Artists Depart But Leave Their Art

By Susan BushPrint Story | Email Story
Artist and ZiehrSmith gallery owner Scott Ziehr during a Jan. 30 "100 Hours In The Woodshed" art exhbit opening at the MCLA Gallery 51.
North Adams - The artists who toiled during a marathon five-day collage-art event are bidding farewell to the city but the art created is displayed at the MCLA [Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts] Gallery 51 on Main Street.

The "100 Hours In The Woodshed" exhibit opened on Jan. 30 with a reception at Gallery 51. The exhibit will conclude on Feb. 18.

Very Taken

Among the over 150 people who attended the reception was MCLA President Mary K. Grant. The talents of the participating artists are awe-inspiring, she said.

<L2>"When you look at what has been produced; I am very taken with what I am looking at," she said. "It's been great fun. The energy and the bringing together of this very talented group of artists has been great."
Artists traveled from areas such as Boston, New York City, and New Hampshire to participate during the event.

"An Amazing Five Days"

Artist Danny O brought the idea to MCLA Special Projects Director Jonathan Secor after O participated with a similar event in 2006 at the ZiehrSmith gallery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Secor agreed that the premise was a good one and artists were invited to take part.

Scott Ziehr, owner of the ZiehrSmith gallery, was among the artists who gathered in the city and exercised his artistic imagination. An estimated 400 people passed through the gallery and watched as the artists worked and that interest was appreciated, Ziehr said.

"Everybody that came in from North Adams seemed to have a great time with this," he said.

Secor termed the event "an amazing five days."

"It's been great to be a part of this creative process," he said.

During a brief opening ceremony, Secor praised O's involvement with the event. O is a renowned collage artist who is also known for a specific and unique ink-and-tape art medium.

"He has truly made North Adams the collage," Secor said.

O offered appreciation to the city and the artists.<R3>

"For me, this is the best show I've ever been in and the best show I've ever seen," O said.

Best In Show: Eric Legacy

A list of symbolic awards was read and included city-based artist Mark Mulherrin as "Hometown Hero," Carla Michel as the artist with the "best one-liners," and Lana Z Caplan as having "the best iPod."

O delivered a "best friend" award to Ziehr and Ziehr returned the favor by dubbing O the "best ever."

Artist Eric Legacy of New Hampshire captured an $250 award for "Best In Show." Legacy used an assortment of found parts to create "Dragula," a nearly full-sized replica of a dragster.

"I'm pretty psyched," said Legacy, speaking about reaction to his work and the award.

"Danny [O] and I talked about this about five years ago," said Legacy, whose art includes working with metal. "I even bought a model and it's been hanging around my studio. So this show came up and I said 'what the hell, I'm gonna build a dragster.' It was magic the way it all went together."

"Dragula's" parts include baby carriage wheels, AC electric motors, cast-aluminum boiler blocks, copper pipe,a pair of espresso-makers and part of a fire extinguisher, he said.

<L4>And while he walked away with a top honor, Legacy said that the entire exhibit shows the best of the best.

"It's a good show and all the work is strong," Legacy said. "For a multi-artist show, this is a grand slam."
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