2017/2018 Workshops-in-Residence

Take your work to a new level with a week-long workshop-in-residence with the Studios at MASS MoCA! Our unique workshop model provides individual studios available 24/7, a private bedroom, and open access to MASS MoCA’s galleries. There are upcoming week-long workshops with Jeffrey Levine/Tupelo Press, Debi Pendell, Judith Kruger, and David Lane. 

Read below for descriptions, and email studios@massmoca.org for inquiries. 

Jeffrey Levine/Tupelo Press: Poetry Workshop

$1,500 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)
October 6 - 12, 2017
January 31, 2018 - February 6, 2018 

Debi Pendell: Mixed Media Workshop

$1,300 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)
October 27 - November 2, 2017 -- FULL, inquire for waitlist or 2018

Judith Kruger: Abstraction Master-Class

$1,600 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)
July 25 - July 31, 2018
October 31 - November 6, 2018

David Lane: Wood Carving & Puppet Design

$1150 plus $100 materials fee
(includes 6 nights of housing & studio space for the week, lunches, and dinner on the first night)
June 13 - 19, 2018
*Registration extended until February 1st. Limited space available. 

Jeffrey Levine/Tupelo Press

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Poetry Workshop

A week-long residency and workshop for poets, combining writing time in a studio of your own at MASS MoCA, plus instruction and generative exercises inspired by the exhibits and the architecture of the MASS MoCA campus. The week includes multiple opportunities for attentive and detailed review of your work by Tupelo’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Levine, a renowned poet and editor, and one of the country’s leading writing instructors, and exciting guest appearances.

Whether you’re working on a full-length manuscript, preparing individual poems for submission to journals, or pushing your writing to a new level simply for the pleasure of doing so, here is your opportunity to generate new ideas, build your visual vocabulary, better understand what editors and publishers want, and get your poems to that new place. You will have 24/7 access to your studio, plus nearby housing. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Tupelo Press headquarters in the Eclipse Mill within walking distance from MASS MoCA. There you will be invited to dine in an intimate setting while attending an evening seminar providing valuable insights into the world of literary publishing.

$1,500 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 6 - 12, 2017

January 31, 2018 - February 6, 2018

Email studios@massmoca.org to request information.


Debi Pendell

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Visual Artist Independent Study & Critique

For many artists, the word ‘critique’ immediately brings to mind (and to heart) these dictionary synonyms: censure; find fault with; slam; slap; takedown; put down. Many artists avidly avoid critiques, having painfully experienced critique as disapproval. In the method taught and practiced in this workshop, critique means: to discuss the merits of; to analyze. We even employ what the dictionary considers antonyms for critique: compliment; praise. Critique is a necessary and valuable tool in the making of art, but it only functions when the goal is education and encouragement: everyone walks out of these critiques excited to get to work, to experiment, to play, to create.

By analyzing and speaking about the work of other artists, you learn tools and techniques that you can employ in your own work. By hearing educated and perceptive responses to your own work, you discover whether or not your work is being read in the way you intend. This is a unique opportunity to be that ‘fly on the wall’ and hear what is honestly said about the work you present.

In addition to critiquing the work of the other artists attending the residency, we will also go into museum exhibitions and explore some of those works. The intent is to analyze, understand, and clearly state one’s response in a way that enhances everyone’s experience – even when you don’t ‘like’ the work at all. You may very well discover just how useless the terms like and dislike are when it comes to engaging art and making art.

Each participating artist in this workshop-in-residence will develop their own project. The instructor is available for consultation in planning the project prior to the workshop. The instructor will provide targeted assistance to each and every artist tailored to the individual needs of their project. This includes one-on-one critiques, as well as technical assistance. 

$1,300 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 27, 2017 – November 2, 2017 (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 WORKSHOP IS FULL. Email studios@massmoca.org to request a future slot.)


Judith Kruger

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Abstraction Master-Class

Judith Kruger — who exhibits widely in the United States, Japan and elsewhere, and teaches sought-after workshops throughout the country — now brings her masterful methods for abstraction to the Studios at MASS MoCA. Her paintings, prints, and mixed-media works address human-environment connectivity and their shared vulnerabilities. She is recognized internationally for her advocacy of natural painting materials and historic, ecologically friendly processes based on years of research and alchemic experimentation, specifically in Nihonga, Japanese mineral pigment painting.

Judith has an impressive following of serious, practicing artists, working in all mediums, who cite her intensive, direct teaching approach as an authentic, life-changing catalyst for both technical and conceptual growth. This Master Abstraction workshop is not medium specific, thus focusing on many of the formal concerns that Judith addresses in her own work, including depth of space, destruction, luminosity, ambiguity, perceptual shifting, and material presence. Concepts will be addressed on an individual basis as a benefit to the entire group. Private and open critiques, discussions, film showings and relevant demos are included.

This is an opportunity for each participant to delve more deeply into their own work and medium in an immersive setting with Judith’s and the group’s input.

(Please note that this master-class is not intended to provide novice-level instruction in abstraction or Nihonga painting. It is for experienced abstract artists. Those seeking to learn the basics of Nihonga should consider Judith’s introductory workshops.

Email studios@massmoca.org to request an application.

$1,600 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

July 25 - July 31, 2018
October 31 - November 6, 2018


David Lane

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Wood Carving & Puppet Design

This unique residency workshop will focus on wood as a primary construction material for building performing objects. We’ll work with traditional carving techniques as well as rotary power tools to create masks and bodies, and then get deep into the mechanics of joints and controls. We’ll look at various ways that wooden sculpture may be employed to create realistic notions, and explore more abstract ideas, delighting in the unexpected discoveries that come with a sense of playfulness in the creation process. 

We will take advantage of the collaborative nature of this workshop to share ideas, and create an environment which fosters colloquy, experimentation, and a supportive creative atmosphere.

Formal instruction and demonstrations will begin each day at 9 am and run until dinner. The evenings will include open studio and specialized programming such as a show-and-tell and puppet-film night. Access to the studio space is 24 hours and we may wander the museum during regular museum hours. Field trips to the Clark Art Museum, Williams College Museum, hiking, and swimming holes will be organized once the group arrives. 


Curriculum Overview

Residency — When we’re not engaged in studio time, we will have unlimited access to wonder the halls of MASS MoCA and find inspiration in the work of Sol LeWitt, Anselm Fiefer, Franz West, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell and many other world class artists. 

Design —  The abstract/realism continuum; emotion and tone; larval lumps, mask design, conceptual approaches, the interplay between design and performance.

Carving — Rotary-tool & traditional wood carving techniques.

Controls — Discussion of effective control mechanisms for different situations.

Joints — Leather, fabric, interlocking, ball and socket, shock cord.

Hansjürgen Fettig — Discussion of designs and mechanisms imagined by the ingenious German puppet maker.

Painting — Planning, mixing, washes, scumbling, dry-brush, color theory.  

Costuming — Simple patterning and sewing.

Open House — We will display a selection of our work after lunch on the final day for passers-by, family and friends. 



Dates: June 13 – 19

Fee: $1150 plus $100 materials fee (includes shared studio spaces, single room with shared bath, access to kitchen, lunches, and dinner on the first night)

For registration, email: studios@massmoca.org. Questions? Contact the instructor at dave@newenglandpuppet.org.

*Registration extended until February 1st. Limited space available.


About the Instructor

Dave Lane is a painter, performer, puppet & mask maker, and one of the original members of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Co-director of the New England Puppet Intensive, a 15-day residential workshop, and Co-producer of the annual Berkshire Lantern Walk in collaboration with the Clark Art Museum.

Dave is a two-time, Jim Henson Foundation grant recipient for his original play “The Chronicles of Rose”, and his silent-clown play “The Painting” was a regional selection at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. This summer he spent 8 weeks in Alberta working on Iinisikimm, a puppet-lantern play celebrating the return of Plains Buffalo to Banff Nation Park. The project was supported by a Canada Council New Chapter Grant.