MOTHERSHIP ALOFT    PAUL SMART     WOODSTOCK TIMES    MARCH 2012

Paul McMahon’s at it again. His latest thing — running for nearly two months now — is a weekly combination of events, including a Visiting Artists Club and a new series of one-off, one-day art shows — called Tuesdays. Like all things McMahon, they’re fun, good-hearted, somewhat off-the-cuff, and deeply creative in his inimitably cross-gerenational way.

The series kicked off at McMahon’s studio, via e-mail invitations, on Valentine’s Day, when his old school mate and longtime friend Bart Thrall brought over a ton of paintings from his High Falls studio and was set up by 2:00 PM. Folks gathered in the afternoon and a public viewing of Thrall’s paintings took place in early evening. By the next day all was back to normal… as far as McMahon’s studio can ever really be seen as normal.

McMahon is saying that it’s all “in keeping with a tradition begun 40 years ago with a series of one night shows organized at Project Inc. in Cambridge, MA.”

More recently he showed some stunning new photos by his fellow Pictures Generation painter Donald Newman, who came up with McMahon as part of the mid-1970s New York art scene, and painter/collagist Betsy Friedman of Bearsville on March 6.

“In 1970 I was blessed to hear a powerful and terrifying rendition of Hopi prophecy delivered by Thomas Banyacya. I was 20 at the time… and I didn’t think humanity would make it to the year 2000,” McMahon riffs about what’s driving his latest incarnation of Mothership, which operated a few years back as a venue for music and literary events until being closed down for not having the proper zoning permits. “I’ve been blessed with a WIDE variety of teachings and experiences, initiations, transmissions and just plain gifts from the Universe. I am a far happier person than the one I was when I first came to live in Woodstock in 1990… In my view innocence is retrievable. The heart naturally seeks to remove encumbrances. The plague of our moment is not ADD but IDD, Intention Deficit Disorder. It is unwise not to save the world because destroying it pays better.”

McMahon defines his Mothership experiment as “an ‘everything’ center for changing times; a social sculpture dedicated to the potential of love, creativity and transcendent wisdom… a social sculpture of Paul Mcmahon, who is working to save the world, Woodstock, and himself, not necessarily in that order. It is also to be seen as an art work.”

Everyone’s being vague about advertising these new art events, which feel private in their intimacy, and effect, and currently free of the zoning challenges previous McMahon and Mothership undertakings have run into in the past.

“Woodstock is a small enough town with a big enough history and talent pool that it strikes me as possible to advance and develop an ethic of cooperation on a number of levels,” McMahon writes of what keeps driving him, and ever-widening his circle of friends and creative energy. “There are pockets of such activity
already.”

Upcoming at Tuesdays will be the multi-talented Amanda Jo Williams, whose drawings have a tactile graphic sense, but also works in video and song, on March 20. And much, much more yet to be announced, both this week and beyond Williams’ Tuesday.

For more on Tuesdays, the Visiting Artists Club, and re-emerging Mothership activities, look for McMahon’s studio on Hillcrest Avenue, visit paulmcmahon.tv, or call the effervescent one himself at 679-3392.