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Taking to the Woodshed
Collage artists hold creative marathon
Max Jeffers of Boston takes a break from collage-making to play the guitar at the Woodshed in North Adams. (Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe)
By Cate McQuaid
Globe Correspondent / February 5, 2011
Globe Correspondent / February 5, 2011
NORTH ADAMS — Jazz musicians have a term, “take it to the woodshed.’’ Go out back with your ax and work it out. For five days in January, 30 collage artists converged on North Adams with their axes — stashes of paper and fabric, kits filled with pencils and scissors and paint — for a marathon trip to the woodshed.
The results of their efforts can be seen in “100 Hours in the Woodshed III,’’ at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Gallery 51, through Feb. 20.
100 HOURS IN THE WOODSHED IIIAt: MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main St., North Adams, through Feb. 20. For information: 413-664-8718
O’Connor and New York art dealer and artist Scott Zieher masterminded the Woodshed. The two have met up to spend weekends working alongside artist friends for almost 20 years.
|Danny O. and Mr. Scott Zieher|
“Everyone comes with a plan and a purpose,’’ said artist Daniel O’Connor, also known as Danny O, as he took a break from dabbing paint over pages of text. “Hopefully, that gets shattered.’’
“It’s an incredible opportunity for artists,’’ said Zieher. “It becomes competitive in a good way. You look over your shoulder and see what somebody else is doing.’’
“You’re allowed to steal in this room,’’ O’Connor added. “Not things, but ideas.’’
See photos of the transformation of Gallery 51 from a gallery to a woodshed and back to a gallery here Flicker BCRC
See a photo of each artist at work! (artists shots at the bottom of the 1st page and the 2nd page) here My Flicker
100 Hours in the Woodshed on Facebook!
“I was really nervous. I tried to do a bunch of prep,’’ said Melora Kuhn, pausing from painstakingly cutting elegant silhouettes with a slender blade. “It’s nice to work in a place where other people are working. It’s energizing. Then, I’m ready for a glass of wine at 10 o’clock.’’
O’Connor sees the collage artists as a tribe. They’re all recyclers. They all have a passion for treasures other people toss away. “I came in yesterday and said there’s a liquidation sale at the thrift store, and everyone wanted to go,’’ he said.
|There were even guys working in the basement!|
|Jonathan Sector and the artists sharing cleanup duties|
|This guy is sharing something alright!|
Fart Art by Danny O
Bad Twin digresses from the collection of excerpts from Cate McQuaid's Boston Globe article.
In preparation for Woodshed III I bought the book,
"How to make an Amish Quilt."
And then I broke all the rules.
When I cut the border that I measured five times for accuracy and still came up short, I called out, 'how's red for a border?' I just lost any chance of it being blue as I had planned. My ladies rocking the back corner converged and looked and thought; red was a better choice all along. Even more interesting was that these perceptive woman also looked at the reverse side of my quilt and thought that the lines were art themselves. Take a close look.
I think my next quilt will be an opposite quilt. The lines are like a clean whisper of the image on the reverse.
There's truly something to group mentality.
Everyone was pushed to the edge. Cate McQuaid even put it in her story...
“There is a sense of urgency. You can’t stop,’’ said Caplan, who was splicing together bits of film that Zieher had stumbled over on a Brooklyn street after the first Woodshed, and salvaged just for her.
“The other two times, I’ve made some of my favorite work of the year,’’ Caplan said.
Bad Twin sat right next to Lana Caplan. She was a work horse.
There were days some of us didn't eat. But at the end of each day someone always foraged a pizza or Chinese food and a thirty pack of PBR so no one ever went hungry or without beer in hand. Very unique! A moment to cherish!
I reflected on that while driving back to Boston and across the beautiful Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Full Globe article here...
Collage artists take to the Woodshed - The Boston Globe