Remembering Ann Emerson

When Ann Emerson, the founding director of the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts, died this summer at her home in Maine, the lights flickered for everyone who was involved in that brave undertaking 32 years ago which now thrives as The Umbrella Community Arts Center.

Ann was at the core of its creation, directly (as the director) and through the immediate and extensive friendships and trust that she engendered in her fellow artists and the Concord community.

The ARTS of the MATTER

Did you know the state of Massachusetts funds more arts and culture organizations than any other state? It's invigorating to live in a community in which so many people and organizations advocate for public funds in arts and culture. This past July marked a major milestone in that advocacy, when the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) benefitted from a $1 million increase to its state appropriation, approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Artist Spotlight: Barbara Willis

The first thing you notice when you enter Barbara Willis’s sunny corner studio at The Umbrella is a dazzling rainbow of spooled fibers: bold jewel tones, glittering metallics, delicate pastels, and smoky earth hues. Silk and cotton yarn sits beside chenille, bamboo, wool, mohair, and rayon on shelves, tabletops, and windowsills.

Chatting with a printmaker, a photographer, and a painter

Artists tend to be visually oriented, more comfortable with shapes and colors than sounds and words, which means that many of them view talking about their work with a certain trepidation.  But yesterday three of The Umbrella's resident artists took the challenge and stepped forward to share the inspirations, stories, and processes behind their artwork.

When Gourds Become Art

It's hard to beat an evening of art, wine, dessert and great conversation!

The Musketaquid’s Fall Salon series opened last Thursday with gourds – one of the world’s oldest, most recognizable and universal plants.  When dried, their shell can be cut to make bowls, ladles, and other tools.  It is not certain where gourds originated or how they traveled the globe, but they can be seen in many a museum’s collection of cultural artifacts from almost every continent.

A Successful Free Bowl-Making Workshop!

On Wednesday September 11 at The Umbrella clay studio, Caitlyn Marsh hosted a free bowl workshop. Participants made hand built and wheelthrown bowls with recycled stoneware clay. With only one person for the first fifteen minutes, we didn't start off with a bang, but soon enough the studio was packed with beginners, experts, volunteers, professionals, students, and friends of the Umbrella adult student population.

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