boston artist


My Art Residency asked for a project.  I didn't really have a solid thought when I applied.  As I went through older paintings, one image stood out...and I ran with it.  It's a great image and a universal concept:
The line between the imagined and reality

On a large piece of muslin I paint the imagined South America with colors and shapes made out of dreams. The 10x9' muslin will be folded tight to the size of a small pillow 9x10", folded like a map and crushed into my backpack. It will stay with me as I travel through Argentina. It will be used as a pillow for the physical element of sleep and dreams. The painting becomes an art object, a map, a dream catcher of sorts. It will be altered, maybe damaged, as dreams will change shape, maybe loose color, paint may chip or stick. Maybe it gets torn, left behind or stolen!

I arrive in January, meet with Andres in Satiago, friend's will remember Andres' Story .  Santiago is home to Pablo Neruda, a huge influence of mine.  We will travel to Padagonia from there.  As we travel, I will sketch the real Arg, real colors shapes experiences...Will it be bold and dramatic like my imagined landscape, or will they resemble my familiar sketches of NY's subways and Boston's cafés?

In Feb I arrive at LPEP for a month as artist in residence. I will pull out the large drop, check it for physical damage....Has the dream staid intact? I will compare the sketches and the dream piece ..

Installation- large drop (imagined) vs small sketches (reality)

Little Red Ridinghood by Kerri McGill

I have an interdisciplinary partner in crime.  Every artist needs a good musician or scientist, or philosopher friend.  My musical friend has the voice of an angle and the schedule of a working mom.  In between teaching voice, performing, running a small business and taking care of two kids, she directs the occasional small opera geared towards kids.

Last year it was the operatic version of the Three Pigs (to Mozart, mind you).  She wanted to keep it simple...a doorframe that can switch from brick to stick to straw, a chimney, some signage ("Francis Bacon University"), and a pig statue... a "Smart" pig statue.
Piggy Project Details

This year it's Little Red Ridinghood, the opera.  I'm relieved to the Sound of Music is finished and we can borrow a tree or two.  Adding to an existing set takes the pressure off building.  As much as I would like to have a bit of carpenter in me, I am a 2D person at heart.  We confiscate some Sound of Music scenery and amp it up for an opera version of Little Red Ridinghood.  Trees must become forest, with critters and birds, and Red needs a strawberry patch.

I love an excuse to paint on the ground! I finally have the space too!  This project wouldn't have worked in my old studio spaces...One was a basement and the other a closet.

This is a great turn from my last job.  As a set painter for movies, you can't say too much until a movie is released.. but I'm sure it won't hurt anyone to say I was shoveling snow off an ark outdoors in Long Island before the sun rose.

The warmth of bright little sets for a kid's opera feels pretty damn good.