Gregory Scheckler, Professor of Visual Art
MFA, Utah State University
BFA, Washington University
BA, University of Notre Dame
Taking a no-holds barred approach to creativity, Gregory Scheckler embraces a wide array of media from painting to nature photography, short story and flash fiction, from poetry to novels. He authored eleven books including science fiction, poetry, and art genres. In the visual arts, his art was included in over a hundred shows since the 1990’s. He earned the MFA in Art from Utah State University, earned the BFA in Painting as an Eliot Honors Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, and earned the BA in Modern and Classical Languages / German with high honors from the University of Notre Dame.
Writing / Publication Credits: Winglet Books; Inklings; Fifty Word Fiction; The Advocate; the North Adams Transcript; the Berkshire Eagle; the Berkshire Review: an International Journal of the Arts; Painter’s Table Magazine; The Mind’s Eye Liberal Arts Journal; The International Journal of User-Driven Healthcare; the NEA Advocate; Thought & Action: Journal of the National Education Association.
Visual Art / Exhibit Credits: Ferrin Gallery; Metro One Gallery; the Soo Rye Art Gallery; Greylock Arts; as well as at museums such as the Southern Vermont Art Center; Washburn Historical and Cultural Museum; Duluth Art Institute; Utah Museum of Fine Arts; One West Art Center; the Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland; the Bennington Museum in Vermont, and the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts. Additional venues: the Hotz Nature Center; Miller-Dwan Foundation; Center for the Visual Arts Gallery at Illinois State University; and the National Science Foundation. He’s also done illustration for DGC/Interscope Records, and via the Associated Press, his photos were published by the India Times, Press Enterprise, CBS News, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. For more information see http://www.gregoryscheckler.com
MassMoCA | Phone 413.662.5053 | Email Gregory Scheckler
Melanie Mowinski, Associate Professor of Visual Art
MAR, Yale University in Religion and the Visual Arts
MFA, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, in Book Arts and Printmaking
Melanie Mowinski began her career as an art education major at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating, she went west to seek her fortune, teaching in Arizona and San Francisco. Ready for another adventure, she then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean where she developed arts curricula, community-centered arts programs, and her love of the outdoors.
She left the tropics after three years to study in New England, earning an M.A.R. in Religion and the Visual Arts from Yale University in 1999 where she was the Katsuo Miho Scholar in Peace Making. Many seeds were planted during her time at Yale, and she let them germinate while teaching for a few years at Buxton School in Williamstown, MA. Residencies at Windgrove in Tasmania and Jentel in Wyoming kept her art practice alive during these intense years of teaching. Eventually, the seeds blossomed and led her to Philadelphia where she earned her M.F.A. in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts (UArts) in 2006.
She continues to seek out residencies and travel as opportunities of intense focus and creation. In recent years she has traveled to Denali National Park in Alaska, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska, the Venezuelan Andes, a coast-to-coast journey across Costa Rica, and art fairs/shows like Art Basel, the Venice Biennial, and the Armory Show.
Mowinski is also the founder of PRESS: LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project, that is part of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center's Downstreet Art Series. PRESS is a project that allows her to share her love of art, book arts and printmaking with as many people as possible. When she was given a Vandercook Universal III letterpress printer in March 2010, she knew it had to be shared somehow and someway with students at MCLA, and the greater North Adams Community. PRESS: LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project is one of the ways she does this.
Laura Thompson, Visiting Assistant Professor
Laura Thompson joined MCLA in 2007 as a visiting assistant professor of art history. Thompson has over 19 years of experience in arts and museum education. As Director of Exhibitions and Education for Kidspace at MASS MoCA since 2002, she has brought about Kidspace's expanded gallery and artist residency program, established educationally appropriate curriculum materials and programs, strengthened the collaboration between the museums and school districts, and curated highly-acclaimed Kidspace exhibitions with world renowned artists such as Devorah Sperber, Long-Bin Chen, and Tim Rollins. Thompson continues to also serve as an education consultant and lecturer at a variety of museums, arts organizations, and universities in the Northeast and formerly was a Director of Education and Public Programs at several NY history museums, and a faculty member of the Creative Arts Laboratory at Columbia University. She holds a doctorate in Arts Education from Columbia University Teachers College, with a concentration in Museum Studies. Thompson is a painter and has shown her work locally in the Arts Center in Troy, NY and in the Empty Set Gallery in Pittsfield, MA. Laura resides in Saratoga County, NY with her husband Roger and two sons Jacob and Jesse.
Laura Christensen, Visiting Associate Professor
Working as a professional artist, Laura Christensen regularly designs, creates, and exhibits her artwork. Galleries and museums from Utah to Austria have exhibited her unique sculptures. Regional venues include Kidspace at MASS MoCA, Bennington Museum, Albany International Airport, and Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. Laura was awarded an Artists’ Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Grant, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and an Individual Artist Grant, a fund of the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
In addition to actively creating and exhibiting, Laura has deep and vast experience in a variety of art institutions. She has co-managed a gallery, served on the board of a local arts center, co-founded an artists' cooperative, and worked as Faculty Artist for CATA (Community Access to the Arts), creating art opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
At MASS MoCA, serving as Education Coordinator for almost a decade, Laura introduced thousands of people to contemporary art. She also helped the Fabrication and Installation Crew, where she learned many new skills and worked alongside world-class artists. With this background, Laura developed an understanding of art practices in the global and regional economy as well as the personal value of expressing oneself through art.
Laura's education laid a strong foundation for these adventures. She earned an Honors B.A.summa cum laude in German and an Honors B.S. summa cum laude in Economics. She studied graduate level Art History for two years, and then went on to complete the M.F.A. in Drawing in 1997.
To learn about her latest endeavors and see pictures of her art, please visit Laura's website at http://www.LauraChristensen.net