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Local Artists Live – Madison Faile

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, April 18, Montgomery artist Madison Faile 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.

Above (left to right): Original artwork by Madison Faile; Portrait of Madison Faile by Anna Gibbs

Video

Above is a recording of the April 18 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account. Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram.

Get to Know the Artist

“You can do anything you will yourself to do.” These wise words, spoken to artist Madison Faile by his grandmother, Deanie, indicate the origins of his dedicated, unbending nature. Pure creation itself drives his artistic work,  and no matter the medium or subject, one thing is abundantly clear: this artist lives to create.

Originally from Selma, Madison grew up in an artistic family where his love for art was cultivated from an early age. His mother was a ballet teacher and his district attorney father was an avid photographer with a darkroom in the home garage.  His grandmother, for whom he is named, was a very accomplished portrait painter and draftsman, and it was she who taught Madison how to draw. Encouragement and support from his mother especially helped his path in becoming an artist.

There are several artists in the Museum’s collection who inspire Madison, including Walt Kuhn, John Singer Sargent, Ida Kohlmeyer, George Inness, Clara Weaver Parrish, and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

Madison is the first artist featured on the Museum’s program Local Artists Live, which will stream from the studios of various local artists, showcasing the talent and diversity of Montgomery’s art community. We asked Madison the following questions to learn more about his life, art and process, and to get a taste of what we might enjoy during his Local Artists Live segment set to stream on Saturday, April 18.

Madison, what is your favorite thing about being from and living in the south?

Being from the south is something that many try to escape, but I’ve always embraced it. Southern culture is so steeped in [both] pain and beauty, and I love the contrast. Forgotten elegance, ruined finery…I could go on for hours.

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

It’s been exciting to see Montgomery grow and develop over the last few years. We’ve come so far in such a short period of time. I only hope that with this growth comes an emphasis on public art, because we are still greatly lacking [in that regard].

You said Walt Kuhn’s Clown with Long Nose (pictured above) is your favorite artwork in the MMFA’s collection. What is it about this painting exactly?

Walt Kuhn’s life and work have always been a favorite of mine. There is a real metaphysical side to his characters. I don’t consider them portraits; I consider them paintings of characters. The one in the museum’s collection, like many of his, has real menace.

You are known to paint plenty of clowns yourself; is this directly related to the Kuhn painting or do you have another inspiration?

No. [My inspiration is] the circus.

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

Changes all the time. Impossible to answer.

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel at that moment?

Changes all the time. Also impossible to answer!

Tell us about your love for New Orleans. Has the energy of the city helped shape you as an artist?

New Orleans will always be my spiritual city. I always find endless inspiration when I’m there.

What is your preferred medium?

I usually work in acrylic and oil, [sometimes] charcoal and pastel, and I adore colored pencil.

Do you listen to any particular music when you paint?

Everything. Ragtime to Big Band. 70’s to 90’s grunge. Nina Simone to Green Day.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?

Keep going. Do whatever you have to do to make the best work you can. Don’t settle.

Above: Walt Kuhn (American, 1880–1949), Clown with Long Nose, 1936, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The Blount Collection 1989.2.25, © Estate of Walter Kuhn

Memorable Moments in November

As fall transitions into winter, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ calendar heats up with free tours, classes, films, and other captivating events. Throughout the month of November, we are hosting entertaining activities for our community. Below is a preview of what you can expect.

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Start Your Fall Season off at the MMFA

Jazz music featuring local talent, arts and crafts, and a reception celebrating one of the most influential and important contemporary American Artists are just a few of the events visitors can expect this month.  As the seasons change we encourage you to take a moment to check out the artwork in our galleries and enjoy the activities created with you in mind. View the September calendar now.

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“Volunteer Voices” Part II

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has lots of wonderful volunteers and docents who donate countless hours to a variety of programs year in and year out.  In the first “Volunteer Voices” blog post, volunteers and docents answered the question  “What drew you to the museum to share your time and energy?” We received so many wonderful answers, we decided to continue the blog posts and create a series. This second installment of “Volunteer Voices” is dedicated to the question  “Do you have a favorite or most rewarding moment with visitors of the museum?”

Take a look at some of the responses from Docents and Volunteers below on their favorite or most rewarding moments at the MMFA, and leave some of your own in the comments!

 

“When the Uribe exhibit was here recently, I captured several people and took them to see the exhibit.  They thanked me profusely.  The same is true for other exhibits.”  Frances Durr, Docent

 

“Several years ago I was giving a gallery tour to a 1st grade class and right before they were to leave the entire class gave me hugs!!!” George Jacobsen, Docent (featured right)

 

“I have had lots of great conversations with visitors about lots of different exhibits.”  Meili Wang, First Impressions Desk

 

“I enjoy seeing children learn.” Penny Thompson, Docent

 

“The kindergarteners’ insightful observations, seeing the excitement as they explore a piece of art for the first time.” Frank Gitschier, Docent, After a Cakewalk gallery tour (featured right)

 

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping visitors that come into the museum.  If I can provide information that enhances their visit I have done my job.”  George Childress, First Impressions Desk

 

“Any time a kid walks into the museum.” Liz Land, Docent (featured below)

 

“I like it all. The best part of volunteering for the museum is working with staff and other volunteers to help the patrons have a good experience when they visit.”  Luigi Edwards, Special Events Volunteer

 

 

 

We look forward to your stories and the next installment of “Volunteer Voices” very soon!

Meg Hall
Volunteer Coordinator

Happy Holidays from the MMFA!

From all the staff at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, we wish you a safe and joyful holiday!

Whether traveling to visit family, having a vacation, or taking a “stay-cation”, we hope the end of 2016 is full of warmth and cheer.

 

Click the title above to look at pictures from holiday events at the MMFA!

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

The 27th Annual Flimp Festival

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

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

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

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

Elem-1stPlace2

 

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

MS-1stPlace-UniquePerspectiveFlimp

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

 

HS-1stplace Flimp Chalk-Untitled

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

 

Adult-FirstPlaceandThemeFlimp-Charles

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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

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

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

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

Cynthia Milledge
Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Join us for Flimp!

GREENWe are hard at work gearing up for the 27th annual Flimp Festival to be held Saturday, May 7, on the Museum grounds. Our theme this year is Picture Yourself at Flimp. Over 300 artists will be participating in the Chalk Art Competition, working around the concept of portraits. We can’t wait to see how they design and execute their squares! The Museum is grateful to our many chalk art sponsors, but we are still looking for more. If you’re interested in sponsoring a square, please call Alice Novak at 334.240.4362.

FlimpBlog#5.2015.0004The Do-Dah Pet Parade will kick off at 10:30 A.M. led by the Booker T. Washington Magnet High School Brass Band. You can pre-register your pet online at www.mmfa.org or on Saturday starting at 10 A.M. There will be lots of prizes for best costumes courtesy of Petland, so make sure to dress up your furry friends for a chance to win! We are excited to be working with the Humane Society of Montgomery again this year and will have shelter dogs on site that are available for adoption.

Flimp Blog#1.2014.0022BTW students will be performing across two stages throughout the day. Performances will begin at 10 A.M. and end at 2 P.M. with new acts every 45 minutes. The students will also be manning a face-painting tent in the circle drive.

FlimpBlog#42012.0098Winfred Hawkins and Stephen Davis will be leading hands-on art activities as our demonstrating artists outside. Our studios will be full of fun projects and hat making will occur in the Orientation Circle. Be sure to sit in on a drum circle with Dave Holland in the Lowder Gallery and explore portraits from the Museum’s permanent collection via the Treasure Hunt starting in the Rotunda.

We are excited to be working with the Clean City Commission again this year for Funky Junk creating art from found and recycled objects. Family Sunshine Center will be here with their beautiful and unique birdhouses on display in the Rotunda. The Montgomery Advertiser will be on the grounds with selfie sticks taking candid shots with the attendees to stream live on their website throughout the day. We are thrilled that Nancy’s Italian Ice will be back and are happy to announce That’s My Dog will be providing the concessions for the day. So make sure to stop by the hot dog stand for your lunch and have Italian Ice for dessert!

FlimpBlog#2.2014.0054The Museum is grateful for the help of Bluewater Broadcasting, LLC, Cumulus Broadcasting, The Montgomery Advertiser, River Region Magazine, Parents Magazine, WSFA-TV, The Alabama News Network, and American Klassic Designs. We also want to thank the BTW teachers and students for their partnership in this event and our Museum volunteers and docents without whom this event would not be possible.

See you May 7th!

Blake Rosen
Special Events Coordinator

Korean–Language Gallery Talk: Connecting to American History through Art

KoreanTalk.Blog.2On September 17, MMFA Docent Jiyeon Suh led a dynamic Korean-language gallery talk in the exhibition Journey Through the Collection: Docent Choices.  She focused on a section of the exhibition called Remembering the Past, which includes art that addresses American history from the Native American experience to the Civil Rights Movement.  I was lucky enough to be a participant and occasionally heard an English phrase such as “Manifest Destiny” or “flappers” which gave me a sense of the conversation.  At the end I asked Jiyeon, “Did you mention Kevin Costner?” and a few other questions . . .
 
“What is something about American history as represented in the exhibition that you find particularly interesting?”
 
Jiyeon: “At the beginning of the gallery talk, I introduced the idea that learning about the major conflicts that define American history helps to understand the social and cultural shifts in this country’s relatively brief history.  We looked at representations of the Civil War, First World War, and Second World War during the gallery talk.  Korean audiences can follow the timeline of American history easily because there are many close relationships to our national history.”   
 
“What connections to popular culture did you make in the galleries to help people understand the works of art?”
 
J: “While we were looking at a painting of Plains Indians beside a portrait of a Confederate Solider, I talked about Dances with Wolves, since native cultures and the Civil War are at the heart of the movie.  We also examined works from the 20s and 30s,  and I made connections to The Great Gatsby, which is very well-known in Korea, and a more recent Korean film, Assassination, which is set in 1933.”
 
“What is your message to your friends about enjoying the Museum?”
 
J: “The Museum is a wonderful gift to all of the families in Montgomery.  I love the people I meet at the Museum, connecting with my fellow volunteers, and the passion for art here!
 
With a Korean audience, I like to emphasize that by learning more about American art, history, literature, music, movies, and current issues we can better relate to our children and help them with everything they are studying in school.  It also gives us fun topics to discuss at home! “KoreanTalk.Blog
 
Many people are looking forward to hearing more from Jiyeon and her perspective on American culture in Journey Through the Collection very soon. 
 
– Alice Novak, Curator, with Jiyeon Suh

MAG Featured Artist Clark Walker Discusses His Art and Demonstrates Its Creation

walker1blogrevisedArtists rarely have the opportunity to see their work in museum galleries, and the public rarely has the chance to hear artists discuss their work that is on display in museum galleries. On Sunday, June 28, Clark Walker and River Region art aficionados were able to enjoy these rare treats.

Walker conducted an informal gallery talk in the Museum galleries that are temporarily devoted exclusively to his retrospective show that is part of the 41st Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition. Two-dozen paintings and drawings on loan from a dozen local collectors comprise the show. The artist also demonstrated his drawing techniques.

walker3blogrevisedStanding at an easel in the Museum library, felt-tipped pen in hand, surrounded by admiring fans and collectors of his work, the artist showed how he typically begins drawings of faces with the eyes, then nose, mouth, and finally the silhouette of the head—all with an economical use of line. He explained in his typical deadpan manner that he paints the same way, “in my underwear.” It was not the first laugh he elicited from the crowd of forty people, nor the last. Nor was it the only insight he provided on how he draws and paints the “circus people,” “curb market people,” and countless cats and still-life compositions that have earned him well deserved respect among Montgomery art connoisseurs and collectors.

An illustrated brochure that documents the exhibition is available for free in the galleries, and may be downloaded free as a PDF from the Museum’s website. The 41st Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition with Featured Artist Clark Walker is on display through Sunday, August 9.

Michael Panhorst
Curator of Art

 

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