Kathleen Gilrain, executive director and chief curator of Smack Mellon Studios and Nicholas des Cognets a second year Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, return to UMass as Alumni Art Stars to discuss their work and how they built their art careers. Free and open to the public, this event and the reception that follows is a joint project of the Arts Extension Service and the UMass Art, Art History and Architecture Department, and is supported by a grant from the UMass Arts Council with additional support from the visiting artist program the Art Department.
On Friday, November 16th both Gilrain and des Cognets and mixed media and installation artists, will meet with current UMass graduate studio art students to discuss and critique their work. Kathleen Gilrain graduated from UMass Amherst with an MFA in 1992. She has created several site-specific nature-based public sculptures in a multitude of countries including the United States, France, and South Korea. In her work at Smack Mellon Studios in New York City, Gilrain directs a space where emerging and underrepresented artists have the opportunity to showcase and create work. Previously, she worked as the Director of Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York and taught sculpture at Brooklyn College as an adjunct professor. Smack Mellon was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, and Gilrain will be able to answer questions regarding the clean-up and emergency fundraising questions.
Des Cognets earned a BFA in Sculpture from UMass Amherst in 2001 and holds an MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. His work seeks to give form to the relationship between nature and human perception without using the obvious tropes and cliché imagery of nature. Des Cognets has recently been an artist-in residence at Sculpture Space, Seven Below, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown MA, where he is currently a second year Visual Arts Fellow. His work has been shown extensively in both solo and group shows, including recent exhibits in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Richmond, VA.
The Alumni Art Stars Series brings UMass arts alumni of note to UMass to share their unique journey in how they forged a successful career in the arts.