Spring Training Opportunities

This spring, MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is continuing our series of professional development workshops for Massachusetts artists — for free! After four successful trainings this past fall, we’re excited to extend our programming and offer three additional workshops this spring.

“The best training series I’ve had in a long time — direct and helpful. Hope to learn more from you again!”

Fall Training / Workshops

Group of creatives spread out to discuss marketing strategy during Jessica Burko’s workshop.

“I felt motivated to be with a group of serious artists who were also interested in how to navigate the world of marketing in this new economy.”

All creative entrepreneurs — in all disciplines and financial circumstance — based in Massachusetts are welcome to apply. (In your application, you will specify which of the trainings you are interested in attending.) Space is limited. We will select participants based on readiness and motivation to take full advantage of the training. All trainings will also include follow-up 1-on-1 phone consultations with Assets for Artists staff to further assist in putting the workshop content into practice. 

Click HERE for an application!

Application Deadline: 5pm on March 20th, 2015.
Please submit the 2-page application, with a CV or bio attached, to
Emily Edwards at assetsforartists@massmoca.org

Read on for a description of each training and its presenter:

Find Your Message: Branding & Marketing for Visual Artists 
April 9,
1-6pm | April 10, for selected artists (North Adams, MA)

Burko, JessJessica Burko is a practicing artist, independent curator, and Arts Marketing professional.

“Jessica is energetic, has a great sense of humor and can really hold her audience! The exercises she had us do were really helpful, and she presented a great deal of information in one afternoon.”

This is a TWO-PART workshop. Based on applications, artists will be invited to participate in Day 1 only OR in Days 1 & 2. (Artists are required to attend Day 1 in order to participate in Day 2. However, only a small number of artists selected for the group training on Day 1 will be offered 1-on-1 time on Day 2.)

Day 1: April 9 (Thursday) — Group Training
Jessica will help visual artists and craftspeople gain a better understanding of how to present their work, how to identify their target audience, and how to create a detailed marketing plan while building the confidence to implement it.

Day 2: April 10 (Friday) — 1-on-1 “Doctor’s Hours”
Selected artists will be invited to meet individually (for approximately an hour) with Jessica Burko for an in-depth discussion of specific marketing questions and concerns, and to review their arts marketing strategies.

Get Press Ready: PR for Artists
April 25, 1-6pm (Lawrence, MA)
May 2, 1-6pm (North Adams, MA)

Platanitis, SarahSarah Platanitis is a lifestyle journalist and media educator focused on public relations tools for artists. In this workshop, participants will develop marketing and PR savvy, learn to work more effectively with journalists, improve their websites, and gain skills related to presenting and interviewing.

“Sarah was very generous with her knowledge and made asking questions easy and comfortable.  She packed her presentation with great, applicable information.”

Back by popular demand, we are offering Sarah’s workshop in TWO locations. On the application, please be sure to check the box corresponding to the date/location you’d like to attend.

Questions? Email assestsforartists@massmoca.org

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Support for this Assets for Artists programming has generously been provided by MountainOne, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the US Department of Agriculture, Citizens Bank, Berkshire Bank and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.

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Berkshire Bank

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Artist Opportunities: Grants, Residencies, and Fellowships (March, 2015 – April, 2015)

Listed below are opportunities to apply for residencies, receive grants and participate in fellowships.  Check them out!

If you have an opportunity to share, please send suggestions to assetsforartists@massmoca.org


The Spokane Laboratory residency, located in Spokane, WA offers practicing interactive artists the time, space, and freedom to make awesome stuff.  The provide a space to live, space to work, tools, mentorship, and connections to make that happen.  The program is divided into three tracks – one for artists wanting to work on a specific project, one for artists wanting to focus on researching new techniques/technologies, and one for emerging artists wanting to develop their technical skills.

 Application Deadline: March 1st, 2015


Surel’s Place Residency Program, located in Boise, Idaho, seeks to offer artists the kind of professional support they deserve and to provide the public with interesting, accessible, inclusive, and professional art experiences, including performances, readings, exhibits, and workshops. Boise is a community that values artists and art, and residents will be valued and appreciated for the energy, ideas, and beauty they bring to our city.

 Application Deadline: March 1st, 2015

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Artist Spotlight: Natalie Tyler

Tyler, Natalie Natalie Tyler, a sculpture artist primarily using glass and bronze, was so excited about the creative potential of North Adams that she moved here in the dead of winter — from southern California! (If you see Natalie, please be sure to heartily welcome her to town.)

Natalie’s work emulates scenes of transformation using delicate materials such as glass and natural ephemera. Natalie writes: “My work reveals parts of the Tyler, Natalie cycle of life connecting us back to nature. Birth, life, abandonment, decay and regeneration are stages we as humans share with every creature and plant of the earth. Highlighting aspects of nature’s wonders, giving importance back to the little amazing things, we so easily take for granted.”  Each carefully constructed piece exudes a quiet presence, inviting the viewer to contemplate the opposing fragile and forceful elements of nature.

After working solely with metalTyler, Natalie casting for the majority of her undergraduate art studies, Natalie became inspired by Czech artists who were creating glass forms. Natalie, ever-resourceful and determined, decided to teach herself glass casting. Glass allowed her to incorporate light and color into her sculptures, which gave her work a new sense of play. Since, Natalie has traveled nationally to teach glass casting workshops and spends much of her time teaching other artists her unique process.

Natalie received her MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California. She has had solo exhibitions at Dacia Gallery, Ennagon Gallery, and Contaminate NYC in New York City and selected international group exhibitions at the Bo. Lee Gallery in Bath, England and the Blue Leaf Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. Natalie has taught at Cornell University, University of Connecticut at Hartford, New Jersey City University, and the Mendicino Art Center. She continues to teach glass sculpture workshops in a variety of locations throughout the country.

Tyler made the move to North Adams about two months ago after packing her bags and leaving sunny Encinitas, California.  Natalie set up her glass shop and Tyler, Natalie studio in our bustling downtown and will be offering workshops in the spring, once the weather clears!  Of the move to North Adams, Natalie says: “Moving to North Adams has given me the time and space to open my own sculpture studio and having a studio that is also a storefront gives me the chance to be a part and reach out to the local North Adams community.”

We’re excited to have you, Natalie! Head to Natalie’s website to check out more of her work and see updates on her new studio.

Artist Opportunities: Shows and Exhibitions (March, 2015 – April, 2015)

Listed below are opportunities to participate in juried shows and compete for space in group exhibitions.  Check them out!

If you have an opportunity to share, please send suggestions to assetsforartists@massmoca.org


Intelligent Objects is an open call hosted by Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) for artworks that act as independent agents and explore the cross-section of analog and digital media. In this age of the internet of things, where our toasters communicate over the internet and robots vacuum our floors, this exhibition explores those artistic objects — or their 2D and 3D representations — which appear to be responsive to our existence, or at least demand an empathy if not an emotion, that we give to sentient beings. *Entry Fee

Deadline: March 1st, 2015

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Artist Spotlight: John Ryan

Ryan, John

Photo by Jason Sexton

Puppeteer John Ryan recently relocated to our creative city to grow his artistic practice. John Ryan’s work pushes the boundaries of traditional puppetry, allowing him to explore the medium in a sophisticated way not usually seen by American audiences. John’s work breaks away from the constraints of children’s theater in both concept and content, allowing puppetry to thrive outside of children’s “edutainment” theatre. Each character John creates is complex and intricate, both in physical appearance and emotional depth. John constructs his puppets with variety of materials including wood, fiber, and Poly-foam. His attention to detail and personality bring each creation to life. Within the next year, John Ryan hopes to create a feature-length cabaret style show. Be on the look out, North Adams!

Before his move to North Adams, John Ryan lived in Oneoata, New York, where he spent 10 years working for the Catskill Puppet Theater. Catskill Puppet Theater is a national touring company founded by the husband-and-wife team of John Potocnik and Carol Mandigo in 1973, whose combined backgrounds Ryan, Johnencompass art, music, drama, and American folk culture. They concentrate mostly on children’s theater in venues as diverse as the Smithsonian, The Iowa State Fair, and Symphony Space in NYC, but the lion’s share of performances happen in elementary schools. John Ryan’s long tenure with Catskill gave him the opportunity to hone his performance skills and contemplate new (and less family-friendly) directions for his own puppetry practice.

John Ryan performing in handcrafted praying mantis costume. Photo by Ian Austin

John Ryan performing in his handcrafted praying mantis costume.
Photo by Ian Austin

We asked John about how his recent move to North Adams was affecting his artistic process. His answer: “The fascinating thing about relocating as an artist is that it inevitably stirs up the silt of old projects and ideas. I find myself confronted with the exposed hulls of half realized sculptures, dog-ends of scripts, forgotten concepts and characters lurking deep within old sketch pads, the ‘roughs’ of a few children’s books and chapters of a novel awakened from it’s long slumber at the bottom of an old chest. The trick appears to be in knowing what to grab onto and revisit before the detritus re-settles into the background of the everyday. Old thoughts re-emerging in a new context as you discover the terrain of new place makes for a strange, satisfying, and hopefully fruitful juxtaposition.”

Well said, John! We look forward to seeing how those old thoughts will re-emerge, inspire, and shape your new endeavors here! Interested in checking out more of John Ryan’s work? Head to his Flickr to see the latest.