MCLA Professor Holiday Open Studio at Greylock Works

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Join artist and MCLA Professor Melanie Mowinski at her studio in Greylock Works on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m -2 p.m. for a peek into the processes that form her book "Collage Your Life." 
The events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. 
"Collage Your Life" evolved out of Mowinski's daily collage practice during Advent, the Christian season of preparation leading up to Christmas. 
According to a press release: Mowinski's fascination with calendars – particularly Advent calendars – led her to create a collage-a-day Advent calendar in 2012. She paired each collage with a mantra statement and reflective writing that she posted to her blog. She decided to keep on with the practice for years following, until it became a December tradition. Nearly 10 years later the writing became the foundation of her book "Collage Your Life."   
In "Collage Your Life" Mowinski teaches a variety of core techniques and provides dozens of prompts to jumpstart the creative process and encourage makers to explore the versatility of collage.
Melanie Mowinski is a professor of art at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She holds an MFA from the University of the Arts and an MAR in Religion and the Visual Arts from Yale University. She has maintained a daily practice of collage and creating with paper for more than 10 years.
Learn more about Mowinski at or on Instagram @melaniemowinski
Greylock Works is located at 508 State Road, North Adams MA 01247

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Adams COA, Town Seek Funds for Memorial Building Bathrooms

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The Council on Aging is still waiting to transition its programming from the Visitor Center to the Memorial Building and is looking to the Community Development Department for help. 

The COA has been waiting for additional bathroom facilities to be completed for the facility, but the council and the town have so far been unable to obtain grant or other funding for the work.


COA Director Sarah Fontaine said they are working with Community Development to find funds for the bathrooms and other small improvements, including increased entrance accessibility, renovations to the former music room and fixed windows. 


"I had voiced my concern. It's a very extensive list, I don't expect that it will all be done before we transition over. The only need is the bathrooms," Fontaine said. 


At last week's Board of Selectmen meeting, Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin said he looked into using Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. He said, however, that the Memorial Building is ineligible.


"The guidance we received from [the state Department of Housing and Community Development] has basically told us that the building is ineligible for funding because we already received funding in 2018," he said. "There has to be five years between the application for senior-center type projects. So based on that guidance, I don't believe Memorial School is eligible for funding."  


Fontaine also mentioned the auditorium in the building, which the town plans to renovate separately as a future capital project. 


"It would be nice as a senior center to have the auditorium available for guest lectures and other things like that," she said. 


Moving staff to the Memorial Building now while keeping programming at the Visitor Center, Fontaine said, is not an option. She noted that the Hoosac Valley Regional School District had previously expressed interest in using the second floor of the Visitor Center for its office space. 


"I was very firm in saying, logistically, it's hard for us to manage things just being upstairs. It's going to be very difficult if we're off site to try and manage programs downstairs," she said. 


In other business: 


  • The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to fill vacancies on its advisory board. It filled one of the vacancies on Wednesday, appointing Barbara Ziemba. Ziemba, an active participant in the COA, had already filled out the paperwork needed for her appointment. 


"I have attended many COA activities, volunteer, and am a member of the Friends of the Council on Aging and attend meetings. I have been interested in being a member of the Board of Directors for some time. Please consider my appointment to the board," Ziemba wrote, explaining in her paperwork why she was interested in the position.           


The group also discussed two other vacancies on the board and potential candidates to fill them. Two members have been unable to attend recent meetings for health reasons. 


  • The board voted to approve updated bylaws. The bylaws were revised and written primarily by Board Member Elizabeth Mach. 


"I just wanted to make a comment, or rather an appreciation, for Liz for taking this project on," Fontaine said. 


The new bylaws have a provision to allow honorary members. Fontaine said there are currently no honorary members. 


The board appointed Bruce Shepley as the board's chair to replace Barbara Lagowski, who filled one of the now vacant member seats. 

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