Being located across the street from the US’s largest contemporary art museum, it’s only natural that some of that great art migrate across the canal to our digs.
The latest installation of art at Porches is “Fall’s Colors” by Nina Katchadourian, commissioned by MASS MoCA as part of the 2008 exhibition: Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape. The piece calls attention to a familiar moment of natural spectacle. The foliage on one of the maple trees next to the Porches (visible from MASS MoCA’s galleries) is in a permanent state of peak fall color. If you are visiting anytime but fall, the branch will stand out. By deliberately fixating on one point in the tree’s seasonal cycle, the fake fall branch calls attention to the c hanging environment.
Over the past couple of years, Porches has offered a new way to experience art through an artists-in-residence program, a partnership with Brooklyn-based non-profit Smudge Studio (smudgestudio.org). Each artist responded to the Porches and North Adams landscape through his/her individual medium and shared that work with guests either in Porches' native plant woodland garden or in the Porches buildings themselves. Curators and artists Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse initiated the program with their Aperature installation, which offered visitors an opportunity to become part of an online exhibition and engage with the landscape surrounding The Porches Inn. Other participating artists included David Eustace (rooftopstudio.org), Kevin T. Allen and Jen Heuson.
The first MASS MoCA-commissioned work installed at Porches is the extraordinary “Travel Light” by Mike Glier. Located on a small utility building on the eastern corner of the property, the work’s most prominent feature is the depiction of a giant grackle that is large enough to be seen from the window of MASS MoCA’s Spencer Gallery, across the street.