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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Category: General

Reflections on the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

AnExpressiveEveningRosaParksIn 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 MMFA Wilson Auditorium.

After a historical introduction by Donna Beisel of the Rosa Parks Library and MuseumMontgomery’s university and college community lauded the efforts of Rosa Parks and others towards freedom through art, song, dance, literature, and reflection – representing the power of art and the vital role of art as a reflection of society.An Expressive Evening

The Museum is grateful to our partners and performers:
Dr. Felicia Bell and Donna Beisel, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Troy University (top)

Dr. Courtney Griffin and the Dancers of Tuskegee University  (on the right)

Tyrone Hayes and Trebled Soul, Alabama State University (below)

Kristi McDaniel and the Voices of Huntingdon  Huntingdon College (bottom right)

Dr. Jan Hogan and College of Education Teacher Candidates, Auburn University at Montgomery (bottom)

AnExpressiveEveningASUAnExpressiveEveningHuntingdon

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” ~ Rosa Parks

AnExpressiveEveningAUM

Alice Novak
and Madeline Burkhardt
Assistant Curator of Education and Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

Thank You

Thank You for GivingThe Museum wants to thank everyone who contributed to the MMFA’s End of Year Campaign.

Your donations helped the MMFA end 2015 on a high note. The original fundraising goal for December was to raise $10,000 in order to maximize the $10,000 match graciously pledged to the Museum by Corrina and Barry Wilson.

Corrina and Barry have been major supporters of the Museum for many years and have contributed a $10,000 match to the MMFA’s End of Year fund for the last four. Their generous contribution is a wonderful example of the giving spirit.

I am proud to announce that we were able to significantly exceed our original goal. Thanks to overwhelming community support the MMFA raised more than $50,000!

These gifts help the Museum meet its mission of collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting art of the highest quality for the enrichment and enjoyment of the public.

Donations directly support the Museum’s mission by funding

  • relevant temporary exhibitions,
  • important art acquisitions,
  • renowned artists to teach area youth and adults,
  • And free admission for more than 160,000 museum visitors each year.

Thank you again to everyone who helped make the Museum’s End of Year Campaign a success.

Find out what’s happening at the museum this spring!

Jen Eitzmann
Development Officer

Donna Pickens is Moving On

BlogonDonnaDespite pleas from her co-workers, Donna Pickens retired from her more-than-fulltime position as Assistant Curator of Education for ARTWORKS, School, Family & Children’s Programs at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in December.

For 11 years, she designed the Museum’s studio programs and supervised the staff that delivered countless hands-on art lessons for children and adults. Donna co-authored the Museum’s well-respected fifth-grade tour curriculum, and she helped to organize family days and special events like Holiday Open House and the Flimp Festival. In addition, she managed the Museum’s ARTWORKS hands-on galleries (for which she created some of the exhibits), and she coordinated dozens of ARTWORKS corridor exhibitions of student art that were always cued to the Museum’s temporary exhibitions in order to help students explore the themes, techniques, and materials on display in the Museum’s galleries. Twice the U. S. Department of Education chose student art from Donna’s programs for a national exhibition in Washington, DC that was co-sponsored by the Association of Art Museum Directors.

In recent years Donna created a new, yearlong, artist-in-residence program for third and fourth graders at Wares Ferry Road Elementary using pilot-project funding from the Hearst Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. She designed (and staffed and supervised) a solid program that utilizes Visual Thinking Strategies to improve students’ creativity, perceptions, and verbal abilities. She also expanded the Museum’s outreach programs, adding one for the Alabama Department of Youth Services at Mt. Meigs that officials now seek to duplicate at other facilities.BlogPost.DonnaP

Donna’s engagement with adult artists was similarly deep and broad. She taught and coordinated countless evening and weekend workshops, including ARTtalk (with the Montgomery Art Guild), and Art Ed Central (with and for local art teachers). She has also coordinated a robust range of lessons for the annual Alabama Art Education Association meetings at the MMFA, and she has been active in national arts education organizations as well.

Museum director Mark Johnson said, “We will all miss Donna and her creativity, perseverance, and passion for art and art education. We are grateful for her decade of service to this Museum and our community and we wish her the best in her retirement.”

Donna earned an MFA at Georgia State University and taught art in Atlanta for nearly three decades before moving to Montgomery. She is an accomplished sculptor with public art commissions and an artist who has mastered a wide variety of techniques and materials. She looks forward to flexing her artistic muscles in retirement, while spending more time with family and friends.

Fortunately for Museum staff and visitors, Donna has agreed to continue working a couple of days a week for several months to sustain the popular Museum programs we have all come to expect. So, please wish Donna a happy retirement when you see her. But don’t dawdle. She’s got grandchildren to see and art to make.

Michael Panhorst
Curator of Art

Give a Community Gift

2015-12-05 15.49.18 MMFA GivingIt’s December, which means that people are looking to donate to charitable causes for a couple of reasons.

1) They are in the holiday spirit and they want to give freely of their time and money this time of year.

2) The end of 2015 is quickly approaching so it’s the last chance some have to make charitable contributions to causes they care about AND take advantage of the tax deductions that come with them.

Whichever category you fall into, we hope you will consider giving a gift to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

For 85 years, the Museum has been a cultural focal point in the City of Montgomery. With free admission, the Museum has been a gathering place in the community. It’s a place for young mothers to come and entertain their children for an afternoon without breaking the bank. It’s a place where high school students can come to learn about the history of art and can even earn college credits while they’re at it through the Museum’s A.P. Art History class. On opening nights, the Museum becomes a meeting place for the curious minds of Montgomery.

For those who can’t make it to the MMFA, the staff and volunteers bring the wonder and the knowledge of the Museum to underserved Montgomery area neighborhoods. These outreach classes teach students to use artistic exercises to work through emotions in a safe and healthy environment which ultimately leads to a positive and lasting impact on behavior.

The MMFA strives to be a place for the curious to gather regardless age, race, income, or social status, so this holiday season keep the Museum close to your heART and give a gift your whole community can enjoy. Make a donation to the MMFA today.

20151106_130225 for blogI heART the MMFA because…
There is beauty everywhere.. the building, paintings, sculptures, grounds, and people. Montgomery Alabama is very lucky to have this fabulous museum.
Jules

 

Jennifer Eitzmann
Development Officer

Holiday Open House—Welcome the Season at the MMFA

HOH.BlogJoin your neighbors and friends at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts for Holiday Open House, an afternoon of merriment and holiday cheer. This annual event will be held next Saturday, December 5, from 1 to 4 P.M. This is a family-friendly tradition filled with seasonal art activities for children, musical performances provided by schools in the River Region, and a whole lot more.

HOH.Blog.1Of course Santa will be on hand to hear what’s on each child’s secret “list,” and pose for that special picture. Take advantage of what is expected to be beautiful weather by enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Museum grounds. Pick up a festive cookie or two as you sample some hot apple cider or lemonade. Children of all ages can take part in holiday art projects and make something to take home.  They might paint a one-of-a-kind plastic ornament in the Museum studios, or make traditional Reindeer Feed Bags. Our amazing docents will be on hand to answer questions you may have as you explore our permanent and special exhibitions including Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman and Retooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection.HOH.Blog.4

Remember, this event is the Museum’s FREE gift to the community. In return, we hope everyone attending will bring non-perishable items for the Montgomery Area Food Bank, and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots to fill the bins we have located in the foyer. Your gifts will make the holiday season a bit brighter for local families in need.

So, come by this Saturday afternoon and experience Holiday Open House.  It’s a great way to kick off your own celebration of the Season!HOH.Blog.3

Cynthia Milledge
Director of  Public RelationsHOH.Blog.2

 

What is #GivingTuesday?

Blog.Giving.1We have a day for giving 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, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

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 MMFA #GivingTuesday, your donation will be matched by philanthropists Corinna and Barry Wilson. In addition, because our community provides  the majority of operating costs for the Museum through the City of Montgomery, your gift can be used for the stuff that really has an immediate impact!

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 at E.D. Nixon Community Center. Your gifts will also be used to present exciting special exhibitions like Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman. Additionally, private funds support the Museum’s important core mission—care of our permanent collections, as well as the scholarship that enhances our ability to utilize the collections for students and other visitors.

Most importantly, your donations continue to enable the MMFA to remain a free attraction to Montgomery area residents and visitors from around the U.S. and the world. This allows 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 amazing volunteer opportunities at the Museum.Ants.1

This season, keep the most authentic and truly meaningful holiday spirit in your heART, and find a way to give back to your community on #GivingTuesday. We hope when you’re making those plans, you’ll put the MMFA at the top of your list!

Jen Eitzmann
Development Officer

Behind the Scenes—Installing Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman

Blog.LipmanOn Saturday, November 14, 2015, the MMFA will open our newest exhibition for the fall season, Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman.  Featuring seven sculptures and eight photographs, this is the largest exhibition of artist Beth Lipman’s work to date. While her sculptures allude to seventeenth-century still-life paintings, her three-dimensional interpretations of these historical canvases offer pointed commentary on contemporary art and life. (At left: Artist Beth Lipman during installation at the MMFA)

Putting together these large-scale sculptures—assemblages of hundreds of individual glass objects—is not a straightforward process, but rather is an intricate dance of placement, gluing with silicone, and timing. To create this exhibition in our galleries Lipman arrived at the Museum on November 4. Since then, she has worked many long days on several pieces at once, adding new layers, allowing the silicone to dry, and coming back to each of the sculptures to add additional elements day after day.  Lipman’s works often defy gravity—glass vines, pitchers, swags, and vessels break free of the confines of their tables, bursting beyond their edges to dangle unsupported in space.  Pushing the glass material to the point of breakage, while simultaneously highlighting its strength, Lipman’s precarious compositions are fraught with a sense of immediacy and tension. Watching the artist in action as she builds these complex installations demonstrates Lipman’s mastery over her process, and the results are stunningly beautiful feats of exemplary creative engineering!  Accompanying the sculptures are equally impressive photographic representations of Lipman’s glass objects portrayed in two-dimensional splendor, revealing yet another aspect of the artist’s approach to her work.

Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman is accompanied by the first full-scale, illustrated catalogue of the artist’s work, produced by the MMFA and available in the Museum Store.  The exhibition is touring to two other venues, The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee (on view from March 11, to June 12, 2016) and the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (on view September 22, 2016 to January 7, 2017).

Please stop by the MMFA between November 14, 2015 and January 31, 2016, to see the results of Beth Lipman’s hard week’s work of installation—the culmination of her many years of experience creating art the in splendid medium of glass.

To see Beth in action, check out the  video  Cynthia Milledge, director of marketing and public relations, captured of the installation and the brief interview she conducted.

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Jennifer Jankauskas
Curator of Art, and the exhibition

The MMFA Salutes Our Invaluable Volunteers

VolRec.1.BlogOn Tuesday evening, October 27, the Museum held its annual Volunteer Recognition awards banquet.  The dinner and ceremony were held in the Rotunda with over 70 volunteers coming out to celebrate their many contributions to the MMFA.  The night began with a cocktail hour followed by a fall-themed dinner catered by Jennie Weller Catering and Events that included a menu of spiced pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables, a sweet potato bar, and peach cobbler.

Current Board of Trustees President Roger Spain gave a warm welcome, followed by remarks from MMFA staff Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, Curator of Art, Alice Novak, Assistant Curator of Education, and Madeline Burkhardt, Volunteer Coordinator, who also presented the evening’s awards. The first award, for Outstanding Leadership, was presented by Mr. Spain to Board of Trustees member and past President of the Board of Trustees, Barrie Harmon.  Barrie was recognized for his many contributions through the sponsorship of temporary exhibitions, as well as his current, critical leadership of the campaign to fund the MMFA’s new Sculpture Garden.Blog.VOLREC.5

Other winners announced during the event included Jarrod Cowans,(pictured at left below) who was named Rookie of the Year, and Karla Hodges (at right, pictured on the left with MMFA educator Donna Pickens), winning the First Impressions award for her work at the Information Desk. Luigi Edwards received the award for FLIMP Festival support, recognizing her multiple years of service ensuring that this amazing event goes off without a hitch.   Vol.Rec.3.BlogCayla Hamilton, Jamie Reschke, and LaKendrick Taylor were named Outstanding Interns for their assistance to  Museum staff with photography projects, digital design work, and educational outreach programs.

The award for leading the Most Successful Bazaar d’Art went to Courtney Kershaw; the Fundraising Excellence Award for Art in Concert went to Harrison Hawke; the Development Leadership Award went to C.J. Hincy; and awards for the Last Call events sponsored by the Junior Executive Board were given to Rachael Gallagher, Allison Muhlendorff, and Erika Tracy. Docents who won awards during their graduation ceremony this past spring were also recognized.

We cannot thank all our volunteers enough for the hundreds of hours of their time donated to help the Museum! There are many opportunities to serve your Museum and your community by volunteering at the MMFA. If you are interested in volunteering at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, please contact Madeline Burkhardt at volunteers@mmfa.org.

(at right: Assistance Needed Today award winner Margaret Arthur, with MMFA educator Alice Novak.)

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Madeline Burkhardt
Volunteer Coordinator

Art in Concert 2015

Art in Concert 2015, FuturebirdsWe could not have asked for better weather for the 4th Annual Art in Concert on Friday, October 16, organized by our Junior Executive Board (JEB). Local DJ Kevin Nutt opened the show turning the tables with fantastic tunes that really got the crowd going.  Over 400 people were on hand to welcome the headlining act The FUTUREBIRDS to Montgomery.  Hailing from Athens, GA but currently based in Atlanta, the FUTUREBIRDS are an incredible up-and-coming band on the verge of national recognition.  True to form, they played an amazing live show that had the crowd dancing long into the night.  Highlights included new songs from their album Hotel Parties and a great cover of Brooks and Dunn’s Neon Moon.

The side lawn was the perfect venue for the concert during which people enjoyed some great food catered by Jennie Weller Catering and Events, and craft beer from Back Forty Brewing Company located in Gadsden, AL.  We were fortunate to have the support of our key sponsors Auburn University at Montgomery, MATTER and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians; their generosity helped make the night the tremendous success that it was.  The Junior Executive Board, under the direction of president CJ Hincy, has decided to donate the proceeds, which were in excess of $10,000, to education programs within the Museum, as well as to our community art outreach programs benefitting many within the River Region.  We additionally want to thank key JEB members Allison Muhlendorf, Rachael Gallagher, Erika Tracy, and Harrison Hawke for their marketing, fund raising, and logistical work.Art in Concert 2015.2

The Junior Executive Board is looking for new members for the upcoming year. If you are interested in joining this dynamic group of MMFA supporters, please send a cover letter and resume to Deputy Director Jill Barry, jbarry@mmfa.org for consideration before December 1.

Blake Rosen
MMFA Special Events Coordinator

The Fall Edition of DiVine Lunch and Artist in Action

cafe.33Please join us for what promises to be a great afternoon of delectable food and beautiful art on Thursday, October 15,  with DiVine Lunch, 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. and Artist in Action, 12 noon to 2 P.M.

The menu for DiVine Lunch will start with a delicious Callaloo soup made of leafy greens typical of Caribbean dining accented with a southern twist of Ambrosia Salad. Our partnership with United Johnson Brothers, LLC., wine distributors continues and their suggestion of either a crisp Equilibrium white blend or a smooth Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay will pair perfectly with the soup and salad combo.

The second course continues the Latin American theme using cumin and paprika to spice up the tomato sauce covering a quinoa and lentil hash, which may be accompanied by your choice of Lamb Pops, Braised Grouper or Cheese and Bread Stuffed Mirliton Squash. The squash often referred to as Mirliton in Haitian or Creole cultures, is better known in the states by another moniker, the chayote. It is smaller in size and green in color. Depending upon your entrée choice, either the A to Z Pinot Noir (which received a 90-point rating from Wine Spectator) or the Cambria Chardonnay will enhance your dining experience.Café M

Last, but certainly not least, the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake uses spiced chocolate to create an interesting spin on a classic dessert. We are excited to be working with Goat Hill Roasters, an original coffee roasting company located in Montgomery, for the first time. The owners will bring their unique coffee blend to the Museum from their mobile store downtown.

Betty Carroll BlogMake sure to stop by the Museum Store to see Betty Carroll, our Artist in Action. She will be working on a fall lake scene with the vibrant colors of the changing foliage reflecting on the water’s surface. She has been a great addition to the Museum Store and her landscapes are always in high demand. So make sure to meet her as she brings fall colors to life as the Artist in Action.

Reservations are strongly recommended for DiVine Lunch; please call 334.240.4339 as soon as possible to insure a not-to-be-missed dining experience. The cost is $20 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Upcoming DiVine Lunch dates are Thursday, January 21 and Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Blake Rosen,
Special Events Coordinator

 

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