Our current exhibition is one that is fairly atypical for Main Street Arts — it’s not really thematic, it doesn’t necessarily have a large idea that brings the work together, it isn’t an invitational based on specific media, it isn’t a national juried exhibition or a solo show. The thing that brings these very different artists together is that they have all been artists in residence at Main Street Arts.
The Residency Alumni Exhibition has been a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate nearly three years of the residency program at the gallery. In June, 2016 we launched this program as a way to have a consistent place for making art in the gallery—to make it more of an active space where art was being made on a regular basis. That idea evolved over time to become what it is today: a program that provides artists dedicated time and space to focus on their work in a creative and supportive environment.
As of April, 2019, 54 artists have come from 17 states and Canada to work in the studios at Main Street Arts, and 42 of them are included in this wide ranging exhibition. It was a heartwarming experience to open up packages from former residents as we prepared for this show. So many of these artists are now friends of ours and this gave us a chance to see their work again, some of which was actually made during their time here!
Visitors to this exhibition will often remark about how diverse and eclectic this show is and I see that as a testament to the range of artists that have come through the program. We’ve had painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, writers, printmakers, installation artists, a puppet maker, and fiber artists over the past three years. The exciting thing for me was seeing how all of this different work — over 100 pieces — pairs together in an exhibition. To have artists from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 all together on the same wall and with work in a wide variety of media and style.
While this exhibition will come to an end on Friday, May 17, the residency program will continue and we will see many more artists come through the studios at the gallery. We plan to highlight the work of future residents in upcoming residency alumni exhibitions and we look forward to seeing how the program will grow and evolve in the future.
The residency program is an integral part of our mission as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization to promote the work of regional, national and international artists, encourage the creation of art and foster art education. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the residency program, you may do so on our website: MainStreetArtsGallery.com/support