Join Mount Auburn’s Artist-in-Residence Resa Blatman for an informal conversation about death. These chats are meant to be open and thoughtful, and as deep and exploratory as one would like to go. Resa is not a therapist, but rather a visual artist who is curious about our futures after death. Where do we go? What does the universe have in store for us? Is there love and joy after death? Resa will be here for three hours on the dates listed and welcomes visitors to sit and speak with her one-on-one in the Asa Gray Garden. No Appointment Needed – Drop in only. These conversations will not be recorded.
Saturday, October 14, Noon – 2 pm
Friday, October 20, Noon – 2 pm
Saturday, October 21, Noon – 2 pm
Friday, October 27, Noon – 2 pm
Saturday, October 28, Noon – 2 pm
* All Dates are Weather Dependent
RESA BLATMAN is a Massachusetts-based visual artist who works with varying media including large-sized, wall-mounted art installations, mixed-media paintings, and drawings. Her primary studio practice consists of commissions and public art projects that speak to her reverence for nature. She currently has several works at the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibition “Bats!” in Salem, Massachusetts, open through July 2024. Resa has permanent, public art installations at several locations, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass; the City of Hope Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, California; Denver Health, Colorado; Texas A&M University, Texas; Somerville Hospital, Somerville, Mass. Resa’s paintings are in collections at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia; Noble and Greenough School, Dedham, Mass; Dana Hall School, Wellesley, Mass; Twitter; Fidelity; Hilton Hotel; The WH Ming Hotel, Shanghai, China; and within the UAE and Europe. She exhibits her work at universities and art institutions throughout the U.S., and her work has been reviewed in publications including The Boston Globe, Ecoconsciousness, Boston Society of Architects, Art New England, SupersonicArt, Booooooom, among others. She received her MFA from Boston University and her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art + Design. Resa is represented by Childs Gallery, Boston, and much of her work can be seen on her website at www.resablatman.com.
For her residency, Resa will create a hanging art installation that features a series of ethereal tree drawings.
Former Artist-in-Residence, Mary Bichner reflects on the trajectory of her career as a composer as well as reminisces about the moments of inspiration she found at Mount Auburn during her residency.
Have you noticed any recurring themes or motifs in your artwork that stem from the influence of your time spent at MAC? If so, could you elaborate on them?
Mount Auburn Cemetery was one of the first commissions I received to create music inspired by specific places – the top of Washington Tower; the lush, flowering vernal pool of Consecration Dell; the interior of Bigelow Chapel streaked with rainbow light from its famous stained-glass windows. Before starting the project, I knew that the compositions would be influenced by the colors found in each location thanks to my synesthesia, but as the project went on I was delighted to discover that the places themselves, as well as the moments in time in which I visited them, also had a big hand in shaping the music.
The piece “Allegro Moderato in Ab” was composed on a crisp autumn afternoon when gusts of wind swirled across the cemetery in cheerful, sudden bursts. Not only did the crimson and yellow leaves decorating the ground inspire the composition’s key (two of the three colors that make up the Ab-major triad), their playful stop-and-start dancing on the breezes also made it into the final piece, especially the passage found in 1:23-2:12 of the Allegro Moderato recording. Translating that experience into music playable by an orchestra was so much fun!
I continue to be commissioned to compose location-inspired works, and thanks to my time at Mount Auburn Cemetery, I now know all of the wonderful things to look and listen for – and to remain open to new possibilities as well!
Can you offer any advice to aspiring artists who are looking to find inspiration from the Cemetery?
If you’re an artist looking for inspiration, Mount Auburn Cemetery is a wonderful place to have a chat with your Muse! I recommend taking an ambling walk through the grounds without any pre-planned path or destinations in mind – you’ll uncover something new around every corner, and with every visit!
You can listen to Mary’s work by visiting our website here: https://www.mountauburn.org/marybichner/ The Spring & Autumn Suites are available wherever you listen to music. Also be sure to check out Mary’s website here to support her latest projects: https://www.marybichner.com/ Mary will be returning to the cemetery for an Artist Showcase this September. Tickets coming soon.
Debra Wise and Eliza Fichter are two of Mount Auburn’s 2023 Artists-in-Residence and are interested in hearing stories about how the Cemetery has affected people’s thoughts and feelings on mortality. If Mount Auburn has been a special place for you, they would love to hear from you! They will weave these conversations into a collection of audio stories that celebrate Mount Auburn and explore the ways in which we talk about death. If you are interested, please fill out this short form.’
DEBRA WISE co-founded Underground Railway Theater in 1979, for 30 years touring a socially-engaged repertoire to theaters and communities, as well as puppet spectacles commissioned by major orchestras. In 2007, she co-founded Central Square Theater, helming award-winning productions as Artistic Director (e.g. Vanity Fair; black odyssey boston, with Front Porch; Constellations; The Convert) and directing (Christmas Carol, adapted for actors and puppetry). Recent acting appearances include: The Half-Life of Marie Curie, Vanity Fair (CST); Much Ado About Nothing (Commonwealth Shakespeare); Escaped Alone, Dolls House 2 (Gamm); People Places & Things (Speakeasy); upcoming: Angels in America (CST). She currently is program director of Catalyst Collaorative@MIT (CST’s science/theater partnership), and is Producing Artistic Director for a new project about Black abolitionist history in Northeast Ohio, working with playwright Ifa Bayeza (www.owrproject.org). With URT Founding Director Wes Sanders, she co-authored a digital book documenting URT’s first decades: www.URTheaterEbook.com.
ELIZA FICHTER (she/they) is a theater maker and visual artist from Massachusetts. Eliza has taught theater workshops across the country in museum galleries, public schools, performing arts centers, prisons, assisted living facilities and military bases, and has worked as a teaching artist with Olney Theater Center, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Putney School and New Repertory Theatre. Regional theatre projects include BEDLAM and The Nora Theatre Company (The Crucible), Central Square Theater (The Revolutionists), Underground Railway Theater (Matchless & The Happy Prince), and Olney Theatre Center (Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Odyssey). As a printmaker, Eliza’s work explores interdependence in relation to the environment and the human body. Eliza received a BFA in Acting from Boston University and a MEd in Arts Education from Harvard University. In graduate school, Eliza researched natural deathcare practices and interviewed dozens of end-of-life care workers and advocates throughout Massachusetts. elizafichter.com
For their residency, this mother-daughter duo will create a series of audio stories crafted from interviews with people connected to Mount Auburn. The audio stories will explore how and why we talk with each other about death and with whom we have those conversations.
We are thrilled to announce seven new artists for Mount Auburn’s Artist-in-Residence program, now in its ninth year. Between April 2023 and April 2024, the artists will be working on original site-specific creative projects inspired by an in-depth experience at the cemetery. All projects will be presented to the public and announcements will be made on our website, e-newsletters, and on social media.(more…)