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A Kid's Summer at MASS MoCA

By the MASS MoCA Education Team

Kids Camp with Mark Stewart-12

Want to feel like a kid again? Take a look inside MASS MoCA’s summer art camps!

Jen

During the week of July 28, our Melody Makers camp created their own musical instruments and constructed a musical obstacle course.  The Bang On A Can musicians, who were in residence at MASS MoCA during the month of July, came by each day and shared their talents with our campers. The Melody Makers tried out instruments ranging from the musical saw to a one-of-a-kind silent guitar that can only be heard through a stethoscope.

Kids Camp with Mark Stewart-14

This week our Story Spinners campers are creating shadow puppets, character masks, and elaborate sets and costumes to bring their original tales to life.

KidsTable

During the last two weeks of August, art camps will continue with the Garden Gnomes & Fairies and Art Ninjas camps. Campers can expect to create fairy and gnome homes in the forest and hone their ninja skills in our expansive galleries.

Come get messy with us next summer or join us sooner for our February break camp!

Kids Teresita

Teresita Fernández, Black Sun (2014). Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Posted August 6, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Kidspace, Museum Education, North Adams
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Getting to know yMusic

By Shannon Fox 

This weekend we continue our adventures with film as we move from the airport back to our home screen and welcome filmmaker Sam Green and his work, The Measure of All Things. Through exploration of the legends that have captured our collective imagination, Green weaves together portraits of the people, places, and things featured in The Guinness Book of World Records. He is on hand to narrate the film while groundbreaking ensemble yMusic provides live music score. If you are unfamiliar with yMusic or its virtuosic musicians, fear not! We have combed through their impressive résumés to come up with some key factoids that will get you ready to dive into the world of this  indie-pop-classical chamber sextet.

yMusic-Green_621x290

First off: yMusic as a whole

  • The group was created in 2008 to bring a classical chamber music aesthetic to venues outside the traditional concert hall.

  • Not just a garage band with strings: they were all conservatory trained at the prestigious Juilliard School.

  • Even if you have never heard of yMusic, it is still likely you have heard at least one of its members perform. A shortlist of artists that individual members have worked or recorded with include Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright, The National, St. Vincent, Interpol, Björk, Arcade Fire, and Grizzly Bear. This doesn’t even include their works with MASS MoCA favorites Vampire Weekend, the Philip Glass Ensemble, David Byrne, and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond (who will be returning to MASS MoCA for our Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival).

Next: its illustrious members!

Rob Moose

Rob Moose (violin, guitar, and viola)

  • Co-founder of yMusic

  • FreshGrass fan? Rob has performed with Emmylou Harris (who will be hitting the MASS MoCA stage this September)

  • A familiar Berkshire face:  Rob has graced the Berkshire Hills with his work with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Shed at Tanglewood and last summer he performed at MASS MoCA with Gabriel Kahane.

  • Shara Worden changed his life: Rob was studying at Columbia University for his master’s degree in American studies when Shara told him that British singing sensation Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) was looking for a guitarist. Rob took the gig, went on tour, dropped out of grad school, and began a career in music. “That whole experience,” he said in an interview with Strings Magazine, “changed my life in so many ways, and it’s brought me so many opportunities.”

CJ Camerieri

CJ Camerieri (trumpet, french horn, and keyboard)

  • Co-founder of yMusic

  • The family business: CJ’s father is a middle school band director, but that doesn’t mean dad cut him any slack. He would not give CJ any lessons until he could could read all of the notes on the treble and bass clef staves.

  • The National connection in a national election: In 2008, CJ’s trumpet solo in The National’s song “Fake Empire” was blasted to the universe on election night, as it was a part of Barack Obama’s election campaign.

  • Proudest accomplishment? CJ earned himself two Grammy Awards for his work on Bon Iver’s 2011 album Bon Iver, Bon Iver. He gave one of the awards to his parents.

Clarice_Jensen

Clarice Jensen (cello)

  • More than a musician: Clarice has held many jobs, including time spent as production coordinator and assistant to Björk.

  • World premiere woman: Clarice has performed the world premieres of Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky’s Hearing Solution and Donald Martino’s Rhapsody.

  • TV famous: Clarice has performed on MTV Unplugged, The Oxygen Network, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Saturday Night Live.

Alex_Sopp

Alex Sopp (flute)

  • 30 Rock-n-Roller: Alex has worked as a musical coach on the set of NBC’s 30 Rock.

  • Bang on a Can love: Alex has performed as part of the renowned Bang on a Can Marathon (and if you want your own Bang on a Can Marathon, experience swing by MASS MoCA on August 2, for a six-hour boundary-busting festival finale).

  • Fortune’s favorite: Alex’s life was turned upside down when $40,000 worth of her instruments were stolen in New York City. They could have easily disappeared forever into the city of over 8 million people, but New York City Police reunited Alex with her beloved instruments just hours after they were filched. Needless to say: she was ecstatic.

Hideaki_Aomori

Hideaki Aomori  (saxophone, clarinet, flute)

  • Young success: At the age of 18, Hideaki released his recording debut, Young Man With a Horn. For this album he worked with jazz legend Sir Roland Hanna.

  • Broadway magical: Hideaki has spent time in the orchestra pit for the original New York run of Tony Award-winning Matilda: The Musical.

  • Degree fiend: Hideaki has bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in clarinet performance and his master’s degree in jazz saxophone.

Nadia_Sirota

Nadia Sirota (viola)

  • Hey! DJ: Nadia hosts a radio show on WQXR’s New Music radio stream, Q2Music, for which she was awarded the American Society of Composers’ Deems Taylor Award in Radio and Internet Broadcasting in 2010.

  • New York Times certified:  Nadia’s debut album First Things First (2009) was named a record of the year by the newspaper.

  • Master’s master: In 2007, Nadia became a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music for its Masters Program in Contemporary Music Performance.

ymusic

The more you know! We’ll see you outside under the stars on Saturday, July 12, at 8:30pm, for a screening of The Measure of All Things, with live narration by Sam Green and live music provided by the talented and illustrious indie-classical ensemble yMusic. Tickets can be found here.

Posted July 9, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Film+Live Music, Music
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A Day in the World of Art Fabrication: Lee Boroson Edition

By Kelly Cave

Here at MASS MoCA we have an excellent team of art fabricators that assist artists in the creation and installation of their work. Depending on the size of the exhibition,  the museum may hire contractors and interns to provide an extra hand to the full-time fabrication staff. Currently, a fantastic rotation of interns is coming through to assist with the work of Lee Boroson. Boroson’s show will be installed in September, but there’s much to do before we’re ready for that. This particular piece of the exhibition is going to be a giant inflatable made up of thousands of circles that will fill part of our huge Building 5 gallery. Here is an inside look at how the sculpture is being constructed!

So far we have a couple thousand circles sewn in five different sizes. Here they are stacked according to size and pattern of holes cut out on the surface.
The Circles
To make a completed circle we first roll out some fabric and double it up. The fabric is a nylon similar to the material from which parachutes or tents are made. We then place templates of circles on the fabric and trace them with a marker. Next, we put a few pins in each circle to ensure that the two pieces of fabric stay together once the circles are cut out.
pinning
Once the circles have been cut out they are sent over to my good friend, Sergio the Serger. He is a crazy-fast sewing machine that cuts the fabric while making a sturdy seam along the edge. He uses five threads as opposed to a regular sewing machine that only uses two. If you’re interested, I suggest looking up what the inside of a serger looks like because it is very delicate and quite stunning.
sergio
After the circles have been sewn, de-pinned, stacked, and cut with the proper pattern of holes, they are ready to be sealed. We use a special spreadable mixture that’s placed along the outer seam to help fuse the circles together. Sometimes this step can be a little harsh on the sinuses so we like to use respirators as a precaution.
sealing
When the sealing has dried it is time for the final step, which is to put the circles together. We use the serger to make different clusters that build off of each other from large to small. In the photo below we have our confused interns sporting one of these clusters in its deflated state. Turns out you can’t blow up this inflatable like a balloon! 
finished product
Those are all the secrets that the Fab team is willing to give away at the moment, but make sure to get on over to MASS MoCA in the fall to find out what the final product will look like! Lee Boroson’s show will be in the Building 5 Gallery, beginning October 2014 and you can read more about it here. See you then!
Interns pictured: Keenan Cassidy (RISD), Georgia Costigan (MCLA), Barbara Gooding (RISD), Garcia Sinclair (RISD), Nafis White (RISD)

 

Posted June 18, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Artist Spotlight, BLOG, Exhibitions, Uncategorized
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Calling All Artists, North Adams Wants You!

By Eleanor Cook 

Policy Mic2

PolicyMic just announced what we’ve known all along: North Adams is one of the top US cities for young creatives. Where else can you find the largest contemporary arts center in America and many nearby cultural attractions, ready access to incredible natural beauty and outdoor recreation, amazingly affordable homes, studios, offices, and light industrial spaces, and a strong community of artists, all in the same package?

There are plenty of reasons for creatives to call North Adams home, and MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is adding another: financial support and professional development for artists committed to building a creative practice in North Adams.  

Industrial BuildingArtist Bookshelves

This summer, we are thrilled to announce the Assets for Artists: North Adams Project. Artists selected to participate can receive artist-focused training, match money for investments in their creative enterprises, and seed funding to North Adams artists with special projects offering high impact  and visibility. We’re betting this can help lure and retain great artists in North Adams — and in the process, make North Adams an even more vibrant place to live and work.

We invite artists to apply in two categories: those already living or working in our hometown, and those who have yet to discover North Adams. We’re offering incentives and special programming for artists eager to put down roots in our hip little city.

Interested? Learn more about our North Adams Project here. The deadline to apply is July 15, 2014, so let us know how you envision your creative future in North Adams.

To learn more about MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program and to stay up
to date with the 200+ artists in our network across the Northeast, visit assetsforartists.org, find us on Facebook, and follow us @Assets4Artists on Twitter. You can email us at assetsforartists@massmoca.org.

Posted June 3, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Berkshires, BLOG
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Hardware 15% off for 15 Years

HARDWARE: the MASS MoCA Store and MASS MoCA by Design are having a store-wide, 15% off sale on May 24th in celebration of the museum’s anniversary. Everything in the stores will be 15% for the general public, and an additional 15% off for MASS MoCA members (who already receive a 10% discount on all purchases). Phyllis Criddle is the Retail Manager/Buyer for  both stores and here she shares her picks for what you should look out for next time you’re at the museum.

wastebaskets

These adorable little plastic bins are ready to gobble up your garbage!  16” tall and designed in Denmark, they are available at both Hardware and MASS MoCA By Design. $36 each. Choose from black, green, blue, or pink.

earrings

These fabric button earrings are designed and made by local artist Emily Morris. No two quite alike, we have plenty of styles and colors to choose from! Only $9 each, available at Hardware.

hats

Direct yourself here! Our new baseball hats feature the exact GPS coordinates of MASS MoCA embroidered on the front, and “MASS MoCA” on the back. Available in both red and black. $30 each.

peacock book

The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet is a children’s picture book about fitting in… It is for sale at Hardware in honor of Darren Waterston’s work Filthy Lucre, which features several breathtaking golden peacock paintings. $8.95. Paperback.

madspots

Madspots are large, round, reusable stickers which can be used to decorate your house and car with fun and distinction! Designed by Meredith Alex from Portland, ME. Choose from a variety of available colors and patterns at Hardware. Each pack contains 12 spots of assorted size stickers. $32.

bunny hat

This unique pink bunny mask was made by Huck Delsignore from Pittsfield, MA. It is crocheted yarn over a wire frame, with an adjustable baseball hat base inside for comfort. A one-of-a-kind, truly spectacular piece of work. $320 and available at Hardware. Additional one-of-a-kind masks by Huck are available.

Posted May 21, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Hardware, MASS MoCA by Design, North Adams, Staff, Uncategorized
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15th Year Party: What We’re Wearing

By Julia Melnick
Photos by Olympia Shannon

Sometimes the hardest part about going to a party is figuring out what to wear. Is it casual, business- casual, or semi-formal? Who knows what that means anyway? Lucky for you, MASS MoCA staff members have got you covered with some tips about what they’ll be wearing for the celebration of our 15th anniversary. Our party happens on Saturday, May 24, right here in North Adams because that’s MASS MoCA’s home. We want you to come out in whatever makes you feel the best. One thing’s for certain, though–whatever you wear, make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

Laura Thompson, Director of Education and Kidspace, has been working at MASS MoCA for 12 years. She’s wearing a bright, colorful Lilly Pulitzer dress and her winter boots because you never know if it’s going to be wintery or summery in the Berkshires. A favorite MASS MoCA memory is mowing the lawn around the sculptures in one of the first exhibitions she curated in 2004. Laura is looking forward to the party because it’s fun to go down memory lane with old friends.

Kathryn Tufano can’t wait for the party, in large part because of this awesome pantsuit she found in a second-hand shop on a trip to Phoenix last month. It’s Oscar de la Renta and you will most likely find her showing it off on the dance floor. Kathryn has been at MASS MoCA for over two years as the Manager of Foundation and Corporate Giving. One of her favorite memories in that time has been dancing to Lake Street Dive at FreshGrass last September, and working with the lovely volunteers who helped make the festival possible. As far as the 15th year celebration is concerned, Kathryn can’t wait to see Teresita Fernández’s exhibition, As Above So Below. “I’ve made a conscious decision to to wait until it’s up to go into the gallery. I want to see it revealed at the opening in its entirety.”

Thomas Huston is a Visual Arts Intern who has just reached his one year mark here at the museum. A favorite memory is singing and dancing at Karaoke at the Mohawk Bar last summer. It was accompanied by live music courtesy of Bang On A Can faculty and fellows, at least one of whom will be joining us at the end of May. The multi-talented Mark Stewart will be performing a pop-up show somewhere around campus and you can be sure you’ll find Thomas front and center. He’ll be wearing a black silk sweater, a white button-down shirt, cream linen pants, and his favorite beat-up Converses; however, after learning one of the food trucks is bringing chicken tandoori, he’s rethinking the linen pants.

Matt Guyton is the Master Electrician at the museum and he’s responsible for the mood lighting up in Club B-10 and the awesome light shows at our Hunter Center concerts. Currently in his fourth year at MASS MoCA, Matt had a favorite night with the internationally-acclaimed contemporary dance company Chunky Move. “It was the coolest show and they were really nice and interesting people to work with.” Matt is going to be working hard at our 15th celebration, but hopefully he can catch some of Red Baarat’s set because they were “freaking amazing” when they were here a few years ago. His go-to outfit is black pants with a black shirt, but if we’re lucky he might change it up and surprise us. 

You may recognize Jane Burns from any one of our music, theater, or dance events from the last year and a half. As MASS MoCA’s videographer, Jane is always at the show with her camera snapping footage. She’s looking forward to the 15th year party because she can’t wait to see all the outfits. She will be wearing her Jeffrey Campbell shoes with bright socks, a funky jean jacket, and a sassy new pocketbook. Jane describes her outfit as “muted with pop accessories.” She remembers Dan Deacon’s live 4/20 show in 2013 as one of the craziest events held at the museum in recent years. We can only hope that Jane will bring some of that wild and frenetic energy to the dance floor for sets by DJ Rekha and Red Baraat. 

Art McConnell has been working on the MASS MoCA campus before the museum itself even existed. He was here in North Adams when Sprague closed in 1986, and he’s still here today as Operations Manager of the museum. His favorite exhibition to date was Xu Bing’s Phoenix. “It was interesting to recognize all the tools in the Phoenixes and to see how it was all pieced together. Xu Bing was an interesting guy and he was here a lot, so I enjoyed watching him work.” Art is looking forward to mingling in the lobby at the 15th year party while wearing his signature polo shirt,  and spending time with people he has known for 20 years, who helped make MASS MoCA what it is today.

We hope you will celebrate your museum with us on Saturday, May 24. It all starts with an opening reception for  Teresita Fernández: As Above So Below from 4pm to 6pm. DJ Rekha plays at 7pm, Red Baraat takes the stage at 8:30pm, and then DJ Rekha is back for another set at 10:30pm to help us close out the evening. Top that off with food trucks and cheap beer galore and this is bound to be an unforgettable night.  Can’t wait to see you in the galleries and on the dance floor!

Posted May 14, 2014 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Dance Parties, Music, Parties, Red Baraat, Staff, Uncategorized
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