MCLA Gallery 51 reopens with 'A Long Way From Home'

"The Rise and Fall (Take Em Down)" by Genevieve Gaignard. Gaignard's artwork focuses on her biracial identity - her father is African American, her mother is white. She is currently the artist-in-residence at MCLA's Artist Laboratory.

The Berkshire Eagle

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Gallery 51 is proud to present a new body of work by artist-in-residence Genevieve Gaignard, titled "A Long Way From Home."

This is the first exhibition to come out of MCLA's Artist Laboratory Residency. It culminates Gaignard's five-month residency at MCLA and will kick off the Gallery's public reopening.

Gaignard's exhibition "A Long Way From Home" draws upon the many artistic forms we have come to know from her such as collage and assemblage of found objects into an environment that plays with the senses. Known for her works that explore class, race and gender, Gaignard renders her interior world radically exterior. She accomplishes this exteriorization by reproducing a home space to question the repetitions of the past in the present.

Home again in a rural mill town in Massachusetts, Gaignard, originally from Orange, is confronted with all the ways her artistic migration has changed her and how the events of the world put into perspective the contradictions of her hometown. She seeks the sights and sounds of home. She longs for another feel, another place, a different space. Gaignard longs for a different place to rest during the historical and political turbulence of COVID-19 and the reemergence of Black Lives Matter protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"A Long Way From Home" is a practice of an artist who understands her form and knows how to use it. In these trying times her persistent question "are we there yet?" tied to a desire for home that is welcome to all speaks to a historical frustration that continues to linger in the present. Her work is an invitation to break the violent repetitions that anti-blackness, poverty, patriarchy, and homophobia beget and rebuild home anew.

The exhibition will be on view now through Dec. 7 at MCLA Gallery 51 and is curated by Erica Wall.

Guests are welcome to view the exhibition, in-person, from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and by appointment from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Social distancing protocols will be followed, and guests are required to wear masks and gloves. No more than four to six individuals will be permitted in the gallery at the same time.