Mason Libraries Announces Artist-in-Residence Program Pilot

George Mason University Libraries is excited to announce a new venture: the Mason Libraries Artist-in-Residence Program. For our first (pilot) year, we’ve invited Adriana Monsalve, a photobook artist and publisher, to join us in a research and visual arts project.

Throughout April and May 2019, Monsalve will be dividing her residency between the Mason Libraries (particularly the Fenwick Gallery and the Special Collections Research Center in Fenwick Library) and the Mason School of Art to lead a series of in-class lectures and workshops, and to conduct research in the library’s photobook and artists’ book collections. The residency will conclude with an exhibition curated by Monsalve, a special artist’s talk, and the publication of a collaborative zine produced by Mason students and faculty.

“I am a storyteller and visual communicator that produces in-depth stories on identity through the nuances in between. As a daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean Republic of Colombia, I have struggled with the concept of ‘home.’ As immigrants, we are everywhere and we have to belong somewhere, so we’ve made habitats for ourselves in pocket towns of people like us. I’m documenting to show you something I’ve found and ultimately, something I am. I’m documenting so you know I was here. I am an artist, book maker, and educator… but I am still reclaiming space. I am growing into the many things that were made for me at the intersection of personal, political, and poetic.”

About Adriana Monsalve: Adriana Monsalve is an artist and collaborative publisher working in the photo book medium. Together with Caterina Ragg, they run Homie House Press from Beltsville, MD and Lambrate, Milano, Italy. HHP is a radical cooperative platform where they challenge the ever-changing forms of storytelling with image + text.

Monsalve earned a Masters in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London in 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the Lucie Independent Photo Book Prize for her collaborative photo book, Femme Frontera, a project which was funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and was part of the Master Artist Grant for 2017.

The works of Homie House Press have been collected in the Library of Congress, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Maryland Institute College of Art, among other private collections. At Mason, you can find Monsalve’s photobooks and HHP publications in the Mason Libraries Artists’ Book Collection, housed in the Special Collections Research Center.

See more on Monsalve’s work and HHP at http://www.adrianastories.com.


This residency is sponsored by the George Mason University Libraries, the Mason School of Art, and the Mason University Life Programming Fund. For more details about the program and upcoming events, visit the Fenwick Gallery website, http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/residency.

What Sparks Poetry: New Exhibition in Fenwick Gallery

Fenwick Gallery is pleased to host “What Sparks Poetry,” an exhibition in celebration of Poetry Daily. The exhibition will be on view from March 20 through April 18, 2019, with a panel discussion presented by members of the Poetry Daily editorial and publication team on Thursday, March 21 at 6:45pm in Fenwick Library, Room 2001.

Poetry Daily is a popular daily online anthology that has been promoting poetry since 1997. In 2018, it began the process of moving to George Mason University where it is now edited and produced through a partnership between the Department of English Creative Writing Program and George Mason University Libraries, in collaboration with The Daily Poetry Association. “What Sparks Poetry” is a new, serialized feature on Poetry Daily in which poets were invited to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems.

The “What Sparks Poetry” exhibition comprises the handwritten pages and essays by a number of these notable poets—intimate homages to the relationship between poet as reader and poet as writer, and to what sparks poetry.

Poetry Daily’s editorial board includes seven poets from Mason: Aaron McCollough, director of George Mason University Press and Mason Publishing in the University Libraries; Mason Creative Writing program faculty Jennifer Atkinson, Heather Green, Eric Pankey, and Susan Tichy; and Vivek Narayanan of the Honors College. The board includes nine other notable poets from across the country: Kaveh Akbar, Jennifer Chang, Yona Harvey, Layli Long Soldier, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Ilya Kaminsky, Sandra Lim, J. Michael Martinez, and Brian Teare.

Find Poetry Daily online at http://www.poems.com. For more details on this exhibition and related events, visit the Fenwick Gallery exhibitions page at http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/exhibits/poetry-daily.

“It’s Personal” – new exhibit in Fenwick Gallery

It’s Personal: Zines, Artist Books, etc.” – featuring the work of Mason MA and BFA students – is now open in Fenwick Gallery. In “It’s Personal,” the artists use the unique qualities of sequencing, format, and multiples that zines and artists’ books allow as a way to explore and share with a wide audience their interests, perspectives, longings, and questions.

The risograph-printed zines of Christina Childs (MA Graphic Design, 2019) offer bold, simple pairings of text and image that ask “what if” questions on both the personal relational scale and the societal level, delivering some surprisingly poignant punches. Lissy Essmann (BFA concentration Graphic Design, 2019) processes her own anxieties and life circumstances through making zines that can connect with other people. Using a hand-drawn illustration style and children’s book approach to the narrative, she translates somber themes into a consistent, calm, and somehow comforting result. Jane Lee (BFA concentration Sculpture, 2019) addresses the complexities of relationships, culture, identity, and even art school in her text-based zines comprised of often humorous and all-too-relatable internal dialogue, notes, and quotes. Katana Lippart (BFA concentration Printmaking, 2018) explores notions of self, memory, uncertainty, and home through collage, printmaking, zines and artist books. Though stemming from her own personal history, the construction of the books and their altered yet familiar imagery resonates with viewers, calling forth their own memories and experiences.

“It’s Personal” will be on display through March 15, 2019. An artists’ talk will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 3:00pm in the Special Collections Research Center on the second floor of Fenwick Library. For more information, visit http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/exhibits/personal/.

About Fenwick Gallery: Fenwick Gallery is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see the Library’s website at http://library.gmu.edu for the most accurate and up-to-date information. For additional information about the Gallery, visit http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/. For questions about this exhibition or Fenwick Gallery, contact Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, at sgrimm4@gmu.edu.

Fenwick Gallery Exhibit: [Land]scape

Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University is pleased to host [Land]scape, an exhibition of works by current MFA students in Mason’s School of Art. The exhibition runs from December 3, 2018 – January 26, 2019, with a closing reception and artist panel talk on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in Fenwick Library 2001.

What is a landscape? A scenic countryside? A long-standing tradition in art history? The distant backdrop of our lives and memories? In the exhibition [Land]scape, artists ask us to engage the notion of landscape on multiple levels. Some pull imagery directly from observed physical, natural, and built surroundings to construct narratives, comment on social, political, and environmental issues, or use landscape as poetic metaphor. Others explore the unseen spaces we navigate: the mind, dreams, fears, desires, the space between people, between the past and present, between here and there. Featuring a range of painting, mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, and video works, the exhibition itself becomes a landscape revealing a strata of emerging art practices.

Participating artists include Jorge Bañales, Andrea Benge, Brigitte Caramanna, Danielle Dravenstadt, Kate Fitzpatrick, Emily Fussner, Kerrianne Hentges, Erica Hopkins, Strange Lens, Jennifer Lillis, Jayne Matricardi-Burke, Matt Nolan, Kevin Wallace, and Michael Walton.                                                                               

[Land]scape is presented by Fenwick Gallery in partnership with ARTIFACT, a graduate student organization for MFA candidates in Mason’s School of Art. ARTIFACT fosters connection, collaboration, and professional development within the MFA program and creates opportunities to share artists’ work with the Mason community and greater Washington DC area.

About Fenwick Gallery: Fenwick Gallery is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see the Library’s website at http://library.gmu.edu for the most accurate and up-to-date information. For additional information about the Gallery, visit http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/. For questions about this exhibition or Fenwick Gallery, contact Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, at sgrimm4@gmu.edu.