NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — "Press: Letterpress as a Public Art Project" will open its sixth DownStreet Art 2012 installation, "Captured Life," which features the work of four art majors who soon will graduate from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, on Thursday, Nov. 29 .
An opening reception in honor of these students – Adriana Alexatos, Sarah Howard, Kimberly Lavigne and Julia McDonald – will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Every graduating art major creates a final exhibition as part of MCLA's Senior Art Project. This thesis show is coordinated by MCLA assistant professor of art and Press founder Melanie Mowinski.
"Captured Life" features a spectrum of mediums from photography, printmaking and mixed media collage to charcoal drawings, paintings and sculpture. The artists express a multitude of subject matter, from the humorous to the macabre.
Alexatos creates work that aims to amuse and inspire through contrasting images and symbols within relief printmaking and collage. Inspired by "Day of the Dead" folk art and a set of outdated encyclopedias, she plays with concepts of death and reality. For her, the procedures involved in the making of a complete piece are every bit as exciting as the resulting composition.
Howard works within the field of photojournalism. Working as assistant photographer at the North Adams Transcript, she has photographed people, places and events throughout the northern Berkshires. Her images consist of celebrations, sporting events, disasters and annual events of the region.
Lavigne focuses on mixing photography, typography and collage to create a visceral response. Her work captures different points of life that are expressed in very personal views, and has grown with how she has overcome these obstacles.
McDonald is profoundly interested in studying the processes of preservation and decay. In her mind, preserved things are wonderful, but the truly beautiful relics wear their age in rust and crackle. Logic insists that a life is best quantified after its completion. But while this stands, the passage of time ultimately hides the trials and triumphs of most individuals. At a certain point, an object as simple as a medicine bottle found in the woods or a worn tombstone bereft of its letters can stand as the only evidence left of a person. To her, that item captures their life.
As part of their senior project, each student will give a formal artist talk, where they will discuss portions of their work and their creative process. It will be held in Bowman 204 on MCLA's campus on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
A poster for "Captured Life" was designed and printed at PRESS. The poster was a collaboration between all the artists in this show.
During the opening reception, visitors may create a special edition postcard with one of the Press team members and take home a Press postcard of their own.