MCLA

PRESS Gallery moves!

07/24/2013

It's just down the street from its previous location at 105 Main St., but already the benefits are many as the PRESS Gallery settles into its new home at 49 Main St. in downtown North Adams.

Because PRESS is right next door to MCLA Gallery 51 - also the home of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) - a doorway was added between the two galleries, immediately expanding not only the square footage, but the possibilities of this downtown location.

PRESS Gallery founder and MCLA assistant art professor Melanie Mowinski explained. "For example, on Mondays and Tuesdays PRESS is not officially open. But, people still can visit us because the door in-between is open, and people can enter through MCLA Gallery 51."

On the other hand, if PRESS is open late for an event, after MCLA Gallery 51 has closed, visitors still can tour MCLA Gallery 51's latest exhibit. In addition, the two galleries plan to host some events together, including a poetry reading in October: the reading will be in one space and the reception in the other.

"Having these two spaces linked also will provide some more flexibility with what BCRC can do," Mowinski said.

Already, the number of visitors to PRESS - and its sales - have increased.

"I knew that was going to happen," Mowinski said. "That was definitely one of the reasons for moving. MCLA Gallery 51 tends to get 25 to 40 percent more foot traffic than where we were located. Because we have more people walking through the door, we have an increase in sales."

In addition, with renovation work to begin this fall on Bowman Hall - where Mowinski teaches her art classes - the new gallery space will double as a temporary classroom for her "Book Arts," "Introduction to Design" and "Collage Printmaking" courses while the construction takes place.

PRESS's final exhibit for 2013, Fresh, will feature artist books and prints created by MCLA students during the fall 2013 semester.

"I think it's going to be cool for the students to be exhibiting in the place where they're also going to be learning, and to be immersed in that studio," Mowinski said. "I love being in this space. There's a different energy that I have here, and I think that's really going spread to my students as they get excited about the work that they create."

This Thursday, July 25, PRESS will open Liminality, which will showcase the work of Valerie Carrigan. And, for the first time, PRESS will host its first-ever "call for entries" show, to be held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 22.

Then, on Sept. 26, PRESS will present Markings, an exhibition of work created by Mowinski at PRESS over the past year. On Oct. 31, Tara O'Brien, whose work was displayed last year in PRESS, will return to the gallery with her Diary Project.

"Having a bigger presence downtown is good for the College and good for the community," Mowinski said. "It's continuing to show that MCLA is invested in the community."

PRESS is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, go to www.facebook/letterPRESSaspublicartproject.com or http://letterpressasapublicartproject.wordpress.com.