June 2019 Lesley Art + Design Residency

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Some thoughts and memories from my third residency. . .

Since returning home from Boston in early July, I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on my third residency at Lesley Art + Design, and as is usual for me, it has taken some time to really grasp all that I experienced, absorbed, and learned over the intensive ten days. As with the two residencies before this one, I had a very positive and productive experience over all. I continue to be inspired by and impressed with the faculty, as well as with all of the other artists who are my group cohorts and with those whom I shared critique space, class time, meals, and independent discussion.


Critical Theory III class at the Harvard Art Museum.

The weather was nice, so it was the perfect time to take a few field trips to museums around the Boston area. During one of our Critical Theory III classes taught by Makeda Best, we went to the Harvard Art Museum. Makeda is also a curator of photography at the museum. It was fun exploring this beautiful space, with all the beautiful people in the photo above!


Artist Andy Graydon talking about his installation at the deCordova.

We also took a trip to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum with this residency's visiting artist faculty member Andy Graydon. Andy gave us a little background about his site specific installation "City Lights Orchestra."


The plastic globes, recycled from old street lights around the Boston area, are meant to be played like drums by using the wooden dowels with red plastic tips (shown in the first photo above). Over the course of the installation, Andy hosted a few concerts in which musicians played music on the actual artwork.


Artist Letha Wilson talking about her installation at the deCordova.

While at the deCoredova, we were also lucky enough to see another site specific installation with artist Letha Wilson, who also gave an artist talk about her work to the residency the night before. It is such a treat to be able to see a work of art along with the actual artist who created it. I am always so fascinated to hear about their creative and intellectual processes, and it's even better when you get to hear all about it in person.


This is Letha's piece "Hawaii California (Figure Ground)" which is made of steel and utilizes a special UV printing technique that adheres her photographs directly onto the metal.

Ancient Greek or possibly Roman bust from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Finally, on the last day I was able to get to one more local museum that I have been wanting to visit for a while now, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Isabella Stewart Gardner was a wealthy Victorian who lived in Boston, and who spent much of her time and inheritance on collecting art and other curiosities. The museum is located in what was once her home, with a modern extension added on that houses arts education facilities, and a cafe and gift shop, among other things. The image above is probably not the best one to give you a good idea of what the vast and diverse collection holds (Hint: they have a Titian!) but I love the bold color and graphic contrasts of the shapes in this picture, so it's the one I chose! The museum is full of art and architectural detail, and you could spend hours there soaking up what it has to offer, as well as its cool and peaceful vibe. But what it might actually be most famous for though, is what it doesn't have, as it is the site of a famous burglary in which a few priceless works of art were stolen and, I believe, never recovered. Indeed, there are a few places on the walls in which I noticed there were empty frames. I suppose that this is where the paintings were hanging when they were stolen.

One of the "empty" picture frames at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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