This week, Jared Bowen takes us through a retrospective of the work of Mel Kendrick and shares a new track from Frontline Songs.

“Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things,” on view at the Addison Gallery of American Art through October 3, 2021

Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things
(Left to right) "Black Dots," "Big Tree," and "Reverse Stump" a few of the more than 60 works on view in "Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things"
Rory Sheil/GBH News

The Addison Gallery of American Art presents the first-ever retrospective of artist Mel Kendrick. Through more than 60 sculptures, photographs, woodblock prints and what Kendrick calls “tabletop sketches,” “Seeing Things in Things” traces the artist’s process of disassembly and reconfiguration through a variety of materials. Inspired by predecessors like Umberto Boccioni, Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso, Kendrick’s unique sculptures — mainly created in wood — have a strong sense of animation and bear the markings of the artist’s hand as they reveal insight into a how-did-he-do-that process.

“Some people say once you put a pencil line on paper you can't really erase it, and I don't try to,” says Kendrick. “If I make a mistake, whatever a mistake is, something I don't like, I stick it back together with glue and then I keep on. And that, to me, is drawing.”

“Frontline Songs,” a program that pairs frontline healthcare workers with singer/songwriters to collaborate on cathartic, original songs

collage Frontline Songs.png
Doctors and nurses are finding relief in a unique songwriting program that brings frontline workers together to make music and connect
Individual images courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital

A group of emergency department workers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have collaborated with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier to create a new song about their experiences treating COVID-19 patients over the last year. The song, titled “Normal Soon,” is the latest collaboration facilitated by Frontline Songs, a nationwide effort founded by Ron Hirschberg, Darden Smith and Sharon Corbitt.

In a two-hour Zoom session, the Brigham and Women’s team shares their experiences with Gauthier, who wades through their recollections, feelings and pain to tap into their “emotional truth” and prompt collaborative writing.

“My job as a songwriter is to tap into what they're feeling, individually and collectively, and put that into a song,” says Gauthier. “I always say that songs are what feelings sound like, so I need to get the overarching emotion into their song.”

What are your predictions for the Academy Awards? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!