Gengarelly to 'A Word Transformed: The Art of Jessica Park' at MCLA This Tuesday


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Anthony Gengarelly, Ph.D., a professor in the fine and performing arts department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present a lecture, "A Word Transformed: The Work of Jessica Park," on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center's Sullivan Lounge, on the MCLA campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Gengarelly, a professor of art history and museum studies at MCLA, leads The Jessica Park Project. Sponsored by the Fine and Performing Arts Department at MCLA, The Jessica Park Project is an ongoing educational endeavor designed to introduce students to museum work and its related skills of promotion and publicity, fund raising, educational outreach and book production.

Park is a nationally renowned artist with autism who lives with her family in Williamstown, Mass.

Gengarelly's most recent book/catalogue, "Exploring Nirvana:  The Art of Jessica Park, was published" in 2008. A curator or guest curator for many art exhibitions in Northern Berkshire County and throughout the United States, Gengarelly has guided student art exhibitions, including "Visions from the Edge: The Artists of Pure Vision," a product of his "Advanced Museum Studies" class, was featured at MCLA Gallery 51.

Other Jessica Park exhibitions have included "The Art and Life of Jessica Park," in 2004 and a traveling show in 2007, as well as another exhibition of the same name in MCLA Gallery 51 in 2008. This show traveled Endicott College and was featured in the Visiting Artist's Gallery in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, in 2009.  Later that year, the exhibition was shown at The Hands-on Museum in Ann Arbor, Mich., and at Eastern Michigan University, in the Bruce T. Halle Library.  In 2010, the show traveled to the Madeleine Clark Wallace Library in Norton, Mass., at Wheaton College. A panel discussion with Gengarelly coincided with the official opening of the show. 

In April of 2008, MCLA published Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park, a 96-page book with 86 full-color illustrations of Park's art. Along with 26 catalogue entries by MCLA students, the book also contains essays from experts in the fields of autism and Outsider Art.

Gengarelly is the former managing editor (1997-2003) of the MCLA publication, "The Mind's Eye."  He has received several honors and awards from MCLA: Research/Creative Projects Award, 1998-1999; Creative Projects Award, 2004-05; Senior Faculty Award, 2005; Faculty Lecture Series Award, 2012.  He has published numerous articles and books, including a 1989 catalogue, "The Prendergasts and Arts and Crafts Movement," and a 1996 monograph, "Distinguished Dissenters and Opposition to the Red Scare, 1919-1920."  In 1993, he edited "Randy Trabold's Northern Berkshire County," a book written by MCLA students.  He is a regular contributor to the "Folk Art Messenger," where he has published articles on Outsider art and Native American art. 

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