About Michelle Aldredge

I'm a writer, photographer, and the creator of Gwarlingo, a crowd-funded arts & culture journal that covers contemporary art, music, books, film, and the creative process. I’ve spent nearly 20 years as an arts enabler, helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I’ve also done time at an arts magazine, a library, and an art museum in Atlanta. For two years I cared for injured eagles, hawks, and owls at a raptor rehabilitation center in Vermont. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, consulting, and creative projects full-time. (You can check out my recent projects here.) I’ve appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, served as the judge for A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Literary Prize, and received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. My writing and photography have appeared in RISD XYZ magazine, 2Paragraphs, Psychology Today, Born Journal, and other publications. I offer one-on-one coaching sessions, group workshops, and speak to businesses, arts groups, and students about overcoming the psychological and practical barriers to producing your best work. (Read more here .) If you'd like to work with me one-on-one or hire me to speak at your school, business, or organization, please contact me at michelle (at) gwarlingo (dot) com. -

The Gwarlingo Index: 2011’s Most Memorable Experiences in the Arts

  It's the New Year, which means it's time for lofty resolutions and the annual onslaught of "best of" lists. Here at Gwarlingo, I thought I'd provide readers with a new twist on the traditional "Best of 2011" list. I asked an array of artists, composers, filmmakers, writers, musicians, and performers [...]

Pick of the Week: Matthew Northridge’s Pictures by Wire and Wireless

    If you haven't seen Matthew Northridge's solo show Pictures by Wire and Wireless at KANSAS, the newest gallery on Tribeca’s up-and-coming gallery row, you're in luck. The show has just been extended until Saturday, January 7th. Art Forum magazine has placed Pictures by Wire and Wireless on their "Critic's Pick" list. I had [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:31+00:00 12.31.11|Events, Greatest Hits, Images, News|2 Comments

Grace Paley: “Write What Will Stop Your Breath If You Don’t Write”

Today is the birthday of writer Grace Paley. Although Paley's writing output was modest during her 84 years -- some four dozen stories in three volumes: The Little Disturbances of Man (Doubleday, 1959); Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974); and Later the Same Day [...]

The Sunday Poem: Christopher Robinson

        Hotdog     They salvaged only what was vital, leaving behind their most precious belongings, including Aunt Beale’s watercolors, which were lost, and the thousand paper cranes Dad had folded to win Mom over, placing them on her usual routes, at the post office, in the library [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:39+00:00 12.03.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Christopher Robinson

Peter Wyer’s New Opera Dramatizes One Tibetan Woman’s Journey to Freedom

  "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." This line from Victor Hugo came to mind the first time I heard the incredible story of Tibetan nun Ngawang Sangdrol. At age 14 Sangdrol was jailed at the notorious Draphchi Prison [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:40+00:00 12.02.11|Events, Greatest Hits, News, Sounds|Comments Off on Peter Wyer’s New Opera Dramatizes One Tibetan Woman’s Journey to Freedom

The Sunday Poem: U.A. Fanthorpe

      Reindeer Report   Chimneys: colder. Flightpaths: busier. Driver: Christmas (F) Still baffled by postcodes. Children: more And stay up later. Presents: heavier. Pay: frozen. Mission in spite Of all this Accomplished – MERRY CHRISTMAS!       What the Donkey Saw   No room in the inn, of [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:41+00:00 12.01.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: U.A. Fanthorpe

The Dow of Art: Why Art Still Matters in Our Market-Driven Society

Writer Nova Ren Suma has just published a new essay of mine over at "Distraction No. 99." Although the assigned topic was "inspiration," my piece covers a range of subjects, from library book censorship to the financial stresses of being an artist. But the central theme concerns the value [...]

“Hugo” Author Brian Selznick Shares 20 Favorite Children’s Books with Gwarlingo

Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret is out in theaters today. Selznick's remarkable book won the 2008 Caldecott Medal (the first young adult novel to win the award for children's book illustration), was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was chosen as [...]

Sol LeWitt’s Advice to Eva Hesse: Don’t Worry About Cool, Make Your Own Uncool

Sol LeWitt, "Horizontal Brushstrokes (More or Less)," 2002. Gouache on paper, 22-3⁄8 x 22-3⁄8 inches (Photo courtesy Craig F. Starr Gallery. Art © 2011 The LeWitt Estate /Artists Rights Society, New York)     "Metronomic Irregularity I" by Eva Hesse, 1966. (Image courtesy the Brooklyn Museum. Art © 2011 [...]

Thank You Gwarlingo Readers

This Thanksgiving holiday I want to thank all of the friends and readers who have supported me this year during the launch of Gwarlingo. What a year it's been. Since the official launch of the site in June, the number of Gwarlingo subscribers and visitors has grown dramatically. I've [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:47+00:00 11.22.11|Events, Welcome to Gwarlingo, Words|Comments Off on Thank You Gwarlingo Readers

New York City

I'm not posting The Sunday Poem today because I'm traveling. I will have some great stories to share in the near future from my visit to New York City, including an in-depth studio visit with painter Kim Uchiyama, a photo tour of the High Line, and much more. Until [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:49+00:00 11.20.11|Events, Images|Comments Off on New York City

Congratulations to Jean Marie Casbarian

Congratulations to Gwarlingo reader Jean Marie Casbarian. She's the lucky winner of two tickets to see Joseph Keckler perform at La Mama on Saturday night in New York City. Connecting with new readers is one of the things I enjoy most about Gwarlingo. Some people I know, but many are strangers, [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:52+00:00 11.11.11|Events, Images|Comments Off on Congratulations to Jean Marie Casbarian