Tonight’s The Night!!

Okay people, there is art on the walls! The opening is tonight! Come see how all our hard work has turned into an actual gallery exhibition!

We’ve been installing since Monday and its all finally come together.

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Its been a really amazing process, working individually as well as together with some great artists/people. There is some really outstanding work here and many of us are selling originals as well as prints!

So tonight’s the night, 5-7pm at Gallery 51 on Main Street. See you there :)

Artist Interview: Kayleigh Brand now and what’s next

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What other artists or things (music, performances, family, friends, etc…) influence your work?.

My earliest influence was seeing my great grandmother’s work when I would visit her house. Now a day my inspiration is fueled by feedback from other artists in the web comic business, and a copious amount of Disney music and show tunes to keep me working.

Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to? 

I would love a chance to work with animation. It’s a medium I’ve always been interested in but I have never had the time to devote to it.

What are your plans for after graduation? 

I plan to continue my work with my current story line. Each of my characters will get their own segment in the story, and will be available both in print and online to read.

What other jobs have you done other than being an artist? 

I’ve worked closely with animals for most of my life. I’ve worked at a doggie daycare, animal shelter, and as a dog trainer for local residence of my home town.

Do you plan on being a fulltime artist or do you plan on having a separate career along side of your artistic practices?

I plan to continue my artistic work part-time until I can find a full-time job involving it.  After graduation I plan to find a job outside the artistic world in order to start saving money, however I eventually want to start up a costume commission business and utilize the conventions I go to by selling my art in their artist alleys.

See more about Kayleigh hereAnd be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

Artist Interview: Aria Hatfield and what keeps her creating

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What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?

My art is currently exploring how to create and portray those who are close to me with realistic stippling, abstract design work and symbolism. I want to continue on creating designs and learning what they can mean for my subjects and audience. I will probably make more of my friends and family members and/or work with the same friends and family members to create different focuses. People have multiple interests and sides so there are still plenty of pieces I can make. I may even try to do commissions.

 What other artists or things (music, performances, family, friends, etc…) influence your work?

There are the noticeable influences as well as the more hidden influences in my artwork. My friends and family have impacted me which can be seen in my subjects while music, films and shows have been the unseen inspirational motivators. I love to listen to music or show while creating. I feel more productive when I am doing more than one thing. Shows or movies heavy on witty and/funny dialogue keep me awake and focused. From cartoon shows like Justice League to darker shows like Supernatural, Misfits and Breaking Bad to funny sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, my range of shows is varied as long as they are heavy on dialogue and interesting. Then there is music with its lyrics and meaningful words that inspire me to create. For a lot of my works recently, I listen to a lot of Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin, Ellie Goulding and more. For all these secondary influences that are ever changing, I still get an art piece that is still influenced by the person that it’s based off of.

Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to?

I was talking to a lady that works at Miller’s Art Supply store in Pittsfield, MA and she suggested this technique of dot-making that I’d really like to try which. This technique makes physical indents of the dots into the paper and allows the art piece to be hidden unless the viewer really looks at the paper. The idea of this hidden message and design work would add another unique element to my creations.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on moving back in with my parents temporarily and working part time to pay off my college bills while establishing myself as an artist back in my hometown. Back home, I work at an Art Museum as a gallery attendant so I will stay in touch with the visual art form and other artists there. I will keep in touch with the connections I’ve made here in North Adams and the Berkshires and probably try to get my own exhibit in one of the Berkshire Galleries since I really like this area and the people involved in it.

Do you plan on being a fulltime artist or do you plan on having a separate career along side of your artistic practices?

My plan at first is to have a side job and establish myself as an artist. I don’t think I will be known quickly so I want to work my way up little by little. Ideally, I would love to run a small business centered on my art or crafts made by others. Maybe even collaborating with another artist or artists to create a small business would be great. If not then I will still aim for being an artist as my career with side jobs to help me support it.

See more about Aria here as well as ariahatfield.weebly.com. And be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

Artist Interview: Amy Modesti on documenting with digital photography and paintings

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1. Why did you choose to be an artist?

I was always interested in art when I was young. Growing up, I loved drawing all kinds of things; cartoon characters from TV shows that I loved, popular video game characters, and portraits of the actors from the “Harry Potter” films. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school when I started to gain an interest in digital photography and finally came to a decision that the visual arts was something that I wanted to pursue as a career! The visual arts and photography was one of my best strengths in school and it was something that I wanted to continue improving my techniques and broaden my knowledge about the arts in college.

2. What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?

The direction that my work is currently in is based on the interpretation of my sky sign, Taurus. Every week, I go to a local book store in Troy, NY to pick up a copy of my weekly arts and entertainment magazine that I enjoy reading called the Metroland. In the back of the magazine, I read my horoscope passage a few times and see how the message or a digital photograph relates back to the week that I’ve had or an event that had occurred in the past. Once I read the message and brainstorm an image that would represent the theme of the message, I replicate my photographs in a series of acrylic paintings.

Where I see my art going, I would love to continue with my paintings and continue my work in digital photography. I’m currently in the process of using my photography and the findings of the horoscope messages to further describe my story behind what is occurring in my life within a visual journal that is going to be on view in our exhibition show. Once the show is complete, I hope to continue to work on the visual journal to express my thoughts and work on more paintings.

3. What other artists or things (music, performances, family, friends, etc…) influence your work?

Anything that I see and attend, whether it be a concert performance, a vacation trip to Maine, a spiritual shrine, attending artist openings, or just spending a day hanging out with friends influence the kind of work that I’ve produced for the show. I’m also influenced by the everyday events that occur within my life. My family is another influence for my work. Since my Dad is a visual artist and a lead guitarist, he’s been a mentor in giving me advice in helping me fix my work, broadened my horizons with many musical genres, encouraged me to take piano lessons, and both he and my Mom have supported me as I continued to work within the visual and performing arts field.

4. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

To “Have fun “and “Do something that you want to do that makes you happy and that you enjoy,” according to one of my closest musician friends when I went back to Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in September 2010. When I had attended the College of Saint Rose, I was discouraged by their professors who had wanted me to pursue early childhood education instead of graphic design that I had wanted to originally major in after critiquing my art before a mid-term review. The professors refused to even sign me up for the fall semester classes. Despite their discouragement, I received some advice from my other professors at HVCC who also encouraged me to come back to take courses in their gallery management program that I took a course in before I graduated from their art program. Going back to HVCC to pursue something that I love to learn and do within the visual and performing arts was the best decision that I had ever made. I love the arts and it’s something that I continue to pursue with my career regardless of what other individuals think of my work. I continued to take my friend’s advice to heart through my year back at HVCC and my path to MCLA where I’m now going to receive my degree in Art and Arts Management. And I’m creating art that I’m having fun with and enjoying the most too.

5. What other jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Besides being an artist, I worked as both a graphic design apprentice at LaPan Services (HVCC), was a staff photographer, writer, and photo editor for “The Hudsonian” (HVCC Student Newspaper), and I served as a volunteer at the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery, Fulton Street Gallery, and The Teaching Gallery. At MCLA, I’m currently serving as a staff photographer and a guest staff writer for “The Beacon” (MCLA student newspaper).Previously, I was a scenic charge artist for the Urine Town college musical, helped spread the word around about the Rock The Block PAM show and the MCLA Blues and Funk Festival, and in February, I was in charge of getting the word out about the artist talks and the exhibition opening for our class exhibition, “Inside the Outside: Reconsidering Our Views About Art” through social media. In high school, I even served as a photographer for their yearbook, Triumph.

See more about Amy here. And be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

Artist Interview: Stephanie VanBramer on pursuing art and the direction she’s heading in

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1. Why did you choose to be an artist?

I chose to follow the art path because I was never told not to. Instead, I was encouraged by the people around me to keep pursuing the visual arts. Some aspiring artists aren’t so fortunate. I would like to think that I would have stuck with art regardless, but with support from my family, friends, and educators, I have really been able to do what love, which is art. I have put so much time, energy, and practice into making art and developing skills that it wouldn’t make sense for me to give it all up now.

2. What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?

I currently use three different elements in my painting: imagery, text, and newspaper. I like to combine and explore what happens when different imagery is paired with specific text and how that can potentially create stories or start conversations among viewers. I aspire to make pieces that make viewers stop and think about what they are really seeing, and that requires them to be willing to dig through the layers that I present to them. From this, I hope that they can eventually develop their own meanings from my work and come to understand how the relationship between words and images can shape the messages. I would like to continue on this path because I think that there is still a lot for me to explore.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

My mom once told me to ‘never settle’ and now that’s something I always remember every now and then. At the time she said it, it didn’t strike me as advice, but thinking about it now, it has been one of the most remembered lessons I have learned from my parents. If you feel like you’re settling, than you probably are and I believe that you should strive for and strive to be the best you can.

4. What other jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Other than working on my own art, I have interned at the Norman Rockwell Museum and at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists and being around his work was constantly inspiring. IS183 allowed me to experience more of the art education world and was a big help for me in realizing what type of career path I want to travel down. Both jobs were great opportunities and I am happy to have been a part of both organizations.

5. Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to?

One thing that I want to do with my artwork is try it on a bigger scale. My current work consist of medium and smaller size pieces and it would be interesting to see what I can do with a larger canvas or surface.

 

See more about Stephanie here. And be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

Artist Interview: Marli LaGrone on evolving inspirations and endeavors

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What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?
My work is moving in many different directions and I’m honestly not entirely sure what they all are. I am interested in capturing fleeting moments and emotions that are often too obscure to articulate so I seek to express them in visual forms. Thus far I’ve been using printmaking, collage, and painting to represent this topic as a whole, however I am finding each medium is gravitating towards different sub-genres within the general topic.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Make everything you do the best thing you’ve ever done.” I received this advice from Nate Padavick, founder of They Draw and Cook, http://www.theydrawandcook.com/, who came into one of my classes sophomore year as a guest speaker. This was the best advice I’ve ever received because it taught me to look at everything as a potential masterpiece. For art classes, guidelines for assignments became platforms of inspiration rather than boundaries, and for individual experiments I was more inspired to see them through to their fullest completion, as they each really did become the best thing I’ve ever done. Ultimately, this advice taught me to work hard at every piece, to persevere through discouragement, and to allow the artwork to become as great as its original conception.

What do you dislike about your work? Can you improve on it?
I dislike that my work isn’t extremely cohesive when viewed all together. However I think the more work I make the more it will all come together.

Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to?
I’ve never had the chance to try oil painting and I wonder if or how that would change my painting style. Also I’ve always wanted to learn to weld! I have no idea what I would make but I really want to try it.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation I’m planning to spend the summer in Bar Harbor, Maine before moving to London, England. Both destinations include good friends, fun, art, and adventure. I’m looking forward to the effects on my life and my creative practice.

See more about Marli here. And be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

Artist Interview: William Raymond and his continuation with art

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Why did you choose to be an artist?
I chose to be an artist because I found a love for the arts when I was younger. Its been my full interest since I was younger and I wanted to continue further into the Arts.

Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to?
I’d like to give oil paints a try, but I’d need good place to do it, and that I am not sure of.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I am still looking around for other things in the art field, but not fully sure where I will go after school.

What other jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I have worked at a Boy Scout camp as an assistant scout master.

Do you plan on being a fulltime artist or do you plan on having a separate career along side of your artistic practices?
I’d like to try to be a fulltime artist, but I know I will need to have also a job to get me through my life.

See more about William here. And be sure to check out his work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.