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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Month: April 2016

Join us for Flimp!

GREENWe are hard at work gearing up for the 27th annual Flimp Festival to be held Saturday, May 7, on the Museum grounds. Our theme this year is Picture Yourself at Flimp. Over 300 artists will be participating in the Chalk Art Competition, working around the concept of portraits. We can’t wait to see how they design and execute their squares! The Museum is grateful to our many chalk art sponsors, but we are still looking for more. If you’re interested in sponsoring a square, please call Alice Novak at 334.240.4362.

FlimpBlog#5.2015.0004The Do-Dah Pet Parade will kick off at 10:30 A.M. led by the Booker T. Washington Magnet High School Brass Band. You can pre-register your pet online at www.mmfa.org or on Saturday starting at 10 A.M. There will be lots of prizes for best costumes courtesy of Petland, so make sure to dress up your furry friends for a chance to win! We are excited to be working with the Humane Society of Montgomery again this year and will have shelter dogs on site that are available for adoption.

Flimp Blog#1.2014.0022BTW students will be performing across two stages throughout the day. Performances will begin at 10 A.M. and end at 2 P.M. with new acts every 45 minutes. The students will also be manning a face-painting tent in the circle drive.

FlimpBlog#42012.0098Winfred Hawkins and Stephen Davis will be leading hands-on art activities as our demonstrating artists outside. Our studios will be full of fun projects and hat making will occur in the Orientation Circle. Be sure to sit in on a drum circle with Dave Holland in the Lowder Gallery and explore portraits from the Museum’s permanent collection via the Treasure Hunt starting in the Rotunda.

We are excited to be working with the Clean City Commission again this year for Funky Junk creating art from found and recycled objects. Family Sunshine Center will be here with their beautiful and unique birdhouses on display in the Rotunda. The Montgomery Advertiser will be on the grounds with selfie sticks taking candid shots with the attendees to stream live on their website throughout the day. We are thrilled that Nancy’s Italian Ice will be back and are happy to announce That’s My Dog will be providing the concessions for the day. So make sure to stop by the hot dog stand for your lunch and have Italian Ice for dessert!

FlimpBlog#2.2014.0054The Museum is grateful for the help of Bluewater Broadcasting, LLC, Cumulus Broadcasting, The Montgomery Advertiser, River Region Magazine, Parents Magazine, WSFA-TV, The Alabama News Network, and American Klassic Designs. We also want to thank the BTW teachers and students for their partnership in this event and our Museum volunteers and docents without whom this event would not be possible.

See you May 7th!

Blake Rosen
Special Events Coordinator

The Road to Crystal Bridges

Blog.CrysBridg.CathedralGroupIf you have an interest in American art and history, you have likely heard of the greatest art museum and collection built in the U.S. in recent memory.  Located in the small Arkansas town of Bentonville, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (as well as the surrounding grounds and nearby town) give new meaning to the term “art environment.”  On the weekend of April 15 to 17, a group of MMFA patrons, docents, and staff set off to explore this amazing destination.  And, while it’s not an easy spot to access (either by air or land), it is well worth the journey. Pictured is the group at the Cooper Memorial Chapel (front to back, left to right): Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, Connie Morrow, Emilie Reid, Connor Carraway, Jim Barganier, Pete Land, Bill Little, Joan Loeb, Jane Barganier, Liz Land, Mary Lil Owens, and Alice Novak.

Blog.CrysBridg.SculptureJust a bit of background.  The concept of constructing a museum of American art in Bentonville was the brainchild and mission of Alice Walton, who is the daughter of Walmart, Inc. founder Sam Walton.  Bentonville was the small-town home of the original store, and it remains the site of the corporate headquarters.  Alice and her siblings were raised in Bentonville, and they spent their childhoods playing on the nearby property that has been converted into Crystal Bridges (named for Crystal Spring that traverses the landscape.)  Many in the art world power centers were bemused by this Southerner’s determination to purchase a collection of great American art (from scratch) and donate it to a public institution in rural Arkansas. However, art tourists from all over the country are now making the pilgrimage to experience the remarkable result. At the outset, Alice Walton proceeded to allocate her own funds, and raise other funds necessary, to create what is today a magnificent collection, with great works of art from the 18th to the 21st centuries.  The MMFA group enjoyed discussions of only a fraction of the masterpieces in the collection including Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter. Blog.CrysBridg.Museum

The art in Crystal Bridges is chronologically installed in a structure designed around water by the Boston-based architect Moshe Safdie.  Sited in the midst of acres of what can best be described as “landscaped woodlands,” a visit to Crystal Bridges is an experience of both artistic and natural beauty.  There are 3 miles of trails that allow the visitor to experience an assortment of flowering trees, plants, and outdoor sculpture.  The museum grounds are also home to a Sky Space installation titled The Way of Color (2009) by the artist James Turrell, and a re-located Usonian home, The Bachman-Wilson House (1954) by Frank Lloyd Wright, both of which the group enjoyed during the weekend.

The group stayed at the 21c Museum Hotel located off the square in downtown Bentonville​.  The hotel hosts changing exhibitions of contemporary art, and the creative environment extends to the excellent food in the hotel restaurant, the Hive.  From 21c it’s​ a pleasant 20-minute walk through the woodlands to​ the museum.  An additional excursion to E. Fay Jones’ Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel continued the theme of stunning art and architecture in the natural setting of Northwest Arkansas.    Blog.CrysBridg.ArtTalk 

Like a fine jewel nestled in an equally precious setting, it is the collection of American art that draws the visitor to Crystal Bridges, and the centerpiece of any visit will be the works of art on view in the Museum’s chronological installation.  Alice Walton’s vision was to create a collection of great works (which of course these days requires expenditures in the millions of dollars) with a far reaching educational mission, and she and the museum staff have made that vision a reality.  Featuring an assemblage ranging from Colonial and Federal portraits by painters such as John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart, to twenty-first century installation works by sculptors such as Louise Bourgeois and Felix Gonzales-Torres, the collection rivals those of the major art museums in America—and it’s still growing.

We thank those that joined us for this adventure:​ Jane and Jim Barganier, Liz and Pete Land, Joan Loeb, Connie Morrow and her son Connor Carraway, Mary Lil Owens and Bill Little, and Emilie Reid.  We also thank Alice Walton, whose passion for American art and her hometown have​ created the ultimate synthesis of art and nature in America’s heartland.

 

Alice Novak
Curator of Education

Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Curator of Paintings and Sculpture

Director’s Circle Dinner 2016

Blog.DCDinner.MergedSponsors

The Director’s Circle Dinner is my favorite night at the Museum. Once a year we gather our most dedicated supporters for a “thank you” dinner. This group collectively provides over $400,000 that directly supports the Museum’s exhibition, education, and acquisition programs.  We quite literally could not do what we do with out them.

Blog.DCDinner.Group1This year, showing true dedication, 150 Circle members fought the terrific rainstorms to join director Mark Johnson and his wife Amy, along with our hosts,  Gene and Ray Ingram of Jack Ingram Motors & Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc. and Margaret and Jimmy Lowder of The Colonial Company (pictured above) for a delicious dinner in the Museum’s Lowder Gallery.

During brief remarks, Mark, along with MMFA President Roger Spain, Sculpture Garden Committee Chair Barrie Harmon, and Mayor Todd Strange shared with the crowd some of the Museum’s most recent accomplishments. These include planning for the new Sculpture Garden, as well as the acquisition of a major painting by Thomas Hart Benton, Ozark Autumn, 1949, for the permanent collection.

Blog.DCDinner.Mark&Group1As guests left the warm and spring-like atmosphere of the dinner to venture back into the Montgomery weather, they took a small pot containing seeds as a “thank you” for helping us grow. Because of Directors Circle consistent support, the Museum continues to thrive.

 

Jill Barry
, Deputy Director

 

The Art of Baking Puppet Show

Cast of PuppeteersMontgomery Public Schools’ kindergarteners enjoyed the magic of seeing puppets bring a wonderful story emphasizing play and creativity to life during MMFA’s annual puppet show, The Art of Baking. The memorable characters guided children into a world of colors and shapes, texture and music, mixed with a dose of laughter.

The Art of Baking was followed by a mini-tour of the galleries called Cake Walk. Both incorporate learning techniques that introduce the children to all the Museum has to offer, and establishes it as a place for fun and for a lifetime of learning.   Free admission was offered to 2500 MPS Kindergarteners during March.

Artofbakingposter.red2It’s not too late for you and your young children to enjoy The Art of Baking. Public performances will be offered in April for children 3 to 6 years of age. This is a reservation only program and is FREE. Two shows will be held each day at 9:30 and 10:45 A.M. on April 5, 6, and 7, 2016. Please contact tour coordinator Jill Byrd at 334.240.4359 to register.Puppet-Show 2016

 

Jill Byrd
Tour Coordinator

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