ArtsJul 8, 2021

updated Jul 8, 2021

Recharging through art-making

Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Expressive Arts Chair awarded Residency at Red Lion Inn

(Amy Inglis ’08, Avida Love Photography)

One might think that after 18 months of reimagining classes and schedules while adjusting to a global pandemic, Studio Art Teacher Ellie Kreischer might “take the summer off.”

That’s just not her style.

“I always spend my summers going deep into my art-making,” says Ellie, one of two artists selected this year by IS183 Art School for the Berkshire Artist Residency 2021.

“I make art every day during the school year, so the summer is all about working for longer periods of time and developing new ideas,” she adds. “I also find it rejuvenating and re-charging, it informs my teaching to be involved in the art process, and I love being involved in the artistic community of the Berkshires.”

Ellie’s residency is hosted at the iconic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, where she has a studio space and access to the inn’s archives. As part of the residency, which runs through October 11, she will deliver an artist talk, and the inn will host a reception and exhibition of her work.

One of Ellie’s projects for the residency is repurposing old teapots into 3-D surfaces for painting, working off the motifs and color palette found throughout the inn, where many of the dining spaces and hallways feature old teapots. “The Red Lion is so nostalgic and has so many echoes of the time past that I want to take this opportunity to contribute to the teapot collection with new pieces,” says Ellie. She has also been working with the MHS laser cutter to create relief panels, using shapes and colors found throughout the inn while adding her own artistic voice.

Busy summers are nothing new for Ellie. In 2016, as the recipient of the inaugural Paternotte Family Faculty Travel and Study Endowment Fund grant, she traveled to Sweden to deepen her study of Hilma af Klint, one of her favorite artists and is now recognized as the first abstract artist.

(Amy Inglis ’08, Avida Love Photography)

It was a trip that continues to inform Ellie’s own work as an artist and Studio Art Teacher, a role that now includes serving as the recently named Elizabeth Gatchell KleinMrs. Klein taught at MHS from 1938 until retiring in 1976. She served on the Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1987, when she was elected Honorary Trustee for life, and the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center, opened in 2001, was a gift from her devoted students. Mrs. Klein passed away in 2006 but remains a presence at Miss Hall’s. Expressive Arts Department Chair. Ellie, who joined MHS in 2010 and succeeds inaugural Klein Arts Chair and longtime Photography Teacher Sophie Lane ’96, who steps away from her role at Miss Hall’s this summer after 18 years.

In the added new role, Ellie will guide the department as the School emerges from a year of hybrid learning and moves forward post-pandemic.

“We’re looking forward to having Expressive Arts events play a part in bringing the community back together and celebrating student voices,” says Ellie. “I’m excited to be back in the spaces together with students and to feel the energy that comes from a group of people working together toward creative goals.”