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Extraordinary Experience

MCLA students launch traveling art exhibit


02/25/2009

For the first time, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will have an art exhibit travel throughout the country. On Friday, Feb. 27, "The Arts and Life of Jessica Park" opened at Endicott College in Beverly.

Curated by MCLA students, the exhibit features paintings, drawings and early creations by Park, who has autism. All stages in the development of Jessica's art are included, and the remarkable circumstances under which her art was created are presented in texts that interpret the artist's work through her long journey out of the isolated world of autism.

All stages in the development of Jessica's art are included, and the remarkable circumstances under which her art was created are presented in texts that interpret the artist's work through her long journey out of the isolated world of autism.

To highlight the exhibit, MCLA professor Dr. Anthony Gengarelly, Ph.D., who along with MCLA students wrote Exploring Nirvana: the Art of Jessica Park, will present a lecture and sign books on Thursday, March 5, at 3 p.m. in the Visiting Artist Gallery at Endicott. A reception will follow, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

A project of Gengarelly's advanced museum studies class, Exploring Nirvana marks the first time that MCLA students produced a major publication.

In spring 2007, yet another museum studies class - involving seven more students - organized the traveling exhibition, "The Art and Life of Jessica Park," to provide a context for the release and marketing of the book. The first venue for the exhibit was MCLA Gallery 51 in downtown North Adams.

"It is through this kind of experiential learning that so much about human nature and the working world can be understood and then combined in a project that invites all students on various levels to participate and to share their insights and enthusiasm about the remarkable art of a truly extraordinary person," Gengarelly said.