Please join us for a free public tour of the Work Center’s campus transformation now underway. Led by architect Bruce Skiles Danzer, Jr., AIA (LAB [3.2] Architecture and a Work Center Trustee), visitors will have the opportunity to discover more about the rich history of the Work Center and learn about all the exciting changes now taking place across the campus. Public tour dates include – Friday, July 2 at 10AM, Friday, July 16 at 10AM and Friday, July 30 at 10AM. Please click below to learn more and to register for a tour. Photo: courtesy Bruce Skiles Danzer, Jr.
ARCHITECTURAL TOURS OF THE WORK CENTER’S CAMPUS TRANSFORMATION
FIRELEI BÁEZ’S MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE OPENING AT THE ICA/BOSTON WATERSHED
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston’s ICA Watershed will feature a newly commissioned, monumental sculpture by acclaimed artist Firelei Báez (Visual Arts Fellow 2013-2014). “In her largest sculptural installation to date, the artist reimagines the archeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti as though they were revealed in East Boston after the sea receded from the Watershed floor. The Watershed’s location – in a working shipyard and as a trade site and point of entry and home for immigrants over decades – provides a pivotal point of reference. Báez embeds Sans-Souci within the geological layers of Boston, where histories of revolution and independence are integral to the city’s identity. This site-specific installation will invite visitors to traverse passageways and travel through time, engaging with streams of influence and interconnectedness.” The installation opens July 3 and runs through September 6, 2021. Rendering: Nate Garner
ESTEBAN DEL VALLE BEGINS HIS NEW MURAL FOR THE PROVINCETOWN PUBLIC ARTS FOUNDATION
Esteban Del Valle (Visual Arts Fellow 2017-2018 and 2012-2013) has just begun painting his new mural for The Provincetown Public Arts Foundation’s first public art project in Provincetown. Esteban’s mural is located on the west-side alley wall of Marine Specialties on 235 Commercial Street – a space donated by the Patrick family. “Founded by Romolo Del Deo, Lise King, Dani Niedzieldski, Karen Ojala, Stan Sikorski and Samuel Tager, Provincetown Public Art Foundation seeks to fund, place, and preserve public art in Provincetown.” left photo: courtesy Sara Siegel, right photo: courtesy Albert Merola Gallery
MEET OUR 2021-2022 INCOMING FELLOWS
The Fine Arts Work Center is pleased to announce its incoming 2021-2022 Fellows, an exceptional group of emerging artists and writers selected from a pool of more than 1300 applicants from across the globe. The incoming Writing Fellows are Shastri Akella, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Vedran Husić (returning, second-year Fellow), Gothataone Moen, Zeynep Özakat, Laura Cresté, Tracy Fuad, Eduardo Martinez-Leyva, Samyak Shertok, and H.R. Webster. The incoming Visual Arts Fellows are Kevin Brisco Jr., Widline Cadet, Sara Emsaki, Nick Fagan, Elizabeth Flood, Lavaughan Jenkins, Peter Pothoven (returning, second-year Fellow) Tinja Ruusuvuori and Sichong Xie. The Work Center is also pleased to welcome painter and master printer Andrew Mockler (Visual Arts Fellow 1990-1991) as incoming Chair of the Visual Arts Committee and poet Mark Wunderlich (Writing Fellow 1996-1997 and 2000-2001) as Chair of the Writing Committee. The Visual Arts and Writing Committees are vital to the successful administration of the Work Center’s signature Fellowship.
SABLE ELYSE SMITH NAMED ONE OF 16 LGBTQ VISUAL ARTISTS TO KNOW
Essence Magazine has just named Sable Elyse Smith (Visual Arts Fellow 2016-2017) “one of the black contemporary artists that have increased queer visibility and shaped our understanding of identity and sexuality through their work.” Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist who creates using photography, illuminated neon text, video installations and other mediums. “Queer individuals are the heartbeat of the arts community. Since the beginning of time, LGBTQ men and women and non-gender conforming artists have held space for unpopular sentiments, magical possibilities and powerful truths on stages, screens and canvases. Painters, videographers, photographers, collage makers, and other artists help us see ourselves and one another. The work of these creators is worthy of attention and consideration year-round, and platforms like Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, ISE-DA, and the Queer Biennial are working to ensure that happens.” Image above: FEAR TOUCH POLICE, 2020, screenshot from landing page to digital magazine. Image courtesy of Swiss Institute, New York. Note about this work – A short clip functions as the backdrop for Sable Elyse Smith’s multimedia project in three issues – “FEAR TOUCH POLICE” – commissioned by the Swiss Institute and exhibited on a dedicated website. It is roughly 18 seconds of footage showing a solitary car parked by the side of a road at night engulfed in flame. After 14 seconds the car explodes, the camera jolts and then restabilizes. Then the clip resets.
SAM MESSER CREATES MURALS FOR AMAZON’S NEW “THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD” MINI-SERIES
Sam Messer (Visual Arts Fellow 1981-1982) was asked to create a series of extraordinary murals and paintings for Amazon’s new 10-part mini-series “The Underground Railroad.” Created and directed by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins, the series is based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad. “The series chronicles Cora Randall’s desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad beneath the Southern soil.” In addition to two large paintings, Messer painted two murals – each nearly 20’ wide – as part of the production. “The first mural depicted the people who built this nation – by the slaves who worked for the people who took the land from the indigenous people. The second mural depicts hope and the story of moving from the time of slavery to the future,” says Messer.
ANN REICHLIN’S NEW INSTALLATION AT EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY – “TRANSIENT ROOM”
Ann Reichlin’s (Visual Arts Fellow 1988-1989) stunning new installation “Transient Room,” opened at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia in May 2021, almost one year after the intended 2020 opening which was postponed due to the pandemic. “Even without an artist’s intervention, the light that enters the cells is remarkable,” says Reichlin. “A reflective plane installed in a cell explores the contradictions inherent in Eastern State’s architecture and historic practices. These cells can be considered simultaneously “restrictive, cruel, and hauntingly beautiful.” Stepping into the cell, visitors experience the reflective plane’s impact on this complicated space as it bends the shape of the light entering from the skylight, creates an imaginary room by reflecting and distorting the cell’s architecture, and alters the floor plane of the cell.” Images above: Transient Room (details), 2021, Mirrorlite and wood, 18” long x 8’4” wide x 13’ high at the highest point, 8.5” high at the lowest point
ARGHAVAN KHOSRAVI’S NEW EXHIBITION AT RACHEL UFFNER GALLERY
“In Between Places,” the new solo exhibition from Arghavan Khosravi (Visual Arts Fellow 2018-2019), has recently opened at the Rachel Uffner Gallery in NYC. “Largely made in isolation during the past year of quarantine, the new works in the exhibition build upon Khosravi’s previous explorations of techniques taken from historical painting genres — such the use of stacked perspective in Persian miniature painting — while also incorporating new sculptural and three-dimensional elements that further emphasize qualities of illusion and artifice. The paradoxical scenes in Khosravi’s paintings often reflect the artist’s experiences growing up and living in Iran, where personal freedom remains severely constrained by ideological autocracy. Rendered on surfaces that have been layered to create visual depth, the new paintings evoke the structure of a theatrical set and the corresponding implication of a not-quite-real world built on false appearances.” The exhibition runs through June 5. Image above: Four Elements, 2021, verso, acrylic and cement on cotton canvas wrapped over shaped wood panel, wood cutout, plexiglass, 38.5” x 68.25” x 8”
AUTUMN WALLACE – SOLO EXHIBITION AT GAA GALLERY PROVINCETOWN
Autumn Wallace’s (Visual Arts Fellow 2019-2020) new solo exhibition has just opened at Gaa Gallery Provincetown. “How to Hug Yourself: 10 Steps (with Pictures),” based on a Wikihow article, is a solo exhibition of Wallace’s paintings, sculptures, and a limited-edition artist book. “The exhibition walks the viewer through a non-linear hybrid of a how-to-manual, existential guide, and a visual narrative. Through exploring motifs including rebirth, baptism, fortune-telling, penmanship, sadism, and altruism, Wallace’s exhibition examines human sexuality, gender, kinship, and caregiving. Meticulously rendered in oil, acrylic, and pastel with accents of gold leaf and rhinestones, Wallace’s paintings are animated by a rich tonal range, texture, and an acute sense of color, surface, and materiality. Influenced by early 90’s cartoons, Byzantine aesthetics, Baroque Style, Neoclassicist paintings, and what Wallace describes as ‘low-quality adult materials.’” Through June 28. Left image: Gold Plated Moment, 2021, acrylic, oil, pastel, and gold leaf on PVC, 48” x 48” Right image: Good Lookin',Out (a.k.a. Classic Holoalphabetic Scenario), detail, 2021, acrylic, oil, pastel, and gold leaf on PVC, 48” x 48”
“DEADLY WEAPONS” – LINDA BOND’S NEW INSTALLATION AT EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY
“Deadly Weapons,” is the title of the powerful new installation by Linda Bond (Visual Arts Fellow 1978-1979) at Eastern State Penitentiary historic site in Philadelphia, PA. The only new installation selected for 2021, “Deadly Weapons” adds a profound new work to the other artist projects installed throughout the old penitentiary site. An outgrowth of the work Bond has been engaged with for many years, the installation is comprised of a cell floor carpeted in Mylar blankets, a curtain of knotted shoelaces, and a blanket woven with multicolored shoelaces and Mylar strips that all reference the experiences of immigrants detained at the U.S. – Mexico border. “When asylum seekers are taken into custody, their shoelaces are confiscated because they may be used as “deadly weapons.” This also prevents detainees from running away. Inside crowded holding cells, migrants sleep on floor mats with only Mylar blankets for warmth. Upon release – in most cases back into Mexico – the shoelaces are often not returned. With little at their disposal, many asylum seekers fashion makeshift shoelaces from metallic strips of the Mylar blankets issued to them in detention.” The installation will be on view through 2021.