Stay connected at the Virtual MAC!
The MAC continues to promote creativity and connection during this time of social distancing. Check out our social media pages - Instagram and Facebook - for daily updates. Join the conversation by tagging us in your photos and stories @marionartcenter and #theVirtualMAC - we'll share on our pages!
The Virtual MAC includes #ArtTalkattheMAC, Virtual Readers' Theater events, our first online Art Auction, an online gallery, interviews with artists, video links, and more. We're even gathering demos and tutorials to share with you online here. Have questions? Email us at [email protected]
Monthly Meetings, currently via Zoom
Next meeting: Thursday, January 28 at 7:00pm (via Zoom)
Would you like to join an informal group chat about art? Or perhaps you would like a better understanding of works that you "just don't get"? Join the MAC for a virtual discussion about art (no knowledge of art or art history required!).
The Marion Art Center's new monthly program, ArtTalk at the MAC, is similar to a book club. Participants will be sent two artworks in the form of images, videos, or links. The meeting host will choose two artworks: one that she or he is fond of, and a second that she or he doesn't particularly like or understand. The host will also provide short artist bios and/or descriptions of selected works to the group, ahead of the scheduled meeting.
Art could be from a private collection, a publication, seen online, or a famous work found in a museum. Art may also include poetry, dance, video, performance, or installation art. The group will meet at a scheduled date and time (currently via Zoom). Participants are invited to make their own cocktails or refreshments! ArtTalk at the MAC may continue on site at the Marion Art Center when we are able to safely meet as a group.
To register, email [email protected] with "ArtTalk at the MAC" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, preferred email address (if different than one you are using), and phone number. We hope to see you there!
Friday, January 29, 5:00-6:00pm (via Zoom)
The Marion Art Center will host a virtual reception for its first show of 2021, the Winter Members' Show. Register to join a group discussion with artists, MAC members, and virtual visitors. Depending on the number of guests, the MAC may set up small group "breakout rooms". Executive director Jodi Stevens will give a quick virtual tour the galleries, stopping for discussion along the way. Participants are invited to make their own cocktails or refreshments for enjoyment during the reception.
The MAC looks forward to hosting in-person receptions again when safety allows.
To register, email [email protected] with "Virtual Reception" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, preferred email address (if different than one you are using), and phone number. We hope to see you there!
Virtual Student Exhibits
Young Artist Program
The Marion Art Center is pleased to offer a Young Artist Program, a new collaboration between the Marion Art Center and local high schools. Our YA Program features an online exhibit, rotating student artwork on display at the MAC, student art shows, small group student tours, a mentor program to pair professional artists with young artists, free time in the MAC studio for student members, and an emerging artist lab.
Call for Entries | Living Uncertainty
The Marion Art Center announces a rolling call for entries for our online exhibition titled Living Uncertainty. The call will remain open through the remainder of the year.
Current national and global crises have impacted so many of us. Beyond the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing social unrest, uncertainty about the future, and changed lives. How are you coping creatively, when things are changing day to day?
We invite anyone to participate in Living Uncertainty. The virtual gallery will be featured here on this page. All forms of creative expression are welcome - poems, visual arts, recipes, music, creative projects, and more. We encourage you to share your ideas and become part of the conversation!
Participants should submit all entries (high resolution photos or videos when possible) via email with the subject line "Living Uncertainty" to [email protected]. Please include a brief description about the artwork(s) when applicable. Check out the current entries below!
Ode to the Grocery Store Clerk
I am so alone
and I am worried for me.
You are not alone
and I am worried for you.
In this sick time
you have none.
What have we done
to deserve your dedication?
And we will continue to do
It is essential
that the empty parking lot
not fill with carts.
It is essential
that the baskets return to the cradle
by the main entrance.
It is essential
someone explain when the next shipment of
toilet paper and chicken will come.
Our bodies scream
for that biological alchemy
that somehow trees
are forced to clean up.
You are essential to us,
as unwavering as a sturdy
As hearty as the
Your check is essential to you,
and so you will serve selflessly.
We thank you for that.
Not all heroes wear masks.
There just aren’t enough.
The Pandemic Pause
The absence between here and there, an invisible line separating night from day
Spaces penetrating the limited real estate uniting nanoseconds
The shades of gray, black nor white
The place of perfection, percolating with potential, powerful, separating this from that
A connector of darkness to light, chaos to stillness, the shadow to the self
The causeway between head and heart
A mirage of the mind,
A respite, place of creation and recreation, effortlessness, breathlessness
Home to the soul
My mask is not starkly, frighteningly white,
nor is it black like the darkness of the night.
It is not stiff to be carried on a stick for hiding
my eyes at a masquerade ball.
The friend who made my mask designed it
just right for the job it needs to do:
to cover my mouth. South of my eyes,
it fits my face as well as an apron, tied around
my waist, would enfold my middle.
"The task of my mask?" you ask.
To assure those I meet on the street--
or at the PO---or anywhere else,
that I will not be breathing on them
Each time I secure the elastic
attachments that loop around my ears,
to hold the pleated marvel in place
on my face...I cheer.
The light-blue and white checked fabric
is just right for me. I wear it with a glee
...that passers-by cannot even see!
Paula Stebbins Becker
All images © 2020 Paula Stebbins Becker and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist. Visit Paula's website here.
"The idea of a 'still life' came to me while photographing a textile for [my] new website. On my desk, in a vintage ceramic jar, I had placed a few woodland flowers that I picked from my walk earlier that day. The pretty color and delicate shapes of the tiny flowers inspired me to snap a photo of them with the embroidered textile as the backdrop. With three things from my limited surroundings, a flower from nature, an object from my home, and a textile, I had assembled my first 'still life'... To help stay creative while sheltering at home, I decided to make [these] daily... for thirty consecutive days on Instagram. Some days I don’t feel genuine inspiration, I feel sad and concerned for the suffering that people all over the world are experiencing. I almost stopped my daily posts several times. It was the feedback and comments from friends that encouraged me. I realized that many people look forward to seeing the daily 'still lives' and they help to brighten their spirits!"
Jack Boesen (image of rock)
This photo was sent by MAC Board Member Jack Boesen. Jack says "The little yellow rock pictured here is on the front steps of the Marion General Store. The owners have no idea where it came from. It showed up several weeks ago & has received a lot of positive response from customers."
Ted & Liz Brainard
Fresh Bread for Breakfast, 2020.
"This photograph was inspired using spare time from being self isolated at home due to the COVID-19 virus. Bread making has become a very pleasant pastime, helping us overcome this ordeal, and it tastes very good."
"This was an experiment to get me to paint with less detail and embrace simplicity. It represents when we can go back to elected solitude as opposed to mandatory isolation. Soon we will all be able to fish with our dogs."
Andy Costa, 8 years old (Grade 3)
Our bookkeeper, Jenny Costa, sent in her son Andy's painting. Jenny says for Andy's recent school-at-home art project, the students "were asked to make paints from stuff around the house, and this was the finished product. All were mixed with water. Red, green and yellow were food dye. Blue was sprinkles. Brown was cinnamon. Purple was jelly. Orange was a mix of the red and yellow. We had a lot of fun!"
Barring the Way
This photo was sent by MAC Board Member Wendy Cullum. Wendy says "A windstorm moved this driftwood rod against my door, demonstrating nature's power."
Blue on Blue, 2020. "I was inspired to paint a calming image during this pandemic." See more of Ann's work on her website.
Tres Agaves, watercolor, 2020. "My first watercolor... It is inspired by the oil paintings of cacti by Mexican artist Azuela. It represents my love of Mexico, missed time there this year, and my concerned uncertainties about the health of Mexican friends."
All images © 2020 Paul Duffy and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist. See more from Paul's "COVID-19" digital art series here.
"A Wareham resident and software engineer with a long time interest in drawing and design. I draw inspiration from nature and popular culture. Currently using coding and software to create my illustrations."
All images © 2020 Deb Ehrens and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist. Visit Deb's website here.
About Comfort (submitted April 18): "My mind is a bit more settled and I have focused on Comfort at Home on this cold, rainy April Day."
Hollis is known for his ceramic work and will be exhibiting at the MAC when we reopen (see a preview of his upcoming show here), but Hollis was a photojournalist for many years:
"I’ve spent a lot of time the past week going through negatives, slides and prints from my years as a photojournalist. I was in newspapers for about 25 years before I ever touched clay. [I was a] photographer, writer and editor on local papers and at a Washington DC wire service."
All images © Hollis Engley and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist.
Dannie sent in two images for our gallery. She writes about the puzzle:
"I have a small pile of wooden puzzles that I do for hours in times of unrest. When I was working on this one during my "Living Uncertainty" of this corona virus, I found that two of the pieces held hands when put in place. I have done this puzzle before and not noticed. How much of life have we done before and not noticed???? There are 673 pieces in the box for this puzzle. How many pieces do we have in life everyday and how many more when we are confronted with the changes this virus has brought?! Whose hand will we find to hold?"
About her handmade card:
"These tulips are made from home made paint that is applied with a pickle fork. This card was created from inside the quarantine of home."
Uncertainty is "primarily about the uncertainty of identity and existence." Daydreamer "is about the yearning for connection during a period of isolation." See more works by Jesse Green and April Green here.
Anna Kristina Goransson
Collaborations with Nature
"After a few weeks of isolation I thought it was time to do something outside and get people out into the woods. I installed little felted sculptures in my local woods and created an art scavenger hunt for people to discover. I have always wanted to install in nature and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to help stave off boredom for the neighborhood. People seemed to really appreciate it." Kristina goes on to say that she knew the works wouldn't last - animals or other passersby could take the felt pieces, and they're susceptible to the elements. But these colorful, intimate works are a lovely little surprises found in nature.
All images © 2020 David Jeffrey and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist.
"I am a photographer who focuses primarily on creating images of birds. I began observing birds in the 1970’s, a diversion that ultimately became a passion. After retiring in 2010 from a career in finance, I took up digital photography, concentrating on photographing birds... I have very much enjoyed sharing some of my better images with friends. After a shoot, I often email selected photos to a group of friends and enjoy the communication that they sometimes spark. As such, the photos are a link between me and those people with whom I share this deep interest."
Deck Project | Stay-at-home project during COVID
"As sailors, once spring comes we raise our sails and set off from our shores. As such, we seldom used our deck. With Covid, we were forced to spend more time here looking at this long line of boring vertical railing spindles. I removed each one, and created a chromosome rail so-called for the series of x's and y's. You may also recognize it as a Chippendale pattern. Using an electric saw I made 285 cuts on the spindles using mostly 45 degree angles. I held them in place while my husband used the nail gun.
I painted the spindles a soft warm gray to open up the space and built new flower boxes painted the same color, with cleat handles on the sides. To visually widen the deck, I painted large diamonds to bring the eye outward. I repurposed a carbon fiber sail that blew out during a race. We used the mast-head and jury-rigged and old mast to use that as a privacy screen at the far end of the deck. We used the middle portion of the sail as a canopy over the dining table. The foot of the sail is currently being configured as an awning over the sliding French doors. To stay within the sailing theme, I used cleats as handles on either side of the flower boxes.
The dark gray spindles allow the eye to continue past the deck into the woods. The diamonds create the illusion of a wider space. The railing is under lit with tube lights that shine down on the spindles at night for a cozy Warm Glow. A wall fountain and wall plantings were also added, not pictured here. The end result is a beautiful outdoor space that was completely underutilized until covid-19 forced us to rediscover what we had."
Bride and Groom | Mixed Media
These one foot tall bride and groom stick figures were created by Diane for her daughter Alexandra's wedding scheduled for March 22nd. Diane explains that all wedding plans and other celebrations surrounding the event had to be rescheduled, and planning even now is difficult: "Who knows? In the drastic scenario where there is a resurgence of the virus upending their second wedding date, once again plans will be re-evaluated."
Diane continues by saying, "I have been so honored to watch them face this adversity with strength and grace. Their future together as a couple promises to be loving and fulfilling as they take nothing for granted, least of all, each other."
Stephenson's Revenge | "Inspired by the recent retirement of AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson and his $64,000,000 golden parachute. Stephenson is a firm believer in trickle-down economics while cutting social programs. Because, ya know, if you make some people really, really rich, they’ll spend all their money on the little people."
Dreamstate in Marion | "All photos taken in effects mode to reflect our current Dreamstate."
"Around this time last year on a drive in Newport, by complete accident, I came across one of the Newport Mansion locations with the most BEAUTIFUL garden and topiary I'd ever seen. It was always my plan to bring my grandmother (76), who loves flowers and is an avid gardener, here this spring. However, thanks to COVID-19 it is uncertain if those plans will happen anytime soon."
Coming Out from Under Quarantine
"After surviving nearly three months of intense scrutiny, my garden, my studio, and my kitchen have undergone changes that reflect the time I have spent working in them and staring at them under quarantine. Beginning in mid March, and continuing through April and May, I had the privilege of staying at home in a comfortable place to "shelter in place." I was fooling around with the camera on my iphone when I began taking pictures. The half eaten apple wedges, the mug of coffee, the container of disinfectant wipes, the afternoon light coming through the kitchen window, the collection of blue willow--it all started looking so interesting to me. Sheltering in place was not a sentence, it was an opportunity to pause and closely examine some of the things I had accumulated in a lifetime.
Soon I was photographing the blank canvas on my easel and the rattan couch where I’d settle for an afternoon power nap. And when the lilacs bloomed and the hostas stretched, I captured the unfolding. My micro worldview would be chronicled and saved so that I could look back on life in quarantine and remember the details.
So here are some of the details. Captured on an iphone and filtered and manipulated for the art of it all. It’s not Florence, but it sure is home to me."
"I love the sunlight in the morning when it streams in my kitchen and creates beauty! I’m ever so grateful."
“Bedroom Pop is a reflection of the times. The musical genre after which the piece is named got its name because people started holing themselves in their bedrooms and making this mellow, gentle, melancholy brand of pop. I feel my life is one big bedroom pop song at this point in life. It kind of just exists."
Tim is a digital/film photographer living in Mattapoisett who just moved here from Long Island, NY in February 2020. He learned photography in college with friends running around LA shooting 35mm film. Tim says "I like film as a format because of its tactile nature and avoidance of homogeneity in the way a shot develops." These days, Tim puts his skills to use as a reporter for Sippican Week.
All images © 2018-2020 Nat Simkins and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist.
"Currently I find inspiration in the coastal landscape of the South Coast of Mass. We are blessed to have a small cottage on Broad Marsh River with views of the river and marshes. We are near the Narrows, Onset with access to the Cape heading East and New Bedford to the West... Art has kept me sane all these years and I believe it is good for my brain and soul as I age. It has already earned its keep for me. Like fishing it is an end to itself, and like catching a fish is a bonus to a fishing trip selling a painting is a bonus to making art."
"I was wandering on the beach as sunset approached and came across this young girl, alone and waiting, not unlike how many feel these days."
"This beautiful sunset was captured on our trip back from Bermuda, 2019. We were enjoying this amazing gift of nature with our dear friends, Wendy and Ray Cullum, on their amazing boat, Frolic!"
Sam, Fort Tabor Park, New Bedford MA
"This photograph is of my grandson at the Fort Tabor Park in New Bedford. He knew he could cross that bridge and we can too." Image © 2020 Elwin Williamson and shall not be reused without express permission from the artist.
Jennifer Wolfe Webb
"I make collages as a way of visual journaling. They are spontaneous and not something I labor over and edit. Usually I start without a specific idea or theme in mind, and the meaning emerges for me after I’ve finished, sometimes not for awhile. Cup and Shelter in Place I made during the pandemic crisis. Fear I made months ago, but it resonates for me now, something we all grapple with from time to time."
Digital bulletin created by Emily Richmond of ORCTV.
Sustaining the MAC
These are trying times nationally and throughout the world, and we have been inspired by the community-wide effort to care for one another as we wait for life to get back to normal. We know that many non-profits, small businesses, and families are already experiencing financial challenges due to broad closures of public spaces and services. During this time, our members and supporters are more important than ever in sustaining the MAC and ensuring its future. We know it’s only a matter of time until we can open our doors to you again! In the meantime, we hope you'll consider joining as a member or supporting the Marion Art Center with a donation. You can easily give online - just click the link below to donate, or head over to our membership page to join the MAC Family!