Did you love Beer Garden last year? Look what is in store this summer!

We hope you had the pleasure of visiting The Chalet: a bar/art installation by Dean Baldwin over the Oh, Canada opening weekend.  Dean built and outfitted a fantastic A-frame inside our Building 8 and served drinks to Canadians and Americans alike last Friday and Saturday. As was the case last year when our dear friends from Bureau for Open Culture  ran the Beer Garden, it proved to be a popular spot for socializing.

We’re delighted to announce that the tradition continues. Starting June 21, The Chalet will be open every Thursday from 6 – 9  PM (with special appearances by Dean himself, on occasion!). A full bar will be available and you’ll be able to sit under the trees along the river to enjoy your beverage of choice.

Please stop by for the kick off on Thursday, June 21.

We start summer gallery hours then too, so you can visit the galleries until 6 and then relax at the bar before attending Here Lies Love in the Hunter Center.

See you there eh?

Posted June 5, 2012 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Here Lies Love, Oh Canada, Parties, Secrets of MASS MoCA

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Phyllis Criddle on the Rise

A few months ago, we blogged about of one our best-kept secrets, Phyllis Criddle. Phyllis has worked at the museum for several years now, first as part of the Art Fabrication team and now as the Assistant Manager of Hardware, the MASS MoCA store. But what she’s fast becoming known for are her amazing dresses made of scrap materials such as old MASS MoCA logos, ribbons, pieces of blankets, and most famously, hundreds of wrist bands from the Solid Sound Festival curated by Wilco. Check out her first Wilco dress, modeled by the artist last December:

Since then, Phyllis has created many more pieces out of Solid Sound wristbands. Check them out below.

Last month, Phyllis was invited to be part of the Alchemy Initiative‘s Earth Day Designer Auction, where she had the opportunity to show her patchwork dress made of recycled fabric, clothes, curtains and sheets:

We can’t wait to see what Phyllis does next. In the meantime, check out her website and stay tuned for future blog posts.


Posted May 25, 2012 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Secrets of MASS MoCA, Staff, Wilco Solid Sound Festival
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Secrets of MASS MoCA: Phyllis Criddle

Every museum has a well-kept secret.  Whether it’s a stolen sketch, a haunted hallway, or a hidden painting tucked beneath another print, such covert wonders are proudly guarded as they help form each cultural hub’s individuality.  Today we reveal one of our favorite secrets—Phyllis Criddle.  You may not have heard of her (yet) because we have been keeping her all to ourselves.

Though only 23, she’s worked at MASS MoCA for 7 years, more than half the life of the museum! Starting as a member of the Art Fab crew, she went from working with hardware to working at Hardware, the MASS MoCA Store, where she is now the assistant manager.  Phyllis does more than run the store.  She has created a custom line of MASS MoCA clothing and accessories, embodying the museum’s mission of catalyzing new, bold art, which includes her famed Wilco dress (seen above, modeled on Phyllis).

Her first MASS MoCA creation was a dress crafted from the museum’s logo-splashed t-shirts.  Completely hand-sewn and definitely one-of-a-kind, the dress was rumored to be purchased by one of the creators of the video game phenomenon Rock Band.  His wife even appeared at MASS MoCA this past summer, wearing the dress to the Bang on a Can Festival.  Phyllis also was commissioned to create Katharina Grosse inspired tablecloths, which were draped over every table at the museum’s 2011 Benefit in New York.

The buzz around Phyllis has recently grown ever since she debuted her Wilco fashion line, created out of hundreds of wristbands from the Solid Sound Festival held at MASS MoCA.

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Posted December 19, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Hardware, Secrets of MASS MoCA, Wilco Solid Sound Festival
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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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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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Secrets of MASS MoCA: Codex Solis

On the roof of MASS MoCA lies a 230-foot long grid of solar panels, providing the museum with 7% of our power.  These panels go by the name of Codex Solis, part of All Utopias Fell by artist Michael Oatman, which also includes The Shining and The Library of the Sun.  Codex Solis does more than supply us with energy—it presents us with a message, a hidden message.

The solar panels are organized to create a phrase relating back to the sun and solar energy.  The quote is by a well known author, but Oatman won’t tell us who.   Each solar panel represents a letter.  Mirrors scattered among the panels represent spaces between words.

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Posted October 7, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Secrets of MASS MoCA, Solar energy
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