Connected \\ August 21, 2019
Push and Pull
ᎣᏏᏲ! My name is Kalyn Fay, and I’m a musician, artist, educator and citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. I am honored to have spent the summer as one of the 2019 Native American Fellows at PEM, working in the Integrated Media department. I would like to acknowledge that this summer, I resided in Salem, on the ancestral territories of Pawtucket, Pennacook and Massachuset tribes. I would like to thank them for the space I held. May we honor their land and their knowledge.
Photo by Mel Taing
On an unpredictably stormy July morning, which I’ve quickly learned to be predictable here in New England, I ventured to Provincetown, Massachusetts, the location of the famous Hans Hofmann School of Art. With a compelling Hofmann exhibition opening in September alongside PEM’s new wing, my goal in journeying to where he chose to spend so much of his life was to gain a better understanding of Hofmann and his art practice.
Hans Hofmann: The Wind, 1942; oil, Duco, gouache, and India ink on board; 43 7/8 x 27 3/4 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; gift of the artist. © The Regents of the University of California, photography by Ben Blackwell.
PEM’s Integrated Media department helps viewers gain a better understanding of the work they see, intellectually and emotionally, so I took on the task with a Hans Hofmann inspired song and soundscape. Bringing along only a handheld recording device and a small, worn journal, weathered by my incessant need to flip through the pages and scrawl notes, I set off to the tip of Cape Cod, accompanied by the incredibly knowledgeable sound engineer, Jason Reiner of San Francisco.
Kalyn and sound engineer Jason Reiner. Courtesy photo
The trip was rough and only the second time this kid from Oklahoma has been a ferry passenger at sea. I held my composure as the rain slapped the windows and the choppy waves sent us up and down, back and forth, over and over again. Though conditions would have made even the most seasoned ferry-frequenter go green, just as we began to see Pilgrim Monument in the distance, the storm let up and the ocean began to calm. As the boat anchored at the port, I took a moment to analyze the cadence of nature and thanked Jason for the soothing Reed’s Ginger Candy that he had so cleverly brought along for the bumpy ride. Once I stepped off the ferry onto dry land, I closed my eyes, breathed in the cool salty air, and thanked creator for the space I held.
Kalyn Fay gives a concert for her colleagues in the new wing of the museum, before departing from her fellowship. Photo by Mel Taing
PEM staff members take in Kalyn Fay’s lyrics. Photo by Mel Taing
2019 Native American Fellows at the concert: Ashlyn Kuʻuleialoha Weaver, Kalyn Fay Barnoski, Kamuela Werner and Frank Redner, Curatorial Mellon Fellow. Photo by Mel Taing
Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction runs through January 5, 2020.
The Native American Fellowship Program at the Peabody Essex Museum is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A new PEM is launching this September — a new wing, new installations and a whole new museum experience. PEM Members get to see it all first. Join or renew on our Membership page to ensure you don't miss out! Follow along and share in the excitement using #newPEM.
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