a more fundamental level, the abstract ideas and critical dialogue that provoke exploration is a source of confidence and freedom for young artists that is hard to teach. It is learned naturally, through persistence and pursuit of one’s practice. I was struck over the head (hard) with a blunt statement made by Eliasson, “Young artists are so talented, but in a way, they are also traumatized.” He went on to elaborate, citing that the decision to pursue the arts as a language for engagement, in or out of art school, is a huge risk. It is unrelenting to invest in a passion as abstract and contested as art. Be it painting or curating or whatever discipline, the course is never defined. It is unclear and less concrete to commit to a practice that is continuously evolving, adjusting, and influencing a global perspective. And yes, while it is true other fields such as medicine evolve with new discovery, the absolute fact does not exist in art. To grow with a field that is still defining its own language and objectives is hard—and it demands confidence in order to persevere. As a result of Eliasson’s phrase, I became acutely aware of how much of his practice is a platform for education and empowering diversified youth to explore abstract thinking.

Olafur Eliasson and I crossed paths again, this time at the MIT public lecture “Holding Hands With the Sun” in honor of his recent Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. On the surface, Eliasson’s lecture re-introduced the audience to Little Sun and reviewed a retrospective of his work. The audience was an assemblage of Boston-area artists, curators, scholars, students, engineers, philanthropists, etc. gathered from diversified fields. Together, a cultural geography of what collaboration looks like was formed that evening. Looking back, the crowd was a reflection of Eliasson’s think-tank studio model. Eliasson works with a cohort of interdisciplinary collaborators such as “slow walkers”, art historians, engineers, designers, food researchers, architects, and color experts to name a few. Although each background is different, the participants who impose their disciplines onto each project are quite interdependent. There is an inherent understanding that thinking abstractly is valued and, dare it be said, encouraged.

As a fairly recent Boston-area transplant working at an arts institution, I am continually reminded of the “risks” taken by the students I encounter daily and the “trauma” they face as budding artists. Eliasson’s studio practice has informed my social responsibility as a curator to the community of young artists with whom I engage. Artists and the projects they cultivate, like Eliasson and Little Sun, are macro reminders to the seemingly microcosm of students whose minds think abstractly. And while it is hard to drown out the noise of financial debt and questions like, “How will you make a living with an degree in Art?” a louder question resonates from the cultural shift spurred by Eliasson. He said it best during his MIT lecture: Rather than asking how? Ask why?

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

It is essential, in every stage of artistic growth and/or practice, to have the confidence to ask why. Why communicate through the language of medium? Why is conceptual thinking critical? Why is my stake in creative expression a valued pursuit? All of these questions relate to the ability to think abstractly and embracing the necessity to do so with confidence. Contrary to what a general public might think, it is a necessity. Abstract thinking is a fortuitous, viable skill. The generalization is to think of art in less than concrete terms because as a language, its communication is multi-layered.

I used to think that my responsibility as a curator and educator in the arts was to pass along little nuggets of truth. However, “Holding Hands With The Sun” has redirected my understanding of freedom and responsibility. The language of a “me” perspective that asks what the singular “I” can exchange with “you”, assumes an exclusive, elitist engagement. Rather, as evidenced in the studio practice of Eliasson and in the mood of the room that evening at MIT, multiple voices contribute to a participatory productivity combining this idea of freedom and responsibility.

In the end, the aesthetic beauty and cultural richness that comes from such conceptual thinking is what bridges the gaps between individual and community. I am fortunate enough to work in a place that facilitates a space where the aim can be about the experience and my language as a curator of desire and creativity is encouraged. It remains, however, a collective responsibility, to encourage one another to be confident in our independent thinking and continue to ask why.

Pam Campanaro is the Assistant Curator of Exhibitions at Montserrat College of Art. She received her MA in Exhibition and Museum Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2011 and a BA in Art History and Museum Studies from Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA in 2009.


As an accepted student, we invited you and your guests to spend some time getting to know us on April 12th. You explored the campus, met our faculty and your potential new classmates!
Activities for this day included:
Campus and housing tours
Student artwork showcasing all departments
Variety of faculty conducted workshops
Q & A student panels
Lunch with the Montserrat community
Financial aid appointments (ongoing throughout the day)
And so much more!
Congratulations on your acceptance to Montserrat College of Art!

Alumni News: Chris Pianka Working for Nickelodeon

Animator Chris Pianka Holds On To His Roots
while Hanging with Hollywood Stars
by Kristin D’Agostino

Working at Nickelodian Studios, Chris Pianka gets to work with artwork from the Nineties.

Working at Nickelodeon Studios, Chris Pianka gets to work with iconic artwork from the Nineties.

Being a Massachusetts kid in Hollywood has its perks: Sharing a table with Leonardo DiCaprio at an Oscars party, hobnobbing with fellow cartoonists at the local comic book shop, and taking part in the local zine scene. But, best of all, says Montserrat grad Chris Pianka, is hanging out with Ren and Stimpy, something he does everyday as a library specialist at Nickelodeon Animation Studio’s artist resource library.

Pianka, who graduated in 2011 with an animation and interactive media degree, says his transition from New England to Hollywood has been “surreal” to say the least, but he’s enjoying every minute of it. The twenty-something animator accepted the job at Nickelodeon in February. He catalogues artwork; makes sure pieces are backed up in the digital archive; and shows past work to artists who come in seeking inspiration.

“My favorite part of the job is being able to pull out Sponge Bob or Ren and Stimpy,” he says, adding, “It’s really cool to go through this stuff.”

Nickelodeon, Pianka says, is currently in the process of reinventing itself, and is looking back to the Nineties for inspiration. “It’s about remembering that vibe and the roots of the art,” he says. “It’s a great time to be here.”

Chris Pianka is inspired by animators Hayao Miyazaki and Jean Giraud.

Chris Pianka’s work is inspired by Japanese and French animation.

Landing a job at a Hollywood studio did not come easily to Pianka. He attributes much of his success to a junior year internship he had with filmmaker Daniel Sousa where he worked on the animated film “Feral”. During this time, Pianka contributed some of his own drawings to the film, which went on to receive an Oscar nomination. The internship helped to land him another one at Nickelodeon the following summer. And, when Sousa came out to California to attend the Oscars for his film nomination, he invited Pianka to come with him to a week’s worth of events where Pianka made valuable industry contacts.

After the summer internship ended, Pianka returned home to the North Shore and life got decidedly less exciting. He moved in with his parents, got a coffee shop job, and began a third internship in Boston. But, the whole time he was in New England, Pianka worked hard at maintaining his connection to Hollywood life by reading animation blogs, and keeping in touch with people he’d met there. And, when a position opened up at Nickelodeon in February, Pianka was called in for an interview. The rest, as they say, is history.

In Hollywood Pianka hopes to develop his style so he can one day work on a show of his own.

In Hollywood Pianka hopes to develop his style so he can one day work on a show of his own.

In the future, Pianka would like to work as a storyboard artist and character designer on a cartoon show or to direct and produce his own show. But, for now, the young animator is content to act as a link between the artists of today and the artwork of the past. “I’m going to hold off pitching a show until I have a strong voice,” he says. “I want to develop a sense of who I am as an animation director. I want to have an idea to pitch that they won’t be able to resist.”

To other students who might want to follow in his footsteps Pianka has this advice: “If you’re going to make something your life’s work, you have to make it your life’s work. Put your work out there; meet people. Know your industry inside and out. It may take years to get there, but you can’t give up.”

- Kristin D’Agostino

Alumni News: Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell, an artist based in Indiana, attended Montserrat in the 1970s.

Jim Campbell, an artist based in Indiana, attended Montserrat in the 1970s.

Carved from a Stack of Books,
im Campbell’s Artwork is Bound to Inspire
by Kristin D’Agostino

In looking at Jim Campbell’s work, it’s easy to see the Indiana-based artist has a good sense of humor. A cookie, baked to a golden crisp, is displayed in a lower corner of his website. But, viewers beware- this is not your grandma’s chocolate chip cookie. Baked from a mold the artist carved himself, this tasty treat resembles an ancient relic found in a museum, complete with scene straight off a Japanese vase- a woman standing in front of a temple, gazing into the distance. This cookie is one example of how Campbell, a freelance designer and painter, likes to amuse himself and stay creatively challenged.

Jim Campbell attended Montserrat in the early 1970’s. After decades working in the printing industry as a designer, in the 1990’s with the advent of digital, Campbell was forced to reinvent himself. He studied Adobe InDesign and CAD technical drawing software, and spent the next years carving out a new career for himself as a freelance designer. These days he designs traveling exhibits for commercial clients.

Campbell does his part to keep print alive by carving sculptures out of old books.

Campbell does his part to keep print alive by carving sculptures out of old books.

When he’s not working, Campbell enjoys creating multi-media paintings and sculptures from materials such as foam, PVC and lightweight concrete. His brightly colored wall sculptures are geometric in their design, like Van Gogh in 3 D.

Recently Campbell has found a way to reconnect with the printing world: He’s been carving sculptures out of stacks of old books and magazines. “It’s a type of low relief carving into the edge of the publications,” the artist explains. “It keeps the spines intact and the surface of the pages acts like a relief surface.”

In one piece entitled The Tenth Muse, a voluptuous woman looks as though she’s about to step out of a stack of magazines. This sculpture, Campbell says, took about three weeks to create through a combination of rough carving and work with a band saw. The print sculptures, the artist says, are just another way stay challenged.

This cookie, titled Whispering Mountain, was inspired by Asian artwork.

This cookie, titled Whispering Mountain, was inspired by Asian artwork.

As for the cookie, this blogger wants to know, are there more, and will he share?

Unfortunately, no, says Campbell; the cookies were a passing phase. The curious must satisfy their hunger by feasting their eyes on the digital version on the artist’s website. Every last special cookie edition was eaten by friends and family.

Still painting and exhibiting his work locally, Campbell says he remembers his time at Montserrat fondly. “The teachers do a lot for helping you find yourself. The requirements of the classroom, the pressure to keep working and producing is important to being an artist.”

- Kristin D’Agostino

Montserrat’s Annual Open House April 12

ASD Open House Card

Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 3 – 6 pm
Awards Ceremony 4 pm

Open House will be Saturday, April 12 from 3-6 pm. It is the college’s annual spring event which celebrates the work of our community.

Each year, the college’s buildings at 23 Essex St. and 301 Cabot St. become galleries and works of all students, including those in our Continuing Education program, are displayed in galleries, classrooms and hallways.

Open House is open to the public and we encourage you to come and tour our facilities and see the latest work of our freshmen through seniors. On view will be painting, drawing, prints, graphic design, sculpture, video, photography, animations, illustrations, book arts and creative writings.

An awards ceremony to present scholarships will be held at 4 pm in the second floor hallway of the Hardie building, 23 Essex St., Beverly.

Gallery Update: Last Visiting Artist Talks of the Spring Semester


Thursday, April 10th, 11:30am
Artist Talk: Valeri Larko

Landscapes found on the outskirts of American cities are the settings Valeri Larko is most drawn to. Her paintings capture the urban fringe and uncover stories within the ruins of contemporary culture.

Artist Talk Location: 23 Essex Street, Room 201

Valeri Larko, Diptych Ferris Stahl-Meyer, 2012, oil on linen

Valeri Larko, Diptych Ferris Stahl-Meyer, 2012, oil on linen

Monday, April 14th, 11:30am
Artist Talk: Greg Cook

Greg Cook’s talk is entitled “Remaking Our Sad World: From Community Activism to World-Building” and will be in conjunction with his installation,
The Saddest Forest on Earth, which is on view at the Frame 301 Gallery through April 18th.

Artist Talk Location: 23 Essex Street, Room 201

 Greg Cook,The Saddest Forest On Earth, 2014

Greg Cook,The Saddest Forest On Earth, 2014

Montserrat College of Art Galleries |23 Essex St. | Beverly | MA

for a complete list of upcoming visiting artists visit:

for more information on Montserrat Galleries Public Programs:
please contact Savery Kelley at

Internationally Known Animator Bryan Konietzko to Speak at 2014 Commencement Ceremonies

Graduation invite 2014

Montserrat College of Art announces internationally known Animator Bryan Konietzko as the 2014 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient. Mr. Konietzko will address the Montserrat community on May 16, 2014 at 10 am at the Dane Street Church, 10 Dane Street, Beverly.

Konietzko is a Peabody Award winning and Emmy nominated animation director, best known as the co-creator and executive producer of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. He has also worked as a character designer at Film Roman for Family Guy and as Assistant Director for Mission Hill and King of the Hill. He was a Storyboard Artist and Art Director for the Nickelodeon animated series Invader Zim. Konietzko earned a BFA degree in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998.


 “We are extremely honored to have an artist of Mr. Konietzko’s caliber speaking to our graduates,” said Stephen D. Immerman, president of the college. “His successful career both in the US and abroad will be inspirational to our community. We are excited to welcome him to the campus and to the North Shore.”

The Class of 2014 has selected Asst. Prof. Shanth S. Enjeti to serve as the faculty speaker at commencement and Merriweather McCarty has been named student speaker.

Immediately following commencement, students and guests are invited to the Beverly Common, next to the Hardie Building, for an outdoor reception hosted by the Montserrat community. The Montserrat Gallery will be open for viewing of the 2014 All Senior Show at the college’s main campus building at 23 Essex Street.

For further information, contact Jo Broderick at or 978.867.9613.

Record-breaking numbers for Montserrat’s Annual Artrageous!28 Auction for student scholarship

Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz '08

Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz ’08

Montserrat College of Art’s annual art auction party, Artrageous!28 broke records Saturday night, March 29, when more than 1,000 friends of the college came together to raise approximately $432,000 for student scholarship.

Artrageous!28 guest taking a look at the art during the silent auction. Photo Cred: Montserrat student Michelle Behre '14

Artrageous!28 guest taking a look at the art during the silent auction. Photo Cred: Montserrat student Michelle Behre ’14

More than 260 paintings, prints, photographs, illustrations, sculpture, jewelry, giftware and trips were donated by Montserrat students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees and established and emerging artists from across the nation for the auction.

Artrageous! has become the signature spring event on the North Shore. It was held at Shetland Park in Salem, MA. The annual auction supports much-needed student scholarship.

Chair of Montserrat's Board of Trustees Lee Dellicker of Windover Construction, Liz Dellicker and Montserrat President Steve Immerman. Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz '08

Chair of Montserrat’s Board of Trustees Lee Dellicker of Windover Construction, Liz Dellicker and Montserrat President Steve Immerman. Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz ’08

Guests were given the opportunity to see students create on-site artwork at several Art-In-The-Moment stations, experience Where Creativity Works at Montserrat, enjoy music from Salem-based band The Dejas and taste the culinary art of Timothy S. Hopkins Catering.

The night’s Featured Artist was Steve Locke, Honorary Chair was Mary Puma, Chairman/CEO, Axcelis, Lead Sponsors were Windover Construction, Inc. and Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC, Hal and Jodi Hess, and Mary Puma and Eivind Lange along with an impressive list of other sponsors.

Montserrat students during the Art-in-the-Moment. Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz '08

Montserrat students during the Art-in-the-Moment. Photo Cred: Montserrat alumna Jenn Frankavitz ’08

“My husband, Eivind and I had a fantastic time at the Artrageous!28 auction party, Saturday night,” said Honorary Chair Mary Puma, Chairman/CEO, Axcelis. “This really is a signature spring event on the North Shore. We are so happy to help raise scholarship funds for these deserving students while attending such a creative and exciting event! We are looking forward to next year’s already.”

A highlight of the evening was a call for direct scholarship aid during the live auction which raised more than $65,000 in support. All support for the event increased this year, from sponsorships, to catalog advertising, to ticket sales to the amount of art donated to the college to raise money for support.

For further information about Artrageous!28, visit or contact Erin Carter at, 978-921-4242 x1114.

Montserrat students and alumni celebrate in excitement as senior Taylor Clough's '14 (middle/white dress) piece sold for $2,900 during the live portion of Artrageous!28. Photo Cred: Montserrat student Dino Rowan Traite '16

Montserrat students and alumni celebrate in excitement as senior Taylor Clough’s ’14 (middle/white dress) piece sold for $2,900 during the live portion of Artrageous!28. Photo Cred: Montserrat student Dino Rowan Traite ’16

Montserrat Community Involved in Sea Change Production


Montserrat College of Arts students have been collaborating with Sea Change Theatre Company for the following productions:


Three Christmas Gifts

Paige Hall: painter, scenic charge, and props assistant
Hannah Keyes: Head Painter
Bronte Pirulli: painter
LiAnn Natter: painter
Phil Hoa: props builder
Aubrey Mueller: props builder, fabric/costume assistant

sea_o (1)Antigone

Paige Hall: Intern/designer
Aubrey Mueller: tattoo shirt designer and painter
Ariel Lund: fabric manipulator
Hannah Keyes: fabric manipulator
For more ticket information, visit their Facebook page or contact, call 978.500.3885

Career Services Update: Summer Opportunities

Visual Designer, IBM  Bay Area, CA
Buyer, Fab New York, NY
K-12 Art Teacher, Carney Sandoe & Associates
2-D Artist/Illustrator, Multimedia Games Austin, TX
Associate Graphic Designer, Reebok Canton, MA

PT / Temp/ Summer
Visitor Assitant, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA
Guide, Otis House Museum Cambridge, MA
Visitor Services, MIT Museum Cambridge, MA
Temporary Gallery Staff, MIT Museum Cambridg, MA

Design Intern, Ideo San Fancisco, CA
Graphic and Web Design Internship, UFORGE Jamiaca Plain, MA
Gallery Internship, Rockport Art Association Rockport, MA
Videography Intern, United Independent Movement Boston, MA

Calls For Work
Student International Film Festival, Rijeka
The Road Gallery, NYC

AmeriCorps Camperhill Program, Lukas Community Temple, NH
Maker Fellow
Montserrat Summer Immersives Alumni Fellowship
Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists
For the latest updates on Jobs and Summer Opportunities follow Montserrat’s Career Services on Twitter!
Montserrat’s Office of Career Services provides students and alumni with practical information and advice for professional career development. Our staff of artists and career professionals combines for a total 20 years of experience helping individuals navigate through the working world. Through internships, workshops, and opportunities to interact with practicing artists and professionals working in the field, the Montserrat Community actively engages with the Arts and Creative Industries beyond its walls.

Kirk Snow
Director of Career Services
978.921.4242 x 1611

Amy Ruiter
Assistant Director of Career Services
978.921.4242 x 1610

Greg Cook’s Sad Parade and Installation in the Frame 301 Gallery

2014-03-26 12_18_33-MontserratCollegeArt (MontCollegeArt) on TwitterThe current work in Montserrat College of Art’s Frame 301 Gallery is by our very own faculty member Greg CookThe Saddest Forest on Earth, installed Tuesday March 25, will be on view through Friday, April 18.

Greg hosted a special parade event, The Saddest Parade on Earth, that marched along the sidewalks of Beverly’s Cabot Street beginning at 11 am this past “Sad-urday,” March 29. The parade featured sad banners and signs, as well as a sad accordionist.  The parade concluded at The Saddest Forest on Earth, at the Frame 301 Gallery. The exhibition is a large diorama of an enchanted forest of crying, cartoony trees.


The sad truth: Artist confronts sorry state of affairs with exhibit, parade (excerpt)
By Will Broaddus, The Salem News, Staff writer

Sometimes we don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Artist Greg Cook captures this mixture of emotions in “The Saddest Forest on Earth,” a unique grove of trees he created for Montserrat College of Art’s 301 Gallery on Cabot Street in Beverly.

“It’s sort of like a poor man’s, do-it-yourself, wacky Disneyland kind of thing — but more disconcerting,” said Cook.

Painted on cutout fabric and ranging from 6 to 8 feet tall, Cook’s trees wear sad faces, while a shower of tears falls through their branches. They occupy the gallery’s window and present their mournful expressions to the traffic and pedestrians on Cabot Street.

“The space is 3 feet deep; it’s like a shallow diorama,” Cook said. “Mostly, I do cartoony kind of work. I do some illustration, some gallery or fine art, and it all has a cartoony sensibility.”

But if his trees look like they belong in a comic strip, they are also sharing a serious emotion that Cook believes is common these days.

“It’s a mix of serious and playful things,” he said.

Cook will also be giving a talk about his work “Remaking Our Sad World: From Community Activism to World-Building” on Monday, April 14, at Montserrat’s Hardie Building.

“The talk is about the relationship between, on the one hand, actions in the real world, trying to make it more fulfilling,” he said. “Then also, with the trees, it’s about inventing fantasy worlds.”

In Cook’s mixture of art and activism, difficult problems are addressed, but with a comic touch that lightens their burden.

Read Cook’s full feature in The Salem News.

*If you would like to volunteer to walk in the parade, contact Greg Cook at Participants are asked to wear dapper outfits and help carry a sad banner or sign. The artist says, sadness is a helpful qualification, but not required.

In addition to being a teacher at Montserrat, Greg Cook is an artist, journalist and writer based in Malden, Massachusetts. The Saddest Forest on Earth is an offshoot of his “Enchanted Forest” series, which imagines a place of magical trees and birds and witches and hungry wolves. It is inspired by the history of New England, as well as Disney films and McDonald’s restaurant playgrounds. Parts of the series have appeared at Aviary Gallery in Boston; 17 Cox in Beverly; Zeitgeist Gallery in Lowell; Window Arts Malden; the Malden Parade of Holiday Traditions, and the restrooms of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

For more information on Greg Cook, please visit:

picSaddestParade140329_0073w-1024x711 picSaddestParade140329_0062w-1024x525 picSaddestParade140329_0087w-1024x696

Call for Artists: 2014 Artists’ Row Program

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is looking for artists and craftspeople to participate in Artists’ Row, a seasonal art space initiative from May 22 to November 2, 2014. Art space is provided rent-free, and in exchange, requires selected artists to provide free art workshops and/or performances for the community.

Applications and program guidelines are available from the Salem Department of Planning & Community Development, 120 Washington Street, or on the City’s Website at

Applications must be received by or before 12pm (noon), April 11, 2014. Up to three (3) Art Stalls will be awarded.

A site visit will be held on April 3, 2014 from 5:00pm – 5:30pm at Artists’ Row (24 New Derby Street) to view the available art stalls. For questions, contact Frank Taormina at (978) 619-5685.

Don’t miss the North Shore’s Artrageous! Auction Party: March 29


Montserrat College of Art’s Annual Auction Party


Don’t miss THE North Shore’s signature Artrageous! spring event on Saturday, March 29 at Shetland Park, Salem, MA


Artwork by Steve Locke, monument #1, 2013

Featured Artist
Steve Locke

Honorary Chair
Mary Puma
Chairman and CEO, Axcelis

Lead Sponsors
Windover Construction, Inc.
Brookwood Financial Partners

For more information + tickets visit

Tickets are available on-line until Wednesday, March 26 at 5 pm. Prices will increase by $15 at the door the night of the auction.


Public Previews: March 26, 27 & 28, 10 am – 3 pm or by appointment
Shetland Park, Building 4, Entrance V, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA

View our Artrageous!28 promotional video here!

Contact: Erin Carter
978.921.4242 x 1114

Photo by Dino Traite ’16: Senior Morgan Dyer reacts with excitement as one of her paintings in the live auction becomes the object of an aggressive war between bidders. Her piece, valued at $1500, sold for $3500!

Alumnus Brett Mason Wins Beverly Main Streets Banner Contest

This year Beverly Main Streets received more than 25 entries as part of our “blank canvas” light pole banner design competition. They are pleased to announce local artist and Montserrat College of Art alumnus Brett Mason‘s unique watercolor design was chosen for the 2014 summer banner. Fifty banners will be installed by the City of Beverly on Cabot and Rantoul Streets, along with tags clearly displaying the name of the sponsor. The banners provide visual impact and highlight our local arts community.


Brett grew up in Beverly and graduated from Montserrat College of Art. When asked about his design, Brett said, “The design is from an abstract watercolor on paper piece I did 3 years ago, which was right around the time when abstract expressionism became a growing interest for me as a painter…When brainstorming ideas I knew that painting would be perfect for the banner design. It is also interesting that the color scheme matches the logo for Beverly Main Streets.” You can see more of Brett’s work at

When asked about downtown Beverly, Brett said, “There’s always something to do downtown whether it be checking out the galleries, grabbing a bite to eat or simply walking around. It’s also nice seeing the growing potential since I started college in 2008. It’s a great place to be!”

Beverly Main Streets would like to thank Brett and all of the talented artists who submitted their designs for the competition, the City of Beverly for installing the banners and the sponsoring businesses.

Learn more here:

Bear Gallery’s Book Arts Show

Montserrat’s student-run Bear Gallery’s current Book Arts Show had a reception on Tue. March 18, at 100 Cummings Center, Suite 106-H.


From left: Henry Long, Alexandra Rios and Joyce Tat

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 Joyce Tat displaying her book art.

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 Alexandra Rios displaying her book art.

Gordon Arnold’s Salem News Column: Cabot Street Theatre


The enduring legacy of the Cabot Street Theatre
Montserrat College of Art Prof. Gordon Arnold

It’s a time of transition for Beverly’s beloved Cabot Street Theatre Cinema. We don’t yet know the ultimate fate of the historic property, which is currently for sale. But whatever happens, its pivotal place in cultural history of the city is secure.

For nearly a century, area residents have known and loved it. Yet, the theater is more than a place of fond memories. The magnificent structure has played a major role in creating the vibrant cultural life of the city that continues today.

The theater opened in 1920 as the Ware Theatre. It was named after its founders, N. Harris Ware and D. Glover Ware. The brothers already operated the popular Larcom Theatre in Beverly, which opened in 1912 just a few blocks away. The early success of the Larcom suggested there would be a demand for a larger and grander facility. The brothers arranged financing and began construction of an opulent new theater on bustling Cabot Street, with an eye toward serving all of the city’s residents. The theater was built to accommodate both movies and stage performances and was truly multipurpose facility.

From the beginning, the theater was a place for the city to come together. While the luminaries of high society were among its earliest patrons, it was no stuffy institution. It drew a wide audience. The best seats were 30 cents (a price that included 3 cents tax), but a balcony seat could be purchased for as little as 20 cents. Children could attend matinees for as little as 11 cents.

In the early 1920s, America’s love affair with Hollywood was just starting. Ornate movie palaces were being built throughout the U.S. to meet the demand for sophisticated new venues. The Ware, with its elegant frescoes, grand fixtures and golden dome, amply met this need and drew widespread praise.

Though these were the days of “silent movies” (the sound era did not start until the late 1920s), movies were seldom seen without musical accompaniment. In fact, announcements for the gala premiere of the theater boasted of a “$50,000 Austin Pipe Organ.” In today’s dollars, this cost was the equivalent of well over half a million dollars.

In the Great Depression of the 1930s, the carefree spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” ended. The popularity of vaudeville waned, but going to the movies remained a staple in American life. The grand theater on Cabot Street became primarily a movie house and eventually changed owners.

Local movie theaters retained their popularity in the 1940s. By the 1950s, however, the popularity of television led to decreased movie attendance. Theaters everywhere suffered.

In addition to competition from television, there were the new realities of suburbia. Movie theaters followed stores and restaurants away from downtown areas to shiny new shopping centers at the outskirts of town. The Northshore Mall, which opened in the late 1950s, was one of earliest of these. In 1963, a multi-screen theater was constructed adjacent to the popular shopping destination. It was a glimpse of the future.

In the following years, customers were increasingly drawn to suburban shopping centers and to the theaters there, some with a dozen or more screens. The aging theater on Cabot Street, like similar venues, came to be seen as relics of a bygone era.

By the mid-1970s Beverly’s downtown theater, which had long since been acquired by the E.M. Loew’s chain and renamed the Cabot Cinema, fell on hard times. It showed mostly second-run films at reduced rates. Although it remained a local attraction that generated many fond memories, it suffered in the wake of changing consumer preferences and the economic crunch of that decade. Finally, Lowe’s decided to sell it.

A new ownership group, led by the late Cesareo Pelaez, acquired the property in 1977 and changed its name to Cabot Street Theatre Cinema. They then began to restore to the theatre to its former splendor.
Pelaez was Renaissance man. He was a college psychology professor and also a stage magician. Soon, in addition to restoring first-rate film programming, the Cabot began weekly stage shows featuring the Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company.

The live magic show gained national acclaim with its spectacle and old-world charm. The old theater regained its luster and was once again a source of pride for the city. With its rebirth, the reputation of the Cabot was assured for many years.

With Pelaez’s death in 2012 and the closing of the magic show, the future of the theater once again seemed uncertain. In 2013, the Cabot was put up for sale. The search for new owners continues today.
What will happen the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre remains an open question. Until new ownership is secured and plans are made, it’s difficult to predict whether the aging building will continue to be operated a theater for either film or stage.

As a theater for film, there are daunting challenges for any new owner. Hollywood studios are ending distribution of movies on film. Instead, most films will be available only in digital formats. This will require theaters to buy expensive digital projection equipment. Many independent theaters simply can’t afford that cost. It remains possible, of course, that visionary new owners could solve that problem.

Whatever the future of Beverly’s grand old theater, however, the cultural vibrancy that the Cabot helped bring to downtown Beverly a century ago will continue. A formal cultural district is being developed for the downtown area where the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre stands.

Montserrat College of Art, the city of Beverly and Beverly Main Streets, are leading the project. Their goal is to improve to the city’s “livability, civic engagement, and arts appreciation and support.” It’s a fitting development and a testament to the cultural tradition of Beverly that the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre helped create a century ago.

Gordon Arnold, Ph.D., is the author of several books about film and American society and is professor of liberal arts at Montserrat College of Art.

Above artwork: alumnus Jon Bolles ’12, oil on canvas “Cabot Cinema” (36”x48”)


Opening Reception for Bea Modisett’s Field Work


Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery
Bea Modisett: Field Work
Reception: Thu., March 20, 5 – 7 pm


On View: March 19 – April 5, 2014
Artist Talk: Wed., March 26, 11:30 am

Montserrat College of Art alumna Bea Modisett’s ’07 paintings present and preserve nature’s instability and impermanence. Her marks accumulate to take on the general shape of changing natural formations. The overall forms in the paintings also relate to cairns and piles of rocks, often found in extreme landscapes. In a sense, each painting becomes a navigational tool, both in its creation and completion.

Bea Modisett,  The White Mountains: Remembered, 2011

Bea Modisett, The White Mountains: Remembered, 2011

Modisett grew up moving back and forth between her birthplace of Washington, D.C and the town of Portsmouth, RI. Since receiving her BFA in painting from Montserrat College of Art in 2007, Modisett has received fellowships to attend the Vermont Studio Center and Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, GA. She has exhibited her work throughout New England at locations including Kingston Gallery (Boston), 17 Cox (Beverly), HallSpace (Boston), and the New Hampshire Institute of Art (Manchester, NH). Modisett currently lives and works in Beverly.

For a complete list of upcoming visiting artists visit:

For more information on Montserrat Galleries Public Programs:
please contact Savery Kelley at

Colleen Michaels Update


Writing Center Director Colleen Michaels‘ poem Medeski, Martin, and Wood at Dinner has been published in Hawai’i Review 79: Call & Response, Issue 79, 2014.

A copy of the journal is currently in Montserrat’s Paul Scott Library circulation desk.

Also, her poem is one of the featured storytellers for A Winter’s Tale in Portsmouth, NH on March 16.

As the season turns and sunset arrives later each day, March’s theme encourages reflection on growth, change, and thresholds crossed, featuring stories by a range of creative people including writer and host of Newburyport’s Tannery Series, Dawne Shand; writer Zach Foote; poet and artist Colleen Michaels; musician and comedian Jon Lessard; actor and web developer Kevin Baringer; and writer and filmmaker Jason Santo. Each storyteller will take a turn before the crowd, relying only on memory to share a 10-minute true story from their own lives. Learn more here!

Also, her wildly successful Improbable Places Poetry Tour has been featured in the April 2014 issue of Northshore Magazine on page 44. Click here to read the article! 

Her next Improbable Places Poetry Tour stop is Thursday, March 27, at Eurostoves, The Culinary Centre (45 Enon Street, Beverly). This month’s theme is In the Kitchen.”  Send your submissions to her at by March 20. Learn more here!

Congratulations, Colleen!Northshore Magazine - April 2014 Colleen2

Salem Film Fest Class Interview

Salem Film Fest Class Interview


Documentary film has the power to teach us about the unfamiliar and to help us discover new realities.  A guide can be helpful in this journey – enter Erin Trahan, Editor and Publisher of The Independent.Salem Film Fest audiences might recognize Trahan from the filmmaker forums and Q&A sessions she’s monitored in the past. She’s also involved behind the scenes as a member of multiple juries every year, helping to decide which films featured at SFF leave Salem with honors.

This year, Erin has partnered with SFF and Montserrat College of Art in creating and leading an interactive classroom/festival experience, “Discovering Documentary: Tools for Educators, Filmmakers, and Astute Viewers,” which combines a theoretical introduction to the documentary genre, from origins to the latest trends. As part of the students’ education on how to use documentary film in education or community settings as well, Trahan will be bringing her class to Salem Film Fest to see some of the premier documentaries currently being produced.
SFF Organizer Jeff Schmidt had the chance to speak with Trahan after her first class to discuss the role documentaries can play in today’s classrooms, why the class is important, and how Salem Film Fest can help support the lessons learned in the classroom.
Jeff Schmidt:  What was your goal and inspiration in designing this class and why partner with Salem Film Fest?
Erin Trahan:  The goal is to bring together people who already have an appreciation for documentary film in order to deepen their knowledge both of the form and ways to access movies, especially locally. Salem Film Fest is a great fit as it’s already a tremendous resource for documentary lovers, and it’s right next door! The thinking behind the class is to enhance what the festival offers annually with additional focused dialogue and community-building.
JS:  What is it about the documentary form that lends itself as a teaching tool for educators?
ET:  Documentary has always been interested in the actual and the factual. It’s roots are in presenting new and unseen worlds to its audiences or taking a close, sometimes academic look at a culture or political situation or conflict. Though students today might be inundated with moving image, it remains evocative and irresistible. Turn on a TV and all eyes will turn their attention to it, at least for a while. Documentary gives teachers a powerful way to engage students on a huge range of current and historical topics.
JS:  Do you think documentary film has become more accessible to general audiences over the last few years?  If so, why?
ET:  Not necessarily in terms of theatrical releases. Art house cinemas, where most documentaries screen, are doing their best to stay afloat but it’s not uncommon for an American to live a good two hours drive from an independently-owned cinema. Of course the Internet and online streaming options have opened things up a great deal. Now the challenge for viewers is to sort through the plethora of titles and find ones that are worth their time.
JS:  What films at this year’s festival will your class be viewing?
ET:  We’ll be seeing TOKYO WAKA and EVERYBODY STREET together as a class though my guess is that class members will be seeing a good five or six more films throughout the fest.

JS:  What are you hoping your students will take away from this class?
ET:  If each student discovers one new local film festival to explore or indie theater to check out plus a new friend, the class would have exceeded my goals! As much as I’d like for students to leave feeling informed, I want them leaving feeling the abundance of opportunity they have to see documentary and directly engage with filmmakers and programmers working in this region.

For more information about “Discovering Documentary: Tools for Educators, Filmmakers, and Astute Viewers,” visit

Masconomet Junior Wins Grand Prize at Congressional Art Show

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Masconomet Regional High School junior Isabelle Yabe has been named Grand Prize Award Winner for her piece “Japanese Heritage” in this year’s 6th Congressional District High School Art Show.

Tierney_YabeThe awards were presented Saturday, March 8, by U.S. Representative John F. Tierney at Montserrat College of Art’s 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly. This marks the 20th year Montserrat has hosted this competition. The exhibit included 124 pieces from 25 different high schools and one homeschooled submission.

The exhibition was juried by Chris Van Allsburg, a Caldecott Medal winning author and illustrator whose books The Polar Express and Jumanji, are among his 15 publications, and Greg Bokor, a designer who is the founder and CEO of Cloud Factory, who has done work with such major global brands as Buick, Pepsi, Target, American Eagle and many others. The competition 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.


Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.19.11 PM

(L to R) Caldecott Medal winning author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, Montserrat President Steve Immerman and designer Greg Bokor.

The award winners are as follows:

Isabelle Yabe, “Japanese Heritage”
Masconomet Regional High School

Mary-Elizabeth Stambaugh, “Charcoal Tornado”
Pingree School

Colleen Curtis, “Avalon”
Swampscott High School

John Matthew Plunkett, “Fishing”
Raw Art Works

Maxx Manfre, “Titan in the Clouds”
Beverly High School

Emily Philpot, “Topsfield’s Grade ‘A’ Light Amber”
Masconomet Regional High School


Amesbury High School: Alexandria Debasitis, “The Grass is Always Greener”
Andover High School: Marissa Howell, “My Father and His Horse”
Bishop Fenwick High School: Christine Baldi, “Weathered Thoughts”
Burlington High School: Samantha Sheppard, “Self-Portrait”
Danvers High School: Annabelle Krupcheck, “The Great Divide”
Georgetown Middle High School: Erin Johnson, “Never Travel Alone”
Gloucester High School: Jessica Palazola, “A Day to Relax”
Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School: Caroline Mastrianni, “pH Detector”
Homeschool (GWUOHS): Kaitlyn Fabre, “I’m Coming Home”
Ipswich High School: Gustaf W. Johnson, “Voices”
Landmark School: Sabrina Clark, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”
Lynn Classical High School: Stavroula Tzortzis, “Milan”
Lynn English High School: Corinn Bacon, “Let It Go”
Lynnfield High School: Chase Davidson, “The Break Down of a Portrait”
Manchester Essex Regional High School: Hannah Thorne, “Malala”
Newburyport High School: Zoe Johnson, “Sugar Lips”
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School: Carolyn Deroo, “Thoughts”
Rockport High School: Ryan Davis, “Abstract”
St. John’s Preparatory School: Liam Viles, “Faces”
St. Mary’s High School: Jillian Downey, “Untitled”
Triton Regional High School: Mara Spears, “Painting Me”
Wilmington High School: Hristina Tasheva, “World Turner”


“I congratulate all of the talented young artists from area schools who participated in this year’s Congressional Art Competition,” Congressman Tierney said. “The competition is a great way to encourage and showcase these students’ unique skills. I look forward to seeing Isabelle Yabe’s prize winning artwork displayed in the Capitol building for the next year.”

Each winner was presented with a citation from Congressman Tierney and varying levels of scholarships to Montserrat’s Summer Pre-College Program. Isabelle Yabe’s grand prize winning piece will be sent to Washington, DC where it will hang in the Capitol building for one year along with winners from other Congressional districts across the country. A ceremony to congratulate all the winners will be held in Washington, DC in June.

For more information,  contact Montserrat’s Media Relations Coordinator Elizabeth Gianino at

To see ALL the artwork and photos from the award reception, please visit our Facebook page:

Photo Cred: Jennifer Frankavitz ’08

Anna Schuleit Haber and Steve Immerman BevCamSow on The Beverly Oracle

Bevcam’s Walt Kozmowski (right) interviewed Anna Schuleit Haber (left) and Montserrat College of Art President Steve Immerman (middle)  for the North Shore Journal show on The Beverly Oracle.

Here are the upcoming show times for the North Shore Journal show on The Beverly Oracle project on BevCam TV Channel 8. These times will repeat through the end of the month.

  • Fri., March 14, 2 pm
  • Mon., March 17, 2 pm
  • Tue., March 18, 5:30 pm

Montserrat at North Shore Chamber Business Expo


On March 13, Montserrat College of Art will be one of the exhibitors at the largest B2B Expo on the North Shore at the Doubletree by Hilton North Shore Hotel in Danvers, MA.

The event draws more than 2,500 attendees.

Amy Ruiter from our Career Services Department and Kathleen Burke from our Community Relations Office will be there to answer questions about Montserrat’s BFA program, Internships Opportunities, Continuing Education Programs, Gallery events and The Creative Economy of the North Shore – CEANS.

For more information, visit:
Hope to see you there!

Calling all Artists: Apply for Arts Fest Beverly

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Arts Fest Beverly
When: Saturday, June 14
10 am – 4 pm

Where: Cabot Street

>>*If you are a returning exhibitor, register online now*

More details at or email w

-Arts Fest Beverly is an outdoor street fair with 100+ fine artists and craftspeople, live entertainment, kids’ activities and “Art on the Spot” art creation stations. Each year, approximately 2,000 people attend the event, which takes place on Cabot Street in historic downtown Beverly (which is closed to traffic).

Annual Trashfinder’s Ball March 22


This is an event that happens every year in Beverly. It’s a way to get the community together for a fun night out and raise money for local non-profits. This year’s proceeds go to buying books for the Beverly Bookmobile! Last year money was raised for Change is Simple and the previous year the Beverly Farmer’s Market.

They have a Trashion Show and are also encourage to make art using recycled or found objects. Free junk food, entertainment and the possibility to win a trophy for the best trash find!

Photography Talk at the Marblehead Arts with Lou Jones

Lou Jones

As part of their Winter/Spring Program Series for 2014 the Marblehead Arts Association (MAA) is pleased to present photographer, Lou Jones, for an illustrated talk “Designing Your Life” on Thursday, March 13 from 7 – 8:30 pm at the King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead, MA. To sign up for a program call the MAA at 781-631-2608. $10/Members, $12 Non/Members

The profession of photography can be embraced for commercial or aesthetic reasons. A person can take pictures for art or money. But what if you could use photography as a vehicle on which to build your life? We as photographers are often “hired guns,” putting the finishing touches on other creative peoples’ fantasies – but many of us desire to be proactive and initiate our own projects. We have ideas to produce books, exhibit our work, publish magazine articles, or travel to exotic places. Lou Jones will draw upon his extensive work experience to show you how to enlist the element of time as an asset to your creativity, craft, and pocketbook. Your photography can initiate a lifestyle as well as be a source of revenue. This lecture will demonstrate how Jones integrates and aligns his interests and resources to design his life.

Lou Jones’ eclectic career has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston, Massachusetts and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations, international companies and local small businesses including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation; completed assignments for magazines and publishers all over the world such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match; initiated long term projects on the civilwars in Central America, death row, Olympics Games and pregnancy; and published multiple books.

Jones has served on the boards of directors of numerous photographic associations, societies, and museums such as the American Society of Media Photographers, Photographic Resource Center and the Griffin Museum of Photography. He helped found the school Center for Digital Imaging Arts of Boston University and conceived the prestigious Griffin Museum’s annual Focus Awards.

For his photography, Jones has been awarded many accolades from organizations like Communication Arts Magazine, Art Directors Club of Boston, Travel Photographer of the Year and International Photographic Council (United Nations). Nikon recognizes Jones as a “Legend Behind the Lens” and Lowepro has honored him as a “Champion”.

Jones has exhibited his eclectic imagery in colleges and schools such as Trinity College, Texas Tech University and New England College, and in collections at the Smithsonian Institution, DeCordova Museum and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. His photography is owned by various collections including the Fogg Museum, Wellesley College and the University of Texas.

The first book Jones published, Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, earned Jones the Ehrmann Award from Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty. Since then, he has published numerous other books including Travel+Photography: Off the Charts and Speedlights and Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at Lightspeed.

Artrageous!28 Auction Party: March 29

Montserrat College of Art’s Artrageous!28 Auction Party

Saturday, March 29, 6pm

Shetland Properties, 29 Congress St, Salem, MA

Experience THE signature spring event on the North Shore; the delight of seeing Montserrat’s accomplished students create artwork live; bid on more than 200 pieces of art donated by members of the Montserrat community & other renowned and emerging artists; and engage with friends old and new all while supporting financial aid for deserving student artists.


HONORARY CHAIR: Mary Puma, CEO, Axcelis

ART JURORS: Jane Young, Chase Young Gallery & Mary M. Tinti, Fitchburg Art Museum

LEAD SPONSORS: Hal & Jodi Hess, Mary Puma & Eivind Lange, Windover Construction, Inc. & Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC

Food + LIBATIONS: TSH Catering


Experience Where Creativity Works® @ Artrageous!28

Preview the LIVE & Silent Art here:

Last Chance to Register for Salem Film Fest Class


unnamed-42 Day Discovering Documentary Class
Discovering Documentary:
Tools for Educators, Filmmakers & Astute Viewers
March 1 & March 8
(2 Saturdays)
Led by Erin Trahan

Do you wish for a deeper understanding of documentary film? Or for a community of people who share your cinematic interests? Are you an educator looking for new ways to inform and inspire your students? This course spends one day in the classroom with an introduction to the documentary genre, and one day at the Salem Film Fest with exclusive access. Register today!
Price: $135 – includes a festival pass worth $70!

Educators: Earn 15 PDP’s!

Apply now! 

Visit our website or contact:
978.867.9661 to learn more.

Join us for a rich experience at the Salem Film Fest!

Looking for other classes? View classes beginning in February here.

Montserrat’s Creative Economy Leadership Designation Featured in The Salem News


Creative efforts 

BEVERLY — Montserrat College of Art and its partners are now standing at the forefront of the state’s efforts to bolster the creative economy.

Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry director, came to a reception at the art college last week to kick off a statewide Creative Economy Network. This new network is meant to help creative companies find resources, such as space, talent and access to capital, and track their progress.
Creative economy companies include for-profit businesses, such as video game makers, architectural firms and musicians, as well as nonprofits, like museums and theater companies.

Lest you think the creative economy represents a bunch of starving artists, think again: There are more than 120,000 people who work for creative economy firms in the Bay State with an economic impact of $1 billion, according to state officials.

To help bolster those efforts, the art college and its numerous partners were designated on Feb. 12 as part of a statewide Creative Economy Network, with Montserrat named the North Shore regional leader. The college and its partners were the first of five such regional networks to be designated.

To understand the needs of creative companies, Fruscio met with 500 Bay State companies and nonprofits on a listening tour. She found they all had needs in five key areas:

access to business development;
access to capital and financial support;
visibility through events and marketing;
finding creative talent; and
locating space.

She also found that help on a purely statewide level was not enough.

“It was really about what was happening in a given region in those five areas,” she said.

That’s where the idea for regional networks came in, said Fruscio, noting that the North Shore was ahead of the game in thinking about the creative economy — which is why the first such event was held here.

“You are doing it already,” Bialecki said, “and we know that.”

Since 2006, the North Shore has been at the forefront of boosting creative economy companies, thanks to the efforts of Christine Sullivan, executive director of the Enterprise Center, and Patricia Zaido, executive director of the Salem Partnership. In 2008, their report showed there were 2,200 creative economy enterprises on the North Shore.

Zaido and Sullivan helped found the Creative Economy Association of the North Shore at the Enterprise Center, an effort that was funded by a grant. That grant has now run out.

Montserrat has picked up the ball to provide staff to the local Creative Economy Association, which now becomes part of the larger statewide network.

Montserrat president Stephen Immerman said the college will work with partners, including not only Salem State University’s Enterprise Center and the Salem Partnership, but also the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, Centerboard in Lynn, the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Beverly Main Streets, seArts of Gloucester and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

One of their first efforts will be a program at the Salem State Enterprise Center called “Unlocking Creativity and Innovation,” which will be taught by Montserrat faculty.

“I think at some level, we all think it’s fun,” Bialecki said of the creative economy. “It’s enjoyable. We all understand at a local level how it adds to the quality of life and the character of our communities, but in fact … it’s not just fun. It’s actually a very important business and a very important business for Massachusetts and for many regions of Massachusetts, like the North Shore.”

Courtesy of The Salem News

Health Center Update: 5 Simple Ways to beat the Winter Blues

5 Simple Ways

1. Peppermint oil helps with sadness and depression. Inhale a whiff to get a burst of energy

2. Fluorescent lights can actually change the levels of melatonin in your brain, inhibiting depression. They’re also very inexpensive!

3. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which boosts energy and can enhance circulation.

4. Ginger tea boosts your metabolism and increasing weight loss!

5. Gingko biloba makes you more alert and boosts your brain power.

Kelli Connell Artist Talk


Special thank you to Kelli Connell who visited our campus yesterday to talk to our students about her work “Double Life” currently on view in the exhibit “MADE” through March 29.

In photo: Kelli Connell (left) and Montserrat Galleries’ Asst. Curator of Education Savery Kelley (right).

Photo Cred: Michelle Behre ’14

2014 Student Sculpture Show

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The 2014 Student Sculpture Show is currently up in 301 Gallery!

Opening Reception: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5 – 7 p.m.

All are invited to stop by!

Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, Sat 12 – 5 pm

Alumni Update: Latest Book by Sharon Love Cook

Alumna Sharon Love Cook ’83 would like to share that her second Granite Cove Mystery, A Deadly Christmas Carol, by Neptune Rising Press, has just been released in e-book format; soft cover to follow shortly. She also illustrated both mystery book covers.

Here is a link to her latest book:


Montserrat Named North Shore’s Regional Leader of the Creative Economy Network for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at Beverly Chamber After Hours

Montserrat College of Art hosted last night’s Beverly Chamber of Commerce After Hours where Montserrat was named North Shore’s Regional Leader of the Creative Economy Network for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! More than 80 attendees also heard from Beverly Chamber’s John Somes, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki, Montserrat’s President Steve Immerman, MA’s Creative Economy Industry Director Helena Fruscio and Montserrat’s Artist-In-Residence Anna Schuleit Haber, who has been chosen to create a public art project for Beverly, shared her previous work and plans to create The Beverly Oracle. It was such an exciting night! See more photos on our Facebook Page!


Beverly Chamber’s John Somes


MA Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki




Secretary  Bialecki hands Montserrat President Steve Immerman designation as North Shore’s Regional Leader of the Creative Economy Network for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill


Montserrat President Steve Immerman


Montserrat’s Artist-In-Residence Anna Schuleit Haber discusses her previous work and plans to create The Beverly Oracle.

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2014 North of Boston Business Competition

You Still Have Time to Enter the 2014 North of Boston Business Competition at the Enterprise Center, co-sponsored by Montserrat College of Art.

Entries are due on Friday, February 28 at 5 pm.

It’s not too late to start or submit your Application, which is in an easy new online format! Don’t miss the opportunity to win a cash prize or showcase your plan for a start-up or a growing business in front of our panel of judges, many of whom are early stage investors themselves.

Click here for more information!

Hear what a prior finalist had to say about the Competition:

The North of Boston Business Plan Competition was the catalyst to launching Groupize. The discipline required to prepare the business plan forced me to really understand my opportunity. The competition also gave me the opportunity to learn how to prepare and practice the so important “pitch” and was the official start of my fundraising journey, which included closing a $2M series A investment.” — Charles de Gaspe Beaubien, President & CEO, Groupize


Alumni Update: Margaurita Spear’s Art Workshops

Drawing Is Instrumental: A Workshop of Grand Proportion


Wednesday, February 19th from 10am – 1pm at the Salem School of Music

Please join Marblehead / Salem School of Music for “Drawing Is Instrumental” — an exciting large-scale drawing class led by instructor and Montserrat alumna Margaurita Spear ’09

This one day workshop is open to everyone ages 9 and up who wants spend a day creating art in a BIG way. A gigantic still life filled with musical instruments and other objects will be arranged in the center of the room from which students will be able to choose their favorite vantage point.

Participants will:
Learn about cropping and composition
Explore shape, color, and line
Discover the work of famous inspirational artists
Receive tailored one-on-one instruction, in addition to whole group instruction
Create an 18 x 24” original full-color work of art
Participate in a group feedback session

Please bring along:
Bottled water
Snack (peanut free please)
Your own instrument/object to include in the still life (optional), or use one of ours.
This workshop is limited to 12 students. Register by February 14th.

Cost: $55 (includes $10 materials fee)

Find the Drawing Class Registration Form here or, contact

To learn more about Spear, visit:


Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives Visits Montserrat

Sen. Kathleen O'Connor Ives, Jo, Steve Jan. 2014

(L to R) Montserrat College of Art President Steve Immerman, Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Montserrat’s Dean of College Relations Jo Broderick at a meeting at Montserrat last week.

Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives Committee Membership:

  • Chair, Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development
  • Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses
  • Joint Committee on Financial Services
  • Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure
  • Joint Committee on Higher Education

Programs for Artists at Marblehead Arts Association

Photo by Lou Jones

Photo by Lou Jones

As part of their Winter/Spring Program Series for 2014, the Marblehead Arts Association is pleased to present three programs for artists.  To sign up for a program call the MAA at 781-631-2608.


Thursday, February 27,  7 – 8:30 pm  Michael Epstein / Al Mallette: Print Reproduction 101

Reproduction 101 is an overview of the steps you need to take to reproduce artwork as Digital Archival Prints (giclée), from image capture to finished print. Topics covered will include: an overview of the process, photographing your art, color limitations, reproduction options, marketing possibilities beyond the print, and costs you can expect. $10/Members, $12/Non-members


Thursday, March 13, 7 – 8:30 pm – Lou Jones:  “Designing Your Life”

The profession of photography can be embraced for commercial or aesthetic reasons. A person can take pictures for art or money. But what if you could use photography as a vehicle on which to build your life? We as photographers are often “hired guns,” putting the finishing touches on other creative peoples’ fantasies – but many of us desire to be proactive and initiate our own projects. We have ideas to produce books, exhibit our work, publish magazine articles, or travel to exotic places. Lou Jones will draw upon his extensive work experience to show you how to enlist the element of time as an asset to your creativity, craft, and pocketbook. Your photography can initiate a lifestyle as well as be a source of revenue. This lecture will demonstrate how Jones integrates and aligns his interests and resources to design his life. $10/Members, $12/Non-members


Thursday, March 27, 7 – 8:30 pm – Lucas Spivey: “Exhibition Ready”

So you’ve landed a show of your work – what’s next?  ”Exhibition Ready” is a brief overview of what to expect when you’re expecting an upcoming exhibition. Lucas will break down the three key areas: preparing your work, preparing the gallery and preparing yourself.  Topics covered include storing, shipping and framing artwork, basic dos and don’ts on communicating with your gallery, and how to manage your time and money effectively.  $10/Members, $12/Non-members


Marblehead Arts Association is located in the historic King Hooper Mansion. Five galleries of exhibits by association members and guest artists rotate every six weeks and education programs, classes and special events are offered throughout the year.  The Marblehead Arts Artisan Shop features original art, hand crafted items including unique jewelry, pottery, glasswork, and greeting cards artist members.  Free and open to the public. Hours: Wed., Thur., Fri. & Sun., 12-5, Sat., 10-5,  781-631-2608,

Content: Courtesy of Marblehead Arts Association

Steez magazine’s 30th Issue Art Show

Update from alumnus Andy Bablo ’07, founder of Steez Magazine, an international snow, skate and culture quarterly:





Well, after careful counting through the archives we’ve confirmed that we actually made it to the 30th issue. We’re not sure how it happened either, but it did. Either way, feel free to waste your workday and read the damn thing now or we’d be happy to take your hard earned money (it’s $5 cheap skates), in exchange for a single copy of course. Issue 30 is worth every nickel… Enjoy!



What’s 30 issues without an art show for cryin out loud!? Stop by on Saturday March 1st at Mingo Gallery for rad little art show. If I have to give you more details than that, you probably should’t come anyways. Fine, here’s the Fbook event pageTwitter, and Instagram.

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Courtesy of Steez Magazine | 17 Knowlton St. #3 Beverly, MA 01915

Upcoming Exhibitions for Masako Kamiya


Assoc. Prof. Masako Kamiya will be exhibiting in a couple exhibits opening this month at UMass Dartmouth’s University Art Gallery, and Montserrat College of Art’s Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery.

**Feb. 6 – March 13, 2014
“Obsessive Compulsive Order”
University Art Gallery, UMass Dartmouth

Reception: AHA! Night, Feb. 13, 6 – 9 pm,
Artist Talks: Feb. 13 & March 7 pm
Group exhibition exploring systematic, deliberate work patiently created in various media by outstanding female artists from the New England and beyond. Artists: Huguette Despault May, Masako Kamiya, Jane Masters, Barbara Owen, Jessica Rosner, Diane Samuels, Curated by: Viera Levitt

Hours: Open daily 9 AM to 6 PM; free admission

University Art Gallery
College of Visual and Performing Arts
UMass Dartmouth
715 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA
(508) 999-8555

>> Gallery Website
>> Gallery Facebook

**Feb. 14 – March 15, 2014
“Masako Kamiya: Liminal”
Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery
Montserrat College of Art

Opening Reception: Tue., Feb. 25, 5 – 7 pm
Artist Talk: Thu., March 6, 11:30 am


23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA
(978) 921-4242 x3

>> Gallery Website
>> Gallery Facebook

To see more of Kamiya’s work visit

Beverly Chamber After Hours at Montserrat


Wednesday, February 12, 4:30-7pm
Montserrat College of Art Gallery
23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA

You are invited to a Beverly Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours with Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki and Montserrat’s Visiting Artist Anna Schuleit Haber, winner of Beverly’s National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) public art competition.

Greg Bialecki,  MA Secretary of Housing  and Economic Development

Greg Bialecki,
MA Secretary of Housing
and Economic Development


Join us to network and hear about Montserrat College of Art’s designation as the North Shore’s regional leader of the Creative Economy Network for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, meet Secretary Greg Bialecki and Creative Industry Director for MA Helena Fruscio. Guests will also hear about Beverly’s NEA project to create an arts and cultural district in downtown Beverly and the plans by Montserrat College of Art’s Artist-In-Residence Anna Schuleit Haber, who has been chosen to create a public art project for Beverly.




R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, February 5th
to Kathleen Burke at

Founding Faculty Member Ollie Balf Featured in Yankee Magazine

One of our Founding Faculty Members, Ollie Balf, is featured in Yankee Magazine this month!

“The late Oliver Balf lived and worked as an artist in Rockport, MA for more than 60 years. He was a teacher, a father, a husband and a painter. He created an eclectic mix of work in his lifetime with much of his art inspired by the landscape of Cape Ann. The following slide show is a collection of photographs taken at the family home and studio by photographer Jared Charney in 2013, personal family photographs as well as some of Oliver Balf’s original paintings.”

See full feature here:

To see more of artist Oliver Balf’s work, please visit:

His art will also be up for auction at this year’s Artrageous!28



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Gallery Update: Clint Baclawski at Frame 301 Gallery


Montserrat Galleries is very excited to announce our upcoming exhibition at Frame 301!

Clint Baclawski’s installation, Pink Church, documents his latest body of work, in which he deconstructs his sculptural light box series. Baclawski’s process is that he wraps photographs that are printed on backlight film, typically seen in light boxes, onto fluorescent light tubes. When the piece is illuminated, a sliver of the overall image will appear on each of the lights, creating a photographic light mural spanning the length of Frame 301.


Baclawski (b. 1981) grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and lives and works in Malden, MA. His work combines a technical photographic practice and the playful relationship one can have with the work as an object, the space, and the viewer. His work has been exhibited locally at the Photographic Resource Center, Boston Center for the Arts, Axiom Gallery, and the Alpha Gallery, as well as nationally at the Chelsea Art Museum, New York NY, Snowflake Gallery, St. Louis, MO, San Diego Art Institute, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. He was most notably published in The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2 by the Humble Arts Foundation.


He received his MFA from MassArt in 2008 and his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003. Baclawski currently works at MassArt and is the Design Director at Big Red & Shiny.

The installation will be on view through February 23, definitely check it out!

For more information please visit:

Frame 301 Wins Beverly Cultural Council Grant



Beverly Cultural Council Announces 2014 Grant Winners

Residents in Beverly can look forward to a year of unique concerts, new public murals, live theatre, and a variety of special events for all ages, thanks in part to grants provided by the Beverly Cultural Council (BCC).

Almost twenty artists or groups representing a wide range of the arts received grants from the BCC, totaling $11,165. With support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the BCC funds will provide school children unique educational opportunities, seniors with creative workshops and the general public with numerous cultural activities. Each fulfills BCC’s priorities: to provide more programs for children, families and seniors.

“We are thrilled to fund so many quality projects and programs that will enhance Beverly and our growing reputation as a vibrant arts community,” said (Montserrat alumna) Bea Modisett, BCC chair.

All of the artistic projects or events will take place in Beverly. Some are free and open to the public, while others are tailored for specific audiences at community centers. Many grant recipients reside in Beverly.

“The arts play such a vital role in our community,” said Modisett. “We’re excited about each of this year’s recipients as they’ll contribute great things to Beverly. And we’re already thinking of next year’s grant cycle, inviting anyone with a strong idea—from an individual artist to a collaborative group—to apply!”

For more information on the Beverly Cultural Council or for grant information, please visit, or contact Bea Modisett, BCC chair, at

The purpose of the Beverly Cultural Councils is to support public programs that promote access, education, diversity and excellence in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences in our community, and is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year.

President Immerman Featured in New England Board of Higher Education Journal

unnamedHigher Ed Can Be Market-Smart and Mission-Centered
by Stephen D. Immerman
January 21, 2014

The cost and the value of higher education, the short- and long-term impact of student debt, the role of career preparation, and accountability for student outcomes are the subject of intense and increasing examination and debate.

Every higher education professional I know is acutely aware of shifting demographic and business models in our industry, and the need to explicitly provide, and show, value for students and their families. We recognize the need to respond to increasing consumer scrutiny, government regulation and the legitimate evolving needs of employers and the labor force. We understand the pressure to compete and to be responsive to the need to reduce costs and increase value. Whether at a small independent school like Montserrat College of Art or a major university, this is our work. But, it is also our fundamental work to maintain the integrity, excellence and relevance of the education we provide—to educate and prepare students to enter society as thoughtful and contributing citizens, to impassion curiosity, and to challenge them to seek truth.

In their 2005 book Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered, Robert Zemsky, Gregory Wenger, and William Massy outlined the road American higher education has traveled to become less a “public good” and more a “private gain.” They clearly articulated our collective imperative to maintain the centrality of mission to educate, not just train, even in the face of our need to respond to the markets in which we operate. Almost eight years later, the perspectives articulated in their book could not be more pertinent or their prescriptions for change more acute. We leaders and stewards of higher education must carefully calibrate how we respond to the external pressure of the marketplace while still maintaining our responsibility to hold fast and advocate for the central core of values that have made American higher education the envy of the world.

As challenging as these times may be, it is still our imperative to maintain access, be cost effective, be contemporary in providing an excellent and relevant education, and at the same time, intentionally prepare students for life and for the world of work. We must do this while holding true to the important values and larger social purposes that guide our institutions, aggressively protecting the quality of what is taught.

While delivery models continue to evolve, we must maintain curricula and pedagogy that ensure the habits of mind, analytical problem-solving, writing, speaking and visual communication skills, and appropriate professional preparation necessary for our students to successfully navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing marketplace. We must accomplish all this in an evolving environment in which the development of new educational tools challenges us to impart this learning differently, in some cases to far-flung constituencies.

We can rail about inconsistent and over-politicized calls for increased accountability, the increasing costs of regulation and diminished public funding, but these realities are not going to change. There is little doubt that we will be subject to a rating system developed by the U.S. Department of Education. Few of us will be happy with the accuracy or the quality of the data employed in those assessments or in the relative lack of appreciation for the extensive innovation already underway in our industry.

With federal support for student aid now in excess of $150 billion per year, with overwhelming demand at both state and federal levels for too few resources, with seemingly permanent dysfunction in Congress, and with aging populations and business communities not supportive of increases in taxes, the pressure on education to provide value will likely only grow.

Following are a few ways that could mitigate some of the challenges:

In the college search process, students and their families should be encouraged to focus more on the range of learning opportunities offered at prospective colleges and less on the increasingly expensive amenities that drive up the cost of education for everyone.

Our government leadership can focus on new ways to encourage student K-12 readiness for higher education, rather than expecting higher education to remediate the failed outcomes of current programs.
Investment should be encouraged in experiments and pilot projects across the higher education landscape to reduce cost, increase persistence and measure relevant outcomes rather than squandering energy defining and imposing centrally developed regulation.

We should be advocating for STEAM not just STEM education. STEM-related coursework is important but creativity is core to innovation and entrepreneurship—and hence a major driver of economic and cultural growth. Maintaining investment in arts and humanities education is critical for both the quality of the human experience and a robust economy. The diverse professional paths and achievements of Montserrat alumni and their successful careers inside and outside the creative economy validate the importance of maintaining arts and arts funding. See Letting Off STEAM at Montserrat College of Art.
More students and their families should be encouraged and educated about how to take advantage of loan-forgiveness and pay-as-you-go debt-management programs. These are important and useful programs directly designed to help reduce the increasing student debt burden.

And Congress can end the practice of collecting exorbitant interest profits from direct student loans (this year alone in excess of $37 billion)—a tax on those students least able to pay.
The means and methods of providing a quality education—and the business model that enables them—will evolve. The perception of price and value will also evolve, but the underlying core values and integrity of what is to be learned must be preserved. With persistence, learning and sharing best practices with our colleagues, and some reasoned encouragement from those to whom we are accountable, we will all be able to be both market-smart and mission-centered.

Stephen D. Immerman is president of Montserrat College of Art.

Painting of The View from Andrew’s Room Series IXX #4 by Montserrat College professor Timothy Harney.

Montserrat President Steve Immerman

Beverly Oracle Update: Visiting Artist Anna Schuleit Haber Speaks at Merrimack College

MacArthur Award winning artist Anna Schuleit Haber will be speaking at Merrimack College’s Writing House on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 4 pm. Anna will discuss her latest projects, including The Beverly Oracle, a large-scale public art project commissioned by the city of Beverly, MA. All are cordially invited.

Learn more about the event here!


The Writers House
Merrimack College
North Andover, MA 01845

To reach the Writers House, please enter the campus from Cullen Ave. — from Route 125. Please note that Cullen Ave. is a one-way street.

Anna is a visual artist whose work revolves around aspects of memory, place, and the human form. Her works have ranged from small-scale room installations made with paint, to large-scale projects using extensive sound systems, live sod, thousands of flowers, mirrors, antique telephones, bodies of water, and neuroscience technologies. She has led large teams of consultants, students, and volunteers, and has collaborated with artists, patients, doctors, state agency officials, scientists, historians, students, dancers, sociologists, musicians, and children. Anna studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, creative writing at Dartmouth College, and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard. Among many other honors, she was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow for work that has “conceptual clarity, compassion, and beauty.” Anna has been a visiting artist and guest lecturer at Brown University, Smith College, RISD, The New School, Brandeis, Pratt, the University of Michigan, Syracuse, McGill University, Bowdoin College, and at MIT. Most recently she was commissioned a new, permanent public art work in Beverly, MA, as part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts and Cultural District Public Art competition. She is currently a visiting artist at Montserrat College of Art. Her work has been widely reviewed and discussed in the press, including NPR, the Washington Post, The New York Times, Art in America, Art New England, The Massachusetts Review, and many overseas publications. She has been a guest on the Charlie Rose Show and been featured in several documentary films.

Artist Website:

Bear Gallery Update: Poster Show

The Bear Gallery will be hosting its very first Poster Show at our Cummings Center location (Suite 120-E and 120-D) to kick off the spring semester. The show includes work from current Montserrat students and includes poster types of all forms and sizes.

Come see the work at our opening reception on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 5 – 7 pm. Enjoy the art and snack on refreshments!

Bear Gallery’s Poster Show will remain on view through Feb. 28.

NOW WHAT? A Montserrat Alumni Exhibtion and Reception

February 1 – 14, 2014
Reception: Sat., Feb. 1, 4 – 6 pm
301 Gallery, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly MA

Montserrat College of Art Galleries is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring small works created by alumni in the 301 Gallery. NOWWHAT?  will run through Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Many of the artists will be present at the opening reception, Saturday Feb. 1, 4 – 6 pm.

Drawing its name from the ambiguities associated with life after art school, NOWWHAT? features works of art created by over sixty Montserrat College of Art Alumni. From recently graduated to established artists and curators; the alumni featured in NOWWHAT? all 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.

Gallery Hours are Monday–Friday 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, Saturday 12 – 5 pm and by appointment. For additional information please contact Pamela Campanaro at 978.967.9604,

Participating Montserrat College of Art Alumni: Jack Moffitt, Kevin Duffy, Ivy Fowler. Brett Mason, Nicole Kircher, Amanda Halsdorff, Jessica Grace Brooks, Stacey Ludwig, Carrie Green, Erika Buschmann, Rosy Farnaan, Alex Comfort, Kathryn Brown, Paula Borsetti, Bea Modisett, Ron Beek III, Christopher Stepler, Suzanne Papin, Sara Santarsiero, Chelsea Sams, Catherine Morris, Kristine Roan, Jackie Musto, George Frary III, Reagen Elizabeth O’Reigaekn, Jacob-Michael Corvelo, Stacy Thomas-Vickory, Megan Deede, Emily Pardoe, Sara Mari Benson, Olivia Boi, Larissa Tapler, Daniel Ceritto, Sam King, Tom Maio, Taylor Clough, Kathryn Gesner, Anthony Palocci Jr. & Devon, Jessica Thayer, Andrew Houle, Heather Reid-Barratt, Ariell Jones, Allison Hornack, Halley Murray, Cataina Viejo Lopez de Roda, Brittany Carr, Claudia Marchand, Alyssa Watters, Emily Chesley, Paul T. Demakes, Elizabeth Sultzer, Stacey Durand, Richard Pawlak, Juleen Jones, Soks Gemma, Lisa Hersey, James Campbell, Drew Baker, Sarah Maeder, Amanda Gunness, Margaurita Spear, Zachary Goldstein, Brendan McCauley, Bethany Peck, Kyle “Jules” Gibson, Rena Masson, Pretty Bad Girl, Ariel Grosvenor, Adam Miller, Suzy Evans.


Andrew Houle, Leaving East Gloucester. Oil on Panel. 2012

Montserrat Hosts 2014 Sixth Congressional District Art Competition

Please join us for the 2014 Sixth Congressional District High School Art Competition and Exhibition sponsored by Congressman John F. Tierney and hosted by Montserrat College of Art. The closing reception and award ceremony will take place Saturday, March 8, 3:30 – 5 p.m. at our 301 Cabot Street Gallery, Beverly, MA and the exhibition will be on view March 5 – 8, 2014.

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.

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.

Share-able link:

For more information, contact Jo Broderick at or 978-867-9613.

Why Startups Need Design Students


Photo by © 2013 Mona T. Brooks


As the end of the fall semester drew to a close at the Rhode Island School of Design last year, the college’s leader, the charismatic digital designer John Maeda, announced he would be jumping ship for the sunny office parks of Silicon Valley, where he would carve a role for himself as a design partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. On his first day, he set about doing what he has done for years: trying to help students merge their design education with technology.

This time, it’s through KPCB’s design fellowship, a summer program in its second year that matches design students up with startups funded by the firm, like Square, Flipboard, and Twitter. “This has been a lot of my life, crossing design and technology,” Maeda tells Co.Design. “I see this as a kind of leadership development program, which is very exciting.” The students get paid to work with their company on a project all summer, while attending discussions with mentors like Marcos Weskamp, Flipboard’s head of design.

This kind of hands-on experience, according to Maeda, gives students the opportunity to take the conceptual knowledge they’ve acquired during their studio education and apply it to the outside world. Putting students’ creative energy to work in the real world is “like putting education on Miracle-Gro,” he says, and allows young designers to see a place for themselves in the startup world of Silicon Valley, which they might not automatically gravitate toward.

“There hasn’t been a critical mass of designers in this region that could share their thinking in a tech-dominated world,” he explains. “Technology is something that we all know what it can do, but we need to know how it can make someone feel,” as he puts it. “That competency is not usually seen as one of the core ingredients in Silicon Valley.”

It is, however, a skill nurtured in art and design schools, one that design students could bring to the startup table. And the skills of designers aren’t so far from what the startup world has been looking for all along, as Maeda notes in a blog:

Designers are not afraid to get their hands dirty and to go deep in their work–exactly what a startup environment demands. The fluid structures and rigorous work ethic that can seem daunting to those of another mindset will feel like home to those with a creative bent.

The link between designers and entrepreneurship isn’t new–where would Apple be without Jony Ive?–but Silicon Valley as an employment hub tends to be synonymous with programming and engineering. Art and design, less so, though that is changing. For last year’s cohort, the matchup seems to be working out. According to Christina Lee, KPCB’s communications head, more than 90% of last year’s fellows (12 in design and 35 in engineering) received a full-time employment offer afterward. The startups, in turn, got a shot at luring the next Marcos Weskamp or Brian Chesky to their company–a designer who can create, as Maeda frames it, a product that not only “looks cool, but one that moves your heart.”

Courtesy of Shaunacy Ferro,