2012 High School Invitational

We are really delighted to be able to highlight the work of area students with an annual art show. Its coming up next weekend — on view during regular gallery hours on Saturday and Sunday April 14 and 15.  Hope you can stop by and see the amazing art our local students are making.  Here’s our press release on the show.

(North Adams, MA) For the second year in a row, MASS MoCA is collaborating with high school art teachers and artists in the  northern Berkshires to invite local students to submit artwork for a temporary exhibition at MASS MoCA. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best works submitted. MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson said: “This event was a highlight of our spring last year, and we are delighted to be able to present this exhibition again. It is an honor for us to be a part of this celebration of the talents of the young people in our community. Athletic and academic achievements are frequently celebrated; this is a great opportunity to shine a bright light on the work of kids who excel in a completely different field.”

While many of the students participating in this high school invitational art exhibition have also taken formal art classes in school, the invitation is extended broadly: the goal is to reach all students who are engaged by art and who have made excellent work, inside or outside the normal curriculum.  The work will be judged by a panel of MASS MoCA staff, area artists and teachers. In addition to cash prizes, a special tuition credit is also offered as the grand prize by North Adams’ Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA).

Participating schools include Drury High School in North Adams; Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter School (BART) and Hoosac Valley High School, in Adams; Buxton School and Pine Cobble School, in Williamstown; and Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, which includes students from Williamstown, Hancock, and Lanesborough.

The high school invitational exhibit will open at MASS MoCA on Friday, April 13, at 6 PM, with free admission. Awards will take place at 6:45 PM, with a reception to follow at 7:15 PM. The artworks will remain on view at MASS MoCA from 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15 (gallery admission required).  After the run at MASS MoCA the exhibition will move to the gallery at the Eclipse Mill on Route 2, in North Adams, thanks to the support and courtesy of the mill residents, many of whom are professional local artists, where it will be on view from noon to 5 PM on the weekends of April 21-22, April 28-29, and May 5-6. A reception at the Eclipse Mill Gallery will take place on Friday, April 27, from 6 PM to 9 PM.


Posted April 6, 2012 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, High School Art Show, North Adams
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The Columbus-Portland-North Adams Triangle

Curator Denise Markonish blogs about her recent trip to Ohio.

Who knew there were so many connections between Columbus, OH, Portland, ME and North Adams, MA? This was proven to me last week when I went to Columbus on the invitation of the graduate painting department at Ohio State University. All roads in this weird atlas lead to Sean Foley… visitors to MASS MoCA may remember Sean’s installation Ruse that was up in our Hunter Hallway for the last year (sadly just taken down). Sean and I go way back… we met in 2001 when he was teaching at the Maine College of Art. He has since moved to Ohio and lured a good number of Mainers out there with him (including Patrick O’Rorke and Sage Lewis who were both Sean’s students in Maine and now are at OSU). Other than Sean’s connection to me and MASS MoCA, I also got to see Katie Bullock who assisted Sean on his installation and Ann Hamilton, who lives in Columbus, teaches at OSU and exhibited here at MASS MoCA in 2004. And last but not least, for those of you who remember The Bureau for Open Culture who resided at MASS MoCA last summer, well they started in Columbus as well!

I arrived in Columbus on February 8th, and was almost immediately taken to Jeni’s Ice Cream, a Columbus institution with flavors like salty caramel, wild berry lavender and lime cardamom! I then got to hang out with Sean and his wife Cindy (who is the head of education at the Columbus Museum of Art) and their two awesome kids Emmett and Adie.

On Thursday I started the day doing a studio visit with artist MJ Bole. MJ has done many hilarious installations on sanitation systems and toilet history, and is currently working on a project for Columbus’s bicentennial celebration. MJ is looking at depictions of Christopher Columbus used to market the city over the years as well as delving into the history of the city as a test market for products (see more about his history here). After some studio visits with the graduate students in painting, MJ took Sean, Katie, Emmett and me to the State of Ohio Asylum for the Insane Cemetery, an off-the-beaten-path cemetery from the late 1800s in which prisoners are buried (they also carved the grave stones).

Friday was filled with studio visits – the students (in painting but also glass, sculpture and photography) are addressing ideas of perception, wonder and materiality. At a break before lunch I visited the Columbus Museum of Art and there I got to see Sean’s installation for the “Wonder Room,” part of the Museum’s new education center.

After lunch I headed over to the Wexner Center for the Arts, where I would give a lecture that afternoon. Check out this great lecture poster that Sage Lewis made for the event:

I visited the Tony Smith exhibition and was please to see Michael Snow’s video Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) in their video room. This same piece will be in the upcoming Oh, Canada exhibition opening at MASS MoCA in May of 2012. After my talk it was off to dinner at Ann Hamilton and Michael Mercil’s studio, a potluck prepared by the graduate students. It was an elegant evening full of good food and great conversation!

My last day in Columbus began with breakfast with Wexner curator Bill Horrigan, and from there Katie and I went to the Museum of Biological Diversity’s open house. There we got to see all sorts of species native to Ohio and even got to hold some bugs.

This field trip tugged at the natural history nerd inside of me.

And finally before heading to the airport I did a studio visit with painter Laura Lisbon. We had a great conversation of about invisibility and the painterly tableau and then visited two shows, Bending the Mirror and Home, at the Columbus College of Art and Design. A perfect end to a trip filled with art, science, history, good food, terrific conversations and great friends.



Posted February 23, 2012 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Museum Education, North Adams
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Goodnight Irene

Director Joe Thompson reports on how we coped with hurricane Irene:

We’ve never, ever closed MASS MoCA for a weather event, but Irene was spooky and we decided to play it safe.  (During one of last winter’s blizzards we proudly announced online that we would be open, and several people took me to task for requiring employees to trudge to work in the snow…which I confess took me aback.  I felt like I lived on a different planet.  It might have been a mistake to have employees make a long drive, but by and large, we actually like getting the museum open, and our tough-weather visitors are some of our best. They really want to be here, and so we’re really happy to host them). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 29, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Architecture, Berkshires, BLOG, North Adams, Weather
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The good, the amazing, the M.Ward fiasco… Summer 2011

On her last day our wonderful marketing intern Kathryn offers these reflections on her summer at MASS MoCA.

Family dinner


The summer is coming to a close, and I cannot believe how fast my time at MASS MoCA came and went. I still feel like I just sat down at my desk for the first time, with a lovely note from the previous intern Marissa. Yet, in reality I’ve experienced a ton of new things, seen some amazing art and performances, and best of all, I’ve met some truly incredible people (especially my fellow Summer Interns of 2011: Porkshire Edition) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted August 25, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Interns, Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum, North Adams, Staff, Wilco Solid Sound Festival
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MASS Transit: MoCA Bike Rental

MASS MoCA is constantly seeking new ways to get our visitors around town while they’re here at MASS MoCA.  Enter MASS Transit, the museum’s newly introduced bike rental program. A helpful and environmentally friendly mode of transportation to reach downtown North Adams and neighboring towns, the program is being met with oodles of enthusiasm from museum visitors, visiting artists, staff and friends of the museum.

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Posted August 11, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Berkshires, BLOG, Hardware, North Adams

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Artist spotlight on Mary Lum

Workers curator Susan Cross provides this introduction to an interview that our intern Kathryn Amato did with Mary Lum.

Continuing our artist spotlight series, we are focusing on  the work of North Adams-based Mary Lum, who is featured in the current exhibition The Workers. A 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Lum earned her M.F.A. at Rochester Institute of Technology. Represented by Joseph Carroll and Sons, Boston and Fredereicke Taylor, New York. she has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Lum has been faculty  at Bennington College since 2005.

Invited to create a new piece for The Workers Lum was inspired both by the history of the former manufacturing site and her own interest in labor, a theme which the artist has explored in a number of previous works.  Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor features an assemblage of hand-torn paper bag fragments which the artist has been collecting for nearly two decades. Each of the pieces – torn from a multitude of bag bottoms — is stamped  with the name of the individual who made the bag or oversaw its production and quality on the assembly line.   A detail easy to miss, each name reminds us of the human element behind industrialized production and the objects we use on a daily basis.

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Posted August 3, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, North Adams, The Workers

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