Porches Inn Launches New York-based Artist Residencies

Spring 2007

Porches Inn Launches New York-based Artist Residencies
Guests Enjoy Porches’ Unique Hospitality
While Nurturing the Left Side of the Brain

North Adams, MA (Spring 2007) — Porches is pleased to announce that in addition to its proximity to MASS MoCA, North America’s largest contemporary art museum, the inn now offers a new way to experience art – in a highly participatory way. Porches’ new artists-in-residence program, a partnership with Brooklyn-based Smudge Studio (smudgestudio.org), brings artists to Porches for five days and four nights each month now through June 2007. Each artist responds to the Porches and North Adams landscape through his/her individual medium and shares that work with guests either in Porches’ native plant woodland garden or in the Porches buildings themselves.

The program begins with Smudge Studio’s Aperture exhibition, offering visitors an opportunity to become part of an online exhibition and engage with the landscape surrounding The Porches Inn. Artists Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kluge (who also curated the entire microresidency program) installed three weatherproof apertures in the woodlands – the locations of which are noted on a trail map available online and at Porches. Guests are invited to shoot photos of the surrounding woodlands through the apertures and activate Smudge Studio's site-specific response to the area. These apertures offer unexpected and

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surprising views of the woodlands area and serve as inspiration for kit users and offer those visiting the woodlands area ways to experience it newly and differently. Participants may then submit their photos to the Smudge Studio website and be part of an online exhibition.

When you were a kid, did you ever carve a heart with your initials and the initials of your sweetheart into a tree (or, did you ever want to but decide it wasn’t very nice for the tree)? In honor of Valentine’s Day, Porches invited David Eustace (rooftopstudio.org) to create an installation that recalls this childhood ritual in the context of recording the effects of nature and human interaction on an art work. MARK: is an installation of canvas-wrapped trees in the wooded area behind Porches. Wrapped at different heights on the trunks of the venerable trees, the canvases face inward; each one has been primed with an image stenciled in raw iron filings. This installation will be left running for one year, during which time visitors are invited to mark the backs of the exposed canvas. The project is called MARK:, and participates in a long tradition of recognizing and recording the world around us at a specific moment, with a specific reaction. The artist invites guests to reflect on the question: what kind of marks do we leave on the world, and what kind does time in turn mark on us?

What lies beneath the folds of daily experience? What treasures are buried beneath the constructs of routine and habit? In their portable installation, Map of Ordinary Things, award-winning filmmaker and sound artist Kevin T. Allen and freelance writer/educator/filmmaker Jennifer Heuson invite guests “to consider the small, the quiet, the ordinary spaces of Porches; to take a vacation from convention, to change your focus, and to let this hidden world seep in. There is a

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beauty in ordinary things; it’s only a matter of framing them such that this beauty is revealed.” To aid guests in this process, the artists created a Map of Ordinary Things, based on their personal experience at Porches, in the hope that it will also help inform guests’ stays at the Inn. The artists state: “A walk in the woods, a hot bath, a rocking chair, a cup of coffee – these common experiences resonate with a fundamental beauty.” The installation includes five individual maps, each locating an ordinary object at Porches. While listening to corresponding audio on headphones, the guest-participant holds the map up to the light to reveal a 35mm color slide of each object. Allen and Heuson invite guests to “simply open your eyes and listen.” For more information on the artists, please go to: phonoscopy.com.

Porches will announce additional residencies on its website: porches.com on the “Art at Porches” page.

Porches is an ideal home base for exploring the Berkshires wealth of cultural attractions and natural beauty. Located on the MASS MoCA (www.massmoca.org) campus, Porches is just minutes away from the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute (www.clarkart.edu), the Williams College Museum of Art (wcma.org), Williams College’s 62 Center for the Performing Arts (williams.edu/resources/62center/) and art film house Images Cinema. The heated outdoor pool and hot tub are surrounded by a radiant-heated stone terrace for year-round enjoyment. Make a fire in the bonfire pit (weather permitting) then take a romantic evening dip. With luxurious bedding, Italian linens, and commodious bathrooms (some with clawfoot tubs), Porches’ comfortable and spacious rooms set the stage for ultimate relaxation.