BTCF Blog | Grants Give Lenox Artist Freedom to Focus on Large Wo

BTCF Blog

Grants Give Lenox Artist Freedom to Focus on Large Works

By Darryl Gangloff / July 9, 2020 / Grantee Spotlight
Grants Give Lenox Artist Freedom to Focus on Large Works

Two Berkshire Taconic funds are currently accepting applications from regional artists. Mixed media painter Ali Herrmann of Lenox, Mass., received grants from both funds last year to focus her time and energy on large projects that feature a diverse range of materials, including paper, acrylics, hot wax and found objects. She is excited to show her new work to the public—whether virtually or socially distanced—this summer and fall.

The Martha Boschen Porter Fund awarded Ali with a grant to create a mural-sized piece inspired by the history of the Stationery Factory in Dalton, Mass. Ali’s studio is located in the building, which was originally a Crane and Co. paper mill and now houses businesses and spaces for events, art and music. She “gave new life” to the stacks of abandoned paper at the site by assembling long, vibrant strips in layers of rhythmic pattern.

“Similar to the building itself, paper has a memory. It remembers the rips and folds through the passage of time, like the ebbs and flows of a wave,” she said. “The top layer is my interpretation of a sound wavelength, combining the beauty of a paper history with the melodic energy of the space today.”

The recently completed project, titled “Paper Trail: A Visual Rhythm Effect,” is comprised of 16 panels and spans 48 feet. Ali says the grant gave her the freedom to “commit to this size.” She plans to display it at the Stationery Factory in September or October.

Thanks to an additional grant from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, Ali is currently participating in a month-long summer residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerliz, N.Y., to “reflect, refuel and create in quiet solitude.”

Ali’s grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Fund assisted with studio rent and provided materials, supplies and tools for new acrylic studies, collages and large encaustic panels that combine wax, paper and pigment. The circular, colorful shapes in these pieces are influenced by nature: mushroom caps, jellyfish, seed pods and cellular structures. Ali is finalizing this series during the residency program in preparation for a group show at the Lapham Gallery in Glens Falls, N.Y., from Aug. 14 to Sept. 16.

Ali is grateful for the support of these funds as she transitions her career from attending artisan markets to creating large works for public art and gallery submissions. “It feels unbelievable,” she said with a smile as sunlight illuminated the ethereal works in her studio.

The Martha Boschen Porter Fund provides grants to emerging artists and artists experiencing a significant change of direction in their work in Berkshire, Columbia, northeast Dutchess and northwest Litchfield counties. Applications are due July 15. The Artist's Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Fund supports mid-career artists with financial need in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, as well as Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties in New York. Nonprofit organizations wishing to show, commission or purchase work by mature artists living in New England may also apply. Applications are due Aug. 1.

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