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Announcing the winners of the Fitchburg Art Museum – Sentinel and Enterprise “Art in Bloom” virtual competition

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FITCHBURG – The Fitchburg Art Museum has hosted Art in Bloom every spring for 22 years, and although this year’s in-person event has been canceled due to the health and safety of guests, volunteers and museum staff, the online floral challenge that was created was a great success.

This popular event invites local floral designers, garden clubs and members of the community to perform art in the galleries of the Fitchburg Art Museum with flower arrangements.

“We are delighted to say that Art in Bloom: An Online Floral Challenge has been a huge success,” said Vanessa De Zorzi, Museum Marketing Manager. “It was truly a community event and a FAM team effort. We received a large number of creative responses covering a wide variety of media ranging from flower arrangements and culinary arts, photography, digital drawing, found object sculpture, and more.

The staff at the Fitchburg Art Museum had a blast creating and putting together Art in Bloom: An Online Floral Challenge.

“I thought why not make Art in Bloom something that people can participate in from their homes,” said Jessie Olson, the museum’s membership and events manager. “People can have flowers blooming in their garden. Or if not, we have encouraged people to make flower materials that they can find in their homes.

“We chose categories that represented the variety of interpretations and materials, which would celebrate not only the imagination and creativity, but also the enjoyment of the process,” said Olson.

The winners of the floral challenge were selected by community jurors, including Tamar Russell Brown of Sitka Creations, David Ginisi of NC Mass. Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Clarke, local artist and McKay Arts Academy teacher, and Julie K. Gray, artist featured in the Fitchburg Art Museum Exhibition After Spiritualism: Loss and Transcendence in Contemporary Art.

“It’s important to see how we can still bring art into people’s lives, even when they can’t walk through our galleries,” said Olson. “The museum’s mission is to be a catalyst for creativity, learning and community. This was an opportunity for our community not only to learn more about the art in our collection, but also to demonstrate their own creativity in response to it.

Art in Bloom takes place during the month of April at the museum and is in partnership with the Laurelwood Garden Club and is the museum’s busiest weekend of the year, a time when families and friends spend a day at the Museum.

“Art in Bloom is our most popular event of the year,” added Olson. “We wanted our audience to continue to enjoy the idea of ​​art and flowers, even if it was from afar. “

Best Use of Nature: Sue Cunio Salem’s Interpretation of “Waiting for a Bite” by Winslow Homer, 1874

Several performers expressed their satisfaction that they could still enjoy this event, but also that the chance to make art at home gave them something positive and colorful to think about.

“They had fun,” Olson said. “And that’s the most important thing for me – that people think about museums and have fun together.”

The Fitchburg Art Museum is grateful for your support and looks forward to welcoming the community back to its galleries and public spaces. Even in these uncertain times, their mission is to inspire the miracle of art, she said.

The online event closed with a celebratory video of the champagne reception.

“Museum staff, docents and community members joined in a special conversation about this year’s art in bloom,” said De Zorzi. “We discussed how we organized the event, what inspired us, what we enjoyed the most and announced the winners of the challenge.

The video premiered on May 15 and is now live on the Fitchburg Art Museum website for everyone to enjoy.

The most creative container: Maxwell Zaleski’s interpretation of Douglas Kornfeld’s “Thurston”, 2015.

“The world is changing. I mourn the loss of some things that will never be the same again, but I’m excited about the challenge of connecting with our audience and our members in new ways ~ in some ways – it’s more interactive and more inventive, “said Olson.” By nature, art is a response to the world in which it is created. So it stands to reason that art museums also respond to the world and the community and what they’re going through right now. I love that this makes us not only relevant, but also an antidote to some of the more difficult parts of our present. “

Art in Bloom winners include:

• Most Creative Container: Maxwell Zaleski’s interpretation of “Thurston” by Douglas Kornfeld, 2015

• Best use of nature: interpretation by Sue Cunio Salem of “Waiting for a Bite” by Winslow Homer, 1874

• Best Composition: Performance by Cynthia Robinson of “Waiting for a Bite” by Winslow Homer, 1874

• The most illusionist: Maxwell Zaleski’s interpretation of “To Be” by Anne Lilly, 2016

• Punniest: Jane Fulton Suri’s interpretation of “Sunflowers at Sunrise” by Scott Prior, 2015

• Best Use of Lost and Found: Victoria Brier’s interpretation of “Postmortem: Margaret” by Julie K. Gray, 2019

• Most inventive materials: Julie Palioca’s interpretation of “Serpent 1” by Jo Sandman, 2012-2014

• Best Use of Color: Carolyn Quirk’s interpretation of “Bough House / Bauhaus” by Maria Molteni, 2019-2020

The community can be inspired by viewing the artwork of Art in Bloom. The full gallery of creative submissions can be viewed on Flickr, as well as the gallery of category winners.

Also explore artwork from the Material Girls Quilt Guild community groups and McKay Arts Academy students inspired by the Art in Bloom event and the spirit of spring.

For more information, please email Jessie Olson, Membership and Events Manager, at [email protected] and be sure to visit their website at

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8-year-old Comox Valley girl completes Getty Museum art challenge and adds pop culture angle

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In a pinch – or a pandemic – a marshmallow can play the role of a pearl.

That’s what a Comox Valley family discovered when they took on a challenge from the J. Paul Getty Museum in California to recreate famous works of art using materials found at home.

“We say we use trash from all over the house, and that’s literally it,” said mom Ali Roddam, professional photographer at Black Creek.

They started with a redesign of The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. Using only items they could find around the house, Roddam dressed his eight-year-old son, Dylan Roddam, as the daughter of the iconic painting.

They found beige towels to recreate the subject’s top and wrapped Dylan’s blue T-shirt around his head to mimic the scarf. Thanks to bread baking fueled by the Roddam pandemic, they had used handy parchment paper to complement the scarf.

They didn’t have an exact doppelganger for the beaded earring that gives the painting its name, but they did have a bag of marshmallows left by a bonfire, so they topped off the look with an edible accessory glued to it. Dylan’s ear.

It was Dylan’s favorite part of the outfit. “The whole time she was so excited, because she was like, ‘Can I eat the marshmallow after?’ “said Roddam.

Marshmallows sometimes double as an incentive to help Dylan stay focused during the few hours it can take to create an image.

One of the biggest challenges for Roddam is getting the perfect lighting. For Dylan, it still holds. To recreate an image of singer-songwriter Post Malone holding a bottle of beer, she had to hold a bottle of soy sauce while her mother took the picture.

“The bottle was really heavy, so I had to put it down and pick it up and put it down and pick it up,” Dylan said.

“She’s a bit of a squirming worm, so trying to get the right angle can be difficult sometimes,” her mother added.

They decided to turn to well-known pop culture images to continue the project. Roddam started sharing the photos on his professional Facebook page.

“The response has been simply overwhelming. People were going crazy, especially since she’s eight years old and it’s hilarious when she’s dressed up as Bruce Willis, ”Roddam said.

The recreation of a scene from Die Hard – in which a battered John McClane (Willis) crawls through a vent with a lighter in hand – is one of Roddam’s favorites in the collection. It’s also one of the few that she touched up a bit in Photoshop.

“I gave her a receding hairline, because it’s funny – she’s a little girl,” Roddam said.

Dylan crawled into a cardboard box covered with foil to recreate the vent, and his older sister Mikayla – who helps with some of the more difficult props – stepped in to make a Zippo lighter out of erasers and paper from aluminum.

Some images are so similar that people found it difficult to tell them apart at first glance.

“Kurt Cobain’s was so blunt that people literally said they’d missed it and couldn’t understand why two pictures of Kurt Cobain were posted until they looked at it again. So this one. , I feel like we’ve nailed it, ”Roddam said.

Taking pictures with her mom is to avoid boredom for Dylan while she’s not having class.

“It’s normally the best part of my day,” she said.

She loves reading the online comments left on each photo, but her favorite thing is spending time with her mom. “I spend time with my mom because normally she works and everything, so now we can really bond,” she said.

[email protected]

See more images on Ali Roddam’s Facebook page:

© Colonist of the time of copyright

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Hassrick is known as a “giant” in the world of museums and art | Local News

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A true leader in the world of museums and art, Peter Hassrick died on Friday at the age of 78.

“Peter was truly one of the giants of the museum world,” said Peter Seibert, executive director of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “The world of museums, especially in the Rocky States, is small and there are many interconnected circles. He was regarded by everyone not only as a brilliant scholar, but also as a true gentleman in every sense of the word.

Hassrick began working as a high school history and Spanish teacher in the 1960s, but then found his true calling in art history.

“Peter was truly one of the most important art historians of his day and no one worked more passionately than he to bring international attention to West American art,” said Karen McWhorter , curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum. “This unprecedented passion combined with a singular intellect has inspired a multitude of influential exhibitions, conferences and publications.”

His career began in Fort Worth at the Amon Carter Museum as curator of collections. In 1976, Hassrick became director of what was then the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, a position he held for 20 years.

“During his tenure, he catapulted the Center into national and international spotlight, consolidated the institution’s finances, oversaw an impressive improvement in the physical facility of the museum, and fostered the growth of collections and staff,” said McWhorter said. “It is important to note that he oversaw the founding of the Plains Indian Museum in 1979, working hand-in-hand with an advisory board made up of representatives of the Plains Tribes to create an award-winning installation.”

Hassrick also helped establish a research library in the Center.

“Over time, he was responsible for encouraging large donations of rare books and unique archival collections to the library,” said Mary Robinson, Housel director of the McCracken Research Library. “Without his persistent efforts and generous contributions, the McCracken Research Library would not be what it is today, a solid and consistent resource for scholarship on the American West. Peter Hassrick was a unique person. In him we have lost a beloved scholar and colleague.

Hassrick also shaped the Whitney Western Art Museum through his acquisition of works of art; published articles, essays, books and online resources inspired by the collection, and organized numerous exhibitions including, most recently, Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley (2015) and Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West (2018).

“Peter was full of ideas and was never without an exciting project,” said McWhorter. “He was the kind of person who could easily inspire a room full of people to join him in any business. When Pierre spoke, people listened. When Peter spoke, it was a difficult act to follow.

After leaving the Center, Hassrick became the founding director first of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, and then of the Charles Russell Center for the Study of Western American Art at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He then established the Petrie Institute of American Western Art at the Denver Art Museum.

Since 2011, Hassrick has served as Director Emeritus and Principal Investigator of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

“We were so lucky that he decided to go back to Cody to retire in 2011, although to Peter retirement seemed a little different than it is for most. He kept an office at the Center and worked longer hours than many paid employees, ”said McWhorter. “Peter was my Google… really, he was better than Google. If I had a question related to museum work or West American art or history, I would ask Peter and be completely confident in his answer.

“He was the last word on countless subjects, and I was fortunate to count him as a friend and colleague for a decade, someone who would always take time for me and my questions.”

Seibert became executive director in November 2018 and said he spoke with Hassrick frequently.

“He was a great personal resource for me and was totally dedicated to the best interests of the institution,” he said. “Together, we found common ground on the story of Joseph Henry Sharp, the artist from New Mexico and Montana, who was Peter’s passion last year. I was honored in my first few months here that he asked me to write a foreword to the book he wrote on this subject.

Hassrick is widely acclaimed for his reasoned books and catalogs on Albert Bierstadt, Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington, George Carlin and Buffalo Bill, among others.

“He literally ‘wrote the book’ – in his case books (over 25 and contributed to over 50) – about many Western American artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, AP Proctor, Ernest L Blumenschein, John Mix Stanley and others, ”McWhorter said.

He also gave time to young academics equally enamored of the West, the so-called “Hassrick mentees”.

“While others might have rightly rested on their laurels, Peter has worked tirelessly to raise the next generation of West American art lovers,” said McWhorter. “He was a busy man, but he always gave generously of his time and advice and provided great advice and important connections to many people at critical times in their careers. I am one of this group of ‘Hassrick mentees’ and couldn’t be more grateful for the decade I spent learning alongside Peter. “

Hassrick leaves behind his wife Buzzy, his two sons and their families. Plans for a celebration of life are pending.

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Why Getty Museum Artworks Don’t Need to be Evacuated During Wildfires

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The Getty Fire in Los Angeles, Calif. (Which ignited near power lines) erupted shortly after 1:00 a.m. yesterday near the 405 freeway. It has burned over 600 acres and is only contained ‘at 5 percent at the time of writing. And, with a major wind event expected to happen later in the evening that could make the wildfire worse, firefighters are working to bring the current blaze under control. Despite these concerns, the priceless artwork and artifacts inside the Getty Center will remain there. This is because the museum was designed with forest fires in mind.

The exterior of the Getty Center is made of flammable travertine stone, while the roof is covered with crushed stone that prevents embers from igniting and the interior walls are concrete. The museum is also highly compartmentalized so that each area of ​​the museum has its own state-of-the-art air system that hermetically seals the galleries and prevents smoke from interacting with the art. The internal installation also includes sprinklers. But, since water can also damage artwork, activating the sprinklers is considered a last resort.

The landscaping around the museum is also intended to ward off fires. The shrubs are made of fire-resistant acacia species, while the combustibles that fall to the ground are regularly removed and the oaks are constantly pruned. Amidst the greenery are several sprinklers that are connected (by a network of pipes) to a million gallon tank filled with water. If a fire is detected, the sprinklers will activate to prevent it from reaching the building. Additionally, Getty Center staff join the local fire department in trainings and regularly test the building’s emergency response system.

While the Getty Center is an incredible model of wildfire resistance, these kinds of modifications (originally done by Richard Meier & Partners Architects) cost $ 700 million plus a well-trained staff. This high bill is not an option for most Californians, who should instead look to the recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association for fortifying their homes against future wildfires.

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More visitors to the museum, the art gallery

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As the public relations manager for NMAG in Port Moresby, Andy plays a vital role in promoting the museum to local and international visitors as an institution of knowledge and cultural identity.

“NMAG preserves over 100,000 objects and it is my job to attract visitors to the museum, so that they can learn more about our country and enjoy the various objects on display,” she said.

“As part of the education and public programs section of the museum, I work with graphic designers, photographers, audiovisual artists, education officers and gallery attendants. We are the face of the museum and are responsible for selling the product.

The 28-year-old from the village of Matupit in eastern New Britain received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2015 and was first hired by NMAG as an exhibition agent before assuming the PR role one year. later.

Andy was recently one of 30 communications professionals from government departments and civil society organizations who completed media training in Port Moresby, with support from Australia through the Media Development Initiative ( MDI).

Held in early June, the one-day workshop covered communication planning, stakeholder mapping, developing key messages, writing for different audiences, and risk and crisis management.

Since training, Andy has been keen to apply the skills she has learned to raise the profile of the museum.

“The training taught me effective planning and focused key messages, which were previously lacking,” said Andy.

“You have to speak the same language and make sure that what you are saying is clearly received by your audience. People working in public relations and communications have a responsibility to share knowledge, tell the story and are a key part of the larger plan of the organization.

After an extensive renovation funded by Australia, the museum reopened to the public in November 2018 and has since welcomed an average of 1,400 visitors per month.

Resolute Andy and the NMAG team are now embarking on a broad communications and marketing strategy to increase local and international visitors by 40% next year.

“We aim to increase our social media presence and improve our current school programs, which target elementary schools in the city,” says Andy.

Since 2018, MDI has supported the growth of more than 200 media and communications employees across the country. One of the main goals of the program is to develop the skills of journalists from the National Broadcasting Corporation and other media organizations to create content that faithfully reflects PNG society and includes all citizens.

MDI team leader Hare Haro said the program aims to strengthen voice and accountability in PNG.

“The media provide citizens with a range of platforms to express their views and to facilitate government responsiveness. We want more citizen voices to be heard and give leaders the opportunity to respond to those voices, ”she said.

For Andy, she believes her role at the museum connects people to the country’s rich culture and history, providing a basis for future development.

“I want more Papua New Guinea to know the history of their country. I believe that in order to know where we are going as a nation, we have to know where we came from. The museum provides this platform. He acts as a guide for a young nation striving to develop.

(Emma Andy says that with better planning, the museum aims to increase visitor numbers by 40% next year)

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Jazz Notes: Jazz Museum, Art & Origins, Harrison & Eliot Jazz Heroes, P’s Place

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Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble with Franco-American singer Malika Zarra will perform at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (58 West 129th Street) on April 18 at 8 p.m.

The pianist, composer and director of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is best known for his contributions to Afro-Cuban jazz. Zarra is a French-American singer, songwriter and music producer of Moroccan origin known for her chants in Moroccan Arabic, Berber, French and English. She became interested in jazz because it was similar to traditional Arab music in the fundamental importance of improvisation. She has performed or recorded with John Zorn, Will Calhoun, Lonnie Plaxico and Michael Cain.

On April 23 at 2pm, “Toes Tapping, Brain Mapping” also takes place at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Join neuroscientist Paula Croxon and pianist Helen Sung for an afternoon of jazz with a scientific side to how and why music touches us so deeply.

This program is designed for people with dementia, their care partners, friends and families.

On April 19, the Museum of Art & Origins presents Uptown Emissaries & Visionaries, a compilation of music and poetry to stimulate understanding of Afro-Atlantic consciousness. Renowned African artist and specialist, and author of essays, reviews and books on traditional African and contemporary art, George Nelson Preston will perform from his works of poetry with We Three Thongs featuring violinists Charles Burnham and Gwen Laster on viola. Melanie Dyer, cellist Alex Waterman, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Michael Wimberly.

Admission is $ 20. Food and wine will be served. The event takes place at 430 West 162nd Street in Manhattan.

Uptown Emissaries & Visionaries is a series of 10 open sessions on Sunday afternoons with creative music improvisers from New York and three evening performances, from April 19 to October 26, 2019. To explore the ways in which speech, music and the visual arts converse with each other in a historical and contemporary Afro-Atlantic narrative, visit the full program at

The Jazz Journalists Association announced honors for 22 “jazz activists, advocates, altruists, helpers and accomplices” in 20 US cities, completing the 2019 Jazz Heroes list. From Amherst, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California, Seattle to South Florida, all heroes are in one way or another and sometimes simultaneously presenters, educators, nonprofit administrators, public faces. grassroots organizations or active actors supporting and developing US-born music in their local communities and beyond. The full list of laureates, with photographs and biographies, appears on the JJA website.

The two New York City Jazz Heroes 2019 are Sunday Jazz Parlor pianist, singer and performer / hostess Marjorie Eliot and jazz magazine promoter, mentor and founder Jim Harrison.

On April 20, Harrison’s Jazz Hero Award will be presented at Sista’s Place (456 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn) at 9 p.m. ET. Composer and trombonist Craig Harris’ Tailgators Tails will perform for two shows at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

At 86, Harrison is a promotions consultant for Jazzmobile’s summer concerts. When Dr. Billy Taylor co-founded Jazzmobile in 1965, at the height of the Black Power movement, he hired Harrison to coordinate all of the organization’s concert promotions and special events.

Prior to assuming this position, in 1961, Harrison formed a fan club for alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, hosting “listening nights” with recordings reserved for McLean. He decided to push McLean into non-traditional jazz contexts where a cabaret card was not needed. To reciprocate, McLean connected Harrison to Slug’s (the legendary East Village jazz club), where he was a music promoter from 1965 to 1972.

The promotion of concerts for Lee Morgan in Staten Island and the Bronx led Ms Management (co-directed by Maxine Gordon and Hattie Gossett) to hire Harrison as a record promoter for Boomer’s and Sweet Basil’s jazz clubs from 1976 to nineteen eighty one.

In 1979, Harrison founded and published Spotlight News. The journal began with 12 pages and flourished to 144 when it closed in 1982, to join musicians Barry Harris and Larry Ridley in founding the Jazz Cultural Theater, where he worked until 1987.

He has always been a rather low-key gentleman, with a big smile, a good sense of humor and a quick wit. Among his close friends are renowned musicians such as Jimmy Heath, Rene McLean, Craig Harris, Gary Bartz and Charles Tolliver. Although he didn’t spend time promoting himself, jazz hero Jim Harrison is widely known as a living jazz legend.

Tickets are $ 20 with advance reservation at 718-398-1766.

On April 21, Marjorie Eliot’s Jazz Hero Award will be presented at her prestigious historic residence at 555 Edgecombe Avenue, apt. 3A, 3.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m.

Loyal fans have been coming to Eliot’s Jazz Parlor for 20 years, and some have raised a younger generation of attendees. They come during the scorching heat of summer, rain and snowstorms. The Jazz Parlor has become so important that tourists from Belgium, London, Paris, Australia and Japan all mingle with local Harlem jazz lovers.

The Eliot Jazz Lounge is reminiscent of the days when clubs lined the busy streets of Harlem, when rental parties were all the rage and jazz musicians playing downtown at Three Deuces or Five Spot flocked to the city. up town to jam in a Harlem apartment until dawn. She perseveres every week to find ways to pay musicians. Every Sunday, she swears, is a paid concert, not a charity.

Donations help pay the musicians and keep the operation afloat. “The audience every week is a big surprise to me,” says Eliot. “They embrace the idea of ​​this living room jazz. They do it, and it’s just miraculous. As a member of the Association of Jazz Journalists, this writer will present both awards.

After a long winter that continues to linger P’s Place (28 Watkins Place in New Rochelle) returns with the young trumpeter Bruce Harris on April 28, 2019. The concert begins at 3 pm-5pm

Harris, born and raised in the Bronx, has appeared in two Broadway shows, “After Midnight” (2013) and “Shuffle Along” (2016), with artists including Fantasia Barrino, Patti Labelle, KD Lang, Tony Braxton and Audra McDonald’s. Harris has compiled an eclectic list of collaborations with artists including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Harry Connick Jr. and the hip-hop artist DJ Premiere.

Donations are $ 15 at the door and children are free. Refreshments will be served, and you can bring your own bottle if you wish.

For more information and reservations, call Pauline at 914-235-6398.

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Enemies of Museum Art Sales Win “Champion of Artists” Award | Archives

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PITTSFIELD – The citizens’ group who fought unsuccessfully to block sales of the Berkshire Museum will be praised this month in Boston for their efforts “to protect important art treasures.”

Save the Art-Save the Museum will be one of six individuals or groups honored as “Champion of Artists” by the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition.

The coalition is lobbying on behalf of artists and the state’s creative economy. This is the third year he has presented awards at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Statehouse.

The November 14 recognition will come two days before the last paintings on sale by the Pittsfield Museum are put up for auction in New York with reduced auction estimates.

Hope Davis, a member of Save the Art, said the prize could help raise awareness of sales of the Pittsfield Museum’s works, including two paintings by Norman Rockwell, which are expected to fetch at least $ 55 million.

“I hope this gets the right attention. That’s what’s important going forward,” Davis said of the award. “The more we can make it into an uplifting story, the better.”

The coalition said that in opposing the sales, the members of Save the Art acted “to defend the protection of all artists’ rights in regards to their inheritance wishes, from the donation of works to their collection institutions designated for the protection of works held in the public confidence by art. museums. We all owe them a big thank you. “

Norman Rockwell’s family members filed a lawsuit last fall to block sales of their relative’s paintings, claiming the artist intended the pieces he donated to the museum to remain in Pittsfield .

But this costume failed. If two remaining paintings are sold at Sotheby’s “American Art” auction on November 16, the museum will have removed and sold 22 works with the support of Attorney General Maura Healey and the Suffolk County Supreme Court.

The museum plans to use the proceeds to amortize its operations from what it says are recurring budget deficits of more than $ 1 million per year. It is also expected to invest in repairs and renovations to its facility at 39 South Street.

Today, Davis said, Save the Art members are looking for ways to protect collections elsewhere.

“We want to force lawmakers to create laws that fill these loopholes. Something that does not allow what was allowed here,” she said.

While the museum’s actions have been sanctioned by the highest court in the state, selling items from an art collection to raise funds for operations is considered an ethical violation by the field. The sales of the Berkshire Museum drew reprimands from the museum’s business groups.

Davis said Save the Art has 30 core members and has used social media to connect with 1,500 supporters over the past year.

In addition to sharing information, the group held rallies in Pittsfield, Boston and New York, sponsored a billboard on Route 7 this summer to challenge museum practices, and helped raise funds for offset legal costs.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done, and I’m not someone who’s done something like that,” Davis said. “We’re actually a community. We’re really united in our feelings about it. We come from so different backgrounds, but we’re all connected.”

In addition to pushing for legislation, Save the Art members plan to archive their research over the past year on the practice of surrender, as the process of removing works from a collection is known. They plan to make their findings available to communities who wish to challenge art sales.

“We have so much to offer in this,” Davis said of the group’s research.

A recent post on the Save the Art Facebook page came from member Linda Cleary.

“We didn’t let it go without a fight… with everyone doing what they could and that’s the real community,” Cleary wrote.

Upcoming auctions

In the meantime, the works of the museum make up lots 45 and 49 of the auction on November 16.

Both now carry lower bid ranges than Sotheby’s estimated for sales in November 2017. Those sales were canceled after Healey’s office obtained an injunction.

The first museum to be auctioned on that day will be George Henry Durrie’s “Hunter in Winter Wood”, an 1860 oil on canvas donated to the museum in 1947 by the W. Murray Crane family.

The table’s auction range is $ 300,000 to $ 500,000, down from last year’s spread of $ 400,000 to $ 500,000.

In its description online, Sotheby’s quotes author Martha Hutson, who wrote in 1977 that it was the artist’s largest painting. “Durrie’s pride in this photo is immediately seen in his unusually visible signature,” Hutson wrote. “The view is wide, the subject matter noble, the canvas wide, and the technique fine with a high technical polish. Durrie’s paintings stand out from the mainstream of mid-century American landscape painting, not only by their choice of season. , but also by their personal idiosyncrasies of style. “

Lot 49 from the auction will evoke “The Last Arrow” by Thomas Moran, an 1867 oil on canvas donated to the museum in 1915 by its founder, Zenas Crane.

The new auction range is just over half of the expected value last year. “The Last Arrow” is now listed as likely to bring in deals in the range of $ 1.2 million to $ 1.8 million.

A year ago the range was $ 2-3 million.

Sotheby’s says in its catalog that “The Last Arrow” reveals Moran’s “virtuosity as a landscape painter and his technical genius” and then quotes a critic, Richard Lagegast, who wrote this of Moran in 1900: “He did never been a simple copyist, even of nature. Everything he does is directed by an imagination so poetic, and yet so clear and truthful that his work is more akin to creation than reproduction. “

The auction begins at noon at Sotheby’s Headquarters 1334 York Ave. in Manhattan.

The ceremony on November 14 in honor of Save the Art is open to the public. It starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Statehouse. The event is part of the coalition’s 12th Artists Under the Dome program.

The Pittsfield Group Prize is in memory of Chris Walsh, a former representative of the Democratic state of Framingham who died of cancer in May.

“Chris has strongly encouraged artists to organize themselves to advocate for issues that matter to them,” the coalition said in a statement. “The artists who founded Save the Art-Save the Museum did just that.”

Larry Parnass can be reached at [email protected], @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.

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Odyssey, Jack Whitten Sculpture, The Baltimore of Museum Art

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February 3: I want the visual equivalent of jazz.

Jack Whitten, 1988

“Why am I carving wood? Jack Whitten asked this question in August 2017. He first saw the collections of African sculpture in the Brooklyn and Metropolitan Museums, as well as reproductions, when he moved to New York in the early years. 1960. He admitted that he didn’t understand it then, but he “knew that African art had a secret. Something that maybe could help me [sic] as a young black man. In 1964, Whitten met Allan Stone, the obsessive collector and expert dealer (Watch: The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art, 2007). Stone would become Whitten’s first gallery owner. Stone asked the artist to approach African sculpture with true intimacy: “Take it, smell it, smell it. In other words, it allowed Whitten to “make contact,” a real, physical touch. It was this encouragement that propelled Whitten’s sculpture. He left behind more informal multimedia assemblages.

Courtesy of the Artist’s Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photograph by Genevieve Hanson, NYC

A few years later, in 1969, Whitten and his wife, Mary, decided to visit Greece. Two nights before leaving on a trip, Whitten dreamed of a tree standing in a clearing. “The dream said, ‘When you go to Greece, you must take your carving tools with you, find this tree and cut it into a totem pole.’ “A weird dream,” he recalls. In fact, it was a harbinger that Whitten later described as “an order.” He found the tree – a 13-foot eucalyptus tree – in the square of Agia Galini, a Cretan village. Then (as now) the tree was rooted in the ground. Whitten borrowed tools from the tree’s owner, a local cabinet maker, and carved a sculpture based on his 1968 sculpture, Ancestral totem.

Whitten had carved wood when he was a student at Cooper Union in the early 1960s. His carving progressed after meeting Allan Stone. Whitten’s sculpture is direct sculpture, that is, work without conception or drawing. Known primarily for his painting, Whitten said the most important influence on his painting was sculpture: sculpture fed his painting. It was a catalyst. He had learned that “there is information encoded in African sculpture,” something akin to DNA that contains “a view of the cosmic world that has evolved over millennia.” For Whitten, this DNA went beyond culture, race and color. He sank into aesthetics and pictorialism.

Courtesy of the Artist’s Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photograph by Genevieve Hanson, NYC

Katy Siegel, co-curator of the exhibition, called Whitten a polytropic, a multifaceted man, and a polymecanos, who was exceptionally resourceful and multi-talented. The sculptures were made in Crete itself, if not in Crete. The woods he used were local to the island: walnut, black and white mulberry. He modified and transformed the sculptures with marble, copper, bone, fishing line, found objects and memorabilia. Made in Crete, there seems to be a Mycenaean influence here and there. But Alabama, African American and African influences dominate. Some objects are pure sculptures like Jug Head 1 (1965), which references and unifies the biography of Whitten in Alabama and his African American and African interests and DNA. Others, like Tribute to Kri-Kri (1985) look like Central Africa (Kongo) minkisi power figures or fetishistic objects.

Whitten’s sculptures were little known except in Crete, where, having spent summers there since 1969, he bought a hilltop property in 1984. This coincided with the 100e anniversary of the village, and its sculptures were exhibited on the beach. The heart of humanity, Anthropos # 2, Anthropos # 3 and Scorpio were in this convivial and improvised exhibition. He said he never made them with the intention of showing them. “Besides, they were in Crete. . . [But he] I knew there would be a time when it would be important to bring out the sculpture, ”where it would have a greater impact.

Courtesy of the Artist’s Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photograph by Genevieve Hanson, NYC

Among the pedestals and display platforms of the Baltimore Museum of Art, there are display cases. These are not to be overlooked. One features Whitten’s studio sneakers, which he polished with repeated applications of silver spray paint. Another display case contains daily logbooks, notes and memorabilia, documenting events, making statements and asking questions.

May 21, 86: My paintings speak of transcendence. I want them to transcend race, religion, politics, time, gender, purpose, and any known idea of ​​history.

Oct. 27: My intention is to reinvent Cubism as belonging to a modern technological society, by bringing it back to its original source: the African continent. . . I want an abstract interpretation built with a dark sensibility.

Jan 25, 88: I wish I could dissolve all time zones and travel only in light.

Whitten was an artist of exceptional intimacy, honesty and integrity, telling it exactly as through abstract art. Even in the exhibit’s educational room, there are more display cases that contain materials Whitten reveled in: discarded electronics, acrylic paint, wood, bone, and marble.

Whitten had a “memorizing impulse” that commemorated friends and public figures. The exhibition ends with eight of Whitten Black monolith paintings, which honored African Americans, ranging from James Baldwin and Terry Adkins to Maya Angelou and Ornette Coleman. Moreover, these works connect Whitten’s sculptures and paintings not only to raw physicality, but also to memory. These surfaces were made using Whitten’s sculptural techniques: cutting, sanding, grinding, chiseling and laminating. Some are printed with the designs of the workshop materials that had been molded, which were then layered and attached to the canvas.

Courtesy of the Artist’s Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photograph by Genevieve Hanson, NYC

Taken as a whole, as essayist Kwame Appiah points out, Whitten “accepted his multiple legacies with a balance that resolved them into the unity of his work. . . nothing he did can be mistaken for anything you have ever seen before. As Whitten himself concluded: “June 4: The hardest part is I never know what I want until I see it. “Rather than embodying a Western and Cartesian philosophy—”Cogito, ergo sum ”-I think so I am; Whitten manifested Léopold Sédar Senghor’s holistic proposition, “I feel, I dance the Other; I am.”

Odyssey: Sculpture by Jack Whitten, 1963-2017

The Baltimore Museum of Art, April 22 to July 29, 2018.

The Met Breuer (New York) from September 6 to December 2, 2018.

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“Yes you can!” at Art After Dark at the Newport Art Museum

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Art After Dark at the Newport Art Museum returns on Thursday, May 10 from 5 to 9 p.m. Each Art After Dark has a unique lineup for the whole family. This event joins the ranks of the many events and educational programs that the Museum currently offers in its galleries at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Admission to Art After Dark is free for Museum members and is a suggested donation of $ 10 for non-members.

This month, Art After Dark says “YES, you can! Visitors are invited to explore the newly preserved permanent collection pieces on display in the museum’s Damon Gallery, enjoy the music-filled museum as we host the 3rd annual year-end spring concert by student musicians and accomplished singers from Portsmouth Abbey School; and magical performances of the original miniature Victorian-style Toy Theater “The Clockmaker” by Newport artists Rupert Nesbitt and Rebecca Kelly in the library. Museum Art School instructor Peter Dickison will lead hands-on painting demonstrations in the gallery where guests can learn basic oil painting techniques. Like every Art After Dark month, gallery games, refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

Newport artists Rupert Nesbitt and Rebecca Kelly will perform their original miniature, Victorian-style Toy Theater play, “The Clockmaker”.
Newport artists Rupert Nesbitt and Rebecca Kelly will perform their original miniature, Victorian-style Toy Theater play, “The Clockmaker”.

Held on the second Thursday of each month, Art After Dark offers art programs, lectures, film screenings, gallery games, music, drinks and inspired conversations. Each Art After Dark is unique and full of new adventures. Spend an evening at Art After Dark: Gallery games, artistic creation, light snacks, a cash bar and a sparkling conversation await!

For more information visit

Ryan Belmore is the owner and publisher of What’s Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has been leading What’s Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore is also Senior Editor – North America for Mountain News – publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore is vice chairman of the board of directors of Fort Adams Trust and sits on the board of directors of Lucy’s Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to [email protected]

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Connecticut College Museum Studies Students Discuss Berkshire Museum Art Sale | Archives

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NEW LONDON, Connecticut. – When their teacher pulled out the playing cards, it was time for the Connecticut College Introductory Museum Studies class to take sides.

Ege Sakirt, a junior, looked at Professor Christopher B. Steiner and drew a black card.

That color put him and a dozen classmates on the side of the Berkshire Museum – and on a collision course with those who ended up with red cards: enemies of the Pittsfield institution’s plan to sell 40 works of art. art ceded.

With the museum on the verge of withdrawing $ 60 million or more from its collection, the payoff for students of museum practice – here and across the country – is the problem itself.

“It was a gold mine for museum studies – and it’s happening right now,” said Sakirt, who lives in Amherst, Mass.

After weeks of study that included field trips to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge and the Berkshire Museum, the two debate teams argued verbally on Thursday in front of an audience in the school’s one-story Shain Library. below a collection of Asian art.

In two decades of teaching, Steiner says he’s never had such a problem that cession – the method by which museums remove items from a collection – weighs so deeply on his agenda.

“It’s really a story that unfolds and continues,” Steiner told the debate teams, after their members fed on pizza and cupcakes and went through their arguments one last time. “It worked amazingly for this class.”

And not his alone.

At Harvard Extension School in Boston, where students can earn certificates in museum studies, Jennifer Lawrence spent the past weekend researching an article about the Berkshire Museum’s plan to auction works. This business is now suspended for at least another week by court order, amid an investigation by the attorney general’s office.

“To be honest, I could go either way,” Lawrence told The Eagle.

But she was planning to back the museum’s decision to auction works, including the jewel in its collection, Norman Rockwell’s painting “Shuffleton’s Barbershop”.

Lawrence’s instructor Katherine Burton Jones said she was well aware of the matter now in several Massachusetts courts.

“It’s an important question, I can tell you, and it’s created a lot of debate on both sides,” Jones said.

Spoiler alert

Let’s not go around the barbershop.

The museum side won the Connecticut College debate.

Sakirt and his classmates put their 10-minute opening to good use, two judges decided. Based on their research into the case, including documents provided by Elizabeth McGraw, chairperson of the museum’s board, they argued that the facility was in danger of shutting down, her financial situation was dire and that she needed to find a means of surviving to serve its audience, particularly weak. – income children in Pittsfield.

Selling art, the team said, is the only way to ensure the museum’s long-term existence. And serving its audience, they said, requires a change, including a shift in focus towards science and nature.

“The reality is that the Berkshire Museum is at its end of the line,” said student Emma Walsh. As she spoke, a slide displayed on the room’s “viewing wall” showed a column of red ink.

“The community needs the Berkshire Museum to stay open,” said team member Elyse King-Guffey. “We have to give up those 40 pieces.”

By drawing black cards, members of the pro-cession team knew they faced a heavy burden, in a class devoted to absorbing the accepted rules of museum practice.

As a printed program that Steiner prepared for the debate clearly shows, museum organizations denounce cases in which the proceeds of the divestiture are used for operations or renovations.

As a perceived outsider, the pro-cession side has deepened.

A member, Kezia Rogers, later said that the difficulty in finding arguments “made our arguments stronger.”

Another member, Ali Harris, later said she believed citing the needs of poor children was helping her give her team an edge. The appeal of this argument, she hoped, would counterbalance the ethical constraint of using the proceeds of the divestiture for operations.

“I think it’s huge,” said Harris.

“The education of children is more important than specific works of art,” her teammate Kenta Bloom said during the debate.

Another factor may have come into play in the format of the debate, in which participants only needed to persuade two judges.

On both sides represented, the museum has a precise plan, noted student Jake Pescatore, a member of the winning team. He and his classmates were able to pursue the merits of taking specific action (selling) to overcome a specific problem (financial shortcomings).

“I think it really helped,” Pescatore said.

The judges felt that the initial arguments for the revocation were more convincing and they were not alone.

“The ‘pro’ team had a much better opening – and that set the tone,” said Steiner, the professor.

No better in the long run

The arguments made last week against the surrender will also sound familiar to those following this issue.

Students accused the museum of exaggerating its deficit, doing too little conventional fundraising, and risking being ostracized in the museum world and discouraging future art donations.

“Money is more important to the museum than the value of artwork,” said student Sarah Stephen. “It looks like the museum is not really in a financial crisis.”

Stephen’s team opened up for sellers, staking the position.

“It is neither ethical nor practical for the museum’s long-term vision,” said Maddy Bank, a member of the team.

“Public confidence is betrayed,” added Loulou Broderick.

Others pointed out that although the museum had polled public opinion through focus groups, it had not revealed at the time that art sales would fund the change.

And they blamed the museum for ignoring what team members believed was Rockwell’s wish to keep his work visible in the Berkshires.

The format of the debate gave the teams a few minutes to regroup between the segments. They came back with rebuttals and then, after a five-minute break, with summaries.

The pro-de-membership team drew a new argument from this week’s news. Changes in the U.S. tax system, a student said in the summary, could make it even more difficult for nonprofits if fewer taxpayers itemize charitable deductions.

To wrap it up, the team called up a slide showing a review of the museum’s social media.

“Shabby and sad,” he said of the place – a sight the museum would probably want to debate on its own.

The anti-opt-out team, perhaps feeling the spur of children’s awareness, argued that the museum is not a school.

But his “no” remained somewhat unclear.

“We just think there is a better way to save the museum and save the paintings,” student Jenny Carroll said.

“They shouldn’t give up what they have,” said teammate Ben Ynocencio.

Serenity Chen added, “The museum only focuses on the present – not the future.”

The debate judges called their decision a close appeal. The two judges were Sam Quigley, director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut, and Vivian F. Zoe, director of the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, Connecticut.

Both had put aside their personal opinions on the matter.

“My heart is really to conserve the artwork and protect it for the community,” Zoe told the students, after Quigley announced the winning team.

Less “abstract” now

Even if he didn’t have to discuss the Berkshire Museum, Steiner’s classroom plan still covers the surrender.

“It’s still very abstract,” he said of the issue.

Until this fall, that is.

Steiner says he jumped at the opportunity to participate in a campus-based “career-focused learning” project that connected students with real-life issues.

“I’ve never been able to teach it where it’s so direct and so alive,” Steiner said. “In this case, we don’t know the outcome. It’s this thriller where they sit on the edge of their seats.”

Larry Parnass can be reached at [email protected], @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.

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