Among recent MARC fellows, Alina Gallo has the done the most to share her Monhegan experiences over the Internet, maintaining a blog throughout her residency. Her website juxtaposes paintings and photographs made on the island in June of 2011, along with her written descriptions of the people she encountered, ranging from local residents, to members of the long-standing artist community and the active group of birders, who regularly populate the island during migration season. Shortly after returning to Portland where she lives, Gallo had a one-person show of her Monhegan paintings at The Heart Opening Studio.
In addition to her Monhegan residency, Gallo received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2010. She currently works as freelance book and catalog designer and as an assistant to the Portland artist Alison Hildreth.
A resident of Bailey Island, Maine, Gail Hollenbeck had made several trips to Monhegan before she received a MARC fellowship. In her application, Hollenbeck noted: “My visits in the past to Monhegan, though short, have been exhilarating. During a Monhegan residency, I would expect to do a series of evocative, spatial rock drawings and small oil paintings, and be receptive to new ideas that come when working quietly in proximity to nature.” Like several other MARC fellows, she has also had other residencies in this country and abroad—at Yaddo, the Ballinglen fellowship in Ireland, and the Maryland Institute’s program at Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany, France. She received her B.A. in painting from American University, an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, and studied at the Skowhegan Summer School of Painting and Sculpture.
Writing about her work, the artist notes the influence of abstract expressionists Arshile Gorky and Franz Kline and draws attention to an,
“unsettling tension [that] exists between colliding forms—where evocative shapes emerge and dissolve…. From the vantage point of a fast moving boat, I have filled sketchbooks with images of ledge and islands soaring through the vast expanse of open sea.”