April 8, 2022

Lawrence Arts Collective Announces Programming for Spring/Summer 2022

by Felicia Cheney

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The Lawrence Arts Collective is pleased to announce the start of spring and summer programming. The Collective is a pilot artist-in-residence program supported by the Lawrence Public Library in partnership with 599 Studios, Ateneo Dominicano, El Taller Cafe & Bookstore, Elevated Thought, Essex Art Center, Izizwe Dance Studio, and Merrimack River Watershed Council.

The program matched each organization with an artist-in-residence selected through a competitive application process, which took place in the summer of 2021. The artists and their partner sites are working together to develop collaborative, community-focused arts programming. The 2021-2022 artists-in-residence are Kate Delaney, Sherly Garcia, Erick Maldonado, Eliza Malecki, Jeffrey Mansfield, Y-Bình Nguyễn, and Tina Thu. Their culminating work features a dynamic array of gallery shows, art installations, performances, immersive experiences, and community workshops.

First on the schedule is Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield’s solo show, Architecture of Deafness, opening
April 21 at Essex Art Center. The artist’s work explores the relationships between architecture,
landscape, and power. Deaf since birth, Jeffrey is a Yonsei, or fourth-generation Japanese-American.

He attended a Deaf school in Massachusetts, where his earliest intuitions about the relationship between buildings and power emerged. In this exhibition, Mansfield explores how our spaces, built and imagined, reflect our values as a society and form cultural attitudes that shape our communities, our relationships with each other, and our capacity to understand experiences different from our own. In exploring the spaces inhabited by Deaf people and the Deaf community, this exhibition examines the role of architecture in shaping the evolving social attitudes towards Deafness, disability, and access.

Jeffrey is a recipient of a Graham Foundation grant and a John W. Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress for his work on Architecture of Deafness, exploring how Deaf schools and other Deaf Spaces emerged as sites of cultural resistance. He is a principal at Boston’s MASS Design Group and a Ford-Mellon Disability Futures Fellow.

According to Monica Manoski, Executive Director of Essex Art Center, “Lawrence Art Collective’s residency approach didn’t require artists to reside in any specific location throughout the program. This flexibility opened the residency to artists living in the region with family commitments and full-time jobs.

The program’s structure was open-ended and revolved around site visits and community gatherings that encouraged the artists to get to know each other, the partner sites, and the City of Lawrence. Over the past seven months, the artists have been creating work that engages Lawrence residents around the City’s history, geography, climate, and their vision for the future.”

The City of Lawrence will be abuzz this spring and summer as the rest of the artists in the Collective roll out their projects. For updates on the Lawrence Art Collective’s programming, follow @lawrenceartscollective on Instagram. The Lawrence Arts Collective is supported by the Barr Foundation through the MassDevelopment TDI Creative Catalyst Grant program, which supports public-facing projects that enhance local arts and cultural infrastructure and contribute to economic revitalization.

Architecture of Deafness is on view at Essex Art Center from April 21 through June 2.

For more information about Architecture of Deafness, visit https://www.essexartcenter.org | Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EssexArtCenter | Instagram @essexartcenter

What is Creative Collective?

Creative Collective is a group of economic development strategists, small business supporters, activation specialists, and believers in the importance of the creative workforce. We foster growth, sustainability, and scalability for small businesses, creative thinkers, organizations, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Learn more and join Creative Collective at www.creativecollectivema.com/join