Minding the Kids

Our terrific Kidspace intern Amanda contributes this blog about her experience here since September:

It was hard to imagine six months ago, during the stress of final exams and scrambling for post-graduation plans, that my first full-time gig as a college graduate would have turned out to be so relaxing. Especially when I was looking only at jobs that involved working with kids.

But here I am, listening to ocean sounds all day long at my desk. And I’ve been meditating more often in this past month than I have in my entire life. Did I mention that this counts as work? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 8, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Interns, Kidspace, Museum Education

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Secrets of MASS MoCA: If These Buildings Could Talk

What went on in MASS MoCA before it held artwork and performances?  Ever wondered what our Sol LeWitt building functioned as before we were a museum or what Building 5 was used for  before installations such as Katharina Grosse’s One Floor Up More Highly filled it up?

If you’ve ever visited, it’s obvious that MASS MoCA was not the first tenant in these buildings.  It is easy to be reminded of our site’s history with hand-cut stone, covered bridges, and exposed brick creating the backdrop for our artwork.

In the late 1800’s, the textile company Arnold Print Works, which was one of the largest cloth-dying companies of its time, built the brick buildings that our museum calls home today.   After Arnold Print Works moved out in 1942, a company named Sprague Electric occupied the space until 1985.

Here’s what our buildings were originally used for during the Arnold Print Works Era: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 7, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Architecture, BLOG, Secrets of MASS MoCA
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Big Fun in the Big Easy

The Prospect.2 Biennial in New Orleans opened on October 22. MASS MoCA Director of Development Jennifer Trainer Thompson and I took a group of trustees from our Tantalum Circle Member Group to see the exhibition dotted throughout the city.  The Tantalum Circle is a MASS MoCA membership group that includes travel opportunities as one of its benefits. In addition to this trip to the Big Easy, the group has gone to Sundance Film Festival, Miami Art Basel, Documenta, Ireland and Los Angeles.

Prospect.2 was the brainchild of curator Dan Cameron, the first version of the biennial took place in 2008 and included two artists with work currently on view at MASS MoCA: Nari Ward and Katharina Grosse. Prospect.2 also contains some familiar faces such as Sophie Calle (Game Show), William Pope.L, (The Interventionists); Jennifer Steinkamp and Alexis Rockman (Badlands), Karl Haendel (This is Killing Me), and Pawel Wojtasik (These Days: Elegies for Modern Times).

Pawel’s piece was of special interest to the group since it was filmed in New Orleans but commissioned for MASS MoCA, who lent the piece to Prospect.2. The photo above is of the group with Pawel in the amazing panoramic room that houses his video. The soundtrack was done by Stephen Vitiello, who in September opened a new sound installation in the MASS MoCA Boiler Plant) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 4, 2011 by dmarkonish
Filed under BLOG, Support MASS MoCA
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Old Fashioned Type

It is impossible not to be influenced by the magnificent mill buildings we inhabit. In the design department we continually dig though inherited archives for inspiration. One particular instance is the graphics and mid-century typography of the former Sprague plant.

The original Sprague logo has worked it’s way into many iterations:

Appearing often enough we decided it was time to create a full-fledged working font. With the help of former super-intern Danelle Cheney, SpragueFace was sketched and produced into a beautiful, multi-weight, real-deal font.

More source material:

Initial sketches:

In use:

A bonus look at the light weight:

There you have it! Are any of our readers type geeks? Let us know what you think. Have you ever made your own font?


Posted November 1, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Design

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Secrets of MASS MoCA: Hearing the Light

Upon entering MASS MoCA, look up in the sky.  You’ll see upside down trees and the Berkshire Mountains.  You may also notice our clock tower, resident of the Marshall Street Complex since 1895.

This clock is unlike any other time-teller—it depends on chance.  The clock, named The Clocktower Project, rings every 15 minutes, yet each time it rings produces a new sound.  This is because the ringing of the bells depends on both the quality of light and time of day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 24, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Secrets of MASS MoCA, Solar energy
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MASS MoCA + WFF Through the Ages

MASS MoCA and the Williamstown Film Festival (WFF) live down the street from each other, were both born in 1999, and are considered major artistic centers—obviously they have become good friends with one another.

This weekend marks the beginning of the 13th Williamstown Film Festival, with two films premiering at MASS Moca, We Need to Talk About Kevin on Saturday, October 22 at 8pm and Never Stand Still on Friday, October 28 at 8pm.

In honor of these events, let’s examine the history of the MASS MoCA + WFF relationship, taking a look at which films and events we have hosted as a part of the festival! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 18, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Film
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