Musa McKim Guston in 1972 (image by Barbara Sproul)

This month, The MacDowell Colony is launching a new annual Fellowship, funded by a gift given in the name of poet and painter Musa McKim Guston, for an artist working in any discipline.

McKim Guston, who died at age 83 in 1992, was a poet and painter known for her work on mural projects sponsored by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. While studying at the Otis Art Institute, she met her future husband, Abstract Expressionist painter Philip Guston. Later in life, she focused on poetry and playwriting, and a collection of her writing, Alone With the Moon, was published in 1994 by The Figures Press. Guston’s daughter, the writer Musa Mayer, and her husband, neuropsychologist Tom Mayer, donated the funds for the new Musa McKim Guston Fellowship.

“An established painter and poet, McKim Guston arrived here as a playwright in the fall of 1966, so she was right at home among artists working in a variety of disciplines,” MacDowell Colony Executive Director Cheryl A. Young said in a statement. “That multidisciplinary aspect of MacDowell was a natural fit for her as she was a natural fit for us. This Fellowship speaks to the strength of that approach.”

Founded in 1907 and located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, The MacDowell Colony is among the nation’s leading contemporary arts organizations. Each of its Fellows, selected via a competitive review process, are provided with one of 32 private studios for a period of up to eight weeks, plus room and board.  

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.