Multidisciplinary, Oakland-based artist Catherine Monahon brings Conversations with the Material World, four sculptures with four corresponding soundscapes, to MCLA's Gallery 51. Monahon is currently one of the artists-in-residence at The Walkway House downtown; they run Waveform Ceramics, a clay classroom in Oakland, and are using the time at the Tend Residency to strengthen their trauma-aware, healing-centered arts curriculum.
Through Conversations with the Material World, they invite visitors to engage with an interactive audio installation that celebrates our connection to our own creative impulses. This sensual, playful, interactive installation features sculptures made of glass, wood, fiber and clay. The work is made to be touched, designed by a collective of queer and/or non-binary artists. Each object is accompanied by a soundscape inspired by the material, maker and process.
The installation prioritizes engagement, play and introspection. Access to material knowledge and feeling safe to touch and explore the material world is a human right; this right isn’t always equally accessible to all. So much opportunity for connection is embedded in something as simple and commonplace as soft fabric or polished wood --reminders of the material world and opportunities to be intimate with materials are ever present. The soundscapes explore themes of intimacy, family, grief, home, tradition and identity. Slip on a pair of headphones, press play, and yes, you can touch the art!
Conversations with the Material World premiered at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden as a part of Sound Scene Fest in June of 2022, with its West Coast debut last fall at Yerba Buena Night. Contributing artists include Philly-based sound designer Lizzy de Lise, San-Francisco-based furniture designer Dominique Tutwiler, Ohio-based fiber artist Selena Loomis and New York-based glassblower Deborah Czeresko. The work was conceived through Material Feels, a monthly art podcast Monahon produces that explores the intimate relationship between people and the materials they fall in love with.
MCLA Arts & Culture (MAC) is pleased to announce a call for entries for a rotating summer exhibition featuring the work of artists from North Adams and the surrounding communities (preference given to artists within 25 miles of North Adams). Selected artists will install artwork or create a mini-installation in the storefront windows at 49 Main Street.