A Solo Show By Melanie Mowinski

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 will present an exhibition of artwork by Melanie Mowinski, “Wayfinding,” an investigation of the motivations behind the paths taken in life through installation, letterpress, book arts and collage.

“Wayfinding” will open on Thursday, July 28, and remain on display through Sunday, Aug. 21. The show is free and open to the public. The show is about trusting the way and understanding the many paths to get to the same destination – both literally and figuratively.

During the past six months, while on sabbatical from her position as an associate professor of art at MCLA, Mowinski was a visiting artist at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy; served as an artist-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Neb.; and also traveled to Memphis, Tenn., Chicago, Ill.; Clarksdale, Miss.; Miami, Fla.; and New York City, N.Y.

In each of these cities or towns, Mowinski tracked her walks and “wayfinding” with a combination of data from electronic devices, drawings and writings. This information became the source for many of the drawings and artist books in “Wayfinding.”

Mowinski cultivates experimentation in her artwork alongside traditional bookbinding and art making practices, as well as repetitive mark-making, which is the hallmark of this exhibition.

One of the primary symbols in her artistic iconography is the simple dot that she clusters in two-dimensional form in drawings and three-dimensional form in the installation, “What Can Happen in a Year.” The dot represents a myriad of possibilities, literally and metaphorically.

“I am continually drawn to the act of repetition as a form of prayer and meditation. Whether it is making a mark over and over, creating the same sculptural object, or editioning an artist book, that act of repeating becomes the thing that grounds me in my process and focuses my attention,” Mowinski said.

Mowinski also gravitates toward one-of-a-kind artist books housed in unusual and traditional enclosures, including “Please Forgive Me,” “Parallel” and “Appetite for Egress,” which are part of this exhibition.

Her artist books, under the imprint 29 PRESS, are in private and public collections such as the Crouch Library at Baylor University, The Free Library of Philadelphia, The Ruth Hughes Collection at Oberlin College, Tate Modern Museum of Art in London, and the Love Library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mowinski is the 2016 recipient of the Northern Berkshire Cultural Council (NBCC) Individual Artist Grant. NBCC is one of the local branches of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

For more information about Mowinski and her work, go to and

MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC).

The Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. MCLA Gallery 51 is at 51 Main St. in North Adams. DownStreet Art, a cultural and economic development program, is organized by the team from MCLA Gallery 51 and the BCRC.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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