Hosted by MASS MoCA and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA),Â Summit 4 TeensÂ was a night for local teens in cooperation with MCLA students, to Â envision future programs and spaces dedicated their creative practices.
The night kicked off with participants picking a gesture to introduce themselves, and the group mimicking it back to greet them — think Katniss and District 11.
We toured the galleries, before diving into some serious art making.
Look for yarn bombed chairs in Kidspace.
â€śEveryone was really open to trying new things.”
â€śI see a growing community.â€ť – Teen Participant
The night wrapped up with the Dream Big Task ForceÂ session, where we brainstormed future programming and ideas for a teen-centric creative space.Â As one teen voiced for the group, “We’ve got a great beginning.”
Interested in participating in futureÂ Dream Big Task ForceÂ brainstorming sessions or teen events? Contact Shannon Toye atÂ firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ or (413) 664-4481 x8154.
The Hall Art Foundation arrived at MASS MoCA by throwing a lively reception and dinner for Anselm Kiefer. The artistsâ€™ work is the focus of a 15-year exhibition organized and loaned by the Foundation, installed within a dramatic, exquisitely re-purposed 1 million gallon concrete water tank.Â The next day, MASS MoCA celebrated too, by opening the doors of the entire museum — including theÂ Hall Art Foundation | Anselm KieferÂ building — free to the public.Â Here are a few pictures from the events.
Hall Art Foundation at MASS MoCA.
Andy and Christine Hall embrace Anselm Kiefer.
Crowds gather for the Hall Art Foundation private viewing on Thursday, September 26.
Emma Hall (l) and Maryse Brand, Director, Hall Art Foundation (r).
MASS MoCA Trustee Stacy Cochran (l) and museum director Joe Thompson (r).
Raymond Learsy, Melva Bucksbaum, and Sir Norman Rosenthal, who presented Anselm Kiefer with a freshly foraged Berkshire bouquet.
Mark Hall with The Women of the Revolution (Les Femmes de la Revolution) (1992 / 2013).
MASS MoCA’s Special Events and Membership Director, Jennifer Trainer Thompson.
Christine Hall, Thom Krens, and Daniel, the night’s youngest patron.
Bruce Josephson, Andy Hall, and Carol LeWitt.
Anselm Kiefer greets Wolfgang Laib.
Jay Jopling and Andy Hall.
Williams College students, Daniel Zilkha and Jane Wilde.
Assets for ArtistsÂ â€” Â founded in 2008 by then MASS MoCA Director of Real Estate and Community DevelopmentÂ Blair Benjamin â€” Â is a matched-savings and entrepreneurship-training program for low-income artists in all disciplines. If you are a Massachusetts-based artist, you are eligible to apply; Assets for Artists is acceptingÂ applications through October 11, 2013.
The program helps artists access additional capital, grow their artistic ventures, and gain the financial stability that promotes creative freedom. This program, born from MASS MoCAâ€™s commitment to community revitalization through the arts, was piloted at home in Berkshire County, enrolling nine local artists during its first year.
Today,Â Assets for ArtistsÂ â€”Â administered by MASS MoCA in collaboration with ArtHome, the Midas Collaborative, and many local partners â€”Â has expanded to serve over 100 artists across the state of Massachusetts and in New York City, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine., including:
Kelly Carmody, painting
Shawn Brewer, printmaking
Jessica Delfino, comedy
Beth Brandon, printmaking
Caitlin Berrigan, performance
Juan Hinojosa, mixed media
From now until October 11, Assets for Artists is accepting applications from low-income creative entrepreneurs throughout the state of Massachusetts. To learn more and to download the application, visitÂ assetsforartists.org/apply.
Painter and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Professor of Art Gregory Scheckler talks about his students’ experiences at MCLAâ€™s temporary drawing and painting labs in MASS MoCAâ€™s Building 13.
What is it like to teach college art classes at a contemporary art museum? This year, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts teachers and students are finding out.
As a professor, the opportunity to teach at the museum is a welcome change.Â Teaching needs revision and refreshment, so why not do that at one of the worldâ€™s best contemporary art museums? The overall goals of making more and better art, and gaining critical knowledge, good practice, and technical skills, are, of course, the same as before. The museum environment changes the mood, amplifies it. The art practices are growing more serious, as well as more fun.
For example, I teach a visual arts composition course called Form and Composition. In the course, we review various approaches to understanding and composing imagery. When we reach mid-20th century approaches , we have the largest installation ofÂ Sol LewittÂ wall drawings to inform the conversation,Â right outside our classroom door .
Nothing, and I mean nothing, brings art techniques and ideas into more clear focus than seeing work in real life.
Housing such immense projects means that MASS MoCA has a certain bold, sexy quality. Itâ€™s refreshing to be constantly reminded of our creative freedoms, to be in the thick of artistic ingenuity in all of its contemporary forms, witness to the great diversity that is the imagination of the arts at work.
Students have their own favorites. MCLA Junior Ciara Genera, who has found that working at MASS MoCA makes her “feel like a real artist,”Â discovered inspiration fromÂ Xu Bing’s mammoth sculptures. As she put it,Â Â ”Xu Bingâ€™sÂ PhoenixÂ blew me away!â€ť
Photo Courtesy Keifer Gammel
MCLA Senior Alberto Roman found technical insight in the “immense texture and roughness” ofÂ Anselm Kiefer’s paintings.
Anselm Kiefer at MASS MoCA
Some students find the context of the museum to be a creative driver. MCLA senior Shelagh Conley notes that being “at the museum allows me to work without distractions.Â We are surrounded by artwork. It is all that my mind is focused on.â€ť Similarly, senior Stephanie VanBramer finds that the experience has pushed her and her “artwork to the next level”.
TheÂ students are right, of course. On a regular college campus, when you leave a studio or art lab, you move into a world of Â classrooms, and quads. At the museum, when we leave the art labs, we move through galleries. Our quad is the upside-down trees ofÂ Natalie Jeremijenkoâ€™s Tree Logic.
In 2011 MASS MoCA decided to celebrate the onset of fall in the Berkshire hills of northwestern Massachusetts with some bluegrass and roots music. The first year was a small affair â€“ two days, nine bands, and one courtyard stage. It caught on.
Now in its third year, FreshGrass is gearing up for a weekend of killer afternoon and after-dark programming, featuring 25 traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass bands performing on three stages, industry and instrument workshops, and plenty of pop-up performances, on September 20-22.
Legendary local brewery The Peopleâ€™s Pint is busy brewing FreshGrass IPA just for the occasion. The stage in our concert meadow is assembled. Food trucks are lined up, and late night hoedowns, fueled by MASS MoCAâ€™s high-octane moonshine slushies, are in the works.
Tease your ear buds with intimate performances by FreshGrass 2013 artists, produced for the festival by the creative collective, Mason Jar Music.
â€śHe who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.â€ť- Albert Einstein
Over the last two weeks, Providence, Rhode Island-based artists Megan and Murray McMillan have been in residence at MASS MoCA creating elements for a new work that explores the complexity of the idea of wonder. Once finished, the new work will be installed as part of a 2015 MASS MoCA group exhibition, exploring what it feels like to stand in awe of something, and how one goes about attaching meaning to that experience.
Since 2002, the McMillans have been crafting elaborate sculptural sets and then directing performers in the activation of â€“Â and interaction with â€“Â the sets. The performances are filmed; the footage is then edited and installed, along with elements of the original sets, to create an immersive video and sculptural experience.
About a year ago, MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish invited the McMillans to come to the museum, explore the campus, and make a proposal for a new piece to be created and installed on site. At the time, Markonish, along with artist Sean Foley (who exhibited at MASS MoCA in 2010), were preparing the group exhibition exploring wonder and awe. The McMillans’ work has often centered on these ideas, making it an ideal match for the exhibition.
During their visit and tour, the McMillans immediately identified the former Boiler House as a site of interest for their video. They were taken with it not only for its complicated and beautiful former industrial structure, but also for the conceptual idea of shifts in sustainable energy â€“ from coal, which once heated the factory, to greener methods such as solar power and wind turbines â€” it represents.
Many months after their initial visit, the McMillans and their studio assistants arrived at MASS MoCA with nine wooden boulders. With MASS MoCA’s dynamic Art Fabrication and Installation department, led by Preparator and Supervisor Derek Parker, the boulders were craned into the more than 2-story high coal bin, through the Boiler House roof, and attached to cranks that allowed the boulders to be lifted through the space by a series of performers. The MASS MoCA team also built a tea house that nestled into the space at the top of the coal bin.
A 50-foot camera track installed on the side of the coal bin and out of the roof of the building captured a single vertical shot of a central boulder carrying performer Thea Ulrich. The vertical movement of the camera allows a narrative to unfold, similar to that of Japanese landscape scrolls. As the boulder travels upwards, portraying a travelers journey, Ulrich exits to the Japanese tea house, and then to a platform, overlooking all of MASS MoCA and the rolling mountain landscape that surrounds the museum.
With their residency completed, the McMillans have returned to Providence to edit the footage and develop the final installation for their 2015 exhibition.
The McMillans’ work is just one of the hundreds of new performing and visual artworks createdÂ on the MASS MoCA campus through the fabrication and performance residency programs. Friend, follow, and subscribe to receive updates on MASS MoCA projects and all the other fun MASS MoCA happenings.