About Michelle Aldredge

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) 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, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.

Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between

If you follow the subject of American religion, you have likely heard of author Jeff Sharlet. Sharlet has published five books on the subject, including C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and The New York Times best seller The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:56+00:00 11.02.11|Books Worth Reading, Events, Greatest Hits, Words|Comments Off on Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between

The Sunday Poem: Elisabeth Frost

Poet Elisabeth Frost       Monarch Those of us who survive are waiting for normal life, believing in the idea, though everybody knows from months of TV that the wait has extended impossibly, like a line in space or a rope stretched beyond all capacity. We see signs. [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:59+00:00 10.29.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Elisabeth Frost

The Sunday Poem: Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardlo (Photo by Jay Franco)     Problema 3   The Fulton St. Foodtown is playing Motown and I’m surprised at how quickly my daughter picks up the tune. And soon the two of us, plowing rows of goods steeped in fructose under light thick as corn oil, [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:54:00+00:00 10.22.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Gregory Pardlo

Antti Paalanen: Breathbox

I recently came across this hypnotic piece of music by Finnish musician Antti Paalanen. Paalanen is a composer and a master of the diatonic accordion. Accordions are made in a range of different configurations and styles. Diatonic button accordions are bisonoric, which means each button produces two notes: one when the [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:04+00:00 10.16.11|Sounds|Comments Off on Antti Paalanen: Breathbox

187 Mega-Hits by the 12-Tone Masters

I don't often post satirical videos, but thanks to Gwarlingo reader Elly Weiss, I had the pleasure of watching this hilarious "commercial" for the "all-time greatest hits by the beloved twelve-tone masters" this morning and wanted to pass it along. The fact that the video was posted by the Arnold [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:21+00:00 10.15.11|Sounds|Comments Off on 187 Mega-Hits by the 12-Tone Masters

A Renaissance of Public Conversation: Writers in Support of Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy Movement has just received the support of almost 200 great novelists, non-fiction writers, journalists, poets, editors, and playwrights. Occupy Writers was published this morning and includes the signatures of Jonathan Lethem, Lemony Snicket, Mary Karr, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Ehrenreich, Sasha Frere-Jones, Honor Moore, Luc Sante, Ann Patchett, Sam [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:22+00:00 10.14.11|Events, Words|1 Comment

Creative Spaces: A Legendary Songcatcher Inspires Two Musicians on a Vermont Farm

Robin MacArthur and Tyler Gibbons are Red Heart the Ticker (Photo by Doron Gild) Two weeks after Hurricane Irene I'm wandering the back-roads of Marlboro, Vermont, making my way to Robin MacArthur and Tyler Gibbons, also known as the music duo Red Heart the Ticker. Route 9--the main thoroughfare [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:23+00:00 10.09.11|Creative Spaces, Greatest Hits, Images, Interviews, Process, Sounds, Spaces|Comments Off on Creative Spaces: A Legendary Songcatcher Inspires Two Musicians on a Vermont Farm

The Sunday Poem: Cristián Flores García

      an invitation to lunch   we tailgate the ambulance escaping the explosion of midday holiday shoppers gridlocked there’s the assaulting antiseptic odor and the head nurse suggesting we wait outside perhaps go for a bite to eat nothing for us yet not allowed in condition critical but stable [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:25+00:00 10.08.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Cristián Flores García

The Sunday Poem: Jean Valentine

  Jean Valentine (Photo by Max Greenstreet)   In Prison   In prison without being accused   or reach your family or have a family            You have   conscience heart trouble   asthma manic-depressive   (we lost the baby) no meds   no one no window   black water nail-scratched [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:28+00:00 09.24.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Jean Valentine

On Crows

Here in New Hampshire the air has turned chilly, and frost warnings are popping up across the state. Autumn in New England means birds are on the move. The climax of the migration season is the departure of the broad-winged hawks in mid-September when thousands of broad-wings leave New Hampshire en [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:29+00:00 09.19.11|Images, Process|3 Comments

The Sunday Poem: John Poch

      Forgiveness   Because justice must recede like a page number and because the dictionary of under is a tedious read, more simply consider the ground as those who pour concrete think of how it rained or will. Consequently, consider the sky, and pray like a murderer has died. [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:30+00:00 09.17.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: John Poch

The Urban Frenzy of Olive Ayhens

Labor Day is behind us and school is in session, which means there are gallery shows galore opening this month. If you're in New York and looking for an anecdote to all of the 9/11-themed shows currently on view, you should check out Olive Ayhens show "New York Drawings" [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:31+00:00 09.11.11|Greatest Hits, Images|Comments Off on The Urban Frenzy of Olive Ayhens

The Sunday Poem: Peter Balakian

        World Trade Center / Mail Runner / 73   There was no languor, no drowsy trade winds, or stoned-out stupor of lapping waves, only news, the big board of crime, corporate raiding, selling short and long. It didn'’t matter, I was no Ishmael. I just hovered there [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:32+00:00 09.10.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Peter Balakian

The Invisible Concerts of Everyday Life

How aware are we of sound as we move through the course of our day? Which sounds do we register and which do we ignore? Do we even give the subject much thought? "Quintetto" by the Italian artist collective Quiet Ensemble is an intriguing blend of music, sound and installation art. [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:33+00:00 09.08.11|Sounds|Comments Off on The Invisible Concerts of Everyday Life

Where Art Fears to Tread

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, there is no shortage of news stories, official ceremonies, and tributes. But this weekend I've been contemplating how the arts community fits into all of this speechifying and memorializing. What is the artistic legacy of 9/11 now that it is a decade behind [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:35+00:00 09.05.11|Images, News, Sounds|Comments Off on Where Art Fears to Tread

The Owiny Sigoma Band: Pick of the Week

Here at Gwarlingo I've been neglecting the musicians in recent weeks. I've been consumed with Irene, the secret gardens of Rockefeller Center, Jane Hirshfield's new book, poetry bombing, Barry Underwood's incredible landscape photographs, and these Japanese manhole covers, which have suddenly gone viral after being posted on Andrew Sullivan's The Dish [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:37+00:00 08.30.11|Sounds|Comments Off on The Owiny Sigoma Band: Pick of the Week
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