1 The MacDowell Colony Newsletter Vol. 32, No. 1, Summer High Street Peterborough, NH Spotlight In the Community, 9 MacDowell Moment, 5 Defining Interdisciplinary Art, 3 The 44th MacDowell Medalist Four Artists, Four Stories: Open Studio Bill Jacobson and Chris Doyle In Their Own Words and more!
2 2 Letter from the Director A Sanctuary for Innovation By Cheryl A. Young, Executive Director The image of MacDowell as a quiet retreat for artists belies the fact that it is one of the hottest contemporary art centers in the country. Today s best artists are creating new work in these New Hampshire woods daily. Those works of art first see the light of day through our studio windows and then go on to reach the wider world in the marketplace of ideas: in theatres, music and book stores; galleries, museums, and concert halls; on stages, in movie houses, and on the Internet. Keeping up with new ways of making art is how MacDowell stays fresh. And in turn, the new art work that results from residencies freshens and enlivens our culture. Experimentation may not always be pretty, but it is exciting. Talent is what We must think and see in new ways or society will stagnate. Producing new art and believing in the value of the arts to society is the fertilizes the Colony s basis on which The MacDowell Colony was founded in 1907 and rich environment, has guided the program for the past 100 years. but it is the freedom So how does MacDowell keep up? The answer is by examining its admissions process and by attempting to address artists to experiment that stimulates needs in order to attract the highest caliber of people. Talent is what breakthroughs. fertilizes the Colony s rich environment, but it is the freedom to experiment that stimulates breakthroughs. This summer, we are pleased to formally recognize interdisciplinary artists a cadre of individuals who have certainly broken through the boundaries of art by awarding the Edward MacDowell Medal to one of their own. Merce Cunningham, the acclaimed and always inventive choreographer, exemplifies the way in which art can be made more powerful by incorporating other forms, other media, other ways of thinking. He, like the numerous interdisciplinary artists who have come to MacDowell, is constantly refining and redefining the art world through experimentation. It is his career that MacDowell will honor on Medal Day, but it is his pursuit of the new that we honor every day when we welcome someone to his or her studio for the first time. COURTESY OF COLONY FELLOW B.A. KING The MacDowell Colony nurtures the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of imagination. The Colony was founded in 1907 by composer Edward MacDowell and Marian MacDowell, his wife. Colonists receive room, board, and exclusive use of a studio. The sole criterion for acceptance is talent, as determined by a panel representing the discipline of the applicant. The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1997 for nurturing and inspiring many of this century s finest artists. Applications are available from either the New Hampshire or New York addresses below, or at our web site: Chairman: Robert MacNeil President: Carter Wiseman Executive Director: Cheryl A. Young Resident Director: David Macy The MacDowell Colony Newsletter is published twice a year, in June and December. Past residents may send newsworthy activities to the editor in Peterborough. Deadlines for inclusion are April 1 and October 1. For more timely updates we encourage Colonists to post their news and events on the Calendar section of our web site. Editor: Brendan Tapley Design and Production: Jill Shaffer All photographs not otherwise credited: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey Cover photos (clockwise from left): Mobile Home (Communiqué), photograph, 1996, Peter Garfield; Merce Cunningham, photograph by Edward Santalone; Tom Varner, photograph by David Macy; Eaves, photograph by Colony Fellow Stanley Garth Printer: Braden Printing, Keene, NH No part of The MacDowell Colony Newsletter may be reused in any way without written permission. 2003, The MacDowell Colony The MacDowell Colony is located at 100 High Street Peterborough, NH Telephone: Fax: Administrative office: 163 East 81st Street Telephone: Fax: Web site:
3 Proper I.D. MacDowell has been accepting interdisciplinary artists since 1988 and will award its MacDowell Medal to one this August. But the question remains: What exactly is I.D.? There is the inevitable laugh when an I.D. artist is asked to define I.D. For some, the laughter stems from amusement, for others it s fatigue. Not because they ve been asked the question a lot (in fact, many have not), but because to get to the source of what makes an artist an interdisciplinary one can be circuitous. My teacher, Lee Breuer, used to say that interdisciplinary art is an event that takes place in the time and space in which the event takes place, says Dan Hurlin, a member of this year s Medal Selection Committee and a board member. Then, he laughs. Laughter aside, there is a guiding principle for MacDowell s Admissions Committee, to which Hurlin belongs. And it is happily succinct: An interdisciplinary artist is an artist who incorporates more than one art form into his or her work. Admissions Coordinator Courtney Bethel, who must often distinguish between I.D. and other disciplines, says that I.D. began as a response to performance art but has since grown due to the insurgence of new technology as well as the trend in art to move away from static forms of photography, sculpture, and painting. More and more, artists are using multiple forms of media to create art, which is where they cross the line into I.D. Of course, these are but two definitions in a field that proffers many. I liken it to being promiscuous, laughs Colony Fellow Chris Doyle. There are great pleasures to be had in other disciplines. Working among the disciplines changes those conventions and vocabularies. You make a third thing. I think there s something contemporary about wanting to do things simultaneously. Peter Garfield, a four-time MacDowell Fellow in I.D., would agree. We are culturally trained these days in such a fragmented way from this massive culture of entertainment that I can t force myself to just be a painter. It s an interesting point and one that s shared among the interviewed artists. Most came from traditional forms Hurlin from theatre, Garfield from classical trumpet, Doyle from architecture and chose to break from them. There are personal reasons, of course, but in the bigger picture, it seems that I.D. s overall appeal is its ability to accommodate the ever-changing technology and materials available to artists. One gets the sense that I.D. may offer the most contemporary palette. I.D. is a vaporous term, says Dexter Buell, an interdisciplinary artist who emerged from the world of sculpture. Almost all good artists are interdisciplinary now because functioning with an I.D. ethic means that you include other conceptual frames. Plus, I.D. serves the peripatetic aspect of our culture, the way we go from cable to print to television to the Internet. If MacDowell is any indication, the mass media that informs I.D. is also reflected in those who want to do it. Since 1988, the average number of artists who have applied for an I.D. residency is 36. The average number of applicants for a filmmaking residency, an equally contemporary medium, is 39. I.D. is catching up. For this last ID artist Dexter Buell s photographic reconstruction of the Icarus myth. I liken it to being promiscuous, laughs Chris Doyle. There are great pleasures to be had in other disciplines. Dexter Buell is currently working on photographic reconstructions of significant historical and mythological moments, such as John Glenn s insertion into Mercury 7 and Icarus being launched by his father Daedalus (pictured above). He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in Seattle and received his MFA from Yale University School of Art. He has recently been an artist-in-residence at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut, and received the Purdee Prize for outstanding accomplishment in sculpture from Yale University School of Art in Buell has twice been a MacDowell Fellow.
4 4 Chris Doyle is currently working on a cycle of large-scale watercolors that documents the making of videos and performances for Jessica Murray Project and a video installation based on a live helicopter performance for The Sculpture Center. His work has recently been shown at P.S.1 Museum of Contemporary Art, The Queens Museum of Art, and The Sculpture Center. His major public projects include LEAP, presented by Creative Time, Commutable, and The Public Art Fund. Doyle has been in residence at MacDowell four times. The visibility of the Medal, the recognition it provides... it will rub off on the whole field. Dan Hurlin Proper I.D. continued summer period alone, the number of applicants beat the annual average at 63. It s a relatively young discipline, says Hurlin. It s full of grandfathers, but not greatgrandfathers. It doesn t carry the burden of tradition. Buell seconds that idea: It encourages people who don t think traditionally. Doyle, the former architect, says, There were things that I wanted to say that were not best said by buildings. It wasn t the way I wanted to speak. While I.D. might spring from personal choices or personal frustrations, it is still very much concerned with connecting to an audience. Part of my intention is to expand the audience, says Doyle. For him, the versatility of I.D. often promises a diversity of eyes, ears, and minds to look at his work. That seems like a natural result; if I.D. has emerged from mass media and incorporates numerous elements from it, isn t it inevitable that it would have mass appeal? Well, I do think mainstream tolerance for I.D. elements has increased, says Hurlin. I mean, look at Blue Man Group and Stomp. They re selling tickets left and right. Peter Garfield is an I.D. artist working primarily in photography, sculpture, video, and painting. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux- Arts, Paris, he is now based in Brooklyn, New York. In 1993, Garfield was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his work as a painter and in 1999 was awarded a fellowship grant by the New York Foundation for the Arts for his artist book Harsh Realty. He has been a MacDowell Fellow four times. His work is pictured on the cover of this issue. Others aren t so sure. When I apply for grants, says Garfield, they don t look at the whole body of work. They say No, you do photography, or You do sculpture. I definitely feel dropped through the cracks. The marketplace is about categories, says Doyle. And I.D. is a category about not categorizing. It s harder for galleries to sell things. For all these artists, it is important that MacDowell is awarding its esteemed Edward MacDowell Medal for the first time in 44 years to an I.D. artist. It s unbelievably significant, says Hurlin. It s an incredible validation for people working outside boundaries. The visibility of the Medal, the recognition it provides... it will rub off on the whole field. Of course, leading the way has never been unusual for the Colony. MacDowell champions I.D., says Doyle. MacDowell is a refuge for those who want to work outside the marketplace. Mac- Dowell supports what s not easily supportable. Identity crisis? Well, not here. Dan Hurlin received a 1990 Village Voice OBIE award for his solo adaptation of Nathanael West s A Cool Million. His suite of puppet pieces Everyday Uses for Sight: Nos. 3 and 7 earned him a 2001 New York Dance and Performance Award or BESSIE. He has performed with Ping Chong, Janie Geiser, and Jeffrey M. Jones, and directed premieres of works by Lisa Kron, Holly Hughes, Dan Froot, and John C. Russell. He has received individual artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he is a 2002 Guggenheim Fellow. Hurlin has served on the faculties of Bowdoin, Bennington, and Barnard colleges, and Princeton University. He currently teaches both dance and puppetry at Sarah Lawrence College. He is a MacDowell Colony board member.
5 MacDowell Moment 5 PHOTO: BRENDAN TAPLEY 1919 Eleanor Vanni was one of the first one of the first local citizens to grow up with the Colony. Now 84, Vanni sat down to talk about the early days, her remembrances, and the ongoing power of the place that began shortly before she was born. Q: How did you come to the Colony? A: Both my parents died from influenza when I was three days old. My uncle, Michael Wallace, who was the caretaker at The MacDowell Colony, and his wife took me and my brother in. They had three children of their own. This was in I m an old lady now, you know 84-years-old. Q: What stands out in your mind from that time? A: I remember the animals. Cows, pigs, Mrs. MacDowell s horse, Prince. Prince would pull Mrs. MacDowell on a sort of carriage. It was a working farm, and I remember the butter making, all the gardens they had, and the blueberrying I did for the pies Mary Tineri made in the kitchen. Of course I also remember Mrs. MacDowell. She was very nice. She never criticized anyone. My uncle really liked her, and she always treated him well. Q: Did you have any specific jobs? A: Well, I did the ironing, and I guided the tours when people would stop in. I would show them the Log Cabin and the library. We didn t disturb anyone, you know. Thornton Wilder he was so busy. Always working. Everyone was. But there was always somebody coming up from the town. Q: Was there a reason so many people visited? A: People in Peterborough were so proud of the place. It was exciting. It was exciting for me, too, because I was there from the beginning. I have happy memories. MacDowell ended me up in a good place! PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ELEANOR VANNI above: The inscription on the photograph of Marian MacDowell reads: To Michael Wallace with the warm regards and sincere friendship of Marian MacDowell (Mrs. Edward MacDowell) July 1st, 1925 Peterborough, N.H. left: A friend atop Prince, Mrs. MacDowell s horse. A GIFT OF TIME... Gifts from The MacDowell Colony s friends, Colony Fellows, and the general public are essential in helping the Colony continue its mission of the past 96 years to provide exceptionally gifted artists with time, a private studio, and a supportive community of artists working in many different disciplines. Each year, the Colony must raise funds to underwrite the costs of fellowships for some 240 talented artists from across the country and abroad, who come to work in the studios at MacDowell. Annual gifts are directed in their entirety to support the artists residency program at MacDowell. Contributions may be named in honor or memory of a friend or loved one, and they can provide unique gifts for any occasion. Your annual gift entitles you to membership in The MacDowell Circle and will be recognized in The MacDowell Colony s Annual Report. All contributions are fully taxdeductible to the extent provided by law. Please use the gift envelope bound into this newsletter s centerfold to make your gift by mail, visit the Give section of the Colony s web site at for more information on making a secure donation online, or contact the Development Office at for assistance. We greatly appreciate your support of the artists of The MacDowell Colony.
6 6 From the Kitchen MOROCCAN ROASTED CARROT SALAD The MacDowell kitchen is perhaps the most trafficked spot on all the Colony s 450 acres. Why? Simple: There s inspiration and recuperation in equal measure here. Whether you need to recover from wrangling with that novel or want to celebrate painting the last brushstroke, the MacDowell kitchen as famed foodie M.F.K Fisher would say serves it forth. For those interested in replicating MacDowell s culinary magic at home, try this recipe from Chef Christiane Smith. It s a meal, it s a side dish, it s gourmet, and it s comfort food all in one. It s also easy. PHOTO: BRENDAN TAPLEY PHOTO: BRENDAN TAPLEY Serves: 8 Cooking time: 60 minutes For roasted carrots and dressing: ¾ lb medium carrots (about 4), peeled and quartered lengthwise 1 red onion peeled and slivered into eighths ¼ cup + 1 tbs. olive oil 1¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. black pepper 2 tbs. sugar 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice 1 tbs. fresh grated lemon zest 2 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. cayenne For couscous: 2¾ cups water 2¼ cups Israeli or Pearl couscous* 1 tbs. olive oil 2 tsp. salt Additions: ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) 1. Make carrots and dressing: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To roast carrots, place the carrots, onion, 1 tbs. of the olive oil, ¼ tsp. of the salt and the pepper on a baking sheet. Toss well and transfer to the oven. Roast carrots, shaking occasionally, until they just begin to caramelize around the edges (about 30 minutes). The carrots should be firm and not mushy. Meanwhile, make the dressing in a bowl by whisking together the sugar, lemon juice, the rest of the oil, spices, and remaining salt until the sugar is dissolved. When the roasted carrots are cool enough to handle, cut them into angled 1-inch slices and toss them well with the dressing. Cover and marinate the carrots chilled for at least 4 hours. 2. Make couscous and assemble salad: Bring water, salt, and olive oil to boil in a heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then reduce to simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Spread couscous in 1 layer on baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in carrot mixture, the additions, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature. * Made from semolina wheat and toasted, Israeli (or pearl) couscous is about the size of a peppercorn. It is readily available at Middle Eastern markets and at some grocery stores; orzo pasta and pearl barley make fine substitutes. CALLING ALL FELLOWS The peaceful amphitheatre, majestic Monadnock, the view from a room of one s own, fellow artists... the Colony is interested in expanding its image bank. If you or anyone you know has taken photographs of MacDowell that they would like to donate (black and white or color), please forward them to us with a letter giving proper credit information. In the event we use them for publications, on our web site, or for historical purposes, appropriate acknowledgement regarding the donation will be made. We thank you in advance for helping to capture the spirit of MacDowell. Filmmaker Jadina Lilien
7 News 7 Fellows Executive Committee Dispatch By Julia Jacquette, President, Fellows Executive Committee Since our party in October, the Fellows Executive Committee met in December, 2002 and March, At the first meeting, the Committee determined how best to spend the approximately $3,000 raised for the Colony at the Annual Fellows Party. The imac in Colony Hall, purchased by the Committee for use by the Fellows a few years ago, has proven indispensable since its installation. And thanks to the generosity of Colony Fellow Rosalind Solomon, we have come into possession of a second computer, a Macintosh G3. The Committee has suggested that the majority of this year s contribution be used to refurbish and update the G3, hire a computer consultant to provide ongoing support for FEC President, Julia Jacquette both machines, and purchase two tables specifically designed for computers in Colony Hall. The remainder of this year s gift has been conveyed without restrictions, leaving its use to the discretion of the Colony. Also discussed at the past two meetings was MacDowell s upcoming Centennial celebration. Among the many topics considered were how best to honor the Colony, how to amplify its mission to the public, and how to enlist more MacDowell Fellows. To send ideas on these very important subjects as well as any other suggestions, please me at: One final note: The 2003 Annual Fellows Party will be held on Friday, October 17, The party is once again at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery at 529 West 26th Street in New York. Invitations will be sent to all MacDowell Fellows in early fall 2003, so watch out for them, and we hope to see you at the party! Not Resting on Their Laureates For the first time in history, the United States poets laureate gathered to probe the implications and impact of poetry in art and throughout the world. More than 30 laureates, hailing from such states as Alaska and Wisconsin, Above: State laureates gather in New Hampshire. joined New Hampshire laureate Marie Harris and NEA chairman Dana Gioia for a three-day conference in April in Manchester, New Hampshire. Among those gathered were Colony Fellows Irene McKinney (West Virginia) and Larry Woiwode (North Dakota). Helen Norris, a MacDowell fellow and current laureate from Alabama, could not attend. When I started writing, most people paid no attention to poetry; it had no public clout, says McKinney. This public discussion will help me bring stuff back to my own state. It might cause the state capital to call on me for a few more things. This event brings poetry out of the usual-suspect places, says Katie Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Writers Project, the sponsoring organization. We re going into businesses, science museums, state prisons everywhere. The conference, dubbed Poetry and Politics, was a compelling mix of conversation and readings, including panels on poetry and education, human creativity and the brain, poetry and the spirit, and the poet as citizen. It culminated in a keynote speech by Gioia who emphasized that a voice is all an artist needs to better his or her community. There wasn t even a central list of [the poets laureate] when we began to put this together, says Marie Harris. New Hampshire is where a lot of the key issues facing our country get defined and debated. We want to make sure that culture, and specifically poetry, is part of that discussion. In addition to poets laureate on the state level, MacDowell has had an impressive seven poets go on to occupy the national post. They include Louise Bogan ( ), Louis Untermeyer ( ), Reed Whittemore ( and ), Josephine Jacobsen ( ), Stanley Kunitz ( and ), Anthony Hecht ( ), and Robert Fitzgerald ( ). PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE WRITERS PROJECT
8 8 Events PHOTO: STEVE TUCKER PHOTO: STEVE TUCKER An Extraordinary Evening On December 2, 2002, more than 250 people attended MacDowell s Annual Benefit celebrating MacDowell artists and the 65 Pulitzer Prizes they have won. The benefit, which was held at The University Club in New York City, was one of the most successful to date, raising $302,000 to support MacDowell s residency program. Directed by Scott Perrin, the program featured performances and works by Pulitzer Prizewinners Oscar Hijuelos, Galway Kinnell, James Lapine, Ned Rorem, and Wendy Wasserstein. Special thanks to our Co-Chairmen Ruth M. Feder and Helen S. Tucker for helping us make this such a successful event. Conversations in Concert Program participants (back left to right) Oscar Hijuelos, Lauren Flanigan, Ned Rorem, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Robert MacNeil, Regina Taylor, (front left to right) James Lapine, Wendy Wasserstein, Sara Niemietz, and Melissa Errico. Nancy Newcomb and John Hargraves hosted a Salon Evening, Conversations in Concert, in their home on February 26th. Guests enjoyed performances of current work by Colony Fellows and composers Robert Beaser Left to right: William Ferguson, Nancy Newcomb, John Hancock, Robert Beaser, Stewart Wallace, John Hargraves, and Mark Ribot. and Stewart Wallace, along with guest artists William Ferguson, John Hancock, and Mark Ribot. We are grateful to our hosts, the Salon Committee, and the participating artists. The Local Seen It was a busy winter and spring for MacDowell artists and not just in their studios. Not only did MacDowell s new monthly public program, MacDowell Downtown, continue its success at the Peterborough Historical Society, but an increasing number of artists found their way into classrooms around the Monadnock region. As Sue Copley, principal of Peterborough Elementary recently said, We ve been delighted to have MacDowell Fellows come here. They all provide very profound experiences. I know it must take time and effort to set these up, but we re really appreciative. Here is a list of recent outreach activities not pictured at right: MacDowell in the Schools with filmmakers Aviva Kempner, Jennie Livingston, and Anne Makepeace ConVal High School MacDowell Downtown with filmmaker Jennie Livingston Filmmaker Jessica Sharzer screens her film The Wormhole for the Kiwanis Club MacDowell Downtown presents Lady in the Wings, the 1954 Hallmark film about the Colony MacDowell in the Schools with filmmaker Ed Radtke ConVal High School MacDowell in the Schools with filmmaker Jonathan Glatzer ConVal High School MacDowell in the Schools with composer David Rakowski The Well MacDowell Downtown with filmmaker Tom Gilroy National Poetry Month at the Peterborough Town Library Poets Shin Yu Pai, Carol Oles, Jo McDougal, and Andrea Cohen National Poetry Month at the Peterborough Town Library Poets Gail Taylor, Sara McCarthy, Shira Dentz, Traci Dant, and Hugh Ogden Poet Hugh Ogden reads for the Kiwanis Club
9 In the Community 9 MacDowell Downtown December... It was a holiday event to remember as Mac- Dowell Downtown showcased the music of composer, Colony Fellow, and board member Alvin Singleton along with three student violinists. The trio performed Be Natural, which Singleton wrote in 1974 and for which he won the prestigious Kranichsteiner Musikpreis. February... Iranian-American writer Roya Hakakian read from her forthcoming memoir on her comingof-age experience in both countries. Hakakian s book, Journey Out of the Land of No, which she completed at MacDowell, will be published by Crown in January, left: Composer Alvin Singleton (left) greets audience member and Sharon resident Dan Claff. right: (from left) Actors Mark Teffler, Meredith Nicholaev, Rebecca Gomes, and Zack McQueary celebrate with playwright Dominic Orlando. below: Writer Roya Hakakian (right) with board member Mary Garland. March... Playwright Dominic Orlando collaborated with Peterborough resident and drama instructor Bob Lawson to present a one-act play Terror of the Physical Being. Four actors studying at nearby college Franklin Pierce interpreted the play in a staged reading. MacDowell in the Schools February... Composer Tom Varner met with students in grades one through eight at Mountain Shadows School in Dublin, NH. After describing the French horn he brought with him, Varner played blues and jazz music, then demonstrated improvisational techniques. PHOTO: DAVID MACY PHOTO: DAVID MACY above: Elaine Agnew (in center) makes a circle of musical enthusiasts at Peterborough Elementary. left: Students in rapt attention for composer Tom Varner (at far left). February... Irish composer Elaine Agnew brought her enthusiasm and talents to a fourth-grade class at Peterborough Elementary. Agnew led the students through games and exercises to illustrate rhythm in music.
10 10 In Their Own Words What has sustained you on your artistic path? When I think of the word sustain, I initially think of what sustains not only the human body but life itself; perhaps it s the essential combination of nourishment and joy. I have been making photographs in a variety of ways for more than 30 years. The process has been a continuous inquiry into my own life s questions. On occasion, I have been lucky enough to be rewarded with what I feel are significant answers, and it is this process of asking and receiving which has ultimately sustained me. There are days or even years when it feels like I m accomplishing fairly little. But when I find that I ve created something new that I ve actually never seen before, the feeling is like nothing else, and I m encouraged to want to do it again. In a more practical way, support from colonies like MacDowell, grants, and sales have been invaluable in the continuing struggle to lead a creative life. I also credit an ongoing dialogue with my friends who are artists. And living in New York, with an awareness of the city s amazing community of creative souls, serves as a continual and essential reminder that I am not alone in my pursuits. Bill jacobson Bill Jacobson started making photographs when he was fifteen. His work is in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and many others. He will have an exhibition of new photographs in October at Julie Saul Gallery in New York. Path just isn t a slippery enough word to describe the way that work evolves. It scares me a little to think about what keeps me on a path because believe me, I stray. Trained in architecture, I used to spend most of my time planning the future. As an interdisciplinary artist, I have had to un-learn a mighty part of that training. I had to let go, to trust the process rather than to control it. Long-term plans were When I find that I ve created something new... the feeling is like nothing else. Bill jacobson The truth is that somewhere along the way, who I am got wrapped up with what I make. Chris Doyle scrapped in an instant based on an instinct to change direction. My newfound embrace of flexibility led to a comfort with unfamiliar media as well. I love to plunge into a new project with a new set of tools and fresh parameters. Like many people who grew up in late twentieth-century America, I come from a family that was nearly nomadic, moving from place to place almost obsessively. I have laughed at my parents for their promiscuity of place. And I have come to thrive on slipping between projects, materials, and media. Ironically, their pattern of living has become my pattern of working. I do a lot of different things under the general category called work. The day-to-day activities can vary wildly depending on the project. That s part of where the joy is; most of those activities are a source of pleasure. Some seem fairly urgent at the time, while others are more like playing around. I trick myself into working by burying the work inside the sensuality of play. Whatever the medium, whether making drawings, videos, or multimedia public projects, I am attempting to construct a sensual experience. My pleasure comes from the immediacy of craft. Is this enough in terms of sustenance? Is this why I continue the struggle to make a big enough space in my life to continue working? The truth is that somewhere along the way, who I am got wrapped up with what I make. I change gears in an effort to surprise myself. If that never happened, then I suppose I d pack up the studio. But in the most fleeting and oblique ways, I have tasted it. And now it seems, I am a revelation junkie. Chris Doyle Chris Doyle is an interdisciplinary artist. His work has recently been shown at P.S.1 Museum of Contemporary Art, The Queens Museum of Art, and The Sculpture Center. He is currently working on a cycle of large-scale water colors that documents the making of videos and performances for Jessica Murray Project and a video installation based on a live helicopter performance for The Sculpture Center, both to open in September.
11 From November, 2002 to April, 2003, The MacDowell Colony welcomed a total of 117 artists from 19 states and four countries. This group included 58 writers, 24 visual artists, 17 composers, 11 filmmakers, four interdisciplinary artists, and three architects. Elaine Agnew, composer Larne, Co. Antrim, Ireland Darol Anger, composer Oakland, CA Helene Aylon, interdisciplinary artist Jonathan Berger, interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Bibeau, painter Somerville, MA Matt Bloom, fiction writer Astoria, NY Shane Book, poet Nepean, Ontario, Canada James Boorstein, nonfiction writer Barbara Bosworth, photographer Somerville, MA Alan Brown, fiction writer Emily Brown, painter Philadelphia, PA Jane Brox, nonfiction writer Dracut, MA Bliss Broyard, nonfiction writer Carole Burns, fiction writer Washington, DC Bruce Busby, sculptor Jackson Heights, NY Catherine Bush, fiction writer Toronto, Ontario, Canada Michael Chabon, fiction writer Berkeley, CA Jiyoung Chae, sculptor Hopewell Junction, NY Debbie Chapel, fiction writer Sudbury, MA Julia Cho, playwright Seong Chun, sculptor Cynthia Cruz, poet John Dalton, fiction writer Carrboro, NC Anne D Angelo, sculptor/painter Brookline, MA Richard Danielpour, composer Traci Dant, poet Bolingbrook, IL Painter Emily Brown Quietude gets a bad rap these days; to be heard, one gets the idea one must shout. But Emily Brown, whose paintings are disarming in their subtlety, offers the kind of reprieve only found on the shores of a private swimming hole, beneath an umbrella of oak branches, or lying in a field just above a farm done for the day (all scenes she s painted). I love to see the evidence of modest human lives within the larger context of hills and wild growth and brilliant, changing skies, she says. In the open countryside the work and personal lives of people are organically connected; life seems to be whole and satisfying and natural. Economic and social patterns are more physical and visible than in our urban settings, and a sort of Utopian ideal seems to exist for the outsider. Brown has been painting landscapes since the 60s and shows no signs of fatigue. For her, the natural world literally stands for aspects of life and emotional experience. She wants her work to become an act of presence for the viewer. Her recent canvases seem to invoke several acts of presence. In these paintings, Open Studio 11 superimposed on the overall landscape, are smaller squares of the same scene from different vantages. The multiplicity of viewpoints offered by the squares furthers and refines the natural moment afforded in her work. Just when one might turn away, there is a different way to see the same picture, sense the same emotion. Some may argue that the landscape is not radical territory, but today, the quiet assertion of it could very well be the kind of revolutionary expression that keeps getting louder. Clockwise from top left: Darol Anger, Shane Book, Bruce Busby, Traci Dant, Seong Chun, Jiyoung Chae
12 12 Open Studio Amanda Filmmaker Mitch McCabe Mitch McCabe changes her hairstyle frequently. No, make that a lot. Recently, she has sported the bob, the layered, the long, and the real short. These days, McCabe is letting it down soccer-mom style and spending her days at MacDowell writing a script called Frosted Blonde with Dark Roots. I m obsessed with where you ve been and where you re going, she says. I like characters who seem Darwinian in how they adapt themselves to any situation. How they do their hair? Well, maybe not specifically, but Frosted Blonde is about a sharp, ambitious woman the picture of feminist success who leaves her PhD studies in women s history to marry a man whose family bankrolls the religious right. Inspired by a true story, the woman undergoes a tailspin of identity and arrives at a very dark place. Hence the title. And its embedded metaphors. Appearance and reality may be a tried and true theme, but McCabe is more compelled by understanding the appeal of appearance and the lengths people will go to preserve it for the sake of acceptance. It is an interest, or obsession, born out of her family and one she explores poignantly in her film Playing the Part, which won the 1995 Academy Award in the student category. Playing the Part is also about a lonely, unseen young woman who feels the tug of adulthood and the responsibilities it implies. I think one of the things adulthood is about is articulating what you want your life to be, but I think we re often scared of adulthood for that reason. But the gift of adulthood is turning that corner and saying this is who I am. Coming of age and the loss of innocence that defines it is something McCabe revisits often in her work, but she embraces the onset of adulthood in spite of its attendant losses. She conveys how those losses become gains by virtue of the truths they impart. Being an adult is knowing that time is not forever, she says before pulling her hair into a ponytail. Clockwise from top left: Nicholas de Monchaux, Judith Dupré, Maximilian Goldfarb, Simen Johan, Aki Ishida,Terence Haggerty Davis, fiction writer Oakland, CA Nicholas de Monchaux, architect Judith Dupré, writer Mamaroneck, NY Jason Eckardt, composer Merrill Feitell, fiction writer Peter Filkins, poet Cheshire, MA Dennis Finnell, poet Greenfield, MA Laurie Foos, fiction writer Shrewsbury, MA Kenny Fries, nonfiction writer Northampton, MA Lise Funderburg, nonfiction writer Philadelphia, PA Nora Gallagher, fiction/nonfiction writer Santa Barbara, CA Tara Geer, painter Tom Gilroy, filmmaker Jonathan Glatzer, filmmaker Los Angeles, CA Maximilian Goldfarb, sculptor Edward Grazda, photographer Richard Haas, painter Yonkers, NY Terence Haggerty, painter Essex, England Roya Hakakian, nonfiction writer Woodbridge, CT Joelle Hann, poet Pagan Harleman, filmmaker Joel Harrison, composer Laura Hendrie, fiction writer Brooklin, ME Fred Hersch, composer Jack Hitt, nonfiction writer New Haven, CT Simeon Hutner, filmmaker Los Angeles, CA Lee Hyla, composer Boston, MA Aki Ishida, architect Rodney Jack, poet Tallahassee, FL Simen Johan, photographer
13 Tayari Jones, fiction writer Mesa, AZ Julia Jordan, playwright Aviva Kempner, filmmaker Washington, DC Sabina Klein, printmaker Andrea Kleine, playwright Christopher Koep, painter Hampton, NJ Jocelyn Lee, photographer Cape Elizabeth, ME Joan Leegant, fiction writer Newton, MA Juhee Lee-Hartford, architect Jadina Lilien, filmmaker R. Zamora Linmark, poet Honolulu, HI Jeanne Liotta, filmmaker David Lipten, composer Mt. Pleasant, MI Jennie Livingston, filmmaker Anne Makepeace, filmmaker Santa Barbara, CA Martha McDonald, interdisciplinary artist Philadelphia, PA Jo McDougall, poet Little Rock, AR Barton McLean, composer Petersburg, NY Priscilla McLean, composer Petersburg, NY Deirdre McNamer, fiction writer Missoula, MT Laura Mullen, poet Fort Collins, CO Deborah Navas, fiction writer Hancock, NH Abner Nolan, photographer San Francisco, CA Hugh Ogden, poet Glastonbury, CT Carole Oles, poet Chico, CA Dominic Orlando, playwright Jena Osman, poet Philadelphia, PA Alicia Ostriker, poet Princeton, NJ Karen Ostrom, photographer Brian Payton, fiction writer Vancouver, BC, Canada Photographer Ferenc Suto When Ferenc Suto first had Internet access in 2001, he went to E-Bay and looked for roller derby memorabilia. The sport, a rougher and realer precursor to WWF wrestling, disappeared in 1973, but somehow what he had watched at age 12, tried to learn professionally at age 19, and abandoned when the idea of bruises outweighed interest, still haunted him. I started researching everything on Google, started wondering why I was attracted to the sport, why I was obsessed with it. If obsessions reveal something true, then for Suto, roller derby began to hint at a deeper curiosity. A curiosity that began to manifest itself in photographs. The photographic series he worked on at MacDowell color pictures of athletes in old derby gear poised in a nostalgic, romantic glow, faces angled anonymous is held counterpoint to black and white versions of different athletes almost overcome by their gear and the toll of athletic brutality. To me it s about the fluidity of masculinity, where you fit in. I ve struggled with masculinity, struggled not to be feminized, says Suto. It s an interesting statement, coming from someone who looks like a professional athlete Open Studio 13 himself, but it s clear that Suto s struggle is about belonging to a kind of missing male energy. He characterizes that energy as one that does not choose between being macho or effeminate but accommodates both. The loss of that fluidity is palpable in the photographs. Like a Greek torso, the subjects in the pictures appear powerful and heroic in their facelessness, and one can project a great deal onto them. The overarching projection seems to concern this lost masculinity a masculinity that acknowledges strength and physicality, but also the vulnerability of being of the body and the intimacy of men expressed in a forgotten sport. Clockwise from top left: Tayari Jones, Jocelyn Lee, Martha McDonald, Brian Payton, Hugh Ogden, Abner Nolan
14 14 Open Studio Margo Poet Gail Taylor The notion of home has been a theme ever since Odysseus reunited with Penelope. But the idea of a home that you carry, that is not a place but a state of mind, seems in keeping with today s virtual world. With this book, I thought about the African- American Diaspora, how someone like Harriet Tubman and the 300 slaves she helped had to leave homes, pack their belongings, their gifts, and travel. It s part of the African- American tradition, always transcending your current state, says poet Gail Taylor, whose new collection Guest House took off at MacDowell. Guest House, a book Taylor describes as an echo of incidents, is a good title as it challenges the idea of a native home. A child of civil rights activists, Taylor bounced from Alabama to Washington, D.C., from Appalachia to Normal, Illinois. The idea of being a guest in one s own home was not far off, but more significantly, Taylor says her itinerant lifestyle taught her to be myself wherever I am. Why do we think that the home on the range is the ideal? What also comes to play in the collection is how a stranger can interrupt a community, something that resonates racially for Taylor. It s threatening when a stranger walks into a neighborhood, she says, referencing the histories of gypsies, the Bedouins, and African- Americans. Those who carry their homes with them are the objects of prejudice. I ve been that girl in the neighborhood. While Taylor confesses that her rootless life took a long time to accept in fact, she still admits to a fascination with traditional domesticity she readily acknowledges that what she cannot pass down in heirloom furniture or generational mementos, she can with words. Poems are the only real thing from my family that you can pass down. Clockwise from top left: Willa Rabinovitch, Ed Radtke, Russell Steinberg, Emna Zghal, Mark Winges, Katrina Tuvera Rabb, fiction writer Willa Rabinovitch, fiction writer Oakland, CA Ed Radtke, filmmaker Los Angeles, CA David Rakowski, composer Maynard, MA Peggy Rambach, fiction writer Andover, MA Lisa Eunice Reisman, nonfiction writer Branford, CT Frances Richard, poet Mary Ruefle, poet Amherst, MA Mary Jo Salter, poet Amherst, MA Daniel Scott, fiction writer Jessica Sharzer, filmmaker Los Angeles, CA Alvin Singleton, composer Atlanta, GA Daniel Smith, nonfiction writer Rosalind Solomon, photographer Russell Steinberg, composer Encino, CA Allyson Strafella, painter Barry Strauss, nonfiction writer Ithaca, NY Ferenc Suto, photographer Stephen Tourlentes, photographer Somerville, MA Jonathan Treitel, fiction writer London, England Katrina Tuvera, fiction writer Paranaque City, Philippines Tom Varner, composer Ayelet Waldman, fiction writer Berkeley, CA Frances White, composer Princeton, NJ Susan White, nonfiction writer Mark Winges, composer San Francisco, CA Rae C. Wright, interdisciplinary artist Carolyn Yarnell, composer San Francisco, CA Emna Zghal, printmaker Susan Zielinski, painter Somerville, MA
15 Remembering 15 Sally Avery Colony Fellow and board member Sally Avery died January 9, She was 100 years old. Avery, who joined the board in 1988, was a three-time Colony Fellow in the 1950s in painting. Along with her husband, Milton, Avery established The Milton and Sally Avery Fellowships for painters of outstanding ability. Just recently, Avery was given the honor of Trustee Emeritus by the MacDowell board of directors. The honor recognizes the lifelong commitment and service by an individual to MacDowell. Only two other individuals have been so honored in MacDowell s 96-year history. Amanda Davis Writer Amanda Davis, who had just completed her second residency at the Colony in January, died on February 18, She was 32. Davis said her first novel, Wonder When You ll Miss Me, was born at MacDowell during her stay in In addition to that novel, Davis had also published the short story collection Circling the Drain. Both books were critically lauded, and Davis herself was often described as a promising Sally Avery Amanda Davis young writer. The New York Times said she wrote gently, even poetically, about extraordinary brutality, and that her work offered a well-guided tour of scarred souls who ve witnessed terrible things, and surprisingly, found odd bits of beauty in them. Davis, who was working on a new novel during her last residency, was well-loved by staff and her fellow residents, who, upon hearing of her death, united to make donations to the Colony in her honor. Contributions in Davis memory may be made to The MacDowell Colony, 163 East 81st Street, New York, New York Lucy Grealy Noted memoirist, essayist, and fiction writer Lucy Grealy passed away on December 18, Grealy was in residence at MacDowell three times and wrote Lucy Grealy Dancing a Sad Thought and Pony Party at the Colony. Grealy is perhaps best known for her memoir Autobiography of a Face, which chronicled her facial disfigurement from cancer at age nine and the resulting ordeals of growing up with the affliction. In a Boston Globe feature about the writer, author and friend Sven Birkerts wrote, When the writer Lucy Grealy died, some of our most consoling notions went with her. Grealy was 39. Lou Harrison Composer and 2000 MacDowell Medalist Lou Harrison died on February 2, He was 85. Harrison had a long, distinguished career as a composer, instrument builder, critic, activist, and professor. Throughout his life, he collaborated with Lou Harrison several Mac- Dowell notables, including composer and critic Virgil Thomson and composer Michael Tilson Thomas. When Harrison spoke at Medal Day, he said about his music, There s almost no joy like making the first sounds It was a fitting statement from someone whose sounds have become so lasting. Glen Seator Sculptor Glen Seator, whose work was a part of the 1997 Whitney Biennial, died on December 21, He was 46. Seator was a two-time Colony Fellow who was known for creating works that The New York Times said blended realism and surrealism but also commented on social issues. In 2000 and 2001, Seator was a scholar-in-residence at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He had been recently working Glen Seator on large-scale photographs. He is survived by his mother and three sisters.
16 Join Us for Medal Day Sunday, August 17, 2003 Free and open to the public. 12:15 pm Edward MacDowell Medal Award Ceremony for Merce Cunningham under the tent. Colony Fellow Meredith Monk, presentation speaker. 1:15 pm Picnic Lunch on the grounds near Colony Hall. Bring your own picnic lunch or reserve a basket lunch using the reservation form at right. 2:00-4:00 pm Open Studios by artists-in-residence. Visit some of the 32 artist studios at the Colony. Contributions to support Medal Day are welcome and help make this wonderful community event possible. Medal Day Sponsors are listed in the program and receive two complimentary basket lunches: Supporter $1,000 Benefactor $500 Patron $250 Friend $100 The two complimentary basket lunches should be: Regular Vegetarian Additional baskets may be ordered using the reservation form at right. I cannot attend Medal Day and, therefore, do not wish to reserve two complimentary basket lunches. MEDAL DAY LUNCH RESERVATION RSVP by August 1, 2003 NAME ADDRESS TELEPHONE Enclosed is my Medal Day Sponsorship: Includes two complimentary basket lunches(at left) I would like to order basket lunches Regular + Vegetarian = Total lunches x $20: (The value of each lunch is $20.00 and is not tax deductible.) I would like to make a contribution to support Medal Day: $ $ $ Amount Enclosed TOTAL $ or Visa/Mastercard # Name (as it appears on card) Signature Exp. Date Make checks payable to: The MacDowell Colony, 163 East 81st Street, Special thanks to our Medal Day Corporate Partner, Jefferson Pilot Financial. The MacDowell Colony 100 High Street Peterborough, NH Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 11 Peterborough, NH