The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) announced 13 finalists vying for the Massachusetts 2019 Commonwealth Awards including Manship Artists Residency + Studios in Gloucester, Mass!
press release from MARS:
The Manship Artists Residency + Studios aka MARS is a finalist for the 2019 Commonwealth Awards. Announcing the thirteen 2019 finalists, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker said “The Commonwealth Award is the highest honor in the arts and culture in Massachusetts. It is a celebration of the best of the best and a demonstration of the Power of Culture to enrich us all. This extraordinary group of awardees exemplifies our state’s unique cultural fabric. Their collective and individual achievements have made us a better Commonwealth.”
The Manship Artists Residency + Studios is recognized as an exemplary grassroots effort that brought together the skills, talents, and resources to save a local treasure with national importance as an innovative cultural resource for today and for future generations.
Established as a national and international, interdisciplinary artists residency and cultural hub, MARS has been developing partnerships and alliances with local, regional and international organizations in order to enrich and enhance existing public offerings, as well as to introduce new and exciting creative opportunities. For example, the first cohort of artists that worked at the Manship site were selected by a curator of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover and were included in an exhibition there on sculptor Paul Manship’s legacy this past fall and winter. Local artists also will benefit in many ways – indeed, the first “visiting” artist in January 2017 was Gloucester resident Diane KW. And, among the first “resident’ artists who will begin to stay at the Manship home as soon as renovations are completed on the residence this Spring is Lara Lepionka, a Gloucester artist and social justice activist, who has achieved wide acclaim for her award-winning nonprofit, Backyard Growers.
In addition to visiting and resident artists, MARS welcomes other innovators and cultural leaders. Thus far MARS has hosted a Smithsonian museum conservator, a Metropolitan Museum curator, an independent Maine filmmaker, as well as a dance troupe from New York City. In July 2018, MARS’ hosted its first public event: Quarry Dance VII, a collaboration with Windhover Performing Arts Center attracted over 1000 guests to four free public showings of the site-specific performance. MARS will offer similar signature public events each summer, including exhibitions, installations and performances. The first exhibition at MARS will open the house to the public with artwork by Willie “Loco” Alexander. While Willie is known internationally as a musical pioneer, few have had the pleasure of experiencing his paintings and collages first-hand. MARS is also engaged in educational outreach. Thanks to a generous donor, MARS purchased an original Folly Cove Designer Acorn Press and has loaned this cultural treasure to the O’Maley Innovation Middle School for the use of local students and artists. This loan compliments the Folly Cove Designer (FCD) curriculum that was established in the schools by the Cape Ann Museum several years ago.
MARS Advisor Catherine Amidon commented that “It is always exciting and inspiring when a young organization such as MARS receives recognition for their achievement along with a prominent list of seasoned and accomplished cultural colleagues. MARS’ success is a tribute to the support and guidance of the Mass Cultural Council, and to the generosity of local artists and collaborators, of donors who have invested wisely and who wanted to support the hard work of MARS’ board members, their advisors, and the incredible volunteers who have brought MARS this far in such a short time. Were it not for this collective effort, MARS would not be here today. ”
● For more information on the MCC Commonwealth Awards contact Carmen Plazas, Communications Manager, 617-858-2738.
● For the Manship Project, contact Rebecca Reynolds, Founder and Board President, (978) 290-8438. MARS’ web site is www.manshipartists.org Follow @manshipartists on facebook, twitter and instagram
Manships exhibition and fundraiser for MARS