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During the weekdays from mid-May to mid-June between our weekend events, we welcome solo artists into the Barn for an opportunity to work in the historic space. Artists share their experiences at Open Studios on the final night of their stay.

2017 Artists in Residence

Xylor Jane
May 14–May 19
Open Studio: Thursday, May 18, 6–8pm

Xylor Jane, our 2017 Hans Hofmann Resident, creates paintings that are intensely systematic and yet, like the Fibonacci sequence she often renders, equally spiritual in nature. Fittingly, Jane’s methods are almost monklike: she often rises and begins her work as early as 3:00 a.m., a time of day at which she feels she has access to certain inspirational forces. At first glance, her work is reminiscent of a kaleidoscopic optical illusion, repeating dots of color, numbers, grids, and patterns that are simultaneously dizzying and mystical. Color is of key importance, in many cases acting as a code, representing everything from important dates to mathematical sequences. Abstracted and categorized notions of time and emotion are translated into visual patterns through which Jane meditates on the metaphysical.

In seeking to capture the spiritual power of painting through formal means, Jane carries on the tradition of Hans Hofmann, bringing both his theory of “push and pull” and his regard for the spiritual power of color into the twenty-first century. As Hofmann himself put it, “The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.” Although Jane’s paintings may bear few superficial similarities to Hofmann’s, the philosophy behind her work reflects a deeper, shared reverence for the observation of nature and the essential role of the artist to reveal the great mysteries to be found there.

Jane lives and works in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She has had solo shows at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the New Britain Museum of American Art, and has been included in group exhibitions at the DeCordova Biennial, the Kunsthalle Andratx, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Susan Mikula
May 21–May 26
Open Studio: Thursday, May 25, 6–8pm

Born and raised first in urban, industrial New Jersey as a child, then in a small New Hampshire town, Susan Mikula now divides her time between rural Western Massachusetts and New York City. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, including in New York, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles. In 2017 she will be delivering site-specific works for the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, commissioned by and for the Art in Embassies program.

“My work is narrative, though not with a linear beginning, middle and end structure. Just as my style is figurative, though not literal, which gets me closer to the essence of things. Conveying beauty as I see and understand it is also an important part of my work, though not everyone agrees with what I find beautiful. My ideas sometimes form around an object or a scene and work their way out from there, but more often it starts with a concept that I want to explore, an exploration that I want to share, a feeling that I want to express. From conception through visualization to final selection, it’s a form of distillation, a slow process, to find that which is necessary.”

Mikula shoots exclusively with instant films in a variety of cameras, many of them vintage Polaroids using past-expiration Polaroid films. Working only with available light, and without cropping or image manipulation, her technique strips away detail and softens edges to better reveal the underlying and essential form and feeling of her subject.

Duncan Sheik
June 4 — June 9
Duncan Sheik will be in Concert on Friday, June 9 in place of an open studio.

After breaking through in the late 1990s with his Top 20 Single “Barely Breathing,” musician Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a break from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. He turned his focus toward making albums that broke with pop music conventions and began work on his first theatrical musical, Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him two Tony Awards and a Grammy. Sheik has gone on to release seven studio albums. He has also composed original music for seven musicals, including Twelfth Night, Whisper House, The Nightingale, and American Psycho: The Musical.

Sheik continues to tour, as well as producing new material including his newest musical, Because of Winn-Dixie, and Lost Generation, a new digital musical series created by Kyle Jarrow and Duncan Sheik.

2016 Artists in Residence

Mark Adams
Paul Bowen
Dorothea Rockburne

2015 Artists in Residence

Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg
David Hilliard

2014 Artists in Residence

Jim Hodges
Kathy Cotter
The Cape School of Art
The Beachcombers