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Dream Big Task Force

Hosted by MASS MoCA and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Summit 4 Teens was a night for local teens in cooperation with MCLA students, to  envision future programs and spaces dedicated their creative practices.

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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.

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We toured the galleries, before diving into some serious art making.

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Look for yarn bombed chairs in Kidspace.

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“Everyone was really open to trying new things.”

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Body percussion!

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“I see a growing community.” – Teen Participant

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The night wrapped up with the Dream Big Task Force session, where we brainstormed future programming and ideas for a teen-centric creative space. As one teen voiced for the group, “We’ve got a great beginning.”

Interested in participating in future Dream Big Task Force brainstorming sessions or teen events? Contact Shannon Toye at stoye@massmoca.org or (413) 664-4481 x8154.

Posted December 4, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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Hall Art Foundation opens Anselm Kiefer at MASS MoCA

The Hall Art Foundation arrived at MASS MoCA by throwing a lively reception and dinner for Anselm Kiefer. The artists’ 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.  The next day, MASS MoCA celebrated too, by opening the doors of the entire museum — including the Hall Art Foundation | Anselm Kiefer building — free to the public.  Here are a few pictures from the events.

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Hall Art Foundation at MASS MoCA.

 Andy Hall, Christine Hall, Anselm Kiefer

Andy and Christine Hall embrace Anselm Kiefer.

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Crowds gather for the Hall Art Foundation private viewing on Thursday, September 26.

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Emma Hall (l) and Maryse Brand, Director, Hall Art Foundation (r).

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 Stacy Cochran, Joseph C. Thompson

MASS MoCA Trustee Stacy Cochran (l) and museum director Joe Thompson (r).

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Raymond Learsy, Melva Bucksbaum, and Sir Norman Rosenthal, who presented Anselm Kiefer with a freshly foraged Berkshire bouquet.

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Mark Hall with The Women of the Revolution (Les Femmes de la Revolution) (1992 / 2013).

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MASS MoCA’s Special Events and Membership Director, Jennifer Trainer Thompson.

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Christine Hall, Thom Krens, and Daniel, the night’s youngest patron.

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Bruce Josephson, Andy Hall, and Carol LeWitt.

 Wolfgang Laib, Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer greets Wolfgang Laib.

 Jay Jopling, Andy Hall

Jay Jopling and Andy Hall.

 Daniel Zilkha, Jane Wilde

Williams College students, Daniel Zilkha and Jane Wilde.

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 Marty Margulies, Dinka Bojanova, Andy Hall

Marty Margulies, Dinka Bojanova, and Andy Hall

 	Stacey Jensen

 Christine Hall, Andy Hall, Emma Hall

Christine, Andy, and Emma Hall.

Posted October 8, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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Art is an Asset

Assets for Artists —  founded in 2008 by then MASS MoCA Director of Real Estate and Community Development Blair Benjamin —  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 accepting 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 MoCA’s commitment to community revitalization through the arts, was piloted at home in Berkshire County, enrolling nine local artists during its first year.

Today, Assets for Artists — administered by MASS MoCA in collaboration with ArtHome, the Midas Collaborative, and many local partners — has expanded to serve over 100 artists across the state of Massachusetts and in New York City, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine., including:

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, visit assetsforartists.org/apply.

Posted October 7, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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FreshGrass has taken root.

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All photos by Bill Wright

Over 3,500 happy, exhausted festival-goers filed out of MASS MoCA after The Del McCoury Band’s third encore performance ended FreshGrass 2013. Just three years ago the same band played at the first FreshGrass festival in front of a crowd of 400.

FreshGrass has grown from a fall gathering to a full-fledged festival. Bluegrass lovers filled our courtyards and galleries, picked in every corner of our campus, and enjoyed back-to-back performances on two stages totaling 30 hours of live music.

Enough words… here are some pictures and videos from the eventful weekend.

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(Above) FreshGrass Award winners Cricket Tell the Weather perform a pop-up concert under Xu Bing’s Phoenix. (Below) Cricket Tell the Weather’s winning performance.

Mason Jar Music, a Brooklyn-based creative collective, filmed this intimate performance, along with many others, of returning FreshGrass performer Sarah Jarosz during the festival.

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Bluegrass fans of all ages enjoyed the show.

A train interrupted The Gibson Brothers’ performance in Joe’s Field.

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The pickers’ tent in Courtyard A was always full.

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Lake Street Dive performs in Courtyard D.

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Till next year.

Posted September 27, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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On the Road to FreshGrass

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 – 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 People’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 MoCA’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.

Posted September 17, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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To Stand in Awe.

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Photo courtesy of Megan and Murray McMillan.

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”- 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 – and interaction with – 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.

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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 – from coal, which once heated the factory, to greener methods such as solar power and wind turbines — 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 created 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.

Posted September 10, 2013 by MASS MoCA
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