January 26 - February 19, 2017
Opening Reception January 26, 5-7pm
Ofa Atu is both a solo exhibition and a public art project. The exhibition combines a series of the artist's paintings with screen prints produced by members of the local community during a DownStreet Art project Ostraff ran throughout the summer of 2016. Read more about the show via this Berkshire Eagle article.
"I was a teenager living on a small island in Tonga when a man named Hiko called hundreds of tuna to him. Before I met Hiko there was a fierce hurricane that wiped out his village's food. Hiko one night had a dream and visit from the youngest son of the first Tui Tonga. He taught him how to call the ‘Atu (skipjack tuna) to him to feed his people. There were rules they would need to follow and if broken then he would not be able to call the fish again until the people had changed their hearts. For 21 years Hiko was able to call to the ‘Atu and the people in his village followed the rules. Then one day Hiko went out and called the fish, people took more than they needed and sold them, they broke the rules, and I was there. As a result Hiko said it would be a long time before he could call the fish again. I was recently reminded of this event through the work my brother Zac did on this story for his MFA thesis in creative writing. After reflection I saw places in my life where parallels exist and though I don’t live near the ocean I see the equivalent of the ‘Atu all around." -- Josh Ostraff
Josh Ostraff was born in Seattle, Washington. He has lived and traveled around the world with his family but claims Utah as his home. He received his BFA at Brigham Young University, his MFA at the University of Minnesota, and he currently teaches as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Josh is a multimedia artist who has exhibited his paintings, drawings, films, and art books both internationally and nationally.
See more of the Josh's work at: http://www.jostraff.com
Be sure to follow Josh on Instagram @thinwalls.studio.
The 99 Cents Affordable Art Show
December 1 - 30, 2016
***MCLA Gallery 51 will be open from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve). The gallery will be closed on Sunday, December 25 (Christmas) as well as Monday, December 26.***
Everything I Never Told You:
Secrets Too Beautiful to Keep
A collaborative exhibition by Shelley Chamberlin and Michelle Daly
September 29 to November 20, 2016
Opening Reception September 29, 5-8pm | Artist Reception October 27, 5-7pm
In Everything I Never Told You: Secrets Too Beautiful To Keep, Shelley Chamberlin and Michelle Daly explore themes of vulnerability, intimacy, relationality, nostalgia, memory, disruption, determination, absurdist humor, and hope. As longtime friends, artistic collaborators, and conceptual partners, the two artists have worked in tandem; their artistic trajectories gapping and converging, illuminating spaces and places for each to delve more deeply into their individual inquiries. This exhibition maps these moments, highlighting intersections and commonalities.
“Conversation is the vehicle for change. We test our ideas. We hear our own voice in a concert with another. And inside those pauses of listening, we approach new territories of thought. A good argument, call it a discussion, frees us. Words fly out of our mouths like threatened birds. Once released, they may never return. If they do, they have chosen home and the bird-worms are calmed into an ars poetica.” —Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds
Chamberlin and Daly’s Postcard Project is a visual artifact of this play of ideas in conversation between the two artists over the last year as the exhibition has developed. The postcards are numbered so that you may follow along in the chronology of their shared moments of exploration and dialog.
In Everything I Never Told You: Secrets Too Beautiful To Keep, the artists grapple with their individual and collective relationships with placemaking and home, ultimately reckoning with the very nature of vulnerability and risk. In Skyline #1, 2, and 3, Chamberlin plays with disruption and manipulation of space, using glitches in digital photography as source material for richly layered charcoal drawings. She pulls together traditional and contemporary ideas and methodologies of image-making, creating imagery that is simultaneously dislocating and elegiac, offering a new vantage point from which to understand selective erasure and passage of time. Similarly, in Re-imagined Landscape, Daly disassembles and reassembles maps and patterns, creating new and foreign landscapes. Both the play of scale and the juxtaposition of imagery tease the viewer into an alternate reality, an imagined space re-formed by the artist’s heart and hand. In this way, both artists are merging familiar and unfamiliar territories, manipulating visual cues of location and dislocation.
The artworks on view in this exhibition play with revelation and concealment. They are an invitation into the quiet places, the small daily intimacies, the hundreds upon thousands of whispered secrets—secrets too beautiful to keep.
See more of the artists' work at:
and be sure to follow their instagram at @toobeautifultokeep
Collaborative Exhibition Comes to Gallery 51 - the Online Beacon
A solo show by Melanie Mowinski
Wayfinding Star, Artist Book (Letterpress, pressure print, painted paper, gesso, ink and acrylic dots, Lotka paper, binders board, custom, enclosure), 2016
August 25 to September 25, 2016
Wayfinding is about trusting the way and understanding the many paths to get to the same destination literally and figuratively. Through installation, letterpress, book arts and collage, artist Melanie Mowinski presents an investigation of the motivations behind the paths taken in life. For more information about Melanie and her work please visit melaniemowinski.com.
MCLA Student Shows
Gallery 51 & ExPRESS
April 28- May 22
Opening Reception: April 28th 5-7pm
A curated show by MCLA's Advanced Museum Studies Class
Taught by Professor Laura Thompson, MASS MoCA’s Director of Education and Curator of Kidspace, MCLA's Advanced Museum Studies spent the semester exploring the many ways in which objects are arranged and interpreted in museums to influence viewers' understandings of art, history, and social concerns.
Featuring the 300 sq ft. installation of a golden, elaborately woven carpet made of bullets by artist, Raúl Martínez, and interactive opportunities developed by students, Bullet Points is a means to open discussions about the complex nature of guns in BCRC's ExPRESS space on 49 Main St. North Adams MA.
Raúl Martínez, Pigs, Bullet Casings & Hemp, 2015
MCLA's Senior Art Projects Class
This exhibition will introduce the work of six MCLA senior art majors and the artistic achievements of their 'Senior Art Project' course, the cornerstone of the MCLA art major. Taught by visiting assistant Professor of Art Josh Ostraff, this year's students focused on the idea of “conviction” – defined as a firmly held belief or opinion.
Predominately working with two-dimensional work, using a wide variety of subject matter, the students’ work connects through the conviction of their artistic practices which have grown and developed throughout the semester. Work will be on view in MCLA's Gallery 51, on 51 Main St. North Adams, MA.
To learn more about our individual artist's process... check out their videos!
Karen Moss, Strange Trio, collage and acrylic paint, 2015
Black Lives Matter
A juried show curated by MCLA Professors Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed & Melanie Mowinski
Opening Reception: February 4th 5-7pm
This mixed-media exhibition, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, was curated by MCLA professors Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed and Melanie Mowinski.
#BlackLivesMatter first came to light in 2012 when a young, unarmed, black male, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed. Martin’s death and the acquittal of his accused killer sparked protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. The movement – started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi – challenges the anti-black racism that plagues society today, Mowinski said.
Artists were asked to submit works of all mediums to answer the question, “What does #BlackLivesMatter mean to you?” They were encouraged to explore from the literal to the conceptual underpinnings of Black Lives Matter and to examine the impact of state and national violence on black lives, Mowinski said.
The exhibit strives to encourage and incite conversation about race relations, the importance of black lives, and proposals for what we each must do to make a difference in our society regardless of our gender, race or place in society.
The exhibit includes artworks from 30 artists from 17 states at varying stages in their careers: from emerging to established artists. The mediums of the artworks include traditional art forms like drawing, painting and sculpture, but also time-based mediums like video and artist books as well as participatory pieces.
Elena Wyatt, Johnson City, TN
Janet Goldner, New York, NY
Latasha Holley, Atlanta, GA
David Sharp, Salt Lake City, UT
Kaytea Petro, San Francisco, CA
Amber Doe, Bronx, NY
Michelle Thomas, Hartford, CT
Alan Wieder, Portland, OR
Melissa Maddonni Haims, Philadelphia, PA
Janet Braun-Reinitz, Brooklyn, NY
Karina Furhman, San Pablo, CA
Mary Joseph, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kandy Lopez, Miami, FL
Celine Browning, Boston, MA
Kim Darling, Omaha, NE
David Brewster, Glyndon, MD
Kamal Al Mansour, San Jose, CA
Sally Sussman, Williamstown, MA
Randi Shenkman, Blechertown, MA
Therese Moriarty, East Longmeadow, MA
Sharbreon Plummer, New Orleans, LA
Vincent Romaniello, Brooklyn, NY
Donte Hayes, Kennesaw, GA
Suprina, New York, NY
Jerome Whitaker, Edmonds, WA
Ginger Ware, Reno, NV
Laura Sharp Wilson, Salt Lake City, UT
Emily Snell, Albuquerque, NM
IlaSahai Prouty, Bakersville, NC
Desmond Lewis, Brentwood, TN
Kandy Lopez, Where are the superheroes? Silkscreen and watercolor, 2013
see more images from the exhibition on our flickr page
December 3 - 27
Opening Reception: December 3, 5-8pm
Michelle Daly, Re-Imagined Landsape: Growth Chart (detail), 2015
Curious Encounters: MAEA Members Exhibit
Diana Adams Woodruff, Simone Alter-Muri, Aimée Archambault, Ginger Armstrong, Martin Boyle, Maggie Carberry, Alyssa Champagne, Mariel Daniels, Meghan Drew, Mary Beth Eldridge, Michael Frassinelli, Mary Geisser, Bob Hepner, Lisa Jacobson, June Krinsky-Rudder, John Krenik, Simone Kivett, Eva Kearney, Nicole Maynard-Sahar, Laura Marrotta, Christine Neville, Dean Nimmer, Daniel Nicholson, Kristi Oliver, Alisa Rodny, Lesliejohn Roche, Lauren Savoia, Jose Santos, David Stockbridge, Erin Sutton, Carolann Tebbetts, Cheryl Wildermuth
November 7 - 29
Opening Reception: November 7, 5-6:30 pm
The Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) presents an juried exhibition featuring over 40 works created by 32 members of the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Curious Encounters celebrates teachers and educators as artists in their own right and includes a variety of media including: painting, photography, fibers, mixed media, prints, drawing, digital art, and sculpture.
Curious Encounters Navigating the Imagination: A National Art Honors Society Exhibition
November 7 - 29
Opening Reception: November 7, 3-5 pm
MAEA presents selected student works from the National Art Honors Society in conjuncture with the MAEA Members Exhibit.
eat me alive so that I may see you from the inside
Maggie Nowinski, Alicia Renadette, Torsten Zenas Burns
August 27 - October 25
Opening Reception: August 27, 6-9pm
Margaret Noel | Rocco Scary
A Two-Person Exhibition
July 30 - August 23
Opening reception: July 30, 6-9 p.m.
proc·ess noun \ˈpräˌses\ : a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
Although Margaret Noel and Rocco Scary employ very different methods to create their works, the processes they use are inextricably bound to the concept and subject matter of their works. This Two-Person exhibition brings together work that begins in the form of wax, plant fiber, water, pigment, steel, rust, cut-up magazines, old toys, and the tinkling sound of a carousel that no longer exists.
Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Margaret Noel incorporates imagery from industrial structures and western landscapes in her collaged paintings, while New Jersey artist Rocco Scary – who is known for his works on handmade paper – will show his sculptures, drawings and artist books with a focus on the specificity of place as a reservoir for memory.
Origin of Birds
June 25 - July 26
Opening Reception: June 25, 6-9p
Inspired by a 15th century Persian poem, Hird's paintings, scrolls and installation focus of birds as the embodiment of earth, fire, sea, and sky in the form of a primordial tree.
Two Natures Talking
May 28 - June 21
Opening Reception: May 28, 6-8p
Fragments of text, brushstrokes on paper, shapes on canvas, lines on a page. Two Natures Talking explores the creative exchange between two pairs of Artists and Poets, Wilma and Stephen Rifkin, and Ellen Joffe-Halpern and Annie Raskin.
Ellen Joffe-Halpern Wilma Rifkin
Artist Wilma Rifkin and poet Stephen Rifkin will present paintings and poems they created primarily as a result of their experiences from living for 20 years in the woods of Deer Isle, Maine.
The couple’s work is influenced in particular by Deer Isle’s forests and shores, as well as the darkness of Maine winters. According to Stephen Rifkin, neither he nor Wilma Rifkin illustrates or explains the other’s works. The works themselves “associate, or hang together [and] ruminate in languages.”
Stephen Rifkin’s collection of poems, “The Merit of Light,” was published in 2014.
A mixed media artist, Joffe-Halpern uses bright colors, loose brushwork and fresh compositions that are inspired from architecture to draw in viewers of her art. She describes her collaboration with Raskin as a “free-flow exchange of ideas.”
In sketching out her compositions, Joffe-Halpern shifts her vantage points of the same motif to describe a multiplicity of perspectives, while Raskin writes in a conversational tone about color and shifting perspectives, often creating a dialogue with the paintings.
Raskin asks, “From where we are seeing and what is distorted, how may we know?”
MCLA Senior Art Major Thesis Show
April 30 - May 24, 2015
Opening Reception: April 30, 5-7pm
This exhibit celebrates the artistic achievements of the students in this year’s Senior Art Project, a capstone course for the MCLA Art major. The public is invited to join the artists at this opening reception, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday April 30th. “Future Echoes” runs from April 30- May 24, 2015.
Featuring the work of nine seniors, including Betsy Baczek, Matthew Barge, and Caitlin Belk, as well as Emily Boughton, Shelagh Conley, Alexander Jamal, Dylan Limoges, Alberto Roman, and Denis Sinclair. The show is a collaborative effort as students gathered together to curate and present their new works. The students use a range of mediums and techniques including drawing, painting, collage, and digital illustration.
Alberto Roman 15', Purgatory Rocks Caitlin Belk 15', Spark
A socially conscious food-art exhibit
MCLA Student-Curated Exhibition
March 26 - April 26. 2015
Opening Reception: March 26, 5-7p
Eat This was organized by MCLA’s Advanced Museum Studies class, taught by Laura Thompson, director of education and curator of Kidspace at MASS MoCA.
The class determined the exhibition should show that issues surrounding food are complex, and not necessarily black and white. Students fleshed out the idea for an exhibit that would bring attention to the eating habits of most Americans. Poor food choices, stress, lack of access, finances and access healthy eating choices, various diet options, marketing and packaging of food, and the food industrial complex were all topics of classroom discussions.
Feinstein scans fast food hamburgers, French fries and chicken nuggets, naming them after the number of grams of fat they contain. His work investigates the love/hate relationships that Americans have with fast food.
Ciurej, a photographer, and Lochman, a graphic designer, developed a collaborative project entitled “Processed Views.” Using processed foods to create landscapes, the artists photographed them to look like old-time travel postcards.
Participate in Eat This by sharing your Food Portraits on the MCLA Gallery 51 Tumblr for this exhibit - http://eatthis2015.tumblr.com. Select images from the public, along with the classes and artists, will be printed and set out in the exhibition’s faux dining area.
Jon Feinstein, 23 Grams Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman, Fruit Loops Landscape
January 29 - March 22, 2015, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday January 29th, 5p-7p
Art and Science team-up together to generate dialogue around the subject of plants. Beating Winter Blues with Winter Green, MCLA Gallery 51 provides the venue for artistic and scientific botanical dialogue. Experience underwater gardens, trebuchet-method pollen-flinging, prairie grasses, invasive species, and other genius genera greening the planet, inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling precious oxygen. A winter must!
Featuring work by:
Opening Reception, Thursday October 30th 4p-7p
Water & Earth
A Call to Protect Fragile Ecosystems
October 30 - November 27, 2014
Water & Earth exhibits the artwork of regional, national, and international artists who deal with issues of ecology, the environment, and nature. The show explores the possibility of art reaching deeply into the collective values of culture in order to initiate awareness and agency. Can art suggest ways of healthy engagement with the environment, promote respect for nature, and encourage the use of sustainable materials? Each of these invited artists provides a personal glimpse of the fragility and uniqueness of the ground on which we live.
Featuring work by: