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Arts & Culture

“No Mud, No Lotus” Lenox Student Art Show

Above, Teagan Demler’s work, the first place scholarship winner. At right, top, the 3 scholarship winners, from left to right: Thomas Léger, Honorable Mention, Teagan Demler, and Karina Baver, Honorable Mention. Below, Teagan with her work. Photos by Janet Pumphrey.

Out of the mud, beautiful gifts can emerge…

LMMHS Students were invited to respond to the theme of “No Mud, No Lotus.” This metaphor is a way of identifying and expressing the mud of our lives (pandemic, loss, isolation, etc.) and learning that out of that very mud, our lotuses (gifts, talents, unique beauty) emerge; that painful or difficult experiences are the raw material to create happier life experiences and insights.

Eileen Mahoney, Interfaith Reverend and creator of Viriditas: Greening of the Soul, and Deirdre McKenna, Creative Services Manager for Lenox Chamber, co-chaired. Art teachers Karen Romeo-Leger and Alexa Bermudez presented the theme to students. The project culminated in an art show in the Welles Gallery, Lenox Library, on view through 12/16/2022. Works in a variety of 2D & 3D media are on display. Three scholarships were awarded to Senior students, chosen by a panel of jurors, for works that demonstrated artistic excellence. ($250 First Place, $100 for each Honorable Mention). Additionally, each grade will be given $100 to donate to a community organization of their choice.

This art show is supported by The Lenox Cultural District, The Lenox Chamber of Commerce, and Trinity Church, Lenox.

For more insight into the students’ process, read this article in the Lenox Cultural District newsletter.

LMMHS Students chose the organizations below to receive donation of $100 each.
This is a way of giving back to the community and is a component of the art show project:

CATA-Community Access to the Arts

The Tate Riva Memorial Scholarship Fund
(Administered by LMMHS)

Lenox Chapter-National Arts Honor Society
(Administered by LMMHS)

Flying Cloud

18 Degrees-Berkshire County

Railroad Street Youth Project

Berkshire Art Center

Jurors for Artistic Excellence Scholarship

Janet Pumphrey’s traditional, representational photographs span the genres of portraits and street photography, vintage and sports cars, travel, landscapes, and wildlife. While photography is a representational medium, Pumphrey also moves beyond the inherent realism in traditional photography to see the world in a new and more creative way. Her work is painterly, sometimes abstract, sometimes impressionistic. Each piece is a unique, creative interpretation of a realistic image. Pumphrey opened the Janet Pumphrey Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts in June, 2020. Previously, she showed her photographs in many galleries in the Berkshires and in the Hudson Valley. Read an interview with Pumphrey from the July 2020 Artful Mind.

The Rev. Eileen Mahoney is the Administrator at Trinity and consultant with Church on the Hill. Additionally, she is also an ordained Interfaith Interspiritual Minister, Certified Expressive Arts Therapist and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher who is also ordained in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Engaged Buddhism and an initiate of the Sufi Order Inayatiaya. No Mud, No Lotus, the Art of Transforming Suffering by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a book title and metaphor that helps people see the gift, the gem hidden in their suffering. Rev. Eileen thought that it was a great metaphor for students to use as a way to express their “mud” and their “lotus,’ especially because of all the loss experienced during the pandemic. Rev. Eileen has created Viriditas, a process for the greening of the soul that uses meditation and the arts to deepen one’s connection to the Divine, and to navigate life’s transitions and losses to live a more resilient, joyful, meaningful life. Read more about her vision at www.greeningofthesoul.com.

Katie O’Neil, MLIS, Director, Lenox Library. Katie has been recognized by Berkshire Magazine and Berkshire Community College’s 40 Under Forty for her contributions to life in the Berkshires. In her role at the Library, she has helped shape its mission to connect our community to resources and programs that encourage lifelong learning and celebrate our collective history and culture. She delights in the opportunity to provide a space for student artists to express their creativity and engage their community in the process.

Deirdre McKenna, Creatives Services Manager, Lenox Chamber of Commerce, creates graphic branding for events & visitor experiences. Writer & performer with the Powder Keg Writing Group for Women. Her poem “Blood and Gold” was published by Green Fire Press in “Writing Fire: An Anthology Celebrating the Power of Women’s Words.” In July 2022 she exhibited her work in the art show PERSIST at the Daniel Arts Center. She holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston/Lesley College, where she studied art history, printmaking, painting, sculpture & drawing. She believes that personal expression through the arts has the power to challenge what silences us and creates opportunities to re-imagine ourselves.