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.

Rockefeller Center’s Secret Roof Gardens

Inhabitat has just published a short piece on Rockefeller Center's hidden rooftop gardens. The Center has been maintaining these gardens for the past 75 years, but public access to the gardens is a rare event. According to Inhabitat, the building's developer John R. Todd and architect Raymond Hood originally envisioned a [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:43+00:00 08.21.11|Design, Greatest Hits, Images, Spaces|Comments Off on Rockefeller Center’s Secret Roof Gardens

Drainspotting: 61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan

  One of my favorite book discoveries this summer is Drainspotting by Remo Camerota. The book celebrates an array of fascinating manhole cover designs from Japan. According to Camerota, nearly 95% of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan have their very own customized manhole covers. The country has elevated this humble, practical object to its [...]

Paint Palettes of the Old Masters

Why is van Gogh's paint palette worth preserving? Lucy Davies, photography critic for the Telegraph, tackled this question in a blog post she wrote last year: "The daubs of raw pigment or the mixes left in position can be an intriguing index to the working method and the mind of [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:48+00:00 08.08.11|Found, Images, Process|Comments Off on Paint Palettes of the Old Masters

Composer Paul Brantley on the Sacred and the Subversive

"I’ve long been drawn to...'gnostic' texts–-those rejected, supposedly heretical texts from long before Christianity became an organized religion." (Photo by Greg Kessler) Paul Brantley is a man who moves between worlds. A multifaceted musician, he has performed as a cellist with Trey Anastasio, recorded for Béla Fleck and James [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:51+00:00 07.30.11|Sounds|Comments Off on Composer Paul Brantley on the Sacred and the Subversive

The Sunday Poem: D. Nurkse

      The Present   We made models: this is a moment of happiness, this is a maple-shaded street, its yellow median line littered with double wings: some day we might know such things in our real lives, not just in desire. We invented Cherryfield, Maine, nine pearl-gray Capes with [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:52+00:00 07.28.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: D. Nurkse

Olafur Eliasson: Your Blind Passenger

Olafur Eliasson, the Danish artist who brought the sun to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall and created man-made waterfalls in New York City, has a new project at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. Eliasson’s installation Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) is a 295-foot-long tunnel filled with dense fog. [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:53+00:00 07.25.11|Greatest Hits, Images, Spaces|Comments Off on Olafur Eliasson: Your Blind Passenger

Designer Milton Glaser on Creativity and the Fear of Failure

You may not know graphic designer Milton Glaser by name, but you undoubtedly know his work. He is best known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, his "Bob Dylan" poster, the "DC bullet" logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the "Brooklyn Brewery" logo. He also founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968 and was [...]

Gwarlingo’s Pick of the Week: PJ Harvey’s “Let England Shake”

On my recent visit to the UK I talked to several music lovers about the British music scene. One classical pianist I met in London recommended the choral work of British composer Jonathan Harvey and urged me to investigate the excellent website Sound and Music, which covers the contemporary [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:57+00:00 07.18.11|Images, Sounds|Comments Off on Gwarlingo’s Pick of the Week: PJ Harvey’s “Let England Shake”

The Sunday Poem by Andrea Cohen

I'm excited to announce the first installment of Gwarlingo's new Sunday Poem series. I want to thank Andrea Cohen for sharing her new poem "Tender" with Gwarlingo readers. I'm a long-time fan of Andrea's work, and I'm grateful she agreed to be the featured poet for the series debut. [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:55:58+00:00 07.16.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem by Andrea Cohen

George Bernard Shaw Exposed

Gwarlingo's "Photo of the Week" (a regular feature on the sidebar of the Gwarlingo homepage) is a captivating image of a sailboat on the Thames taken in 1906 by the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Not many people realize that the Nobel laureate was a passionate amateur photographer, as [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:56:00+00:00 07.08.11|Found, Images|Comments Off on George Bernard Shaw Exposed

A Sneak Preview of Wilco’s New Album

Wilco's new record The Whole Love will be released on September 27th. It is the first album on the band's own label dBpm Records (shorthand for decibels per minute). The new label will handle “all future Wilco recordings and more,” in association with ANTI- Records, which will aid in distribution [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:56:02+00:00 07.04.11|News, Sounds|Comments Off on A Sneak Preview of Wilco’s New Album
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