Medal Day 2017 Honored Filmmaker David Lynch

David Lynch accepts the 58th Edward MacDowell Medal in the Arts by video.

“David Lynch is an artist who has been opening our eyes and aiming our gazes to the night-truths of the world for the past forty years.”—Author and MacDowell Chairman Michael Chabon

Arts lovers from around the region and around the country enjoyed an afternoon of sun, celebration, and open studios on Medal Day, August 13, 2017. Although this year’s honoree, filmmaker David Lynch could not attend, about 1,300 arts lovers came to join in lauding the 58th Edward MacDowell Medalist before enjoying a picnic lunch and then touring 30 open studios to see where art is made.


All slideshow images below by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey.

Scenes from Medal Day 2017

Chairman of the Board Michael Chabon welcomes the crowd.

(Joanna Eldredge Morrissey photo)

About 1,300 arts lovers attended Medal Day 2017.

Journalist Kristine McKenna spoke about her friend filmmaker David Lynch.

Wait, don’t go yet!

David Lynch accepted the 58th Edward MacDowell Medal via a humorous video.

Watching David Lynch from the stage.

The clouds cleared for the day.

MacDowell Fellows filmmakers David Petersen and Amy Jenkins, painter Darina Karpov and Iris, and sculptor Andrew Ginzel.

Medal Day visitors came in all sizes and ages.

MacDowell Fellow and Board Member Jason Van Nest, writer Nancy Vitale, Lenfest Institute for Journalism CEO Jim Friedlich, and visual artist Melissa Stern.

A perfect day for a picnic.

And a great chance for friends to catch up on Colony grounds.

​The family that attends Medal Day together, stays together!

Writer Yuly Restrepo described her process for studio visitors in Kirby Studio.

Writer Marie-Therese Connolly shared a laugh with visitors in Wood Studio.

Theatre artist Liza Birkenmeier opened Star Studio to visitors.

Installation artist Kalup Linzy showed his work in Heinz Studio.

The line at the ice cream truck was steady most of the afternoon.

Edward MacDowell’s log cabin drew a steady stream of the curious.

Blake Tewksbury (right) explained the log cabin’s history to visitors.

Nef Studio visitors had the chance to talk to photographer Millee Tibbs.

Poet Megan Levad spoke to the Medal Day faithful in Phi Beta Studio.

Printmaker Harmony Hammond talks about her latest project in Putnam-Graphics Studio.

It’s never too early to start a life of loving art.

Ben Durham’s large-scale drawings attracted numerous visitors to Firth Studio.

Visual artist Duke Riley spoke with MacDowell Board member and sculptor Arthur Simms and painter Lucy Fradkin in Eastman Studio.

​From top left: MacDowell Board President Andrew Senchak, Executive Director Cheryl A. Young, Resident Director David Macy, Chairman of the Board Michael Chabon, and journalist and introductory speaker Kristine McKenna.

You can read a transcript of Michael Chabon’s address here.

You can read a transcript of Kristine McKenna’s speech here.

There is no charge to attend Medal Day.

Thanks to the generosity of our 2017 Medal Day Corporate Sponsors as well as our Individual Donors MacDowell is able to keep this annual event free and open to the public.

Lynch joins past medal recipients such as Aaron Copland (1961), Robert Frost (1962), Georgia O’Keeffe (1972), Stan Brakhage (1989), Joan Didion (1996), Chuck Jones (1997), Les Blank (2007), Stephen Sondheim (2013), Betye Saar (2014), and Toni Morrison (2016). MacDowell, one of the nation’s leading contemporary arts centers, has awarded the medal annually since 1960 to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to American culture.

Since 1960, The MacDowell Colony has awarded the Edward MacDowell Medal to an artist of enduring vision and creativity. Read About Medal Day’s History and See a List of All Past Recipients of the Medal Here.