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MCLA Undergrad Curates DownStreet Art Exhibit

08/13/2010

NORTH ADAMS, MA - Among DownStreet Art's many galleries is a space that has the distinction of being run by an undergraduate student at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). Jamie Mohr, an English major who expects to complete her studies in December, is the curator of "Be Your Own Placebo," at 28 Holden St.

With past experience in organizing events, showing her own art and touring with bands, Mohr wanted to bring her friends together to present their art and music to the North Adams community. This inspired her to create "Be Your Own Placebo" (BYOP).

Live performances are a major part of the gallery.

"I'm very excited to bring live music, interactive performances, video screenings and costumed feasts to coincide with DownStreet Art openings each month," Mohr said.

On Thursday, July 29, both music and performance were offered at BYOP.  Performers included Jessica Rylan, a Boston synthesizer designer and tone warper; Male Room, a high energy band that plays Italo Disco with a Eurobeat; Jeremy Kelly, who brought his collection of smoke-curled psychedelia, homemade electronics and acoustic instruments to the musical performance; Jason Martin, a professor of video at New York University who presented a video installation; and Martha Colburn and Katherine Bauer with video screenings. 

The idea for creating the gallery began at MCLA Gallery 51, where Mohr broached the idea of the space to her friends there. With their encouragement, she wrote up a formal proposal to present to the DownStreet Art committee. 

"I believe they were especially interested in the challenging artists and sensory immersive events I had in mind, as well as the aesthetic element that BYOP would be bringing to the diversity of the program," Mohr said.  

There's a new show in the gallery each month. BYOP also features weekly screenings of "Twin Peaks" episodes with free pie and coffee for the community.   

Gallery hours for "Be Your Own Placebo" are Wednesdays through Fridays, noon to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about DownStreet Art, go to www.downstreetart.org .