Melanie Mowinski is an artist and educator who lives, works, runs, and creates in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts. She holds a Master's in Religion and the Visual Arts from Yale University and an MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Art at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in North Adams, MA. In 2011 she founded PRESS: Letterpress as a Public Art Project, a hybrid gallery, teaching, and studio space devoted to letterpress and book arts on Main Street, North Adams. She was awarded numerous grants in the past years to run PRESS including grants from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, the College Book Art Association, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. When not printing, she seeks out wilderness-like residencies as opportunities of intense focus and creation including Windgrove in Tasmania, Denali National Park in Alaska, Jentel in Wyoming, and Mount Greylock State Park in Massachusetts. Zack Finch is an Assistant Professor in the English/ Communications department at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he teaches creative writing. Poems and essays have appeared in journals such as American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Forklift, Ohio, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Kadar Koli, Poetry, Radical Society, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Shankpainter, Tin House, 88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry, and elsewhere, including a chapbook collaboration with painter Enrico Riley, entitled Chiasmus, published by Fourth & Verse Press, 2013. He earned his Ph.D. at the State University of NY at Buffalo in 2012.
Ten Ounces is a collaboration between artist Melanie Mowinski and poet David (Zach) Finch. It began as a conversation about the vessels that lead to and from the heart. It evolved into a poem and an artist's book that explores the tension between the importance and impossibility of letting go, especially when faced with an unexpected medical diagnosis or other life challenge. After Finch viewed the painted pages, he edited his poem to 42-lines, the same number of lines in the book. To get to the book, the viewer must lift off the top section of the shrine-like box, revealing first one wrapped vessel, which once removed reveals two more wrapped vessels. The two remaining vessels are the 210-inch book and a stone heart. The book is meant to be read while contemplating the heart. Mowinski used the mysterious and atmospheric quality of photocopy transfer to create the text. The words and letters are very linear, and wind through the more organic and fluid imagery on the pages. This contrast is the heart.
Painted paper, photocopy transfer, handmade and machine made papers, book cloth, wooden pegs, stone heart.
Book (closed): 5 x 5 x 2 inches; 12.5 x 12.5 x 5 centimeters; Enclosure: 10 x 5.5 x 5.75 inches; 25.5 x 14 x 14.5 centimeters. Created 2015.