Founded in 1896 by the composer Edward MacDowell and his wife, the pianist Marian MacDowell, the MacDowell Colony is one of the oldest and most distinguished and prestigious artists residency programs in the nation. It is nested in 450 acres of wooded lands on the outskirts of Peterborough New Hampshire. The mission of The MacDowell Colony is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination. The sole criterion for acceptance to The MacDowell Colony is artistic excellence. Fellows in the fields of Architecture, Composition, Film, Interdisciplinary Artists, Theatre Artists, Visual Artists and Writers are chosen by a selection committee comprised of leaders in their respective fields from a very large pool of international applications.
I had been wanting to return to the North East during the fall season since my visit to Vermont in September of 1996 when I was a Visiting Artist Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center so I was thrilled to be able to get a fall residency at MacDowell from Mid-Sept to Mid-Oct. The grounds of the colony are covered with maple, birch, and beech trees and they were in full glory during my visit. The display of high intensity yellows, oranges, reds and the full range of greens allowed me to explore and use pigments and colors in my on-site works like never before. I had stocked up on my cadmiums before I went but had to buy more while I was there!
My time there was beyond great and I was able to create 20 mostly mid-sized works that were true intense perceptual experiences. I was humbled and honored to find out that I was selected as a Milton and Sally Avery Fellow. This is an annual honor given to two MacDowell residents of “outstanding ability in the area of painting”.