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Year: 2020

Docent Recognition 2020

On July 20th, the Education Staff and MMFA docents virtually celebrated our annual graduation award ceremony. Even though we were physically apart, we wanted to take a moment to show our appreciation to this remarkable group of volunteers, celebrate the new docent graduates, announce the 2020-2021 Docent Council, and celebrate the accomplishments and meaningful impacts this group made in the galleries, studios, ArtWorks, and Montgomery Public School classrooms.

Traditionally, the MMFA educators reflect on the past school year in April and nominate docents who have made significant contributions to the year’s events and programs. This year was cut short in March but even with the short year, our docents contributed an overall 1,583 hours of their time to the MMFA!

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients! We miss you and look forward to being with you again.

New Docents

Congratulations to the 2019-2020 new docents for completing their first year of training!

  • Diane Christy
  • Dan Holder
  • Gloria Holder
  • Alexis Williamson

2020–2021 Docent Council

Congratulations to the newly elected 2020-2021 Docent Council!

  • Docent Chair – Paula Smith
  • Docent Co-Chair – Gretchen Sippial
  • Docent At-Large – Rhonda Thomason
  • New Docent Representative – Diane Christy

75 Hour Club

This year’s 75 Hour Club Award goes to the docents who exceeded their 40-hour contribution requirement. We appreciate their dedication and hard work!

  • Binnie Coats
  • Wanda Hill
  • Sharon Katona
  • Mary Lil Owens
  • Gretchen Sippial
  • Paula Smith
  • Penny Thompson

Docent Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Outreach Award

Mary Lil Owens and Paula Smith

Our Outstanding Contribution to Gallery

Penny Thompson for Becoming Alabama

Liz Land for Move with Me kindergarten program

Outstanding Contribution to ArtWorks

Wanda Hill

Outstanding Contribution to Studio Award

Nancy Shaw

Wayne Barto Memorial New Docent Award

Alexis Williamson

Pat Wangle Award

Gretchen Sippial

Sunday Puzzle – Summer Afternoon

Each week we will share a new puzzle featuring an artwork from the Museum’s collection. Whether a solo personal challenge or joint family effort, we make it easy for you to get started solving—simply play on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

This week’s puzzle is Louise Smith Everton‘s warm Summer Afternoon.

Last Week’s Puzzle

Joe Price’s aptly named July

How to Play

Click with a mouse or drag with your finger the digital puzzle pieces into place. Correct alignments will snap together.

Icons

On the Bottom Left

    • Image icon – click to see the work you are putting together
    • Ghost icon – click to see an opaque image of the work on the puzzle board
    • Dotted Square icon – click to arrange or disarrange the puzzle pieces
    • Three Dots icon – click to select to restart the puzzle, change your background color, adjust settings, or get help

On the Bottom Right

  • Puzzle icon – click to play on Jigsaw Planet
  • Window icon – click to play in full-screen mode

Easy (36 Pieces)

Medium (100 Pieces)

Hard (252 Pieces)

Extreme (300 Pieces + Rotation)

How to Rotate Pieces

  • Mouse + Keyboard: 
    • Move the mouse wheel up (left rotation) or down (right rotation).
    • Or, press the left (left rotation) or right (right rotation) arrow key.
  • Touch: Tap on the piece and then tap on the appeared left or right rotation icon.

Credit

Louise Smith Everton (American, 1920–1995), Summer Afternoon, 1944, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist, 1944.2

Art in the Garden: Karen LaMonte

 

Photograph courtesy of Karen LaMonte

Meet the Artist

Karen LaMonte (American, born 1967) works with various materials including cast glass, iron, and bronze to create life-sized dresses. Many viewers may be familiar with her glass masterpiece, Ojigi Bowing (2010), in the Museum’s Permanent Collection. In both Ojigi Bowing and Reclining Nocturne 3, LaMonte uses the lost-wax technique to render fine details of both the cloth and traces of the body underneath in the molds she creates for casting. In her work, LaMonte embraces and celebrates the feminine while highlighting the sensual and erotic nature of the body. In dresses such as Reclining Nocturne 3, 2016, seen here, she subtly subverts the tradition of reclining nude figures by removing the body, only leaving behind a hollow dress.  Simultaneously, she constructs an identity and a narrative about her subject without any identifying characteristics. Despite not knowing the exact identity of this woman, LaMonte creates an individualized portrait.

Currently, LaMonte lives and works in the Czech Republic. She graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later worked in glass centers such as Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle and UrbanGlass in New York. LaMonte’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions and acquired for museum collections around the world.

Karen LaMonte (American, born 1967), Reclining Nocturne 3, 2016, rusted iron, Loan courtesy of Karen LaMonte

Sunday Puzzle – July

Each week we will share a new puzzle featuring an artwork from the Museum’s collection. Whether a solo personal challenge or joint family effort, we make it easy for you to get started solving—simply play on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

This week’s puzzle is Joe Price’s aptly named July.

Last Week’s Puzzle

Ellen de Mello Weiland’s abstract Summer 80 VI

How to Play

Click with a mouse or drag with your finger the digital puzzle pieces into place. Correct alignments will snap together.

Icons

On the Bottom Left

    • Image icon – click to see the work you are putting together
    • Ghost icon – click to see an opaque image of the work on the puzzle board
    • Dotted Square icon – click to arrange or disarrange the puzzle pieces
    • Three Dots icon – click to select to restart the puzzle, change your background color, adjust settings, or get help

On the Bottom Right

  • Puzzle icon – click to play on Jigsaw Planet
  • Window icon – click to play in full-screen mode

Easy (36 Pieces)

Medium (100 Pieces)

Hard (252 Pieces)

Extreme (300 Pieces + Rotation)

How to Rotate Pieces

  • Mouse + Keyboard: 
    • Move the mouse wheel up (left rotation) or down (right rotation).
    • Or, press the left (left rotation) or right (right rotation) arrow key.
  • Touch: Tap on the piece and then tap on the appeared left or right rotation icon.

Credit

Joe Price (American, 1935–2019), July, 1990, screen print on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the artist and M. Lee Stone Fine Prints, 2011.12.21

Local Artists Live – Pacrates Asbel

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, August 22, Montgomery artist Pacrates Asbel will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening his studio space to share his artwork, reflect on his inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with his audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about his creations.

Live Stream Event

Saturday, August 22
10–10:30 AM

Follow the Museum on Instagram

Meet the Artist

Coming soon!

Above: Pacrates Asbel, Quiet Confidence, 2019, 36″x48″ acrylic

Local Artists Live – Karvarus Moore

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, August 8, Montgomery artist Karvarus Moore will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening his studio space to share his artwork, reflect on his inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with his audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about his creations.

Live Stream Event

Saturday, August 8
10–10:30 AM

Follow the Museum on Instagram

Meet the Artist

Coming soon!

Above: Karvarus Moore, Tyler, 2019, oil on canvas, 48 in x 36 in

Sunday Puzzle – U.S.S. Mississippi

Each week we will share a new puzzle featuring an artwork from the Museum’s collection. Whether a solo personal challenge or joint family effort, we make it easy for you to get started solving—simply play on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

This week’s puzzle is Reynolds Beal’s dynamic U.S.S. Mississippi, off Rockport, July 21, 1943.

Last Week’s Puzzle

Ellen de Mello Weiland’s abstract Summer 80 VI

How to Play

Click with a mouse or drag with your finger the digital puzzle pieces into place. Correct alignments will snap together.

Icons

On the Bottom Left

    • Image icon – click to see the work you are putting together
    • Ghost icon – click to see an opaque image of the work on the puzzle board
    • Dotted Square icon – click to arrange or disarrange the puzzle pieces
    • Three Dots icon – click to select to restart the puzzle, change your background color, adjust settings, or get help

On the Bottom Right

  • Puzzle icon – click to play on Jigsaw Planet
  • Window icon – click to play in full-screen mode

Easy (35 Pieces)

Medium (99 Pieces)

Hard (252 Pieces)

Extreme (300 Pieces + Rotation)

How to Rotate Pieces

  • Mouse + Keyboard: 
    • Move the mouse wheel up (left rotation) or down (right rotation).
    • Or, press the left (left rotation) or right (right rotation) arrow key.
  • Touch: Tap on the piece and then tap on the appeared left or right rotation icon.

Credit

Reynolds Beal, U.S.S. Mississippi, off Rockport, July 21, 1943, 1943, watercolor on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Pam B. Schafler in honor of Rhoda and Sidney Bressler, 2018.1.8

Film Recommendations – July 2020

Scrolling through Netflix, Prime, and Hulu can be an endless rabbit hole. This month’s film selection celebrates the lives and careers of three women artists.

Miss Hokusai

PG-13| 1h 33min | 93% Rotten Tomatoes

O-Ei is a talented artist who works with her father, Tetsuzo, later known as Hokusai, on the woodblock prints that would make Edo famous worldwide. This film is beautiful. Any fan of Hokusai or his famous The Great Wave print will enjoy this story and appreciate the scenes taken from his other prints.

Where to Watch

Stream: Netflix | Rent: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

MMFA Collection Connections

Jack LevineKeiji ShinoharaChuck Close, and William T. Wiley

The Fabulous Life of Élisabeth Vigée LeBrun

PG-13 | 1h 35min

A docudrama that offers an excellent analysis of renowned painter and free-thinker, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Learn more about this fascinating artist from her early life to earning coveted royal commissions to paint many European royal elites including Marie Antoinette.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon Prime | Rent: Amazon

MMFA Collection Connections

Clara Weaver ParrishJohn Singer Sargent, and Mary Cassatt

What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann

Not Rated | 1hr 20min

This documentary offers a rare glimpse of an eloquent and brilliant artist, photographer Sally Mann. Spanning five years and filmed at her Virginia farm, Mann reveals her artistic process and allows the viewer to gain entrance into her world as she reflects her personal feelings about mortality as she continues to examine the boundaries of contemporary art.

Where to Watch

Stream: Amazon Prime | Rent: Amazon, Vudu

MMFA Collection Connections

Eudora WeltyCaroline DavisPinky/MM Bass, and Nancy Marshall

Sunday Puzzle – Summer 80 VI

Each week we will share a new puzzle featuring an artwork from the Museum’s collection. Whether a solo personal challenge or joint family effort, we make it easy for you to get started solving—simply play on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

This week’s puzzle is Ellen de Mello Weiland’s abstract Summer 80 VI.

Last Week’s Puzzle

Nora Ezell’s bursting with color Star Puzzle quilt

How to Play

Click with a mouse or drag with your finger the digital puzzle pieces into place. Correct alignments will snap together.

Icons

On the Bottom Left

    • Image icon – click to see the work you are putting together
    • Ghost icon – click to see an opaque image of the work on the puzzle board
    • Dotted Square icon – click to arrange or disarrange the puzzle pieces
    • Three Dots icon – click to select to restart the puzzle, change your background color, adjust settings, or get help

On the Bottom Right

  • Puzzle icon – click to play on Jigsaw Planet
  • Window icon – click to play in full-screen mode

Easy (35 Pieces)

Medium (99 Pieces)

Hard (252 Pieces)

Extreme (300 Pieces + Rotation)

How to Rotate Pieces

  • Mouse + Keyboard: 
    • Move the mouse wheel up (left rotation) or down (right rotation).
    • Or, press the left (left rotation) or right (right rotation) arrow key.
  • Touch: Tap on the piece and then tap on the appeared left or right rotation icon.

Credit

Ellen de Mello Weiland (American, 1913–2009), Summer 80 VI, 1980, acrylic on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Edward Lee Hendricks, 1986.9

Responding to the Moment – Community Insights

As Faith Ringgold said, “No other creative field is as closed to those who are not white and male as is the visual arts. After I decided to be an artist, the first thing that I had to believe was that I, a black woman, could penetrate the art scene, and that, further, I could do so without sacrificing one iota of my blackness or my femaleness or my humanity.”

To hear how works by African-American artists in our collection, including Ringgold, are speaking to our shared humanity and calls for equality at this moment in American history, we invited members of our community – artists, writers, students, teachers, advocates, leaders of arts programs and Civil Rights Museums – to share personal reflections on selected works of art. Thank you to each of our guest writers for joining with the Museum to lend their visions and voices. What they saw and heard in the works included meditations on being a black father, the wisdom of an elderly woman, the need to organize and take action, the power of art in the struggle for equal justice, the presence and relevance of history, and in the face of violence and resistance, a belief in the possibility for lasting change.

We hope you enjoy reading the reflections and arriving at your own.

Father and Child

John Woodrow Wilson (American, 1922–2015), Father and Child, 1965, lithograph on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2010.3

Hush little baby. Daddy’s got you.
Don’t you cry, Baby. Daddy’s got you.
Daddy’s got you, today.
But, I cry in anguish and pain because I can’t promise you tomorrow.

Georgette M. Norman
Retired Director of Troy University Rosa Parks Museum

 


 

When I saw the piece, Father and Child, I was instantly overwhelmed by the emotion that welled up in me. Too often, African-American men are painted in the nation’s consciousness as “deadbeat, delinquent, or uncaring.” Though for sure that happens, the vast majority of men of color that I am acquainted with express a heartfelt, deep-seated, unconditional love for their offspring, even those men without the financial resources to adequately demonstrate it according to the strictures of our consumer society.

The tenderness and joy in this piece is evident, even though the image is basically featureless and undefined. I thought of that moment when I first held my infant daughter in my arms and beamed at the memory, in the next instant, I thought of the feelings of security and strength when I, myself was held in my own father’s arms. This too, created a joy for the bond of a parent and child, usually only broken by the passing of the parent or in tragic cases the child.

On the heels of these pleasant reveries, this nation’s ugly history barged its way into my psyche. I thought of the many untold numbers of men of color who were taken away from their children by being sold on the auction block, this could be that last embrace before his departure, never to embrace his child again; not to even mention being murdered for a perceived transgression, large or small.

George Floyd was a father, he will never again hold his child, nor will she be able to find that sense of security and joy in his arms that I still sense when holding my grown daughter in my embrace, and the sense I shared with my own father until his death.

The more things change, the more some stay the same.

Bill Ford
MMFA Board Member, artist, retired WSFA

Leap into Freedom

Thornton Dial, Jr. (American, born 1953), Leap Into the Freedom, 1989, oil on wood panel, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, © Thornton Dial, Jr. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2012.14.6

I like the abstract vitality of Dial’s work, the shapes, the colors, the sense of movement and mystery. “Leap Into the Freedom” is less abstract than many of his 3-D compositions, with the recognizable animal — is it a dog, a razorback, a bull? — and the well-shaped flowers and fronds and the wild climbing plants with the heart petals. It is a pleasing but intriguing composition, with the animal resolutely striding forward into a new place.

Horace Randall Williams
Co-founder, Editor-in-Chief, NewSouth Books

Rosa Parks I

Yvonne Wells, (American, born 1939), Rosa Parks I, 2005, cotton/polyester blend, polyester, and cotton, plastic buttons, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, © Yvonne Wells, 2008.9.6

This piece inspires the need to get organized. To make positive change, We The People must get organized. We must communicate the problem and detail the actions we want to see completed to provide a long-standing solution—a change in culture, practice, and policy.

To me, this piece represents the power of alignment. While there are various illustrations arranged across the quilt, they all have one focus and objective. Many pieces, many parts, with one common goal.  For this, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott symbolizes the power and influence of an organized nonviolent action movement. The blueprint for change has already been designed and illustrated in this piece by Alabama-born artist Yvonne Wells.

Kalonji Gilchrist
President and Founder of 21 Dreams

Sharecropper

Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915–2012), Sharecropper, 1970, color linocut on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, © The Estate of Elizabeth Catlett / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2002.14.1

Jamaal Barber, To be Free, 2018, woodcut, Photograph courtesy of the artist

Elizabeth Catlett’s piece, the Sharecropper, has been transcendent and vital imagery in the long-winded fight in activism for black rights. Aside from being an artist that I look to as an example for women artists or black artists, she’s a multidisciplinary creator that manipulates materials to speak on a narrative about struggle, power, and perseverance.

Last summer I met a printmaker from Georgia, Jamaal Barber, whose work evoked the similar feelings I get from Catlett’s work. His pieces revolve around black history, black strength, and modern-day tropes saturated in systemic racism.

Jamie Harris
Alabama State University student and artist

Shugg Lampley at the Gate

Chester Higgins (American, born 1946), Shugg Lampley at the Garden Gate, negative 1968; printed 2007, platinum print on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2007.14

If you ask her, she will tell you the stories of her girlhood. Walk through the gate kind hands have opened for you. Accept the meal that waits for you at her table. Take and eat all that she offers: love and loss, beauty and sorrow, heartbreak, and joy.

Jacqueline Trimble
Chair, Department of Languages and Literatures, Alabama State University

Under a Blood Red Sky

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930), Under a Blood Red Sky, 2000, color lithograph on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, © Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2001.8.1

Faith Ringgold’s storytelling talents are on abundant display in this color lithograph on paper, one of a series, depicting a group of runaway slaves making their way to freedom under cover of night. More abstract than some of her other work and highly charged in reds and blacks with the green of the trees fairly glowing in contrast, the composition vibrates with the danger and audacity of the undertaking. A border design with Ringgold’s signature text frames the work, suggesting that this is only one chapter in the historically interesting story of African Americans moving toward their meeting with destiny.

Suzanne La Rosa
Co-founder, Publisher, NewSouth Books

V4

John L. Moore (American, born 1939), V4, 1992, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1996.7

To me, the V4 is primarily about dominance and individuality. The ovals are egg or head-shaped and easy to see as symbolic of individuals. In this case, literally black and white individuals – and some in-between. The grey, black or white colors and outlines also suggest the lack of anything that is “pure” 100% black or white. There are a couple of ways to look at the issue of dominance here; first and most obviously the large mostly white vertical oval near the center is literally overlapping and seems to be dominating a large collection of smaller black and white ovals. The large vertical nature of the white oval implies an ‘authority’ and a ‘stability’ in the blockage of the movement of the others. The smaller ovals behind the large white one appear more active due to the changes in their directions/orientations and varieties in their sizes, and color/values. They could be trapped, pushing forward or disengaging from the dominant relationship and finding individual freedom. The ovals that are separate/free seem to be rising higher, perhaps traveling further and faster without the blockage. The smaller free ovals also appear to be engaging in relationships with other different colored ovals of similar sizes without the issue of dominance as a barrier.

At present, with the daily news being what it is, this makes me think primarily about individual responses to oppression and domination, the larger themes in the image of parts that were previously held together starting to break away, and the dynamics of a relationship changing – evolving and moving out of an established recognized pattern and into a new one. Everything changes, but the process can often cause anxiety, confusion, and fear of the unknown – even when the change is for the better.

Nathaniel Allen III
Chair, Department of Visual Arts, Alabama State University

Yesterday: Civil Rights in the South III

Yvonne Wells (American, born 1939), Yesterday: Civil Rights in the South III, 1989, cotton, cotton/polyester blend, wool, polyester, and plastic buttons, Gift of Kempf Hogan, © Yvonne Wells, 2004.20.8

Yvonne Wells’ story quilt narrates, through vivid images, the African American civil rights journey in the South—yesterday—from slavery through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. But the images are also very much a depiction of today, of the current nationwide, nonviolent protests calling for justice and being met with violent responses, even murder. The most striking image of all is the circle of protesters—united and diverse—surrounding a speaker (Martin Luther King, Jr.) centered within a golden sun. Can this symbolize a plea and a ray of hope for “equal justice under law,” for positive civic and social change through peaceful, nonviolent action today as for yesterday?

Alma Freeman
Former MMFA Board Member, Docent, retired from Alabama State University

The 1920’s…The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots

Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917–2000), The 1920’s…The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots, 1974, screen print on paper, Gift of Lorillard, a Division of Loews Theatres, Inc., © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation. Licensed by ARS, New York, NY, 1976.158

Jacob Lawrence’s work is a visual representation of the resourcefulness and resilience of the human spirit. As a designer, I appreciate his ability to communicate his messages with simple shapes and unmixed colors. I can’t help but see his raw approach to painting and printmaking foreshadowing the invention of hip hop, where artists would craft narratives over minimalistic production. Lawrence, who also grew up during the Great Depression, found liberation in painting scenes that captured the plight of African Americans. It is a great thing that he has left us with a roadmap on how to capture beauty and perspective in difficult times.

Christian Hardy
Illustrator and Design Teacher, Lanier High School

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