'Nature as Medicine, Nature as Companion': PRESS Gallery's July Downstreet Art Exhibition


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) has announced a new exhibition by artists Erika Radich and Jae Ok Lee, "Nature as Medicine, Nature as Companion," will open on Thursday, July 31, as part of this year's DownStreet Art summer season, in the PRESS: Letterpress as a Public Art Project Gallery, 49 Main St.

The public is invited to an opening reception on Thursday, 6-9 p.m., in PRESS Gallery. This event is free and refreshments will be served.

The subject of Radich and Lee's exhibition is the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.

Over the course of one year, while fighting illness, Lee created thousands of small clay objects inspired by her garden. These organic forms are housed in type cases like the many that can be found within PRESS Gallery that contain wood and lead type.

Lee said, "The simple act of pinching the forms has been a healing experience that gave me enormous hope for my recovery."

Radich's monotypes mounted on wood explore color interactions, layers, and variations in depth and space. Her subject matter includes natural forms such as cairns, man-made piles of stones.

"The natural world in relationship with humans, and their coevolution as a moving, breathing entity inspires these prints. There is strength in quiet and infinite endurance," Radich explained.

According to the exhibit's curator, Melanie Mowinski, "In bringing these two artists work together, I ask the viewer to consider not only the healing possibility of nature but the necessity in which we must go to and be in nature. Within nature we can learn endurance, strength and hope. This will be an unusual exhibit for PRESS, in that it showcases processes that we don't utilize, yet still relate to printing and the tools of the trade."

Like recent exhibits, PRESS will unveil a new activity related to the exhibit that will engage visitors to creating their own collection of objects, objects that remind them that nature is medicine and a companion. PRESS also continues to collect visitor contributions to future exhibitions: two stations are currently set up in the gallery to allow visitors to contribute their thoughts to the September exhibition, "Paper Dresses."

PRESS also will give away a new mantra card during opening night. Be sure to stop by to print yours!

"Nature as Medicine, Nature as Companion" will be on view at PRESS from July 30 through Aug. 24 as a part of DownStreet Art 2014. For more information, contact Mowinski, 413-281-8108, or, or go to

PRESS: LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project is located at 49 Main Street, in North Adams, MA.  We are a hybrid public art space as a gallery, studio and teaching lab. PRESS is open most days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more about the project at or follow us on Facebook at Email us at to schedule a visit, find out more information or find out when our next workshop will be! 

An initiative of MCLA's BCRC, DownStreet Art (DSA) is a public art project designed to revitalize North Adams. By harnessing existing art organizations and events and transforming vacant and open spaces into art destinations, DownStreet Art defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members into the downtown.