LOCAL ART ROCKS!
Tap on the images below to discover the artists of Art Vending North Adams
Julia Ben-Asher is an artist, writer and art teacher whose favorite place to draw is somewhere along a hike, on a ski or around a campfire. Through art, she hopes to convey the feeling of being in awe of nature, and to encourage us all to further appreciate and take care of this magical planet we call home.
Molly Rideout is a writer and bookmaker and the 2021 writer-in-residence at Edith Wharton’s The Mount (Lenox, MA). Her 2019 fiction-nonfiction chapbook, Transient, was published by Antenna::Paper Machine. Other essays and stories can be found in River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Her interdisciplinary writing installations in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio have received a Pushcart nomination and been featured in Poets & Writers, on Iowa Public Radio and by the American Library Association. A militantly Midwestern girl for three decades, she now lives in North Adams.
Diane Rousseau is an artist and conservator who has worked with fusible glass for more than two decades. She began experimenting with the medium in order to produce convincing glass fills, for gaps in damaged museum objects. Years of research and practice allowed her to replicate ancient pitted glass, Tiffany jewels, and Italian millefiori. In the pandemic spring of 2020, she turned her hand and heart entirely to creating new work, inspired by the art at MASS MoCA, the intricacy of tapestry patterns, and the energy of cellular life. This spin-off business, Greylock Glassworks, has now fully infiltrated her conservation lab on the MoCA campus. She is a member of the Vermont Glass Guild, and lives on the North Adams/ Clarksburg border with her son, cat, and Australian cattle dog.
WallaSauce is a clothing-based brand from North Adams, Massachusetts, owned and operated by Andrew Casteel and Sarah DeFusco. Our focus is on making handmade, quality products from up-cycled and alternative materials including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, shoes, bags, notebooks, and more. We source our materials mainly from secondhand sellers, giving new life to old things and turning what could be considered trash into fashionable, functional, and unique products. Using processes such as screen-printing, embroidery, cut-and-sew and more, we are able to create one-of-a-kind pieces while trying to produce as little waste as possible. All alterations are done by us unless otherwise stated in collaborative efforts.
Jonah Jablons is a multi-disciplinary artist and member of the Common Folk Artist Collective in North Adams, MA. He is currently living in Williamstown and working at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center as a conservator in training. He works with many different mediums and themes covering everything from the internet to religion. His art can be found at jonahjablons.com and on instagram @IDIOTARTPRESS.
Stacey Silkey is an abstract painter from the Berkshires who focuses on promoting empathy. Her paintings are based on hurried sketches of moving images or photographs that her consciousness has not fully processed. Transforming incomplete memories, her paintings bring new connections to the surface. Stacey's work has been exhibited both locally and internationally. Her MFA was completed at Lesley Art + Design. In addition to an active exhibition schedule, Stacey instructs Art Appreciation and Art History courses for two colleges and is the director and curator for Art Close to Home, which organizes and promotes short-term exhibitions in nature.
Misa Chappell is a self-taught, self-described visionary artist whose work is an intuitive and personal exploration of the feminine divine, from the Madonna to mother nature. She uses a variety of media, including acrylic and watercolor and paint; collage, and a variety of found materials from home and outdoors. Influences include the Viennese Secessionists, Medieval illuminated manuscripts, and Mexican retablos. Misa grew up in Amherst, MA, and earned an art history degree from Columbia University. She is currently the Curator at the local Common Folk Artist Collective in North Adams, and homesteads on Florida Mountain with her husband, chickens, and five cats.
Arthur Debow: Most of my work for a number of years has revolved around a body of work which is a dream world where the main and superior inhabitants are crows. This dream world is a place where I can integrate all the fascinating things that crows have represented and been a symbol for in different cultures for centuries and the relationship between them and the human world. Much of my work explores overlapping and intersecting layers of patterns and imagery that have strong meaning and order. They have a basis in reality and to some extent, establish location, purpose and a sense of place. This sense of place, ours and crows, anchors my own work.
Kenny Rivera is a local to North Adams who is also known as Captain Kenny. He is small business owner of Captains Patches Shop, an embroidery shop which primarily operates under the Etsy platform selling patches and other embroidered goods. You can spot the Captain working front end at Pop’s Variety Store in North Adams along with some of his own products located on Pop’s shelves.
Oskar and Alex created Webber's Nature Shop in 2020 to combine their passions for art, the outdoors, and engineering. They are based in North Adams and have been inspired by the mountains, local architecture, and exhibits from Mass MoCA. Designs are hand drawn and then laser cut to create unique earrings.
Megan Karlen is an award-winning painter who is bringing her strenghts of abstraction to textile art. Currently, specific focuses include limited-edition Kitchen Cloths, Scarves and Masks. Each is inspired by the slow-art movement and the recognition that hand-made, quality-conscious pieces bring with them an intrinsic feeling of satisfaction simply by having them around. Megan lives and works in North Adams, MA because, well, a mill town needs weavers!
Geeg Wiles is nineteen years into his lifelong hobby of keeping the chronicles for Captain Ahab, a three-foot-tall, forty-pound, bright yellow wooden fisherman/wannabe. When Geeg and Ahab aren’t traveling the world capturing it through the eyes of a gnome, they reside in their hometown of North Adams. You can usually find the pair burying treasure on the Windsor Lake Disc Golf Course, operating some form of white water vehicle on the Deerfield River, or in conversation with strangers who let curiosity get the better of themselves and ask, “What’s up with the gnome?”
Nina Colette Pelaez is a poet, artist, and art historian whose multidisciplinary practice stems from an interest in place and the interconnectivity between bodies (both human and non-human), objects, and environments. Her AVNA series of original cyanotype prints, Beautiful Intruders, celebrates the wild weeds and invasive plants found in the local Berkshire landscape. A Brooklyn native, Nina has joyfully rooted herself in the Berkshires where she delights in building community around art and ideas as the Curator of Programs and Interpretation at the Williams College Museum of Art. She holds an MA in Art History from Williams College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Bennington College.
Isabel Twanmo: I'm a visual artist and food lover translating food puns, humor, and the joy of eating and cooking through small-scale, whimsical black and white illustration--I think of these illustrations as a way to play with my food in the least messy way possible. While I'm not drawing faces on dumplings and giving limbs and thoughts to vegetables, I'm taking inspiration from botanical and everyday life.
Amanda Hartlage is an artist and educator born and raised in North Adams. Her preferred medium is punch needle embroidery. Punch needle is an American rug making craft dating back to the 1800s. It has now evolved into a fine art embroidery. She is most interested in exploring the fundamental interconnectedness of humanity through the many strands and layers of fiber, which come together as a whole. Her art is free form and abstract as energy itself. She balances this energy and entropy by varying bright and neutral hues of thread. Each piece is its own energetic suggestion and revelation.
Ben Westbrook has twenty years of custom ironwork, fabrication and mentorship experience. He received a BA from Hampshire College in 2002 where he specialized in blacksmithing. In 2003 he started BMW Ironworks, now Hammer on Steel, which he has been successfully operating ever since. Before settling back in Western Massachusetts, Ben traveled the country working as a journeyman blacksmith to a range of master blacksmiths in Wyoming, Brooklyn and San Fransisco. Ben’s expertise may be in shaping hot steel into new and organic forms, but his passion for the craft goes hand in hand with sharing his skills through teaching.
Common Folk Artist Collective is a group of local and emerging creators who share and utilize resources to explore and thrive in our creative endeavors Common Folk members collectively invest in a shared studio, retail, and performance space that is available to all members at affordable costs. Leadership Members organize opportunities for members to share their creative work with the community and actively advocate for and promote member's work to the greater public. We contribute to our communities by providing a safe space for community gatherings, generating revenue for low-income creators, and hosting accessible creative events. We address needs within the community by collaborating on projects that make a positive impact in North Adams and beyond.
Diane Reed Sawyer lives and works in an old mill building in North Adams. Best know for her pastels, she has exhibited widely, winning numerous awards. Soon after the onset of the pandemic, Diane began working with oil and cold-wax-medium. Working with this medium opened up a new process of discovery for her, with great leeway to experiment. She especially enjoys its resiliency as she works abstractly and intuitively. Diane often starts her daily practice with small studies which provide inspiration for larger works. A selection of these small pieces, mounted on cradled board, are for sale through the Art Vending North Adams at MASS MoCA.
Ciarra Fragale is an indie pop singer/songwriter, producer, and actor from New York's Hudson Valley. By blending the nostalgic traditions of songwriting with unique new-wave sensibilities, she creates a refreshing sound all her own. In addition to making her own music, Ciarra has composed many works for theater and film.
Rachel Capek is a North Adams resident that works in the mediums of painting, jewelry, and soap making. Her paintings represent the natural world using bright contrasting colors in order to captivate viewers and help grow an appreciation for the world around us. She has been painting for 9 years, and during her time at MCLA, she focused on getting her art into the public view. When Rachel isn't busy with art, she can be found tending to her plethora of plants she grows and sells.
Bruce Holes is a mutli-disciplinary artist and a recent transplant to North Adams from New York City. Having been fascinated with the human body since he was a child, he sees beauty in the forms and functions of all its parts, especially those which modern societies have created a culture of shame around. He seeks to shift the conversation about our bodies away from that of shame and guilt to one of celebration and love. He hopes you enjoy the playful nature of his wearable art.
Kathline Carr is a North Adams-based writer and artist, working primarily in painting and printmaking. She is the author/artist of Miraculum Monstrum, and publishing credits include CT Review, Alexandria Quarterly, Earth's Daughters, Entropy Mag, Hey I'm Alive. Carr has exhibited in New York City, Canada, and widely in New England, including Boston, where she earned a MFA (AIB, Lesley), and is a core member of Fountain Street Gallery. Her work is about observing landforms and often resembles 2D representations of sculpture, with references to environment, iterative process and multiples.