Wayfinding on view through September 25

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MCLA GALLERY 51 TO EXTEND ‘WAYFINDING: A solo show by Melanie Mowinski

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will extend the exhibition of Melanie Mowinski’s “Wayfinding” through September 25, 2016. Please come and meet the artist at a reception during  DownStreet Art night on Thursday, August 25th from 5-8 pm.

“Wayfinding” is about trusting the way and understanding the many paths to get to the same destination literally and figuratively. Through installation, letterpress, book arts and collage, artist Melanie Mowinski presents an investigation of the motivations behind the paths taken in life.

While on sabbatical from her position as Associate Professor of Art at MCLA, Mowinski was one of three visiting artists in Venice, Italy at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, served as an artist­in-­residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City and traveled to Memphis, Chicago, Clarksdale, Miami and New York City. In each of these cities or towns, she tracked her walks and wayfinding with a combination of data from electronic devices, drawings and writings. This information became the source for many of the drawings and artist books in “Wayfinding.”

Mowinski cultivates experimentation in her artwork alongside traditional bookbinding and art making practices, in addition to repetitive mark­making, which is the hallmark of this exhibition. One of the primary symbols in her artistic iconography is the simple dot that she clusters in two­-dimensional form in drawings and three-­dimensional form in the installation, “What Can Happen in a Year.” The dot represents a myriad of possibilities literally and metaphorically.

“I am continually drawn to the act of repetition as a form of prayer and meditation, whether it is making a mark over and over, creating the same sculptural object, or editioning an artist book, that act of repeating becomes the thing that grounds me in my process and focuses my attention.”

She also gravitates towards one-­of­-a-­kind artist books housed in unusual and traditional enclosures including Please Forgive Me, Parallel and Appetite for Egress, which are part of this exhibition.

Her artist books under the imprint 29 PRESS are in private and public collections like the Crouch Library at Baylor University, The Free Library of Philadelphia, The Ruth Hughes Collection at Oberlin College, Tate Modern Museum of Art in London, and the Love Library at the University of Nebraska­Lincoln.

Mowinski is the 2016 recipient of the Cultural Council Northern Berkshire Individual Artist Grant. CCNB is one of the local branches of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu.

Special thanks to Nicole LeClair for the photographs in this blog post.

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