Jessica Park in her bedroom studio, 2004; image of Chrysler Building on drafting board
It was a warm and inviting Berkshire afternoon in May of 2004. On the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus I stood in the doorway of the 94 Porter Street Gallery that opened to the building’s backyard, where a tent with refreshments awaited the hundred or so viewers inside who had come to view an exhibition organized by my Museum Studies class—“Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park.” Park, an internationally acclaimed artist with autism who lived and worked in neighboring Williamstown, had been honored by the college the previous year with a Doctorate in the Fine Arts. Our modest retrospective of Jessica’s art complemented that award which had carried with it the promise of an exhibition for the artist. My class had worked diligently with the Park family to put the show together. Clara Park, Jessica’s mother, who had written two books about her exceptional daughter (The Siege, 1967; Exiting Nirvana, 2001) was tireless with her support: arranging interviews with Jessica for my students and collecting her paintings for us to show from local patrons and the Park family archive.
I turned to David Park, the artist’s father standing next to me, and we talked about the exhibit and Jessica’s work. I casually inquired about the art Jessica had created, a highly original, personal vision beautifully crafted with marvelous color combinations. I wondered out-laud, “What might one call such unusual art? David responded with a question: “Have you ever heard of Outsider Art?” No, I had not, but in the coming years as I continued to follow Jessica’s art and the paths it opened for investigation, I would become immersed in study of the genre’s many facets and, inspired by my growing interest in experiential learning and community outreach, fuse that academic pursuit with my teaching.
Until this pivotal moment in May of 2004 I had been a professor whose academic career had been operating on parallel tracks—one followed my research interests begun with the several graduate programs that had awarded me a Ph.D. and two Masters degrees, the latest in the History of Art from Williams College (1988). The other involved building and expanding courses based on that research and learning. There has always been a very strong connection for me between learning and teaching. Yet, I was still confined to the conventional methods of classroom pedagogy—lectures, assigned readings and papers, classroom discussions and oral presentations, final take-home exams.
But, when I joined the new MCLA Fine and Performing Arts Department in 1995 as a founding member of its faculty, I was confronted with the task of teaching a Museum Studies course, then part of the Arts Management concentration. My previous experience with museum work was not primarily academic but focused on the care and display of objects, which I had learned from hands-on experiences as a guest curator at the Clark Art Institute (“The Image of Women in the Mauve Decade.” June-September, 1985) and the Williams College Museum of Art (“The Prendergasts and the Arts and Crafts Movement.” October 1988-January 1989) while a student in the aforementioned Williams MA program in the History of Art. My own Introductory Museum Studies course was tailored after one I had taken with Clark Director David Brook, who used his position and contacts to introduce us, first hand, to museum operations. Accordingly, my MCLA class did a lot of visiting to area museums, observing and speaking with curators, registrars, conservators, installation managers and education outreach professionals. The final project was an exhibition that the students organized and presented with each member of the class taking on a role in the process, from selecting the art to researching and writing wall texts, creating brochures, handling publicity, writing press releases and hosting the opening of the show. These early exhibits, featuring art reproductions, student art and other local artifacts, were shown on campus in the upstairs foyer at Freel Library, in the Alumni Suite and Sullivan Lounge at the Amsler Campus Center. Subsequent Advanced Museum Studies classes became more ambitious with the kind of art displayed, and the venues expanded as well.
Our first venture into original art outside the college involved an exhibition of work by award-wining photographer, Lucien Aigner. In his nineties at the time Aigner lived in Great Barrington, MA. He was then trying to place his vast archive of photographs at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. We learned that he might be receptive to a show at MCLA as a sort of promo to interest Mass MoCA. So, I took my class to visit the artist who gave us a tour of the permanent display of his work (including a photograph of Albert Einstein) in the Great Barrington town hall. We clicked and he agreed to loan photographs from his New York City collection for us to display. “Bites from the Big Apple: Lucien Aigner’s New York City Photographs, 1936-1945,” accompanied by a 12 page booklet containing student essays on the photographer and his work, was on display in the Alumni Suite of the Amsler Campus Center from May-June, 1996. MoCA Director Joe Thompson attended the opening of the exhibit to hear Aigner praise the class for its efforts and call us “courageous” for attempting such an ambitious project.
By this time both my Museum Studies courses and those I occasionally taught for Topics in Arts Management were largely experiential, with Museum Studies focused on student exhibitions and the Topics class involved with the design and publishing of material to advertise our Fine and Performing Arts major (posters and brochures).
In 1998 my Advanced Museum Studies class did an exhibition of award winning photo-journalist Randy Trabold’s photographs. Randy’s widow, Ida Trabold , an MCLA Alumna, made her considerable collection of his work available to the students. First on display at the college, the show then traveled to neighboring Adams in 2001 and through my Topics in Arts Management course became a book published by Arcadia Press (Randy Trabold’s Northern Berkshire County, 2003). This highly successful book, that has undergone several re-printings, was completely the product of MCLA students who designed and, through their captions to the photographs, narrated the book’s several chapters on Trabold’s extraordinary career.
By the time MCLA President Mary Grant awarded a Williamstown artist with autism, Jessica Park, an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts in 2003 and promised her an exhibition at the college, my courses in Museum Studies and Topics in Arts Management, imbedded in experiential learning, were ready to accept the challenge. What follows is an account of how the 2004 exhibit of Jessica’s art at the 94 Porter Street Gallery grew into the Jessica Park Project that would produce a highly successful traveling show and two significant books about the artist and her work. The Project would also launch several endeavors related to other outsider artists. While expanding its focus on artists with developmental issues through shows and articles, the Project has embraced cultural Outliers such as self-taught folk artists, Spanish American and Native American Art, ultimately including the art of young people along with others outside the conventional mainstream art community. During this process I learned with my students and we collaborated many times with leading scholars and curators in the field of Outsider Art. No longer on parallel tracks, my academic work and teaching continued to fuse more completely. I also created new courses with an outsider dimension for my art history classes—“The Art of the Other” and “Artistic Crosscurrents: The Art of the American Southwest.” Finally, the Project has launched me on a new career following retirement with its community focus on the broader education of the public through museum exhibitions and still more publications.
The following narrative originally created for the Project’s website has been expanded to include more detail about the pedagogical foundation and community interaction underpinning our accomplishments. I also intersperse important aspects of my own professional growth stemming from the evolution of this rather remarkable series of achievements. The repetition at the onset is important to set the stage for what follows.
The Jessica Park Project, 2004-2018
The Jessica Park Project at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts, is a multiyear educational endeavor to study, display, and publish the art of Jessica Park, an internationally renowned artist on the autism spectrum who lives and works in nearby Williamstown. The Project also embraces the work of other artists on the autism spectrum and on the broader spectrum of Outsider Art.
The Project began in 2004, when I designed my Introductory Museum Studies Class at MCLA around presenting the art of Jessica Park, as part of the college’s 2003 pledge to display her work. We began with background studies on art and autism, fortunate to have as references two books on Jessica written by her mother, Clara Claiborne Park: The Siege (1967, 1995) and Exiting Nirvana (2001). The class visited the Park home and met Clara, Jessica, and her father David, and each student was assigned one of Jessica’s paintings or drawings to research and explicate with a brief wall text. With the help of the Parks, we collected the art and installed the show at MCLA’s 94 Porter Street Gallery. The exhibition was an astonishing success with over one hundred people attending the opening and a good deal of press coverage. Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass of the Folk Art Society of America attended and wrote an article on the show that appeared in the Folk Art Messenger (fall/winter 2004).
With this initial show of Jessica’s work I was introduced to the Folk Art Society. Subsequently I have become a member and have attended many of their conferences. I am on the society’s National Advisory Board and on the editorial staff of the FASA journal, The Folk Art Messenger, to which I have contributed many articles most of which have had their origin in work done with my students for the Park Project.
With the Park family’s blessing, my fall 2004 Topics in Arts Management class picked up the momentum from that first show as we set about creating a catalogue of Jessica’s work. Subsequent courses continued to expand the catalogue’s entries—eventually twenty-six students authored commentary about individual Park paintings. Funding and support from the Fine and Performing Arts Department and a successful campaign to solicit donations from Clara’s list of Park Patrons enabled us to expand the original intent of the catalogue with guest contributors, including Clara Park and Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, who wrote compelling essays on the artist. We were additionally honored by Oliver Sacks who provided the Foreword to Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park. The catalogue would eventually accompany a traveling show of Jessica Park’s paintings and drawings (“The Art and Life of Jessica Park”) to be organized by my Advanced Museum Studies class in the spring of 2007. Exploring Nirvana was printed and published in the spring of 2008, and the student traveling exhibition opened at MCLA Gallery51 that May (subsequently at four other venues, 2009-2010).
It is important to mention here the wonderful collaboration we enjoyed with MCLA Gallery51 and its then director Jonathan Secor. Established by the college in the summer of 2005, the gallery has been a wonderful venue for several Project sponsored shows since that time. I might also add that the curriculum for the Arts Management courses that supported the Project’s exhibitions and publications contained reading assignments focused on real life case histories, from Clara Park’s two books to the works of Oliver Sacks. These recorded events, containing personal struggles with autism and other outsider challenges, reinforced our on-site experiences.
The students accordingly achieved a new awareness about the range of art and human expression. Using Jessica’s life and art as a model, we all came away with the understanding that a perceived disability can become an ability (with more sustained focus and original vision) in the making of art. Looking back on his experience Ryan Hanley (MCLA 2005), who participated in both the early Park exhibition and the initial phases of the Exploring Nirvana volume, commented just recently:
Meeting with Jessica Park put me at a very positive starting point when it came to understanding autism and how it affects people. Since meeting with her I have met other individuals on the autism spectrum who would not be considered high-functioning. Jessica has ensured that any dangerous pre-conceived notions of what someone with severe autism can and cannot understand are not part of the conversation. I think it is very easy to be self-conscious when you interact with someone on the autism spectrum or with someone who has a similar condition. Seeing how Jessica lives her life as a person as well as an artist took away that self-consciousness. (letter to the Director, 2017)
Furthermore, this interaction with Jessica and her art led to encounters with the broader art community, as well as to experts in the fields of autism and Outsider Art, and presented the students with real professional experience in the display and management of art. The Project has also facilitated community engagement and partnerships with local organizations, including the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center and nearby Williams College. This was professional training and experiential learning much as MCLA college president Mary Grant had envisioned: “The Jessica Park Project represents a unique coming together of theory and experience, of communities and people, of using the world of art to open a window of understanding into the world of autism.” (Exploring Nirvana, p. 11).
Outreach and Networking
FPA Arts Management courses continued to expand the Project’s reach. In the fall of 2009 my class visited Pure Vision Arts in New York City, a specialized art studio and exhibition space for people with developmental disabilities. Information gathered from that successful encounter with the organization and its artists led to a multiyear relationship that generated Park Project exhibitions in 2012 and 2016 and a second article in the Folk Art Messenger (“Artists of Pure Vision,” spring 2010). Pamala Rogers, PVA director, has become a valued colleague as the Project continues to extend its operations with more exhibitions and publications.
Along with facilitating college courses, the Project has collaborated with professional artists, educators and area museums to introduce Jessica’s remarkable visionary painting to contemporary, mainstream art.
Another Topics course culminated in the exhibition “Jessica Park: What Kind of an Artist?” which ran from 2011 to 2013, at the 94 Porter Street Gallery. Gleaned from student power point presentations that probed Park’s working method and explored her “outsider” status, the show inspired an art biography on Jessica, A World Transformed: The Art of Jessica Park (Gengarelly, MCLA 2014). This second volume was underwritten with donations from Park Patrons, solicited through MCLA’s Office of Advancement, and from Exploring Nirvana book sales. The marketing of books via bookstores, exhibitions, and online has helped sustain the Project’s publications.
An exhibition organized by FPA students from the Advanced Museum Studies class, “Inside the Outside: Reconsidering Our Views about Art,” at MCLA Gallery51, February 27-March 23, 2014, celebrated the publication of A World Transformed with a display of diverse artwork from self-taught and outsider artists, avant-garde mainstream artists and art educators. In concert with the exhibition, the Project sponsored two Evenings of Discussion at MCLA Gallery51. On March 18 a Discussion on “Art and Biography” was introduced by Jamie Franklin, Curator at the Bennington Museum. On March 20 a Discussion on “Art Education and the Education of the Artist” was illuminated by the principal speaker Ilene Spiewak, artist, art therapist and teacher representing the College Internship Program in Lee, Massachusetts. I wrote an article about the March 2014 exhibition and related symposia for the winter 2015 edition of The Folk Art Messenger (“Inside the Outside”).
Art Major Aria Hatfield (MCLA 2014), who took several of my courses in Arts Management and, as a Park Project Intern, helped to facilitate the “Inside the Outside” exhibit and attendant Evenings of Discussion, has found her connection with the Project to be professionally valuable. In a comment responding to a recent evaluation of the Project she shared this experience:
For a few months, I worked as an Explorer at the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA. It is a hands-on science museum for children and they have “Especially for Me: Autism Friendly Nights” for children on the autism spectrum and their families. They also had a speaker come from Autism Speaks to talk with my coworkers and me. Taking what I learned about Jessica Park and other artists on the autism spectrum, I was able to build on my current knowledge and participate in and connect more during the conversation. Aria Hatfield (letter to the Director, 2017)
From June-October, 2014, as guest curator at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center I organized a retrospective of more than thirty Park paintings and drawings.(“A World Transformed”) I followed up this highly successful and very popular exhibition with a 2016 group showing, once again at the BMAC, of artists from Pure Vision Arts. (“Visions from the Edge”) Organized by the Jessica Park Project, the symposia and gallery talks related to these two collaborations with the museum greatly expanded the audience for Jessica Park’s work and for the art of other “outsiders.” My association with the BMAC and its Chief Curator Mara Williams goes back many years. Now, I have been able to combine my professional life at the college with this community based organization with which I had already established strong ties.
The Project also encourages local museums to acquire Jessica’s art. In 2015 the Bennington Museum added two of her early works to their growing collection of contemporary folk and outsider art. The museum celebrated this new emphasis with a major exhibition, “Inward Adorings of the Mind” (2015), which brought together a provocative mix of self-taught and outsider art. (Gengarelly,“Creative Collisions,” Messenger, spring/summer 2016) In the spring of 2018 Bennington did their own retrospective of Jessica Park’s paintings with a focus on her recent work. The Park Project was recognized as a sponsor of the show, and another article by me in the Folk Art Messenger (spring/summer 2018) discussed Park’s new emphasis that highlights more personal subject matter and expanded color combinations.
Interestingly, the Bennington Museum’s Director Robert Wolterstorff , a fellow student from the Williams program in art history, and Chief Curator, Jamie Franklin—also a Williams art history graduate—have become close allies and colleagues in the promotion of Jessica’s art. Thanks to an opportunity they afforded me to write a review of “Inward Adorings of the Mind” for Raw Vision (autumn/fall 2015), I have subsequently had a piece on Jessica Park published by this same, important “outsider” journal (“The Art of Jessica Park: Dream-like Transformations by a Visionary Artist from New England,” summer 2016). Additionally, Franklin has contributed to a number of Park Project symposia (see above), even loaned his private collection of self-taught art for Project exhibitions, and is now on the Jessica Park Project Advisory Committee.
Jessica Park, Radio City Music Hall, 2017
For nearly twenty years my wife Ann and I have worked with the Navajo people in northeastern Arizona. Ann, a poet and extraordinary teacher, and I have taught poetry, art and bookmaking at the Little Singer Community School in Bird Springs, about fifty miles north of Winslow. We have made many friends and learned a great deal about Navajo culture—its rich tradition of weaving and jewelry crafting; its sophisticated cosmology, sand painting and ritual practices. We have come to know especially well a medicine man artist, Paul Joe, who worked at the school and through whom we have been initiated into Navajo folk ways and practices. Paul is a painter of beautiful, symbolic renditions of the Navajo landscape and its people (the Dine’). We have purchased a number of his paintings, which I shared with my students. Their interpretations and perceptive understanding of Paul’s art led to an exhibition, “Medicine Men Artists,” on display at 94 Porter Street Gallery, May 2010-April 2011. This student organized show featured wall texts crafted from student comments about Paul’s art that I had solicited in class. As a follow up to the show I published an article in the Folk Art Messenger, “Paul Joe: Medicine Man Artist” (fall/winter 2011)
Prior to the “Medicine Men Artists” exhibit, my Advanced Museum Studies class had teamed up with film maker Rick Derby. He had recently finished a documentary “Rocks with Wings”— about a girls’ championship basketball team from a Navajo high school in Shiprock, New Mexico. His collection of Navajo weavings and photographs formed the basis of our exhibit “Dine’: Navajo Art and Life,” December 2005 to January 2006—the first major exhibition at the newly established MCLA Gallery51.
These efforts to display the art of a “cultural outsider” were officially brought under the wing of the Jessica Park Project in 2013 with an exhibit at 94 Porter Street, “The Healing Arts: Navajo Words and Images,” which ran until March 2015. Here was a chance for me to share some of Ann’s and my work with “the people” at Little Singer School. The show featured simulations of hand crafted books as well as panels displaying the poetry written in Ann’s workshops. The panels also contained illustrations and photographs to expand the words and give them the resonance of place and time.
In 2010, Ann and I attended a Folk Art Society conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had a marvelous week full of memories for me, who as an intern at the Yale Divinity School had worked in the summer of 1964 for a Presbyterian mission in Chimayo, New Mexico, located near the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the southern Rockies. Here I first learned about the Spanish American culture and now understand how it interacted with the Navajo weaving tradition in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many things came together on that trip, including an introduction to Pueblo culture through the art of three prominent Tewa artists—Pablita Velarde, Helen Harden and Margarete Bagshaw, which led to another Messenger article, “In the Spirit of Tradition: Three Generations of Women Artists” (fall/winter 2010—currently on the FASA website).
My study of Southwestern art also includes the Santos Tradition, the folk carving of Catholic religious figures, which I first encountered in New Mexico and now in other Spanish American cultures. Most recently I contributed yet another piece to the Messenger focused on Puerto Rican Santos and the Santero(a)s who carve them (“Puerto Rican Folk Art: Three Kings Festival and the Santos Tradition,” spring/summer 2017). Along with the history of the Navajo and Pueblo peoples, Spanish American art and culture has become an important part of my “Artistic Crosscurrents” course (mentioned above), which I have offered at MCLA and in the fall of 2016 at Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT.
Most recently, the Park Project has been collaborating with the College Internship Program on a book designed to aid artists on the autism spectrum. Based in Pittsfield, MA, the CIP offers post graduate work for young adults with Aspergers Syndrome who need help with their executive functioning skills and the opportunity to find ways to live and work in the everyday world. Currently, I am co-authoring the book with Michael McManmon, founder of the CIP and member of the Park Project Advisory Committee. We have pulled together case histories of successful artists with ASD and identified the various studio and educational programs that assist them. We have also been using our experience with networking, visual display and art marketing, to discover pathways to follow and available resources to help on the journey toward a career in art. The book, Art on the Spectrum: A Guide for Mentoring and Marketing Artists with ASD, is ready to be considered by a number of potential publishers. Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Professor of Graduate Education at Lesley University, will be writing the book’s Foreword.
I began my association with CIP several years ago (2012) when Jessica Park had an exhibition at the Good Purpose Gallery on the Lee, MA, CIP campus. This Gallery has sponsored many exhibitions of artists with developmental challenges, including McManmon, whose late diagnosis of Aspergers liberated him to branch out with his art and be more comfortable with his quixotic behavior patterns. Michael has shown his extraordinary paintings in several Park Project exhibitions and participated in a number of the Project’s symposia. Here is yet another instance where valuable contacts are made through community outreach and, thereby, learning opportunities for students are multiplied.
Our Museum Studies class has visited the Good Purpose Gallery and enjoyed a guided tour by McManmon, who afterward took the students to his home in Lanesborough, MA, for a tour of his own art. And this very fruitful collaboration seems to keep growing with more doors opening for my own research and the Project’s programs. During the past year our book project has led me to the AANE (Aspergers/Autism Network) Artist Collaborative based in Watertown, MA. Artists from this collaborative, sponsored by the Park Project, will be displaying their works at MCLA Gallery51 in the fall of 2020.
Finally, the young people’s art and poetry project continues to percolate with a current show at 94 Porter Street Gallery (“Another World: Young Poets and Artists from The Poetry Studio,” 2017 and ongoing ) and with yet another book in the making, to be published by the Green Writers Press in Brattleboro, VT. Based on a very successful exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum (“Windows to Creative Expression: Young Poets and Artists from The Poetry Studio,” September 30, 2016–February 6, 2017), the book will contain almost 100 poems and pieces of art by young people from ages six to sixteen. In the spring of 2020, the Bennington Museum will celebrate the book’s publication (scheduled for the fall of 2019) with a small exhibition of the students’ work and a reading by the poets and artists—Chard de Niord, Poet Laureate of Vermont who will be writing the book’s Foreword, will be the featured speaker. De Niord has been an ardent supporter of young people’s literary and artistic work (“On Poetry: Children Have Fluid Imaginations.” Valley News, November 17, 2016). As a Park Project affiliate, The Poetry Studio is delighted to be able to display and publish the wisdom, compassion and remarkably original expression of these students. Here is yet another marginalized art community that needs not only to be seen, but also to be heard.
The Jessica Park Project has opened many doors for my research, some directly through Jessica Park and artists on the autism spectrum; others indirectly through the Folk and Outsider Art connections discovered by following pathways branching off to more Outliers. The Project continues with the support of the college, having followed an arc from a student based learning endeavor to a program largely focused on the broader community. The art of Jessica Park is still its primary concern, while the Project brings more examples of Outsider Art into focus. On almost every step of the way, I see my own journey with the Project as a means to education inside and outside the classroom.
My hope is that the Park Project will inspire others to go on a similar adventure to study and celebrate the great diversity of people who make art. Such programs enrich the lives of the artists by providing a platform for appreciation, while enhancing the community that bears witness to their achievements. As part of the Arts Management major at MCLA the Project has provided a whole new dimension for future arts managers. Along with Aria Hatfield, several are now working directly with galleries, museums and programs that promote and facilitate the work of Outsider Artists. Furthermore, Outsider Art has been introduced to and celebrated by many audiences exposed to the Project’s exhibitions, symposia and publications. The social impact of these exposures can only help to alter perceptions about people who create such extraordinary art. Hopefully, as we continue to expand these learning opportunities, we will begin to discover the way to a spiritually richer and more enlightened engagement with the world.
Tony Gengarelly, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of art history and museum studies at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He has written and published on a variety of subjects, including Political Justice, Early American Modernism, Native American painting and Outsider Art. Most noteworthy are articles for the Mind’s Eye and Folk Art Messenger; publications on American poster art, Maurice Prendergast, and artists on the autism spectrum. He has edited and written two books on the art of Jessica Park (Exploring Nirvana, MCLA 2008; A World Transformed, MCLA 2014). Other books include Randy Trabold’s Northern Berkshire County (Arcadia 2003); Distinguished Dissenters and Opposition to the 1919-1920 Red Scare (Edwin Mellen, 1996). Dr. Gengarelly has curated individually or produced with his students over 40 exhibitions. Some of these have been featured at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art, MCLA Gallery 51, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, and currently at the FPA House 94 Porter Street Gallery. He has served as Chair for the Fine and Performing Arts department (2004-2012) and as Managing Editor for the Mind’s Eye (1997-2003). For the past fifteen years he has been the Director of the Jessica Park Project, an educational and professional program at MCLA (www.mcla.edu/JessicaPark).
List of Works Cited
Gengarelly, Tony. A World Transformed: The Art of Jessica Park . North Adams, MA: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 2014.
—, and Adria Weatherbee, eds. Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park. North Adams, MA: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 2008.
—, ed. Randy Trabold’s Northern Berkshire County. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
McManmon, Michael and Tony Gengarelly. Art on the Spectrum: A Guide for Mentoring and Marketing Artists with ASD. Pittsfield, MA: College Internship Program, forthcoming.
Park, Clara Claiborne. The Siege. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967; Back Bay Books, 1982; Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1995.
—, Exiting Nirvana. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company, 2001.
Delmas-Glass, Emmanuelle. “Painting the World with a Rainbow.” Folk Art Messenger fall/winter (2004).
De Niord, Chard. “On Poetry: Children Have Fluid Imaginations.” Valley News (November 17, 2016).
Gengarelly, Tony. “Jessica Park: New Direction for an Accomplished Artist.” Folk Art Messenger spring/summer (2018).
—, “Puerto Rican Folk Art: Three Kings Festival and the Santos Tradition.” Folk Art Messenger spring/summer (2017).
—, “The Art of Jessica Park: Dream-like Transformations by a Visionary Artist from New England.” Raw Vision summer (2016).
—, “Creative Collisions at the Bennington Museum: ‘Inward Adorings of the mind’.” Folk Art Messenger spring/summer (2016).
—, “Inward Adorings of the Mind.” Raw Vision Autumn/Fall (2015).
—, “Inside the Outside: Reconsidering Our Views about Art.” Folk Art Messenger winter (2015).
—, and Dale Borman Fink. “A World Transformed: The Art of Jessica Park.” The Mind’s Eye (2013).
—,“Paul Joe: Medicine Man Artist.” Folk Art Messenger fall/winter (2011).
—,“In the Spirit of Tradition: Three Generations of Women Artists.” Folk Art Messenger fall/winter (2010).
—, “The Artists of Pure Vision.” Folk Art Messenger spring (2010).
—, “The Jessica Park Project 2004-2008.” Folk Art Messenger spring (2008).
(curated and/or produced by Tony Gengarelly)
—“Another World: Young Poets and Artists from The Poetry Studio.” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (December 2017, currently and ongoing).
–“Windows to Creative Expression, Young Poets and Artists from The Poetry Studio.” Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (September 30, 2016-February 6, 2017).
–“Visions from the Edge: An Exploration of Outsider Art.” Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (March 19-June 24, 2016).
–“The Jessica Park Project: Ten Years and Growing.” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (June 2015- October 2017).
–“A World Transformed: The Art of Jessica Park.” Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (June 27-October 26, 2014).
–“Inside the Outside: Reconsidering Our Views about Art.” MCLA Gallery51 (February 27-March 23, 2014)–with 12 page booklet.
–“The Healing Arts: Navajo Words and Images.” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (June 2013-March 2015).
–“Visions from the Edge: The Artists of Pure Vision.” MCLA Gallery51 (January 26-February 19, 2012)–with 12 page booklet.
–“Jessica Park: What Kind of an Artist.” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (May 2011-April 2013)— with 8 page booklet.
–“Medicine Men Artists: Paul Joe and Charley Singer,” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (May 2010-April 2011)—with 8 page booklet.
–“The Art and Life of Jessica Park” traveling exhibition. (May 2008-April 2010)– with 6 panel brochure:
–MCLA Gallery51 (May-June 2008).
–Endicott College (February-April 2009).
–Hands On Museum, Ann Arbor, MI (April 2009).
–Eastern Michigan University (September-December 2009).
–Wheaton College, Norton , MA (March-April 2010).
–“Dine: Navajo Art and Life.” MCLA Gallery51 (December 2005-January 2006)—with 20 page catalogue.
–“Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Park.” 94 Porter Street Gallery at MCLA (May-June 2004)—with 6 panel brochure.
–“On the Scene: An Exhibition of Randy Trabold’s Berkshire Photographs.” Amsler Campus Center at MCLA (May-June 1998)—with 32 page catalogue; Town Hall Gallery and Adams Free Library, Adams, MA (April-May 2001).
–“Bites from the Big Apple: Lucien Aigner’s New York City Photographs 1936-1945.” Amsler Campus Center at MCLA (May-June 1996)—with 12 page booklet.
–“The Prendergasts and the Arts and Crafts Movement.” Williams College Museum of Art (October 1988-January 1989)—with 4 page brochure and catalogue.
–“The Image of Women in the Mauve Decade: Edward Penfield and His Contemporaries.” Sterling and Francine Clark Institute (June-September 1985)—with 6 panel brochure.