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Acadia Mezzofanti’s Artistic Identities


Boston 2020: Artistic Identities Volume I of Artistic Identities / Expanding Boundaries Copyright © 2020 Acadia Mezzofanti ACADIAMEZZOFANTI.COM First Edition

All images and text by Acadia Mezzofanti.


BOSTON 2020: Acadia Mezzofanti’s

ARTISTIC IDENTITIES with contributions by

Barbara Alfond former President of the Board of Trustees, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Frederick Ilchman Chair of European Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Anne Havinga Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Barbara Krakow Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston

Bernard Pucker Pucker Gallery, Boston


In memory of my grandfather, Ugo, a true artist.


“It is a good work in the world to support what is good, true, and beautiful, those things that unite and do not divide.� - Brother Thomas Bezanson


Volume 1


CONTENTS Introduction 1 Representations 7 Artistic Identities 19 Self-Representation 273


INTRODUCTION Ten weeks, a hundred appointments, a thousand miles, ten thousand images. Last summer presented me with a singular challenge and opportunity: with generous support from the Thomas & Hannah McKinley Scholarship & Entrepreneur Grant at Bowdoin College, I conceived and created a self-directed arts and culture project that would involve many people. Recognizing a dearth of dedicated visual coverage for artists and performers, not as publicity or entertainment, but as means to gain public support for new initiatives, I decided to examine artistic identity around Boston, through the prism of my personal experience. In my summer explorations, I set out to visually highlight opportunities for the underrepresented and expanding boundaries for women. To involve even a reasonably representative slice of the arts and culture scene in a single summer through a single lens, I first made overtures to a myriad of mostly unfamiliar names: cultural leaders and art patrons, galleries and cultural institutions, artists and performers; seeking consent as much as referrals and suggestions. The names you encounter over the following pages include those people and organizations who responded: the leaders, patrons, artists and performers, art institutions and cultural organizations who found my initiative above objectively worthwhile. Finding my way to private homes, painters’ workshops and sculptors’ studios, museum foyers and concert halls, underground offices and artist cooperatives from Western Massachusetts to the state’s easternmost tip, eventually even reaching Rhode Island’s Connecticut border and Maine’s lake region, I recorded my own impressions of classical ensembles, jazz musicians, singers, dancers, painters, printmakers and sculptors all summer long. 1

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Before my eyes, marvels would unfold. A figurative sculptress transforms nature into stone and bronze. An octogenarian Holocaust survivor blends Bosch with Giotto on canvases of intricately drawn iconography. A Mauritian concert pianist pours his soul into ferocious interpretations of Mussorgsky at a small seaside gallery pop-up concert. A lion stalks violet-hued futuristic cityscapes on a digital illustrator’s tablet. In passionate artistic moments, a range of human emotions would coalesce in harmony: loss and sorrow, exultation and hope. What immense privilege to engage such participants! From socially progressive museum department chairs to trailblazing minority musicians to female artists seeking wider recognition, my encounters encompassed a range of gifted practitioners, gracious leaders, and generous patrons. At summer’s end, the formidable task of making the final cut from my ten thousand summer photographs beckoned. Wrestling information and imagery, for several weeks I edited and re-edited, so I could publicly share, with artists, advocates, and a worldwide audience of friendly strangers, the wisdoms and surprises discovered through my lens. Early on, I had offered a caveat to my would-be contributors and participants: I am not a reporter, investigative journalist, or cultural critic. As an artist, I observe, reflect, contemplate, and through my images, constantly comment upon our time. What unfolds in these pages are my summer impressions. My project’s scale also reminds me of the impossibility for a single individual to render a comprehensive picture, though I trust the stories told and experiences shared will form a sweeping, if selective, tableau. The work comprises two titles: Artistic Identities (the current book) and the second volume, the accompanying Expanding Boundaries, both released at the same time. BOSTON 2020 |

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Historically, few other fields have wielded such ultimate influence as art. Visually conveying ideas, truths, observations, and insights into life, while moving and motivating people, has long been among art’s functions. As an artist, I have always sought opportunities to influence the world through work that relates the human condition. I hope my images will encourage the underrepresented to seek more opportunities, reaffirm patrons’ conviction in the arts, and help cultural leaders gather support for new initiatives. I also hope my work will inspire a new generation of talented, mindful, and compassionate creators. Acadia Mezzofanti Boston, January 2020

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Representations


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Visual Arts

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SAMUEL BAK painter


remembrance BOSTON 2020 |

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portend

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éternel retour BOSTON 2020 |

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SERENA BATES sculptor


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pas de deux BOSTON 2020 |

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verve BOSTON 2020 |

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PATRICIA BUSSO painter


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chromance

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MARCIA CRUMLEY painter


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KATHRYN GRAVEN painter


reverse BOSTON 2020 |

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fortitude BOSTON 2020 |

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CAROLYN LATANISION painter


resolute

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mirror BOSTON 2020 |

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OANA LAURIC painter


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loom

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sojourn

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JENNIFER MAESTRE pencil sculptor


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BRIAN MURPHY wire sculptor


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elevate

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KAT O’CONNOR painter


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PAULA OGIER digital media artist


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whimsy BOSTON 2020 |

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KIM RADOCHIA sculptor


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SHARON WHITHAM printmaker


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Performing Arts

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ALLISON ELDREDGE cellist


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DANNY KOO violinist


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PAUL LARAIA violist


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KEVIN AHFAT pianist


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A FAR CRY


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AIZURI QUARTET


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VENICE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & Avi Avital


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Jazz


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ROCKPORT JAZZ WORKSHOP Alexa Tarantino, director


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THE HOT SARDINES WorldTour Fireworks Finale


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BENOÃŽT ROLLAND Master Bowmaker MacArthur Fellow


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AMANDA GORMAN First National Youth Poet Laureate


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Dance


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Self-Representation


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Acknowledgments Support by the Thomas & Hannah McKinley fund of Bowdoin College has allowed me to bring this project to life. By the spirited and generous participation of a select group of exceptional artists and performers, I was privileged to discover inner wisdoms, make keen observations, and behold a panorama of talent. The fusion of individual perspectives into a single work reflects my belief in the power of offering multiple, and often divergent, accounts of the human condition. All summer long, these artists and performers welcomed me into concert halls, studios, and their homes. I am greatly indebted to the swift and steady fingers wielding paintbrushes and pencils, chisels and bows, and to all those inspired minds behind them, for creating works of great charm and beauty, and for conjuring up a wondrous atmosphere for me to experience, absorb, transform, and share. The following visual artists volunteered their time to participate in my project: Samuel Bak, Serena Bates, Patrica Busso, Marcia Crumley, Kathryn Graven, Carolyn Latanision, Oana Lauric, Jennifer Maestre, Brian Murphy, Kat O’Connor, Paula Ogier, Kim Radochia, and Sharon Whitham. I thank you all. Profound appreciation on my part is further extended to the wonderful performers, dancers, and models in my complementary and supplementary images, including Leigh Tanji, Keren Alfred, Derek Bermel, Liana Branscome, Aria Cheregosha, Kate Dreyfuss, Anita Dumar, Jessica Rose Flynn, Caleb Georges, Abigail Hong, Chih-Yun Hsiao, Joy Huang, Elizabeth Hung, Annette Jakovcic, Sophia Janevic, Xin Jiang, Arah Kang, Reuben Kebede, Julie Lee, Minji Lee, Hanzheng Li, Charles Magnus, Daniel Miles, Ye Jin Min, Nikki Naghavi, Reonel Rafols, Georgina Rossi, Matthew Schultheis, Troy Stephenson, Pedro Sánchez, Augusta Schubert, Alexandra Simpson, Sophia Szokolay, Xinyuan Wang, and Kamyron Williams. Rockport Music and Shalin Liu Performance Center’s artistic director Barry Shiffman, president Tony Beadle, and Josue Gonzalez were all most supportive, and Karen Herlitz in particular provided considerable help and guidance in my summerlong musical explorations. My sincere gratitude is extended to the 2019 summer guest solo lineup of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, including cellist Allison Eldredge, pianist Kevin Ahfat, violinist Danny Koo, and violist Paul Laraia; members of the Aizuri Quartet, Garbriela Diaz, Miho Saegusa, Ayane Kozasa, and Karen Ouzounian; the members of A Far Cry; mandolinist Avi Avital, along with Andrea Marcon and his Venice Baroque Orchestra.

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The Rockport Jazz Festival at Shalin Liu followed, where I wish to thank Jazz Workshop director, saxophonist Alexa Tarantino, as well as her accomplished colleagues, singer Alita Moses, Mike Conrad on trumpet, Steven Feifke on piano, Nick Finzer on trombone, Emiliano Lasansky on bass, and Levi Saelua on saxphone. The Hot Sardines, led by Elizabeth Bougerol and Evan Palazzo put on a splendid show as the finale of their world tour, while the Rockport Fireworks backlit the Shalin Liu concert stage: Ben Golder-Novick on saxophone and clarinet, Todd Londagin on trombone, Noah Hocker on trumpet, David Berger on drums, Victor Murillo on bass, and tapdancing by A.C. Lincoln. I wish we all had more time to share, and hope my images will serve as a memento of that special evening. My further thanks are extended to Benoît Rolland, Amanda Gorman, the BoSoma and Luminarium Dance Companies, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, the town of Marblehead, and the Nahant Victorian Promenade. With heartfelt gratitude to Oxbow School founder and head of school Stephen Thomas and his stellar faculty, for their steadfast support and for teaching me, nearly a decade ago, on Oxbow’s serene campus in Napa, about the value and import of critical thinking and disciplined work habits for an artist. Likewise, I will always cherish the integrity and encouragement by Tim Trelease, my kind and generous art tutor at Deerfield Academy. Later still, my literary and cultural journeys in several languages would firmly anchor me in our time, and I am forever grateful to my Bowdoin College language and literature professors Arielle Saiber, Katherine DaugeRoth, Crystal Hall, Allison Cooper, Davida Gavioli, Annie deSaussure, and Fernando Nascimento for all their kindness and selflessness, and for expanding my cultural horizons and sharing their knowledge and wisdom. Khoa Khuong, Fred Field, and Dighton Spooner, as well as Professors Carrie Scanga and Janice Jaffe, have also been most patient and supportive of my many creative ideas along the way. I deeply appreciate the encouragement and opportunities I have received from the Copley Society of Art over the past five years. After I became the youngest elected full artist member of the oldest art society in America, I gradually became aware of the dual role of an art cooperative and community arts organization—which, to a certain degree, prompted this project. As any non-profit organization faced with both preserving the past and shaping the future, the Copley Society navigates between the twin challenges of providing an oasis of artistic tradition while building a bridge to the future.

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In 1913, the Copley Society was the final stop, after New York and Chicago, of the Armory Show, the first large-scale exhibition of modernism in America. The show introduced new styles, including Fauvism, Futurism, and Cubism to the public. Often for the first time in America, works by Picasso and Matisse, Braque and Brancusi, Leger and Munch, Redon and Seurat were on view; alongside the more familiar styles of Ingres, Delacroix, and Renoir; Rodin, Degas, and Monet; Cezanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh. The Copley Society exhibit of the Armory Show in Boston drew tens of thousands of visitors in 1913, and was as much an artistic-cultural watershed as it was a gesture of public outreach; it was certainly very successful on both fronts. I am honored and privileged to be an exhibiting Copley Artist today. Thoughtful contributions and insights by the following individuals and institutions merit special mention and have earned my profound gratitude: philanthropist Barbara Alfond, former President, and President Emerita of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Frederick Ilchman, Chair of European Art and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Anne Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art; Alfred Van Ranst and Eva Rosenberg at Boston Foundation and the Harvard Art Initiative and Ed Portal; Barbara Krakow of Krakow Witkin Gallery; Suzan Redgate, director of the Copley Society of Art; Bernard Pucker of Pucker Gallery; Almitra Stanley, director of Boston Sculptors Gallery; Christine O’Donnell, director of Beacon Gallery; and Alexander Ciesielski, director of The Guild of Boston Artists. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Anne and Frank Goodyear for early guiding, Susan Faludi for further encouraging, Barbara Alfond for reassuring, Suzan Redgate for supporting, Karen for welcoming, Frederick for introducing, Bernie for facilitating, Leigh for inspiring, Charlie for navigating, Peter for advocating—and my mom for everything. In the above, as in this book, any errors and omissions are entirely my own.

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About the Author Acadia Mezzofanti is a contemporary artist, who uses photographic imagery as the foundation to create her art. She is the youngest elected full artist member of the Copley Society of Art, the oldest art society in America. Capturing the Moment was Acadia's first solo exhibit, at 16. Other solo shows, including the 66-image Painting with Light exhibit followed, as Acadia has participated in over fifty group exhibits and art shows nationwide, receiving much recognition of her art. At 18, Acadia was awarded a United States national gold medal for her art photography, which she received on the main stage at Carnegie Hall. Acadia is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Italian, and is working on improving her conversant Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese, with a lifelong passion for languages.

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Profile for Acadia Mezzofanti

Boston 2020: Artistic Identities  

This two-volume book is the synthesis of summerlong explorations by Acadia Mezzofanti, a contemporary photographic artist. In Volume 1, thro...

Boston 2020: Artistic Identities  

This two-volume book is the synthesis of summerlong explorations by Acadia Mezzofanti, a contemporary photographic artist. In Volume 1, thro...