June 6, 2022
Conrad Egyir, MCLA’s inaugural Benedetti Teaching Artist in Residence, will unveil a solo exhibition, “Travelogue,” on Friday, June 10, at MCLA Gallery 51 on Main Street in North Adams, with an event to mark the opening from 5-7 p.m. on June 10. This event is free and open to the public; “Travelogue” runs until September 2022.
The exhibition is supported by a $2,500 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Investment Portfolio program, awarded recently to MCLA Arts and Culture (MAC), which hosts several artist residencies each year. The grant supplements the exhibition costs of the exhibit.
“Travelogue” is a culmination of Eygir’s work throughout his nine-month stay at MCLA as Benedetti Artist-in-Residence. The work on display is primarily painting and portraiture, drawing influences from pop art, history painting, Biblical culture, and Ashanti iconography from Eygir’s native Ghana. According to the exhibition text, “He is both an Artist and a Black artist, a Ghanaian and a naturalized American citizen and multiple other categories and identities which muddy the waters of living in America as both an immigrant and a person of color. Navigating as an American, but also…”
The scale of Egyir’s work is typically monumental, spanning as much as twenty-two feet in length and up to seven feet high. His painted stories reference what he has witnessed, learned, and questioned as he continues his journey. In “Travelogue,” there is no beginning, and there will be no end. What we are offered is a summary of an entry that Egyir creates to combine portraits of those he sees, that look like him, and an intention to share their stories, as complex and diverse as his own, but very different.
About MCLA Arts and Culture:
MCLA Arts and Culture (MAC) is MCLA’s newly expanded arts programming arm. MAC (formerly known as BCRC, the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center) functions as a hub that supports interdisciplinary approaches to education, social justice, and academic research across MCLA’s campus. Its programs include the operation of Gallery 51, the Jessica Park Project, and the annual public art series Downstreet Art. MAC is also committed to arts access and most of its programming is free and available to the general public. Learn more at https://www.mcla.edu/mcla-in-the-community/bcrc/mcla-gallery-51.