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Month: May 2016

The 27th Annual Flimp Festival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA spell of great weather accompanied by a strong camaraderie between the MMFA and Booker T. Washington Magnet High School contributed to the 2016 Flimp Festival making a lasting impression on LaToya Steele.
Steele said, “This is my first time coming. I didn’t know what to expect today. I loved the band, the dancers, and singers from BTW.”

Steele family FlimpSteele was among the nearly 2500 people who attended this year’s event. Her daughter, Carlisha, helped make up the group of 500 BTW students who helped the Museum prepare to make sure this showcase of art and education went smoothly. Carlisha Steele said, “It’s interesting. There was a lot of stuff going on.”

Koch-FlimpSeveral spectators echoed the  Steele’s sentiments. Rick Koch came specifically to see the sidewalk chalk art competition, but left with a deeper appreciation of what the festival has to offer. Koch said, “This was an awesome event especially for the kids. I will definitely come back next year.”

This year’s theme “Picture Yourself at the Flimp Festival” inspired Koch’s daughter and nearly 330 others to create remarkable chalk images of musical artists like Prince and David Bowie, and actress Audrey Hepburn. Two of those mentioned made the list of winners.

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Elementary School
1st (pictured on the left): Swan Lake
2nd: Destination Unknown
3rd: Singing Beauty
Theme: Mother Teresa

MS-1stPlace-UniquePerspectiveFlimp

Middle School
1st (pictured on the right): Unique Perspective
2nd: Woof
3rd: Tribute to Picasso
Theme: Audrey

 

HS-1stplace Flimp Chalk-Untitled

High School
1st (pictured on the left): Untitled
2nd: Portrait Palette
3rd: Our Aesthetic
Theme: Interpretation

 

Adult-FirstPlaceandThemeFlimp-Charles

Adult
1st (pictured on the right): Charles
2nd: Bowie
3rd: The Woman Behind the Magic
Theme: Charles

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There were other attractions like the Do-Dah parade. BTW’s jazz band led the 15- minute procession as guests watched in amazement. Can you imagine 30 dogs, decked out from head to paw, strolling through the Museum’s parking lot wagging their tails to the beat? It happened. This dog-gone cute entertainment helped two dogs get adopted from the Montgomery Humane Society.

Other highlights at Flimp included arts and crafts activities such as face painting, a treasure hunt, and interactive musical performances by Dave Holland. Holland, a non-traditional artist and musician, received rave reviews from the audience. He showed spectators how conga drums, rattles, and animal bones can become a fun jam session for everybody.

If you didn’t get a chance to enjoy the fun this year, don’t worry. The MMFA hosts the Flimp Festival the first Saturday in May every year. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Click here to see a recap of the day’s festivities.

Cynthia Milledge
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Class of 2016 Docents Graduate Thursday Evening

For teachers and students, it’s nearing the end of another school year, and graduation is in the air!  It’s no different for our MMFA docent corps, who will this Thursday evening, May 12, see their newest members graduate from the New Docent Program into the ranks of our talented active, senior docents.  The docents of the 2015-16 class have already participated in Outreach, Studio, Artworks, and gallery tours, and have made their year-end presentations to the Museum staff and active docents. Those presentations were innovative, enlightening, and entertaining, and we are looking forward to incorporating this diverse and talented group into the active docent corps.

My conversations with the members of the 2015-16 docent class are summarized below:

Maria Freedman docentMaria Freedman

Maria came to Montgomery in 1995, by way of Germany and Illinois. She was an art teacher for 40 years, and, during that time, taught a weekend workshop for children at the MMFA and participated annually in the Flimp Festival. She retired in May 2015, and is looking forward to having more time to work on her own art, but, she says, she still needs structure in her day, so in addition to being a new docent, she assists with the Respite Program at First United Methodist Church and is a member of the Selma Art Guild.

Frank Gitschier2 docent-smallFrank Gitschier

A graduate of the University of Louisville, where he was a second string All-American football player, Frank spent 34 years working for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office before retiring in 2012. Alice Novak and Jill Barry, whom he met at a dinner party, recruited him into the docent program. A firm believer in the maxim that “a picture is worth a 1,000 words,” he loves leading gallery talks, but is scared (he claims) of leading a studio lesson.

Meg Hall DocentMeg Hall

Before moving to Montgomery in 1996, Meg, who has a master’s degree in social work, lived in Wisconsin and in Auburn, working with children, disabled persons, and the elderly. She also earned a second-degree black belt in karate. In Montgomery, she worked in the Golf Shop at Wynlakes Country Club. Just as she was leaving her employment there, she heard about the docent program from Alice Novak’s friend Foad, a massage therapist at Mind and Body Holistic Spa in Cloverdale. Meg’s favorite part of the docent program is the people. She loves working with children, and helping with Artworks and studio activities.

Evelyn Jackson docent
Evelyn Jackson

Evelyn has operated several small businesses centered on flowers and plants. Now she is a Spanish language interpreter and translator. She says that she needed – and found – a new direction in her life when a friend recommended the docent program to her. Not surprisingly for someone with a degree in English literature, she believes that art is evocative of the range of human experience, and she finds herself looking at art in verbal terms.

Nam Kim docentNam Jung Kim

With a master’s degree in business administration, Nam spent 20 years in marketing. When she and her family moved to Montgomery, she visited the Museum and found it to be a “peaceful and comfortable” place. She called Alice, offering to do marketing work for the Museum and was persuaded to become a docent, which, she said, has turned out to be a wonderful way of getting to know Americans and being part of a community.

 

 

Wanica Means docentWanica Means

After living in San Francisco during her working life (which included being a model), Wanica moved to Montgomery to be near family and to be in a place where the cost of living was reasonable.   She reinvented herself by starting an etiquette consulting firm and, along with active docent Phyllis Hall, formed a women’s social club – “Fit and Fun and Fifty Plus.” When Phyllis suggested that she become a docent, Wanica responded, “Free art history class every week? Count me in!” Like Nam, she has found a sense of community in the docent program.

Nicki Rupe 2-docent smallNicki Rupe

Before coming to Alabama, Nicki spent most of her years in California, where she served as the executive secretary to CEOs of biotech companies and to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Here in Montgomery, she has re-launched a business, begun in California, as a professional organizer and home stager. She has always considered playing a role in an art museum, perhaps because she understands that she, like an artist with a blank canvas, “has a passion to create something beautiful from what seems like mayhem.” She believes that the docent program has given her a more discerning eye to appreciate the masterpieces that grace walls of the Museum and she is grateful that the MMFA reaches out to the community to share its treasures.

Marilyn Simpson docentMarilyn Simpson

Marilyn spent 42 years in higher education in California, Virginia, and Alabama. When she left the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service in 2001, she resolved to start on her bucket list, part of which was to become a museum docent. During her travels, she had visited many museums and had found them to be lovely, well-maintained places filled with beautiful things. She decided that her retirement years were going to be surrounded by beauty and the docent program has helped her accomplish that goal. She says, “What could be better than a year filled with a free education in art and beauty?

Gretchen Sippial docentGretchen Sippial

Alice’s friend Foad at Mind and Body Holistic Spa recruited Gretchen’s husband to be a docent, and, when her husband indicated that he was not interested, Gretchen jumped at the chance. (Sounds like Foad should be an honorary docent!). Despite having an undergraduate degree in art, she was not inspired, she says, by her own work and decided to pursue other careers – in management, construction, and higher education. Now, however, she has come full circle and is inspired by the art she is learning about here at the MMFA.

 

Carroll Thompson docentCarroll Thompson 

Carroll was born and raised in Memphis and is a graduate of Rhodes College (formerly Southwestern at Memphis), where she majored in fiber arts. Her three lifelong interests have been theater, dance, and art. She has taught ballet and loves doing art projects with children. She came to the docent program through her friend, active docent Carol Tew. Carroll loves “art history Mondays” and enjoys being part of the docent community at the MMFA .

Congratulations to all the members of the MMFA’s 2015-16 docent class and we warmly welcome them to our active membership.

Mary Lil Owens
New Docent Representative

 

 

 

 

 

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