MCLA Gallery 51 to Present 'Rewilderment' Exhibit


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Gallery 51 has announced a new exhibition, "Rewilderment: Passing Through the Veil between Worlds."  This mixed-media show will explore themes of ritual, witchcraft and mediumistic practices, beginning on Thursday, Oct. 31.

The public is invited to attend a free opening reception for "Rewilderment: Passing Through the Veil between Worlds" on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. This event will include "Ye Olde Dee Jay" Mark Mulherrin, who will spin 78 records on a vintage Victrola.

"Rewilderment: Passing Through the Veil between Worlds" includes a collection of collaborative and solo works by three New York-based artists - Sarah Falkner, Shannon Taggart and Ryder Cooley, manager of MCLA Gallery 51. Viewers will be presented with their evocative two- and three-dimensional work, including  photography, video, altars and artifacts.

Falkner will exhibit a selection of healing-power objects, Cooley will install a series of drawings and curios, and Taggart will exhibit excerpts from her "Spirit Photography" series.

The "Rewilderment" collaboration began as a series of performance rituals created by Cooley and Falkner in 2011. Through this collaboration, the artists created videos, costumes, mystical symbols, tattoos and performance works, as they worked closely with a number of significant sites, including burial grounds, swamps and gardens.They also worked with a variety of elements such as poison ivy, goats, rabbits, gingerbread houses and animal relics.

In 2012, Falkner and Cooley began a collaboration with Taggart,  a photographer, who since has documented a number of their performative actions.

A selection of these photographs will be on display, along with props, objects and residue from the rituals. According to Cooley, "Rewilderment" draws inspiration from fairytales, remote viewing experiments, spirit communications, lunar navigations and dowsing. The project as a whole sets forth to create hypnotic triggers as gateways for otherworldly phenomena. 

After the opening reception for "Rewilderment: Passing Through the Veil between Worlds,"MCLA Presents! will team up with DownStreet Art for a special "Halloween Concert: Music Macabre" multi-media event to feature music, projections, costumes, taxidermy and more, at 8:30 p.m., in the Branch Gallery, at 18 Holden St. The show also will include performances by C. Ryder Cooley and the Dust Bowl Faeries, as well as Shana Falana, an experimental "dream-pop" band.

"Rewilderment: Passing Through the Veil between Worlds" will run through Dec. 1. MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. The gallery is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 51 Main St. in North Adams. For more information, (413) 664 8718, or go to Gallery51 or

Doors to "Halloween Concert: Music Macabre" open at 8, with the music starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission. Those who wear macabre costumes get in for $5. Tickets for MCLA staff and faculty are $5. Members and MCLA students get in for free.

Tickets may be reserved by calling MCLA Presents! at (413) 662-5204. For more information, (413) 664-8718, or go to presents. For additional information, go to,~ or

MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.

The gallery is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6p.m., and is at 51 Main St.  in North Adams.  For more information, (413) 664 8718, or go to Gallery51.

MCLA Presents! is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), a collaborative project with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the City of North Adams. The BCRC provides professional development training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County. Through its multiple programs and presentations, BCRC brings the best of performance and art to the Berkshires and showcases the best of the Berkshires to the world.

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About the Artists:


Shannon Taggart is a photographer and independent researcher based in Brooklyn, NY. Shannon Taggarts photographs have been exhibited and featured internationally including the publications TIME, New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. Her work has been recognized by Nikon, the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, International Photography Awards and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Taggart specializes in photography about Spiritualism, the religion based on communicating with spirits of the dead. Taggart's Rewilderment images were made as part of a photo series derived from Spiritualist rituals, created from 2001-2013. She is currently working on a book about physical mediumship.

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Sarah Falkner is an interdisciplinary artist, with a strong focus on healing and other occurrent art practices. Her first novel Animal Sanctuary (2011) won the 7th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, and she has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Sarah Falkner is a licensed healthcare practitioner and founding member of the Hudson Wellness Collective in Hudson, NY. At Gallery 51, Falkner will exhibit devotional and contemplative objects whose aesthetic forms and esoteric technologies arise from her syncretic personal practice, drawing from some recognizable established traditions and lineages including Bon shamanism, Vajrayana, Curanderismo and Vodou.

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C. Ryder Cooley is an inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer. She collaborates with Hazel, a taxidermy sheep who is brought back to life through performance. Ryder and Hazel will be performing on Oct. 31 as part of the "All Hallows Eve" event.

She has participated in a wide range of exhibitions, public works and educational projects.  Her work has been presented at venues including: Proctors Mainstage Theater, White Box Gallery, Exit Art, Yerba Buena Center, Theater Artaud, the Robert Wilson Watermill Center and Pan American Art Projects. Cooley has worked with MCLA Gallery 51 for a number of years, most recently as gallery manager.

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