MCLA Announces New Gallery 51 Manager


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Gallery 51 has announced that local artist Julia Morgan-Leamon is the gallery's new manager. An adjunct art teacher for Williams College and IS183, Morgan-Leamon is working with MCLA students on the gallery's next show, "99 and NINE: We are Mused," to open on Thursday, Dec. 5.

"I'm jumping right in with the '99 cents' show and am already getting to know about 30 different artists to bring that together, Morgan-Leamon said.

"I'm really interested in helping the students who work here to feel a sense of ownership and get excited about the work that we're showing so they can transmit their enthusiasm to the public. Right now, the students are helping install the show with the theme of the 'muse,'" Morgan-Leamon said.

In the gallery, nine MCLA students are creating larger-than-life silhouettes of themselves to be displayed throughout the exhibition. "People find inspiration in different places; these will stand-in for our muses, who will be present at the show," Morgan-Leamon explained.

During the exhibition, the students will be present to help gallery visitors and answer any questions they may have at this annual, affordable art show and exhibit, which will feature artwork in a range of styles and mediums from nearly 30 local and national artists. All pieces are priced to sell from 99 cents to $99.99.

Morgan-Leamon is both a painter who works primarily with watercolor and oil, and a video artist with experience in experimental and installation work. She also has created documentary videos, as well as a series for public television called "Conversations in the Studio," where she interviewed a number of local artists who have exhibited their work in MCLA Gallery 51.

According to Morgan-Leamon, "I've been involved in the arts in a number of ways, from youth and museum education to teaching, to being an artist myself and leading art trips overseas. A piece that I felt I'd been missing is working with artists in the community and helping to curate shows and bring together interesting concepts in exhibitions."

As an adjunct instructor at Williams, Morgan-Leamon teaches winter study classes, and has taken three groups to Egypt over past four years to study contemporary art. This January she will co-lead another group to Southern India.

At MCLA Gallery 51, she plans to expand the range of artists from throughout the region and New England to exhibit their work in the gallery.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m., for "99 and NINE: We are Mused." The show will be open every day through the end of December, with all art to be sold on a "cash and carry" basis. Gift wrapping will be available.

Morgan-Leamon lives in Williamstown with her husband and their 17-year-old triplets.

For more information, go to gallery51.