Welcome 2019 MA Artists! (Part 1)

Assets for Artists is thrilled to announce the latest group of artists to join our Massachusetts Matched Savings cohort! In this post, you’ll find the first half of this year’s fabulous enrollees.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be announcing the rest of our Massachusetts statewide enrollments, plus new grantees in Boston, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Please stay tuned!

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For the last decade, Gabriel Adams (Great Barrington) has worked intensively as a visual artist, cultural worker, curator, and project producer. In this capacity he seeks to create thoughtful and engaging works which range from installation art, sculpture, drawing, and performance, to site-specific and socially engaged projects. He recently launched The Picnic Pavilion, an exhibition and event series aimed at art tourism and disneylandification at this year's Venice Biennale. 

Having directed so much energy into the international art world, Gabriel is now turning his attention towards his hometown. After establishing a solid business plan he will launch a new space focused on contemporary art that operates as a laboratory for experimentation. He plans to draw on his far-reaching network to present changing exhibitions, host temporary projects, and essentially offer an ethos that challenges perceptions in order to uncover what is possible in Art.


Reed Anderson (Great Barrington) describes his art practice as running in three major veins: large-scale cut paper work, his Papa Object series, and his flag paintings. His paper cut works, affixed directly to canvas, are intricately hand cut and layered works which have organic, often floral, imagery rooted in historic textile patterns. His Papa Object series are Reed’s most intimate works relating to his childhood surrounded by overwhelming material culture. His flag paintings are sewn from ripstop nylon; recalling sails, kites, parachutes and hot air balloons.

The next step in Reed’s artistic journey will be to publish a catalogue of his Papa Object work, which acknowledges Reed’s own history as well as the larger history of aesthetics, with a prescient look towards the future.

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A painter of landscapes, Tracy Baker-White (Williamstown) favors painting with oil on linen or wood panels. Her work is representational, but her objective is not strict realism. Tracy defines herself as a contemporary realist, interested in the intersection between real and abstract, and the relationship between photographic / digital images and painted ones.

With the A4A program, Tracy hopes to develop specific goals for her business as an artist and plans for achieving those goals. Ultimately, her business goals are not just about the money she earns in sales, but more importantly, enriching the lives of her viewers with the art she has created.


As an Italian-born and -raised photographer, Davida Carta’s (Shelburne Falls) work explores the emotional qualities of ordinary spaces, the passing of time and the experience of belonging to a place as an immigrant. After moving to Western Massachusetts to study photography, she started Underexposed Magazine, an online platform dedicated to women photographers. This brought Davida to do more curatorial work in the field of photography.

Davida is looking forward to participating in residency programs to further immerse herself in her studio practice. She also hopes that residencies will allow her to finish a book that she has started on her series A Place Between. Printing a paper zine from Underexposed Magazine is another goal she hopes to accomplish in the coming months.

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Vintage photographs are the basis of Laura Christensen’s (Williamstown) work. To Laura they serve as a physical foundation, a canvas for her painting, and they ultimately inspire conceptual frameworks for her art. By the time the photos have found her, chains of personal connections have broken. The object-ness and formal qualities are easier to see and subjects are freed to become characters. Laura paints to cancel parts of images and conjure new illusions. She creates seamless images that combine past and present, photograph and painting.

Laura is in the process of self-publishing an anthology that pairs her work with original writings (both fiction and poetry) made in response to her paintings. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Laura plans to have the book (titled THEN AGAIN: Vintage Photography Reimagined by One Artist and Thirty Writers) printed by December 2019!

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Lily Fein (Waban) makes coiled and pinched vessels. Her forms are continually morphing, creating a language with curves and twists, which speak about what it means to touch, both locally and at a distance. Lily determines the shape of each pot until she relinquishes that control to the firing process. The intense heat of the kiln slumps, twists, and folds the pots in particularly vulnerable areas. Through this process Lily embraces the unknown and also the memory of the clay ー as the pots try and return to a shape they once knew.

Over the course of the next year Lily wants to spend more time making and promoting her artwork, in hopes to one day build her own studio in Western Massachusetts. Lily finds that working in rural areas are beneficial to her artistic output.

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Ilana Harris-Babou (Williamstown) defines her practice as interdisciplinary―spanning sculpture and installation, but grounded in video. Ilana speaks the language of consumer culture, mimicking cooking shows, music videos, and home improvement television, among others. Her sculptures work as the props and sets in her videos, and live on after shooting is finished. Once seen, the work distorts and distends the abject failures of material desire.

After working primarily in video for the past eight years, Ilana feels it is time to invest in professional camera and video equipment. She is confident that her practice would benefit immensely from the flexibility afforded by owning her own high-quality equipment.

Awesomely, Ilana was featured on the cover of the May 1 issue of Art in America.

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Sculptor Anna Hepler (Greenfield) finds that her work seeks forms in conflict. Quiet, intuitive, and contradictory, Anna strives to suspend her practice in uncertainty, and in doing so, accesses embarrassment, fragility, and clumsiness — qualities that she feels are somehow honest. Anna is interested in what is alive and breathing as well as what is fleeting and dissolves in the spotlight. Her work attempts to cast an oblique eye towards these indefinable qualities.

After twenty+ years of active studio work, Anna’s plans for the future include creating a comprehensive inventory of her work completed between 1994 and 2018, with the aim of better conveying old work into new hands.


Dancer Jeffrey Jean Philippe’s (Norwell) company had their first tour last year in New England and Canada titled Within a Dancer’s Mind. Jeffrey’s overall goal was to touch his audience with powerful pressures that all artists face. Common themes in Jeffrey’s work include: loss, heartache, sexual differences, love, and acceptance. These themes are communicated through powerful movement and visual expression.

Looking forward, Jeffrey wants to expand the quality and resources of his studio. For Jeffrey, this means lowering the cost of equipment, costume improvements, and providing travel opportunities for dancers. With more chances to tour coming up in the near future, Jeffrey also hopes to expand his staff, delegate duties, and take some of the stress of touring with his company off his shoulders. He is confident that these minor improvements will help the company thrive well into the future.

Our 2019 programming in Massachusetts is possible because of our wonderful funders & partnersspecifically the Barr FoundationMassachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, and the United States Department of Agriculture.