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The MMFA Celebrates the Holiday Season

christmas-treeAs we at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts begin to reflect on all of the wonderful and amazing occurrences of 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 several events and opening exhibitions in the hope of getting you into the holiday spirit.

Check out the list of 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 at 10:30 A.M.

Enjoy the holiday season by making festive creations through drawing, printmarking, 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.

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

Join us for Collectors Society 2016–17

blog-collectorssociety2Along with the beautiful days of fall, many MMFA members also look forward to a new Collectors Society season.  The annual program combines several excursions around the Southeast with luncheon lectures at the Museum – all with a focus on collecting art and art collections. During the spring there will also be a chance for Collectors Society members to make art – ceramic vessels inspired by the exhibition Nature, Tradition, and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics.

In fact, many of the Collectors Society activities this year are dedicated to creations by living artists.  We will kick off with a visit from Federico Uribe, whose installations made of everyday materials will be featured in the MMFA exhibition Federico Uribe:Transformart.  We will also be presented with wearable works of art made of everyday materials when we hear from MMFA Artist Market featured artist Kathleen Nowak Tucci.  The Birmingham Museum of Art will illuminate us further in the exhibition Third Space/shifting conversations about contemporary art.

blog-collectorssociety1At the same time, with all of the wonders of contemporary art, we might pause to ask whether we are losing touch with tradition?  Spalding Nix of Spalding Nix Fine Art in Atlanta will address the topic with “Millennials Don’t Polish Silver.”  But back to that beautiful fall weather, you won’t want to miss Dale Chihuly’s stunning glass works in Chihuly in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

We hope you will join Collectors Society today; we are waiting for you! For a full listing of events or to register, please click here.

 

Alice Novak
Curator of Education

 

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.  The Museum is hosting its free annual Military Open House on Thursday, August 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M.

You never know who you might meet. Last year, 96-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran, Roscoe Brannon, came in for the event. Before leaving, he gave me a quick hug and said, “I loved it. I am glad my granddaughter brought me here.” Priceless moments like that one are bound to occur this year.

MMFA Museum Director Mark Johnson remarked, “We value the contributions made by the Maxwell and Gunter communities. This family-oriented activity allows us the opportunity to express our gratitude for the commitment and sacrifices made by our military neighbors and friends.”

Blog.MilitaryOpenHouse2Everyone enjoys art-making activities in our studios and exploring the MMFA’s summer exhibitions and permanent collections through docent-led tours. ARTWORKS, our interactive interpretive galleries, will be open too. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the always popular Lo-Fi Loungers. The band is known for playing hits and misses of the pre-World War II era, and they also venture into the 50’s and 60’s.

Our guests for the evening will also enjoy an outstanding buffet generously provided by Wintzell’s Oyster House. The dinner menu includes fried fish, coleslaw, hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, and dessert.

Please come out and help us make this 21st year of Military Open House one to remember. We, the board and staff of the MMFA, will be waiting to greet everyone who walks through the door. We hope to see you there! For more information, please call the Museum at 334.240.4333.

Blog.MilitaryOpenHouse1

The Museum greatly appreciates the co-sponsorship of Wintzell’s Oyster House. 

Cynthia Milledge
Director of Marketing & Public Relations

 

 

 

 

Women Making Art: A Panel Discussion

Blog.BendolphAs seen in the current exhibition Women’s Work (on view until September 18), the contributions made by women artists to the history of art are significant. 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 these artists. Professor and feminist art historian Linda Nochlin addressed these problems in her 1971 ArtNews article, when she posed the question, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? In the 45 years since Nochlin first asked the question, has anything changed?

Blog.HaglerBlog.WrightOn Thursday, August 18, at 6 P.M., urban photographer Lynn Saville, sculptor Rachel Wright, figurative painter Elana Hagler, and textile artist Louisiana Bendolph will be at the Museum to debate this issue in the FREE panel discussion Women Making Art. Drawing on personal experience, each of these artists will reflect on her diverse ways of working, the path of her artistic career, and what it means to be a woman in the art world. They will share their own dealings with gender bias while describing how they developed individual and strong voices in their chosen mediums.

Blog.SavilleFollowing the panel discussion, please join Lynn Saville as she signs copies of her book Dark City: Urban America at Night, which accompanies her exhibition of the same name (on view until September 25). Additionally, at 7 P.M. on Wednesday, August 17, the day before the panel, Saville will speak about her photographs within the exhibition. After her FREE gallery talk she will lead a twilight photography workshop in downtown Montgomery. Please call 334.240.4365 or email edsecy@mmfa.org for more information about any or all of these events or to register for Saville’s workshop. We hope to see you and to celebrate all of these inventive, creative, and inspiring women artists.

 

Jennifer Jankauskas

Curator of Art

 

Credit Information:

Figure 1: Louisiana Bendolph (American), Three Squares, 2005, color aquatint and spitbite aquatint etching with chine collie, image lent by the artist

Figure 2: Rachel Wright (American), Luna Skull, 2016, blown and kiln formed glass, steel, and copper, image lent by the artist

Figure 3: Elana Hagler (American, born Israel), Debra, 2015, oil on linen, image lent by the artist, In the collection of Luke and Debra Ritter

Figure 4: Lynn Saville (American, born 1950), Brooklyn Bridge Park Construction, Brooklyn, NY, 2006, archival digital print from a digital original, Photograph courtesy of the artist

Photorealism

Blog.PhotorealismgalleryThe first thing you notice about the new Photorealism exhibition is the big, bold, colorful images of planes and motorcycles, movie marquees, and cityscapes. The show includes only 20 items and fills only two galleries, but it is an eyeful. Indeed, there is more than meets the eye’s initial inspection. Each image invites close looking.

Some viewers may marvel at the images’ high degree of mimesis—the fidelity with which they mimic their subject. The vivid array of reflections in the cowl of a motorcycle, the nuanced shades of grey enveloping the fuselage of a P-51 Mustang sitting under an overcast sky, the glittering gold and patriotic colors of a Fourth of July still-life composition impress viewers with their detailed representation of reality. But it is not immediately apparent that these pictures do not mimic three-dimensional reality. These are pictures of photographs—primarily photos of motorcycles, airplanes, movie marquees, and other urban imagery—hence the exhibition title, Photorealism, and the name of the style that took root in 1960s Pop Art.

Blog.Empire.PhotorealismThat’s right. Photorealist artists paint pictures of photographs. First they photograph places like banal urban views and things like cars, trucks, and other macho machines. Then they project those images onto canvas or paper, trace the forms, and fill in the colors, often with airbrushes that capture the fuzzy effects of soft-focus lenses and out of focus photos. Photorealists often crop their images to make the most of abstract design compositions, but the results always look realistic, even if artists like Robert Cottingham take some creative license with the isolation or modification of their images as he does with movie marquees like that of the now demolished Empire Theatre that once stood in downtown Montgomery (fig. 2, above). Still, the subject of the photograph remains recognizable in every Photorealist painting or print.

Photorealist prints are much more common than Photorealist paintings, which typically require many months to complete. However, Photorealist prints are similarly time-consuming to create because each usually involves a dozen or more individual screens—one for each color. One print by Tom Blackwell (whose Triumph Trumpet and 451 are in this show) required 86 separate screens and took 15 months to make. That print, Shatzi (1979), depicts a World War II aircraft and was printed on Masonite (as is Ron Kleeman’s Mustang Sally in this exhibition) because of its great scale (4 x 6 feet). It was printed by Norman Lassiter, a master printer who partnered with Louis Meisel, a New York gallery owner, to publish Photorealist prints under the aegis of Editions Lassiter-Meisel.

Editions Lassiter-Meisel also published the ten silkscreens in the City-ScapBlog.CityscapesPortfolioes Portfolio (fig. 3, to the right) that are on view in the current exhibition. Most are signed and numbered A.P. 21/30, indicating that they were the 21st of 30 artist proofs pulled in addition to 25 publisher’s proofs plus the full edition of 250. Signed and numbered print editions of this scale enabled Photorealists to sell images of their paintings for substantially less than the original paintings cost. Relatively large editions like this one also enabled Meisel to donate a few of the portfolios to museums—as he did for our museum.

So, when you go to see the new Photorealist show, don’t get blown away by the big, bold, colorful images. Take time to look closely at these prints. It’s a little like a summer “staycation,” enjoying the everyday sights without leaving the air-conditioned comfort of your hometown museum.

Michael Panhorst
Curator of Art

 

Image Credits
Figure 2: Robert Cottingham, Empire, 2009, screen print on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist, 2009.12

Figure 3: Colophon and Preface, from the portfolio, City-Scapes, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel, 2014.5.8

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