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Press Releases

Sept. 23, 1999

Artist Chris Gillooly to open Gallery 34 with “Massive MoCA: The First Decade” 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass., -- Local artist and long-time Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art supporter Chris Gillooly will open the doors to his new Gallery 34 with the exhibition, “Massive MoCA: The First Decade,” on Oct. 9 from 7-10 p.m.

Gillooly is opening his new 1,000-square-feet-plus gallery at 34 Holden St. -- directly facing MASS MoCA’s signature Clocktower – with an exhibition that reflects the history of the museum of the 21st century across the highway. MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson says of Gillooly’s inaugural exhibition: “Chris has one of the most extensive photographic records of the MASS MoCA site in existence. I can’t wait to see his opening show.”

Gillooly’s extensive photographic examination of North Adams’ new museum, his found-art industrial sculpture and a 7-minute videotape with music by Izzy Pop will be featured. “Massive MoCA” also will display bronze sculpture by British sculptor Richard Criddle, MASS MoCA director of fabrication and installations; photographs by Jackie Nelson, well-known owner and operator of Artists Technical Services in Williamstown, whose work is in many private collections; watercolors
by Ed Scofield, owner Period Lighting in Clarksburg, -- a master watercolorist, whose work has been widely exhibited and collected; and industrial jewelry by Beverly Pinsonnault, who uses pieces of the past for her works of the future. One or two additional artists may be included.

All the works in the exhibition call upon a strong industrial heritage as their inspiration. Highlighted in
the show will be Gillooly’s series of black and white and color photographs – many never before seen -- that uniquely illustrate the 14-year transformation of MASS MoCA from mill into museum. Sculpture and furniture created from industrial remnants will be among the items displayed.

The 1993 video, which shows Gillooly renovating Building 13 for a one-man exhibition of his works called “Past Midnight” was created as part of the artist’sundergraduate studies at North Adams State College.

At that time Thompson said of Gillooly’s efforts: “He is, in many ways, treating the entirety of Building 13 as a historical document of many layers revealing its past uses and rewriting upon it to create an architectural palimpsest of form and meaning.”

Gillooly later was hired to adapt this same space for Mort Cooperman and his Night Shift Café.
“I coined the term ARTifacts a while ago, but now industrial art is really in,” said Gillooly. “Gallery 34 may only be 1/750th the size of MASS MoCA, but the impact of its art truly will be “Massive MoCA. From my place here, I’m looking into and back at MoCA. MoCA is a mirror, a reflection of what can be done and what you can do as an artist.”

Gillooly’s long association with MASS MoCA includes two weeks working alongside Italian artist Mario Merz in 1989, when he helped with the fabrication and installation of Merz three large sculptures. An experience he was able to relive this spring, when Gillooly helped oversee a team of curators from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City reassemble the works.

Thompson and Development Director Jennifer Trainer Thompson also praise Gillooly for his efforts in helping the then-fledgling museum’s early fundraisers, Warehouse Ball, Courtyard Dance, Valentine’s Day by infusing each event with ambience that recalled its former mill past by designing furniture and decorations out of Sprague Electric Company “ARTifacts.” A sleek polished aluminum and slate conference table that Gillooly designed and took over 200 hours to construct for MASS MoCA – adeptly combines form and function. One of his favorite industrial furniture designs, Gillooly
considers it his signature piece. Of Gillooly’s work for the Warehouse Ball, Trainer thanked the artist by saying, “You moved mountains. … There is no doubt in my mind that we couldn’t have pulled it off without your help.”

Additionally at present, Gillooly’s work is on view at MASS MoCA as part of the group photography exhibition, “The Before Pictures: From Mill to Museum.” Also featured in the exhibition in MASS MoCA’s Building 11are work by seven artists, including such notables as David Byrne and Jeff Kleiser. The show opened on Sept. 14 and will continue through Jan. 7, 1999.

Also, to coincide with the grand opening of MASS MoCA in May, Gillooly was hired by MASS MoCA to oversee the installation of Swiss sound artist Walter Fahndrich’s site-specific piece for Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams called, “Music for a Quarry.” Fahndrich, who praised Gillooly’s work by calling it, “absolutely perfect,” has asked him to collaborate on future projects of similar nature. Trainer Thompson called Gillooly’s installation of “Music for a Quarry,” “exquisite.”

Tom Corrigan will provide entertainment for the Oct. 9 opening. Refreshments will be served and
weather-permitting, a restored antique popcorn cart will be set up in the patio area off the Center Street parking lot, where tables with umbrellas also will be arranged.

In addition to the artwork, postcards, quality photographic prints and tee shirts will also be for sale.
As for future Gallery 34 hours, Gillooly said public opinion will dictate the hours of operation.


 July 2000

Gallery 34’s “Art Explosion”
– like July 4th fireworks – artists invited to ‘light up’ space

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – “I want to feel this show is a beautiful, exciting “art explosion” for me, too,” said Gallery 34 owner /artist Chris Gillooly. “So I’m asking artists to come forward with work to fill the last few spaces in the gallery for the July ‘Art Explosion’ exhibit.”

Gallery 34’s “Art Explosion” exhibition at 34 Holden St., will open with a wine and cheese reception on July 15 from 7 to 10 p.m. Artists already selected to display works as part of the show, in addition to a new series of black and white photographs by Gillooly, include Lorraine Bowman, Richard Criddle, Anne Gilley, Barbara May, Eric Rudd and Jackie Sedlock. Gillooly invites other
artists to be part of the explosion by submitting pieces.

Gallery’s 34’s unconventional style of exhibiting art works has proven very successful. An exhibit of antique photography, which Gillooly was mounting for the end of the year, has been postponed until fall because a collector bought the collection. This left gallery owner Gillooly with the unexpected challenge of planning an equally compelling follow- up show.

“I wanted to harness the art excitement in the Berkshires. The works for my antique photography
show, “TURN OF CENTURIES: 19th Century Northern Berkshire Seen Through 21st Century Eyes,” were bought by CompuWorks. I’m organizing that show for them in the fall for the grand opening of their new headquarters in the former City Savings Bank in Pittsfield,” explained Gillooly. “Other commitments prevented me from scheduling something else immediately at Gallery 34, so I thought ‘art explosion’ for summer. How quickly, I wondered, can I put together a dynamic exhibit of professional artists? This show will be like a fireworks display … it’s up, then it’s gone. If you didn’t see it, you missed it. But I want the excitement of this to explode for me too, so I want
artists I don’t know to come forward.”

Gillooly finds observing people’s reactions and listening to their comments --whether good, bad or indifferent -- as they peer intently at art, is an art form. “My art is putting on exhibitions,” remarked Gillooly. “I’ve been at other art institutions and heard some scathing comments about the work. But the fact is the art still brought them there – like the art or not. And that what’s exciting about art. It causes people to react in one way or another.”

Gillooly opened Gallery 34 last summer with the inaugural show, “Massive MoCA: The First Decade” as a new way of showing art through wine and cheese openings and closings. Works are then be seen by appointment only or occasionally on weekends.

For “Art Explosion” Gillooly is interested in a good mixture of painting, sculpture and photography as well as a multi-media, which will be presented in the small room off the main 1,000-foot gallery. He is pleased that a short film by Sedlock, which uses local people, will be shown there.

“There is no theme to the show. Several different styles are represented already and I like that. It makes for very interesting viewing,” explained Gillooly. “But, I can’t wait to see what works comes in.”

Bowman, a native of Chicago who grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s art scene --where her father, Harry Bouras, was at a central figure -- has been painting for 25 years. She moved to North Adams 17 years ago, where her work has appeared locally. In “Art Explosion” she is presenting three dramatic large-scale acrylic paintings that are part of a larger series of works all centered on
the Greek gods. “All my paintings center around the psychological landscape. “ They are not overly realistic, but are telling the story of gods and men, of people, and communication between people.”

Gilley of Williamstown, who holds a BA in fine arts in painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, MA from John Hopkins University and graduate work in art and art history at Arizona State University. On view at Art Explosion will be a series of drawings and mixed media collages, which the artist describes “as richly textured imaginary landscapes – layered worlds evolving from formal explorations of line, surface and shape -- that are energetic and reflective.” “This is an exciting time to be showing work in North Adams. The energy and creativity of Chris Gillooly and the artists in
this sow make Gallery 34 an important element of the area’s dynamic art scene,” enthusiastically expressed Gilley.

Gillooly said Criddle, a British sculptor and MASS MoCA director of fabrication and installations, will exhibit a new series of small welded pieces, some which will later be bronzed. Criddle, born on Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England, is a graduate of the Central School of Art and Design, London and the Royal College of Art. He holds an MA in sculpture from the Royal Academy of Arts, where he earned the Henry Moore Foundation Bursary and Landseer Prize for Sculpture. “I was thrilled
to tour his studio and see the new pieces. They are spectacular.”

May, a city resident for over 15 years, who studied art at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and the Art Students League, is presenting five paintings done in Neo-color -a water- soluble crayon that appears like pastels on canvas. The artists found herself experimenting with the new medium after attempts to create computer art were incredibly time-consuming, while producing disappointing results. “I loved the way the water soluble crayons looked on rough paper. The
series just grew from there.”

Gillooly said May rich, vibrant Impressionistic paintings of her three children will captivate art lovers.

Rudd, a native of Washington, D.C., moved to North Adams over 10 years ago, when he and his wife, Barbara, founded the Contemporary Artists Center in the historic Beaver Mill at 189 Beaver St. Rudd, a pioneering artist who makes biomorphic sculptures out of space age materials such as polyurethane foam, is the creator of the Dark Ride Project – a futuristic art exhibition that uses theme park technology – also in the Beaver Mill. Rudd will display free- standing blow-molded sculptures made from Lexan, GE’s premier polycarbonate plastic. Created at GE headquarters in Pittsfield, figures were made by using 500-degree heat to fuse plastic shapes together.


 June 20, 2000

Calendar Listing

OPENING EXHIBITION: -- “Art Explosion,” Gallery 34 at 34 Holden St., North Adams, July 15 from 7-10 p.m. Wine and cheese reception, featuring works by Chris Gillooly, Lorraine Bowman, Richard Criddle, Anne Gilley, Barbara May, Eric Rudd and Jackie Sedlock and others.

Bewildered in art school, 70s in manhattan people doing gigantic stuff like in MoCA abstract statementism I couldn’tr elate too, botticelli and DiVenci my hereos I felft out of step, not a good fit and women weren’t taken that serously, not mentored Just started to happen for women. Felt out of place that there too. I like work to speak for itself.

WHAT: Wine & Cheese Reception
TIME: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 34 Holden St.
“If you don’t see it now, you’ve missed it. Nov.20th it’s gone!”

Last chance to see Chris Gillooly’s extensive photographic examination of MASS MoCA, his
found-art industrial sculpture and a 7-minute videotape with music by Izzy Pop. Plus, works by
Richard Criddle, Jackie Nelson, Ed Scofield, Brandon Graving and industrial jewelry by Beverly

“Gallery 34 is a creative new way of showing art.”

Show was so successful pieces sold instantly!

Said MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson of Gillooly’s inaugural exhibition: “Chris has one of the most extensive photographic records of the MASS MoCA site in existence.” He couldn’t wait to see his opening show.