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End of Life Artistic Expression

April 4, 2016 - Endicott College is pleased to announce a joint exhibition presented by legendary feminist performance artist Linda Mary Montano and global public artist Ed Woodham (Art in Odd Places). Mom and Dad: Art Giving Life presents works created by the artists' parents, Henry Montano and Carrol Woodham, during their struggle with terminal illness.  The exhibition is located in the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery at the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts at Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly from Tuesday, April 19 – Sunday, June 5, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Friday,  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

A Gallery Talk in the Hefter Visiting Artist Gallery will take place on Thursday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m. followed by a reception from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.   OnWednesday, April 27, from 12 noon – 3:00 p.m.  Linda Montano and Ed Woodham will be creating a performance titled CHICKENARAMA located outside of the Center for the Arts (rain location: Grillo Gallery).  The exhibit and other activities are free and open to the public. 

 A first generation Italian American, Henry Montano founded the Montano’s Shoe Store in Saugerties, New York, but was more healer than salesman.  According to his daughter Linda, “people would come from far distances to be fitted and have their foot problems corrected and my dad would do this in a very caring and compassionate way.  Living with dad was like living with a mystical Zen Master.”  After a tragic medical accident and hemorrhagic stroke, Henry Montano started painting therapeutically under the mentorship of his daughter, a practice he continued for three years until his death. As a result he produced a colorful body of work that conveys his creativity, search for peace, and reconnection with loved ones.   

Born in Kokomo, Indiana, Carrol Woodham was a factory worker and homemaker who survived personal tragedy and straitened circumstances and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1950’s.  Later in life Carol suffered from Multiple System Atrophy, a rare and debilitating degenerative neurological disorder, and in 2008 a stroke pushed her into full-blown dementia. Under the guidance of her son Ed, assisted by her caregivers, she began to draw while bedridden to calm her fears and focus her attention. Though she had never before shown any interest or aptitude for art, over the next four years her drawings went from rudimentary scribbles to large, complex, and fully resolved compositions. Sometimes working for months on a single drawing, Carrol expressed the difficult end of her life through hundreds of drawings until the disease finally overtook her motor functions. 

Beyond a moving immersion in expressive arts therapy and a medium of loving communication between parent and child, the works on display function aesthetically to convey themes of struggle, loneliness, mortality, as well as a joyous and  magical reconnection with life itself. 

 A gallery booklet accompanies the exhibition as well as a short film with interviews from Linda Mary Montano and Ed Woodham.  The exhibition, gallery talk and reception are free and open to the public.  This exhibition is funded in part by the van Otterloo Family Foundation. 

If you have further questions regarding Dad and Mom: Art Giving Life/Linda Mary Montano and Ed Woodham or if you would like to schedule a group visit, book a private tour for your organization, or learn more about the programming in the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts, please contact Kathleen J. Moore, at 978-232-2655 or kmoore@endicott.edu 

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