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Meet the MMFA’s Artist in Action Betty Plaster

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts prides itself on the regional artists we showcase in the Museum Store. Quarterly one of those artists is selected to demonstrate their craft for the public during Artist in Action in conjunction with DiVine Lunch. On Thursday, January 19, Betty Plaster will join us as Artist in Action from 12 noon to 2 P.M. in the Store to demonstrate how she creates works of art with beautifully pressed flowers.

We have a wide range of pieces from Betty that include matted 11 x 14 pieces for $40 to large-scale framed works priced at $300. Plaster has been working with flowers for many years but did not start selling her pieces professionally until April 2016. Her business The Rose Walk combines her favorite flower with the manner in which she procures her medium. Plaster said, “Every time I walk outside I am scouting new flowers and leaves to press,” making her keenly observant of her environment.BETTY PLASTER 3 for blog

When asked what are her favorite flowers to press? The artist unequivocally stated it was the rose. Plaster remarked, “My favorite flower to press are roses and especially individual rose petals. One rose bush will produce hundreds of different shades of color.” The geometric organization of her pieces contrasts the randomness of nature in a way that highlights the variance in each petal or pressed flower. Plaster is also acutely aware of the temporal nature of her pieces. She stated, “Each piece I create can never be created again since each flower or petal is unique.” This brings an added dimension to her pieces because you know it is entirely one of a kind. She said the newness of each leaf or petal and the shape it takes after it is pressed makes her most recently finished piece her favorite; she is unable to give top honor to any single work.

When asked what she thought would be the best advice to give people attempting to press and mat flowers themselves Plaster offered, “Always press more flowers than you think you will need for a picture. Some flowers will mold during the pressing process especially if they are picked during days with high humidity.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease join us on Thursday, January 19 to meet Betty Plaster, ask her any questions you may have about pressing your own flowers, and purchase her beautiful work. If you would like to join us for DiVine Lunch, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 334.240.4339. Please click here to view the menu.

Blake Rosen
Special Events Coordinator

A New Year Brings Excitement to the MMFA

With a new year comes more opportunities for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. As we enter into 2017, we anticipate that the opening of our winter exhibitions, a free movie screening, and various other events will generate enthusiasm in the River Region.

Take a look at the list of happenings for the month of January.

Film at the Museum: Midnight in Paris
Thursday, January 5, 5:30 P.M.

midnight-in-paris-for-blog

We have heard from film lovers that you would like to see the movie Midnight in Paris. Join us for Woody Allen’s 2011 comedy in which an American writer and tourist in Paris suddenly finds himself in the 1920s–interacting with the likes of Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Josephine Baker, the Fitzgeralds, and many other creative luminaries.

First Sundays
Sunday, January 8, 1 P.M.

 

Art Ed Central
Thursday, January 12, 4:30 P.M.

ED.teacher.12callout

Enjoy a gallery talk in a new exhibition at the Museum and experience related lessons to use in your classrooms at this FREE teacher workshop.

DiVine Lunch
Thursday, January 19, 11 A.M.


 

Family Art Affair and Jazz Jams
Sunday, January 22, 2 P.M.

Web.Moonstruck.2016The lunar-inspired exhibition Moonstruck: Works on Paper from the MMFA Collection is sure to inspire you in the studio, where the whole family is welcome to create vivid nighttime scenes using various printmaking techniques.

 

 

Celebrating the Opening of  Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts and Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection
Thursday, January 26, 5:30 P.M.

 

 

Fleischman Lecture: From Bed to Walls: Quilts as Art
Thursday, January 26, 7 P.M.

Web.Quilt_250x180.2016

Following the opening of Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts, Jennifer Swope, Assistant Curator, David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will explore the work of Alabama and other American quilters in the context of their transformation from bed covers to art.

 

 

 

 

Credit Information:
Figure 1: Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889–1975), Huck Finn, from the Missouri State Capitol Mural Series, 1936, lithograph on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Luther Hill in memory of William Convington, 1969.13

Figure 2: Mallory and Welch Families, Mount Ida Wedding Quilt, 1851, cotton, Lent by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama, ADAH, 86.1457.1

A Year in Review

At the end of 2016, we at the MMFA are looking back at fond memories around the museum and with our members. Below is a throwback to the top 10 blog posts of 2016, listed by date, just click the titles to read more.

Enjoy, and here’s to a happy new year in 2017!

1. Reflections on the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

An Expressive EveningIn partnership with the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the MMFA welcomed students from Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Huntingdon College, and Tuskegee University who presented Honoring the Montgomery Bus Boycott: An Evening of Artistic Celebration in the…

2. Adventures in Collecting American Art— “Albano, Italy” (ca. 1874-1876)

The MMFA’s exhibition Adventures in Collecting Art was an assemblage of twenty-seven works, including twelve Charles and Babette Wampold had previously gifted the Museum’s collection over a period of twenty-four years…

3. Art Auction 2016 

Art Auction 2016, a biennial fundraising event, proved to be one of the most memorable in both a SMART and historical sense for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. For the first time ever…

4. A Shared Legacy—Folk Art in America

SL.CatCoverBLOGSome of the most distinctive and widely collected American art today is admired for the simple fact that it is simple.  Compared with the rarified, highly refined arts and architecture of Western Europe, and the ancient productions of many other continents, centuries, and civilizations, American 19thcentury folk art generally looks, well, plain.  And that’s exactly what has made everyday people and art collectors since the early 20th century love it…

5. The Road to Crystal Bridges

If 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…

6. The 27th Annual Flimp Festival

A 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…

7. Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception 2016

Blog.Harshman.SummerOpening2016Summertime is always a welcome season at the Museum—the galleries offer a cool respite from the heat and our staff takes a mini-break from the nonstop activities of the fall and spring. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to see and do at the MMFA…

8. Women Making Art: A Panel Discussion

With creativity and innovation women artists have been involved in art making throughout the centuries. Yet, despite their efforts, traditional art history narratives often misrepresent, under-represent, and marginalize…

9. The MMFA Pays Tribute to the Military

Blog.MilitaryOpenHouse3As someone who has several loved ones and friends in the military, I know it can be difficult to pack up, move your family to a different city, and start over. That’s why we, at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, do our part each year to let all current and former military members and their immediate families know they are appreciated…

 

10. Meet Federico Uribe!

blog-uribe7-2016A lively giraffe made of colored pencils, a two-story tree made of khaki pants, a dazzling pond made of CDs – all of this and more can be found in an immersive and dreamlike exhibit created by Federico Uribe. Uribe transforms ordinary, everyday objects into extraordinary sculptures…

 

 

 

 

 

Images above:

Fig1: From Honoring the Montgomery Bus Boycott: An Evening of Artistic Celebration

Fig2: From A Shared Legacy

Fig3: From Summer Exhibitions Opening and Women Making Art

Fig4: From The MMFA Pays Tribute to the Military

Fig5: From Meet Federico Uribe!

 

The MMFA Celebrates the Holiday Season

christmas-treeAs we at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts reflect on 2016, we cannot let the year end without thanking you for your support. To show our appreciation throughout the month of December, the Museum is hosting events and opening exhibitions to get you into the holiday spirit.

Check out the happenings this month.

Tales for Tots
Wednesday, December 14, 10:30 and 11 A.M.

Tales for Tots focuses on a different work of art in the Museum’s galleries. This FREE monthly program engages preschoolers through storybooks and simple craft activities related to the artwork in focus.

Holidays in the Studios (ages 6 and older)
Wednesday, December 28 and Thursday, December 29, 10:30 A.M.

Enjoy the holiday season by making festive creations through drawing, printmaking, and mixed-media collaging! Each class features a new project, including holiday cards and winter scenes.

Federico Uribe: TransformartWebsite.Uribe.Fox
Now through January 8, 2017 

Colombian-born, Miami-based artist Federico Uribe creates magical creatures and playful installations from everyday objects.

Boydell Shakespeare Gallery Engravings
Now through January 8, 2017

Interest in the writings of William Shakespeare, particularly his plays, flourished in the 1770s and 1780s. Literary critics, theatrical performers, and playwrights all agreed that he was the finest dramatist in the history of the English language. These engravings focus on scenes from plays by the Bard of Avon, and the immortal characters who come to life in Shakespeare’s writings.

Look Here, Look Now: Fashion, Costume, and Style in Art Web.Fashion.2016
Now through January 29, 2017

Visual artists have consistently taken cues from society to create portraits, not just of their contemporaries, but also of the times themselves. One of the key social indicators that artists include in their works is clothing.

Moonstruck: Works on Paper from the MMFA Collection
Now through January 8, 2017

Perhaps no phenomenon of nature depicted in art carries more romantic resonance than images of the moon. Artists throughout history have included it, and its gentle light, to convey a sense of romance in their work.

 

 

Credit Information:
Figure 2: Federico Uribe (American, born Colombia 1962), Fox, 2015, mixed media, Lent by the artist

Figure 3: Kenneth Hayes Miller, Leaving the Shop (aka Woman with Packages), 1934, etching on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1982.6.1

How Will You Give? #GivingTuesday 11.29.16

We have a day for gBlog.Giving.1iving thanks. We have two for getting deals (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), now we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 28, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company, or your organization to give a little bit more—share, inspire, make a difference.

Of course if you need help figuring out where you can donate your time or money, we want you to consider the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. When you make a gift to the MMFA on #GivingTuesday, your donation will be matched by philanthropists Corinna and Barry Wilson.

Your gift will directly impact the Museum’s mission. For example, your money will provide educational programs both here at the Museum and in underserved areas of the community like the Alabama Department of Youth Services’ Mt. Meigs Campus, and Wares Ferry Elementary School. Your gifts will also be used to present exciting special exhibitions like Transformart. Additionally, private funds support the care of our permanent collections, helping us leave a legacy for to future residence of the River Region.

Most importantly, your donations enable the MMFA to remain a free attraction to Montgomery area residents and visitors from around the U.S. and the world, allowing all families to enjoy new cultural experiences regardless of income.

Are you looking to volunteer in order to serve or make a difference? Check out these volunteer opportunities at the Museum.Ants.1

This season, keep the holiday spirit and the MMFA in your heART.

Jen Eitzmann
Development Officer

Click Here to Make a Donation to the MMFA

Volunteer Recognition 2016 Is One to Remember

volunteer-recognition-1The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was delighted to host a dinner on Tuesday, October 25, to honor our many volunteers.  The theme was “Stars Falling on Alabama,” and we had many stars to shine the light back on!   As Volunteer Coordinator I am very lucky to get to share the talents and energy of many caring individuals.  Our wonderful Museum volunteers are a dedicated and humble group, always willing to say yes to projects, large and small.   We have many people (of all ages) that donate countless hours throughout the year.  This allows the museum to extend the quantity and quality of educational programs and exhibitions that are provided annually.  The volunteer opportunities are as numerous and varied as the individuals that fulfill them. The Board members, Committee members, Junior Executive Board (JEB) members, MUSES Teen Council, Docents, and Special Event Volunteers all contribute to a wonderful sense of a community.  I am very thankful to be a part of this creative environment and look forward to a fun and fascinating year to come.

volunteer-recognition4volunteer-recognition3At the Volunteer Recognition Dinner Director Mark Johnson introduced the evening with a warm welcome and remarks about the many contributions of those being honored. Afterwards, Curator of Education Alice Novak and I presented awards to the following “stellar” people:  Mary Dunn was recognized for her Outstanding Leadership; Excellence in Community Outreach went to Savanna Moore and Sarah Struby; The First Impressions Desk Awards went to Mattie Dejarnette and Sheryl Rosen. Tom Sellers was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Public Programs; the Outstanding Education Intern was Madeline Burkhardt this year; Nancy McBride was awarded the Rookie of the Year; Luigi Edwards was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Family Programs and the Teen Leadership Awards went to Marlee Bryant and Meili Wang.  Some of the Docents had received awards during the year and were recognized once again.  They were: George Jacobsen, Grace Cook, Gloria Simons, Frank Gitschier, Paula Smith, Binnie Coats, Paula Smith, Penny Thompson and Meg Hall.

volunteer-recognition2The Museum is fortunate to have wonderful people (from 18 to 90 years old) that share their time and talents with us and make such a difference in the lives of our visitors. As a staff person, I feel doubly blessed to be part of such a “stellar” place and look forward to the new adventures that await us here at the Museum.

Meg Hall
Volunteer Coordinator

A Time to Give Thanks at the MMFA

It is hard to believe we are approaching the end of 2016. As residents reflect on what they are thankful for throughout the month of November, here at the MMFA, we would like to give back. We are offering the River Region opportunities to see exciting exhibitions, take enjoyable and productive art classes, and so much more. The activities of November include a movie screening, a chance to learn more about the history of political cartooning and Alabama politics, and a spectacular way for you to get your holiday shopping done early.

Check out the list of happenings this month.

pollock-for-blog-5Films at the Museum: Pollock
Thursday, November 3 at 5:30 P.M.

Join us for the 2000 film Pollock, chronicling the abstract expressionist painter’s dramatic life in the 40’s and 50’s – from obscurity to fame, with fellow artist Lee Krasner – and his tragic end.

First Sundays
Sunday, November 6, 1 P.M.

spangler-for-blogGallery Talk: The Political Cartoons of Frank M. Spangler, Sr.
Sunday, November 6, 2 P.M.

On the eve of the 2016 elections, the Museum will hold a gallery talk engaging the political cartoons of Frank M. Spangler, Sr., printed in the Montgomery Advertiser in the 1920’s and 30’s. The discussion will be led by Jim Earnhardt of the Media Production Group at Auburn University and the artist Marguerite Edwards.

Holiday Wood Carving
Saturdays: November 12, and November 19, at 1:30 P.M.

tucci-for-blogArtist Market
Friday, November 18, 5:30 P.M. and Saturday, November 19, 10 A.M.

Please join us for our 7th annual Artist Market beginning with a preview event on Friday, November 18 from 5:30-8PM.  The market will continue on Saturday, November 19 from 10AM-4PM in the Lowder Gallery and Rotunda of the MMFA.  In addition to our outstanding regional artists featured daily in the Museum Store, we are delighted to welcome Kathleen Nowak Tucci as our Featured Artist.

Family Art Affair and Jazz Jams
Sunday, November 20, 2 P.M.

Museum Store Black Friday Sale
Friday, November 25, 11 A.M.

 

 

 

Credit Information:
Figure 2: Frank M. Spangler, Sr. (American, 1881–1946), Political Bridge Builder, ca. 1930; ink, conté crayon, Chinese white, and graphite on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist, 1931.16.24

 

Meet Federico Uribe!

blog-uribe4-2016A lively giraffe made of colored pencils, a two-story tree made of khaki pants, a dazzling pond made of CDs – all of this and more can be found in an immersive and dreamlike exhibit created by Federico Uribe. Uribe transforms ordinary, everyday objects into extraordinary sculptures of the natural world. The Muses Teen Council was fortunate enough to experience a first-hand viewing of Federico Uribe: Transformart and conducted a personal interview with the artist.

Uribe’s artistic philosophy consists of more than just making statements, but instead creating feelings and beauty. He simultaneously imbues his own image and background in his art and attempts to evoke the same self-discovery in the viewer. Uribe grew up in Colombia on a farm and experienced a difficult childhood, but he found an escape through drawing. Colored pencils hold a special place in Uribe’s heart as a means to a personal childhood escape. This material is a common medium of his, and he believes every child can relate to drawing with colored pencils as a creative escape.

blog-uribe6-2016Uribe studied painting as a young adult, enjoying the Renaissance style until an exploration of his identity allowed him to discover a more contemporary artistic voice. Through his growth, Uribe reverted to valuing child-like wonder over the pretension and lack of originality he found in aspects of the art world. This free-spirited nature shone through in his wardrobe—plaid slacks with running shoes and a sports jacket—and posture, leaning nonchalantly across a cart as we interviewed him.

blog-uribe7-2016He offered some valuable advice for young artists: don’t procrastinate, don’t read art magazines, and don’t be pretentious. Working hard is natural to Uribe who works 10 hours a day 6 days a week, walking the beach and cycling on his free day. The Muses found inspiration in his confident self-expression and diligent work ethic to encourage us along our own artistic journeys. Thank you for letting us into your world Federico.

 

Written By MUSES Members: Cael Barragan, Marlee Bryant, Mikaela, Enriquez Shelly Lim, Gracie Moore, Hailey Palmer, Carson Scott, Meili Wang

 

To learn more about teen programs at the MMFA, contact Alice Novak anovak@mmfa.org. 240-4361

Last Call/Art in Concert

last-call-septThe Junior Executive Board of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts welcomed more than 100 young professionals to Last Call on September 1 in conjunction with the exhibition Photorealism. Guests sampled IPA and Pilsner from Railyard Brewing Company. They also dined on Red Beans and Rice and Jambalaya from The Seafood Bistro. All were encouraged to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a stock the cellar prize package or VIP tickets to Art in Concert that will be held on Friday, October 14, 2016. The JEB raised more than $600 to support the Artist in Residency Program–Learning Through Art at Wares Ferry Road featuring the likes of Barbara Davis and Darius Hill.

AIC16_OnExhibit ad_3x4Looking to the fall, the JEB is very excited to announce Daniel Elsworth and the Great Lakes as the featured band for the 5th annual Art in Concert.  Previous artists have included St. Paul and the Broken Bones and The FUTUREBIRDS. For the first time, there will be a VIP Tent sponsored by Pine Bar and Vintage Year offering free food and drink to those who purchase a $50 VIP ticket. General admission tickets are $15. All tickets can be purchased in advance here. We will be selling general admission tickets at the gate the night of the event. As always, this event is rain or shine! Please bring blankets and chairs, but no outside food or drink. Both will be available during the concert for purchase using either cash or card. Make sure to follow the JEB on Facebook (MMFA Junior Executive Board) and Instagram (mmfajuniorboard) for updates on food vendors, band information, and ticket flash sales!

last-call-sept-2-2Are you interested in joining the JEB?  The Junior Executive Board works to advocate the programs of the MMFA to young professionals in the River Region. Through significant fundraising events, the JEB supports major exhibitions and the Education Department of the MMFA. We are always looking for new faces to be part of this board of young people. If you would like to be considered for the 2017 board, please submit a cover letter and resume to Blake Rosen between October 1 and November 11  via email at brosen@mmfa.org. The new board will be announced December 1.

We hope to see everyone October 14 for Art in Concert!

Blake Rosen
Special Events Coordinator

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