Fruitlands Museum Welcomes Carolyn Wirth as 2016 Artist-in-Residence

Fruitlands Museum Welcomes Carolyn Wirth as 2016 Artist-in-Residence

Fruitlands Museum is pleased to announce that Carolyn Wirth will be the 2016 Artist-in-Residence. From April to November, Carolyn will be conducting conversations with the community, inviting the public to experience her art making, exhibiting her work at the museum's Wayside Visitor Center, and creating a site-specific outdoor sculpture inspired by the Fruitlands landscape and history. Her exhibition, Seeing Past Faces, featuring work related to American women writers, will be on view at the Art Museum, July 2 - August 21.

"We are thrilled to have Carolyn Wirth, a nationally recognized artist and sculptor with a strong record of public installation, as our 2016 Artist-in-Residence. She will use her time to research and reflect on our collections and history, nourishing the Fruitlands community with her unique perspective. We are particularly looking forward to how her work visualizes the many women associated with Fruitlands' remarkable spaces, including Mother Ann Lee, leader of the Shakers, and beloved author Louisa May Alcott," commented Fruitlands Executive Director Wyona Lynch-McWhite,

"The objects in Fruitlands' many collections cross cultures, time periods, functions, and processes," says Carolyn. "Each is a kind of time traveler from the American past that brings a complicated message to the present. My favorite room at Fruitlands is Louisa May Alcott's attic bedroom in the red farmhouse. I see it as a time capsule of 19th-century girlhood, furnished for girls and their dolls, all gone except for one tiny, well-loved rag doll whose threadbare face saw Louisa's 170 years ago. Material objects--especially, to me, very old and handmade ones--communicate the histories and personalities of their makers more directly than the written word can."

Carolyn Wirth is an artist and educator based in Maynard, Massachusetts. Carolyn received a B.A. in art from Smith College, and has an M.A. in sculpture and environmental art from New York University. She was a member of Boston's artist-run Kingston Gallery for 10 years and has produced commissions for the Melrose, Massachusetts public library, the City of Boston Parks Department, and the Boston Childrens' Museum. Her public sculpture has been reviewed by Cate McQuaid and Christine Temin in The Boston Globe and Daniel Grant in The Boston Herald. In 2002 she received a Boston Cultural Council Artists Fellowship in sculpture. She is an Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at Pine Manor College, where she also curates and directs the College's Hess Gallery. Her blog and recent sculpture can be seen at carolynwirth.com.

Watch the Fruitlands Calendar of Classes and Workshops page for information on gallery talks and workshops that Carolyn will be giving throughout the 2016 season.

The Artist-in-Residence Program (AiR) features contemporary artists whose work brings a fresh perspective to interpreting the Fruitlands Museum collections and landscape. Any artist may apply-including those whose work includes poetry, painting, fabric, pottery, sculpture, music and sound, new media and site-specific installations. Part of the program encourages visitors to interact with the artist through a series of formal and informal events, discussions, presentations, and exhibits. Unlike other artist-in-residence programs that typically take place behind closed doors, this program seeks to illuminate the artistic process for the general public while providing the artist with access to a rich environment and freedom to pursue their creativity.

Fruitlands Museum Winter Season Hours are weekends, 12-5pm. The Art Gallery, Museum Store & grounds are open; the historic buildings & cafe are closed until April 15, 2016. WinterFest Weekends, and the exhibition Hidden Treasures, a large exhibit of rarely seen objects from the permanent collections on view in the Art Gallery, will continue through March 26. Fruitlands will be closed on Easter Sunday, March 27. Winter admission is $5 for nonmembers, and free for members and children under 5 years old. Fruitlands Museum is located at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard, Mass. For more information, visit www.fruitlands.org or call 978-456-3924 ext. 292.

Fruitlands Museum, a 210-acre historic, natural, and cultural destination based in Harvard, MA, recently announced plans to integrate operations with The Trustees of Reservations. Founded in 1914 by author and preservationistClara Endicott Sears, the complex takes its name from an experimental utopian community led by Transcendentalists Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane that existed on this site in 1843. Fruitlands is dedicated to New England history & art, and its properties include: The Fruitlands Farmhouse, once home to the family of Louisa May Alcott and a National Historic landmark; The Shaker Museum, home to the largest archive of Harvard Shaker documents in the world; The Native American Museum, which houses a significant collection of artifacts that honor the spiritual presence and cultural history of the first Americans; The Art Museum, featuring a renowned collection of Hudson River School landscape paintings and 19th century vernacular portraits, along with rotating special exhibitions; and The Land, which features panoramic views of the Nashua River Valley, including 2.5 miles of meadows and woodland recreational trails. The Fruitlands Museum Store sells fine crafts by local artists, including pottery, glass, jewelry, clothing and home furnishings. The Museum Café, open during the main season focuses on locally-sourced, sustainable cuisine reflective of the heritage of New England.

Pictured: "For Emma Safford", courtesy the artist