Project Updates

CSArt 2017 is Underway!

The 2017 CSArt program will begin this April with nine artists selected through a professional jury process this March. Jury members include Vera Ingrid-Grant, Director of Harvard’s Cooper Gallery; Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director and Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography; Ruth Erickson, Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art and Ben Sloat, Interim Director, MFA in Visual Arts at Lesley University. This year’s program is supported through partnerships with Cambridge Arts Association and Cambridge Community Television.

Modeled after agricultural share programs, Community Supported Art provides artists with resources to create a series of fifty small, original works to be sold to collectors. Artists will receive a stipend of $2,500, membership to the Cambridge Art Association, and have access to a range of professional development workshops and exhibition opportunities.

Introducing the Large Share Collection

Large Shares include work from the nine artists, Mireli Books, Marcia Cohen, Estelle Disch, Melissa Glick, Linda Haas, Janet Malenfant, Margarette Mattos, Anne Plaisance, and Deidre Tao. 

Mireli Books, In Time and Space Cambridge

Mireli Books, In Time and Space Cambridge, 2016 CSArt Share

I created a poster for drawing of an original composition interpretive of Cambridge’s intellectual and cultural roots. The inspiration for my piece came from the striking architecture of our City. I used a diagram of the Greek’s first analogue computer as a backdrop to five iconic Cambridge images:  The Craigie House, City Hall, the Old Library, Kendall Square – MIT, and the John W. Weeks Bridge – Harvard. The idea behind the antikythera mechanism was to evoke Cambridge’s innovation spirit by using an image reminiscent of the nickname ‘The Athens of America’.

Marcia Cohen, Wall At George’s Island

Marcia Cohen, Wall At George’s Island, 2016 CSArt Share Series

I have been a watercolor painter for many years, but recently I started doing silkscreen.  I repurpose silkscreen prints by cutting them apart and printing over them. For this project I started with a color photograph of a wall from the fort at George’s Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.  The color image was converted to black and white, and then into a bitmap of dots which was burned into a screen. I printed this image over my recycled prints, so that each of the 50 shares has the same image on top but with a unique background.

Estelle Disch, Textures and Trees

Estelle Disch, Textures and Trees, 2016 CSArt Share Series

I love trees and textures, and I used images of both together to create the phototransformations submitted to the CSArt program. Unidentifiable impulses lead me to work with certain trees and textures among the hundreds of each in my photo collection. I created tem new images, made five numbered and signed archival pigment prints of each image, and have agreed to never again make these images at the submitted size. They are in 11×14 archival mats, ready for frames. I greatly enjoyed making them, and I hope you enjoy as well.

Melissa Glick, Variation on a Theme

Melissa Glick, Variation on a Theme, 2016 CSArt Share Series

Black, white, silver, gold, a clock face and a thrift store frame are the elements used in 50 unique assemblages made with E-waste and collage. This series explores the act of seeing: illusion, layers, negative space; and the act of seeing in a new way: repurposed, reimagined materials previously considered to have no value.

 

 

 

Linda Haas, Other Places

Linda Haas, Other Places, 2016 CSArt Share Series

One of my greatest joys over the past few decades has been to combine travel and photography. The four photos I’ve contributed as my  CSArt share are part of this ongoing work. In my recent travels to Wales and Italy I was able to record numerous images through the filter of my eyes and my camera lenses. Upon returning home to Cambridge, I engaged in a thorough editing process and ultimately individually printed my chosen photos.

 

 

Janet Malenfant, Summer Garden

Janet Malenfant, Summer Garden, 2016 CSArt Share Series

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” These words by author Michael Michalko inspired this body of original paintings, created exclusively for the Cambridge Community Supported Art program. For several years I have explored the effects of light, color and movement through photography, creating images with ‘bokeh’ (or blurred) effect. In this project, I decided to capture that same feeling using flower gardens. I would lay in the garden looking up through the flowers with the sky peeking through and the sunlight blurring the details. Replicating that imagery has been interesting and rewarding and I hope those who purchase a share with my work feel the sun, sky and beauty of nature in the paintings.

Margarette Mattos, Windows

Margarette Mattos, Windows, 2016 CSArt Share Series

Through the suggestion of “Windows”, I invite the viewer to find new angles and new ways to view the image, creating different visions and moods for both the art and the viewer, while showing the balance and poetry unique to each creation. The fascination with the colors and textures of raw iron ore, extracted from the city of Itabira and the Serra dos Carajas area of Brazil, is the inspiration for my artwork. By combining the ore with other materials I produce abstract images on canvas.

 

Anne Plaisance, The Art’s Room Project

Anne Plaisance, The Art’s Room Project, 2016 CSArt Share Series

The art shares I created are intentionally socially engaged, they try to raise awareness about homelessness. Each piece represents a famous woman who had been homeless in her life: Ella Fitzgerald, Jennifer Lopez, Shania Twain, Marianne Faithfull, Hilary Swank, Halle Berry. Each artwork is unique, signed and numerated. The techniques I used are drawing (white ink, graphite, sometimes acrylic painting) and collage (one play dollar bill, paper for the portraits, cardboard, sometimes pieces of coloured papers).

Deidre Tao, Riverbend at Dusk

Deidre Tao, Riverbend at Dusk, 2016 CSArt Share Series

I receive inspiration from the natural landscape and exchange a dialogue with it, bringing my own thoughts and feelings about the spirit of the place to the canvas. “Riverbend at Dusk” is inspired by the location of Nasketucket Bay, a quiet and sheltered inlet off of Buzzards Bay in the Southcoast region of Massachusetts. This painting evolved from a number of pictures I took in the late afternoon just before sunset when the sun was low. The color contrasts of orange and blue were compelling to me, as were the shapes of snowdrifts and shadows. Available in the share are signed prints of this piece specifically painted for the program.

Introducing the Medium Share Collection

Medium Shares include work from Mireli Books, Marcia Cohen, Linda Haas, Janet Malenfant, Anne Plaisance, and Deidre Tao. 

 

Mireli Books, In Time and Space Cambridge

Mireli Books, In Time and Space Cambridge, 2016 CSArt Share

I created a poster for drawing of an original composition interpretive of Cambridge’s intellectual and cultural roots. The inspiration for my piece came from the striking architecture of our City. I used a diagram of the Greek’s first analogue computer as a backdrop to five iconic Cambridge images:  The Craigie House, City Hall, the Old Library, Kendall Square – MIT, and the John W. Weeks Bridge – Harvard. The idea behind the antikythera mechanism was to evoke Cambridge’s innovation spirit by using an image reminiscent of the nickname ‘The Athens of America’.

Marcia Cohen, Wall At George’s Island

Marcia Cohen, Wall At George’s Island, 2016 CSArt Share Series

I have been a watercolor painter for many years, but recently I started doing silkscreen.  I repurpose silkscreen prints by cutting them apart and printing over them. For this project I started with a color photograph of a wall from the fort at George’s Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.  The color image was converted to black and white, and then into a bitmap of dots which was burned into a screen. I printed this image over my recycled prints, so that each of the 50 shares has the same image on top but with a unique background.

Linda Haas, Other Places

Linda Haas, Other Places, 2016 CSArt Share Series

One of my greatest joys over the past few decades has been to combine travel and photography. The four photos I’ve contributed as my  CSArt share are part of this ongoing work. In my recent travels to Wales and Italy I was able to record numerous images through the filter of my eyes and my camera lenses. Upon returning home to Cambridge, I engaged in a thorough editing process and ultimately individually printed my chosen photos.

 

Janet Malenfant, Summer Garden

Janet Malenfant, Summer Garden, 2016 CSArt Share Series

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” These words by author Michael Michalko inspired this body of original paintings, created exclusively for the Cambridge Community Supported Art program. For several years I have explored the effects of light, color and movement through photography, creating images with ‘bokeh’ (or blurred) effect. In this project, I decided to capture that same feeling using flower gardens. I would lay in the garden looking up through the flowers with the sky peeking through and the sunlight blurring the details. Replicating that imagery has been interesting and rewarding and I hope those who purchase a share with my work feel the sun, sky and beauty of nature in the paintings.

Anne Plaisance, The Art’s Room Project

Anne Plaisance, The Art’s Room Project, 2016 CSArt Share Series

The art shares I created are intentionally socially engaged, they try to raise awareness about homelessness. Each piece represents a famous woman who had been homeless in her life: Ella Fitzgerald, Jennifer Lopez, Shania Twain, Marianne Faithfull, Hilary Swank, Halle Berry. Each artwork is unique, signed and numerated. The techniques I used are drawing (white ink, graphite, sometimes acrylic painting) and collage (one play dollar bill, paper for the portraits, cardboard, sometimes pieces of coloured papers).

Deidre Tao, Riverbend at Dusk

Deidre Tao, Riverbend at Dusk, 2016 CSArt Share Series

I receive inspiration from the natural landscape and exchange a dialogue with it, bringing my own thoughts and feelings about the spirit of the place to the canvas. “Riverbend at Dusk” is inspired by the location of Nasketucket Bay, a quiet and sheltered inlet off of Buzzards Bay in the Southcoast region of Massachusetts. This painting evolved from a number of pictures I took in the late afternoon just before sunset when the sun was low. The color contrasts of orange and blue were compelling to me, as were the shapes of snowdrifts and shadows. Available in the share are signed prints of this piece specifically painted for the program.

Introducing the Small Share Collection

Small Shares include work from Estelle Disch, Melissa Glick, and Margarette Mattos. 

Estelle Disch, Textures and Trees, 2016 CSArt Share Series

Estelle Disch, Textures and Trees

I love trees and textures, and I used images of both together to create the phototransformations submitted to the Art Share program. Unidentifiable impulses lead me to work with certain trees and textures among the hundreds of each in my photo collection. I created 10 new images, made 5 numbered and signed archival pigment prints of each image, and have agreed to never again make these images at the submitted size.

Melissa Glick, Variations on a Theme

Melissa Glick, Variation on a Theme, CSArt Share Series

Black, white, silver, gold, a clock face and a thrift store frame are the elements used in 50 unique assemblages made with E-waste and collage. This series explores the act of seeing: illusion, layers, negative space; and the act of seeing in a new way: repurposed, reimagined materials previously considered to have no value.

Margarette Mattos, Windows

Margarette Mattos, Windows, 2016 CSArt Share Series

The fascination with the colors and textures of raw iron ore, extracted from the city of Itabira and the Serra dos Carajas area of Brazil, is the inspiration for my artwork. By combining the ore with other materials I produce abstract images on canvas.

Through the suggestion of “Windows”, I invite the viewer to find new angles and new ways to view each piece, creating different visions and moods for both the art and the viewer, while showing the balance and poetry unique to each creation.

 

Melissa Glick: Variations on a Theme

Melissa Glick

When I first learned about the Community Supported Art Share, I thought, there was no way I could make 50 pieces by a deadline.  But once I realized I had no other plans, I took on the challenge and I am so happy I did. Since agreeing I have met some wonderful new colleagues, participated in the Cambridge River Festival, attended a photography workshop, a swanky cocktail party in Kendall Sq and have started getting my Instagram pictures liked by members of the Cambridge Arts Council.

I call my work Hacker Creations, because a hacker is someone who takes things a part and puts them back together in new and interesting ways.  I combine 2D color and pattern with 3D computer parts in compositions that are lively, decorative and fun. My work contains a child-like sensibility of experimentation and “seeing beauty in unusual places” and has been described as being “structural poetry”.

melissa5
Victorian Girls, 2014

Whether it is copper that conducts electricity or glass that insulates the design and material of all technological components is determined in order to do a job. My creative impulse is stimulated by the multitude of variations. Intuitively, I want to arrange them into eye catching ways- employing positive and negative space, mirroring, repetition, scale and pattern.  I create interaction using contrast- black against white, round against square, small pattern against… whatever seems to make it pop!
My creative process is one of experimentation and discovery! We all know the role serendipity plays in discovery!  I have experimented with size in pieces measuring 5 ft x 4 ft made from multiple sheets of wood hung together. I have powered moving gears and fans using batteries and inserted working clocks early on – as in my Victorian Girls. I produce unusualearrings and necklaces and a line of “Steampunk” inspired work including broaches that adorn bowler hats.

melissa2
The Inspiration

The piece that inspired my Art Share series came about organically and turned out to be perfect for this project because it provided a framework of limited elements that could be fulfilled in unlimited ways. Composed within a black & gold, 5″x 7″ thrift store frame, it has a pallet of black, white, silver & gold and contains a clock face.
I once read some where, you have to go to the studio every day, not because you will be inspired every day, but you have to be in the right place, when it reveals itself. So I began to assemble the parts I needed. I became focused on collecting small picture frames at the thrift store I routinely visited. I made a special trip to an antique store in Waltham, MA to see their inventory of old watches. I purchased supplies off ebay for the first time (porcelain faces with Roman numerals), and explored the Jewelry Building on Washington Street.

melissa4
The System

I began taking the necessary steps of painting frames, cutting wood, adhering backgrounds. Being organized and having all the parts is all well and good, but that is not how art is made. I know that when my hands working, that part of my brain, that always distracts me with ideas… starts begging for attention. When I’m cleaning up the studio and sorting thru parts, it says “that one, that’s the piece you need” or “that one reminds me of the swirly pattern.”
So yes, the Community Art Share program has given me a wonderful, challenging learning opportunity which has made me realize and try many new things from organization and systems to making pieces marketable.  – Perhaps inserting my nontraditional technique into a conventional frame, as well as the diminutive size will be something people would like to buy? – It has certainly shown me how to mass produce a product which I plan to offer the shops that carry my work. I have 105 more days to complete this project and I am sure to make many more new discoveries. Since I have no idea what will transpire. I can only plan, prepare and keep at it.

melissa6
Make it pop!

Estelle Disch: Phototransformations

Estelle Disch

I love trees and textures, and I use images of both to create what I call; Phototransformations. All images used are ones that I shoot myself. During fall 2015 and winter 2016, I developed about a dozen new tree-and-texture images that I made available for sale via Cambridge Open Studios and my website. Participating in the Community Supported Art program has encouraged me to continue to expand that series, and, so far, I have about five new images. My plan is to create at least ten new ones for this program. I’ll print about five of each, numbered and signed, and will never print those images in that size again. They’ll arrive in 11×14 mats, ready for frames.
My work process is both preplanned and exploratory. I shoot with Phototransformations in mind, but I never know exactly what will emerge. I have hundreds of tree images and hundreds of textures, so the combinations are effectively endless. Unidentifiable impulses lead me to work with certain trees and textures at any particular moment. Some new images work, but most don’t. I try different approaches while working in Photoshop and stop working with an image when I feel like it’s either going trees%2c-teal-1nowhere or is getting close to something good. If it’s going nowhere, I toss it. If I feel interested in it or excited about it, I put it away for a while and reexamine it later. When I revisit the work, I do one of three things: toss it; put it in a “to work on” file; or decide that it is a keeper and begin to fine-tune it. Fine-tuning can involve such things as obsessive elimination of errant spots, such as debris in water; a color or tone shift in parts of the image; an adjustment of patterns; an additional texture; or a slightly different crop.

The CSA program has motivated me to get to work and see what emerges. I’m enjoying the process and look forward to seeing where it takes me.

www.estelledisch.com 

Janet Malenfant: Fresh Inspiration

Janet Malenfant

The inspiration for my CSA project is a painting I created this past spring titled ‘Wisteria.’ This piece is a large scale abstract and is my interpretation of looking up through a wisteria vine with shadows and glimmers of green leaves, sky and the white bright of sparkling sun. I have a neighbor with a spectacular garden and she’s allowed me to lay on the ground and gaze up through the flowers. Yesterday I came across a beach rose on the sand and the colors with the sky, water and beach surrounding it had a feeling of sparkling energy. Looking at nature this way can create unusual lighting and bursts of color and I enjoy interpreting what I see.

Working on this Community Supported Art program (CSart) has encouraged me to reflect on my presence as an artist to the greater community and to develop connections to people who are interested in my work. When I worked as a graphic designer it was a much more collaborative process than painting alone in my studio. I’ve discovered that sharing my painting process and concepts is a way to explore and develop new techniques.

My greatest challenge is to create multiples (50!) of my work. Creating this many paintings has forced me to think out of the box and explore new ways to develop my paintings. I began by photographing flowers, gardens and trees from unusual angles to capture sky and texture. Next I took notes and painted small studies to begin developing an abstract interpretation. In order to paint this many paintings on the 6×6 gesso boards, I first created a wood frame that will hold about twenty of these boards snugly. With this frame on my easel, I treated all twenty boards as one painting to give me a starting point for my work. Next I pulled them out and laid them on a work table to begin the second phase of filling in the individual paintings. There is a certain rhythm in working this way and the many layers give the paintings a sense of movement and passage of time. The final stages will include fine tuning with oil pastels and other media.

My journey to this body of work stems from a series of macro bokeh images that I photographed a few years ago. Some of those images were taken through trees into sunlight and the abstraction and color derived from those photographs were surprisingly saturated with color and movement. I wanted to try this with paint and on a larger scale and ‘Wisteria’ was created. Replicating that imagery on a smaller scale for this project has been interesting and rewarding and I hope those who purchase a share with my work feel the sun, sky and beauty of nature in the paintings.

So far, in the early stages of working on this CSA project, I’ve been able to reflect on things that I don’t always give focused attention: my social media presence, website and my general presence outside the studio. I am grateful to the Cambridge Arts Council for awarding me a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to develop this body of work. It’s given me the opportunity to grow as an artist and to share this project with a new audience. The CSArt program is a fun and exciting way for people to collect art and support arts in our community and it feels great to be a part of that creative energy!

Study for the CSA Project: janet1  6×6 inch cradled board set up in newly constructed frame for underpainting:

janet2

Boards laid out for second stage of painting:janet3

Detail of unfinished paintings:

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www.janetmalenfant.com
Facebook: Janet Malenfant, Artist

Marcia Cohen: Silk Screening, Process and Practice

Marcia Cohen

I have been a watercolor painter for many years, but recently I started doing silkscreen. The most common question I receive is “What is silkscreen?” Many people are familiar with silkscreen t-shirts and posters and perhaps Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, but have not idea about the process itself, so in order to understand what I do, one needs to understand the process.

Silk screen: How it works

For a great introduction to silk screening, I recommend these two sources in addition to my text below:
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/printmaking/screen-printing.htm
http://printwiki.org/Screen_Printing

This is a picture of one of my screens being made. The “silk” (which is now a synthetic fabric) has been stretched and stapled over the frame.

Tape is placed arouncohen1d the screen and then the screen is coated with photo emulsion.
An image is placed between the screen and a light table in order to “burn” an image into the screen. The image blocks the light from the emulsion so that when the screen is washed the emulsion only remains around the image.

cohen2 In this example a diamond shape was used. The diamond was then painted with more screen coating material in order to block more areas:

 

 

Printing the diamond:

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Ink is placed at the end of the screen and is squeezed through the screen via a squeegee:

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The blue ink on this screen printed this image:

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The same image can be printing many times as seen above.

How I use silk screen in my art

For T-shirts and posters, where the goal is to reproduce the exact same image over and over, the only variation might be to change the ink color or change the background color. In contrast, my goal is to create unique final images by printing layers of images so that each layer sits on the previous layer in a different way. I might print the same image all over the page in one color and then go back and print the same image in a different color. Like watercolor painting color mixing, if I print an image in blue and then print over part of it in yellow, I will create areas of green.

I use a variety of images: photographs, cut paper stencil shapes, drawn shapes, blocks of color. Through Photoshop I collage images to create a unique image to “burn” into the screen. I also reuse “unsuccessful” prints by cutting them apart and printing over them.

For this Communitcohen6y Supported Art project I intend to print a single image over previously made prints, creating 50 unique prints. At the moment, I am thinking about using a distorted image of this photograph of the fort walls a George’s Island. I won’t know if this works, until I try it.

artsicle.com/marcia-cohen