June 8, 2006


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It’s sticky up there
Inclusive, creative Hot Sweaty Summer Series
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

On an evening that was above 80 degrees, Jaime Grady of the Monastery Artists Collective explained where the group got the name for its summer shows, all of which have no door charge and can be more interactive than your average look-at-pretty-paintings-of-landscapes gallery opening.

The collective has space in the suitably urban/artistic environs of the third floor of 21 W. Auburn St., Manchester, a mainly unconverted brick industrial building with no air conditioning.

A few Hot Sweaty Summer Series shows are off-campus, such as the “3.5” x 5” show” at Gala Café through June 10, where all of the work is priced $40 or less. Next week, the collective will take over Manchester Community Access Media’s new studios during Open Doors Manchester with “5 senses and a trolley,” Thursday, June 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. Art there will appeal to all the senses, with such things as textural objects and video installation. The group plans to “make use of all the nooks and crannies” in MCAM’s new studios, Grady said.

Next up is an experiment called “the jam” at the Monastery July 7, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. It will be set up the way musicians improvise together. In fact, a house band will jam but there will also be spoken word, and a large open canvas with paints and pastels available. The idea is for all three modes to influence each other.

“Prom” is the collective’s celebration of the anniversary of their first show, which was last July, an idea sprouted by Ryan LeFabvre, the Spiritual Leader of the Monastery Artist Collective. “Year of the Gypsy Moth, 1981” is LeFabvre’s theme for prom in his Monastery II studio down the hall. Besides slow-dancing, a yearbook, and other prom accoutrements, you are welcome to dress the part, including DIY tuxedos or other creative attire.

“Our big thing just as a group is to create community. We want to be as inclusive as we possibly can,” Grady said.

“Russian roulette evening of sound” follows in early August, a fundraiser for poetry slams. The “wearable art fashion show” in late August is a runway-style show with “living statues,” and spectators are encouraged to dress up as well, Grady said. The collective plans to show musical instruments they are building in early September.

Check monasteryartists.org for dates for late summer event dates or changes. That’s also where you’ll find details on how to submit your own work.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

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