In Memory of Jean Elizabeth Hosmer (1954-1999)
Applications are now open for the Northampton Arts Council Biennial Juried Exhibition which will take place in October 2015. Apply online to the Arts Council by August 1.
Curatorial 365 by Leslie Tane
The Birds Downtown by Greg Saulmon
Folk Arts and Artifacts From America’s Prison Culture, curated by Phyllis Kornfeld with Janelle Aieta
July 2-30, 2015
Reception: Wednesday July 8, 5-7 PM
FOLK ARTS AND ARTIFACTS
“Creativity itself grows out of a restricted condition.” Ai Wei Wei
The creative spirit is unstoppable no matter what the circumstances. Incarcerated men and women triumph over security bans with ingenious resourcefulness – extracting color from shampoo, making paint out of M & Ms, sculpture out of toilet paper.
Much of the work on display here is Folk Art: traditional crafts—paper weaving, soap carving, toothpick constructions—handed down not from generation to generation but from cellmate to cellmate. The prison tradition of drawings on easily mailed handkerchiefs and envelopes, also featured in the show, attests to the acute need to reach out beyond the walls to loved ones. The Artifacts are unique, heartfelt objects composed of anything at hand, affirming to the maker and others his or her humanity, despite living in an inhuman environment.
Phyllis Kornfeld is the author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America (Princeton) and has been working with incarcerated people for 32 years. www.cellblockvisions.com
This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
What do you see in a city? It depends on how closely you look, and it depends on what you expect to find. Before I began birding in downtown Holyoke I assumed there were no falcons or owls or warblers here. It wasn’t a vision of the city that made sense. But, I was wrong. The birds featured in this exhibit were all photographed in the heart of Holyoke’s urban core. It’s a landscape shaped by industry; a world of canals and factories and tenements. It’s a world far removed from the pristine wilderness many birders seek, but it’s no less rich a realm for discovery.
Bio: Greg Saulmon is a journalist and photographer living in downtown Holyoke. A lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, he currently works as an editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. He chronicles his bird sightings in Holyoke and other cities at the website BirdsDowntown.com.
From January 1 through December 31, 2014, Leslie Tane designed one 4×6” postcard every day. The result is “Curatorial 365.”
After graduate school, Leslie decided to continue her study of curation, exhibit design, and art history with this mediation of making. After reading a relevant essay each day, she selected a phrase from it to design. The intention was two-fold: the reading became a daily practice of learning and the designing sharpened her creative skills. Each postcard is different, and Leslie took this client-less, budget-less opportunity to experiment, fail, and persevere. It turned out that a 365 days is a very, very long time.
Leslie Tane started working as a graphic designer in 1993 and has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Easthampton with her two wonderfully patient and encouraging children.
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