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Summer Arts Round-up

A summer summary of Williams / Berkshires arts news:

  • Be sure to support both MassMoca and the Clark, each of which has advanced to the second round of America’s favorite art museum contest. 
  • The Way Out, the new CD from The Books (based in North Adams, and featuring Eph Nick Zammuto ’99), has received “universal acclaim” according to Metacritic.  The Books are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but they create a lot of interesting soundscapes.  Listen to the new album here
  • Speaking of The Books, they will be performing at the can’t-miss music event of the summer in North Adams, the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival, which runs from August 13-15. 
  • Leonard Nimoy has an intriguing new exhibit at MassMoca.  Joseph Thompson ’81 is quoted at length in this NYTimes article discussing the exhibit and Nimoy’s career as an artist. 
  • WCMA commissioned an interesting installation (which is housed in a vacant North Adams car dealership) by Pepon Osorio, Drowning in a Glass of Water. 
  • Darlingside, comprised of recent Eph grads, continues to produce great music.  You can purchase their LP or see their tour dates here
  • North Adams’ annual Downstreet Art exhibition series appears to be bigger and better than ever this summer.  Even City Hall is getting in on the burgeoning North Adams art scene. 
  • John Sayles ’72’s latest film, Amigo, is in post-production.  Sayles has a blog chronicling the making of the movie.  See the teaser trailer here
  • Lee Hom Wang ’98 continues to dominate the China arts scene, recording a duet with Usher, starring in and  directing a film, and releasing a new album.  Busy guy …
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YouTube: Williams’ Future in Global Context

For the audience–

Please provide summary, questions, or just ignore me!

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Art + Science

WCMA currently has an exhibition titled Landscapes of the Mind.

Co-curated by Psychology Professor Betty Zimmerberg and Interim Curator Kathryn Price, the show features the work of four artists who, in very different ways, draw their inspiration from the inner landscape of the brain.

The  piece featured here, is by artist Jessica Rankin, whose embroideries on organdy, are inspired by neurological activity.

Andrew Carnie , on the other hand, “demonstrates the birth and differentiation of brain cells” by projecting images in the darkened Rotunda. Katy Schimert uses a variety of materials, ranging from wire mesh, to light bulbs, to build installations modeled on brain structures. And finally,  Susan Aldworth’s etchings were initially inspired by seeing images of her own brain during her stint as a neurology patient.

Jenny Tang reviews the show for The Record , while Charles Bonenti at The Berkshire Eagle explores the artists’ backgrounds and processes.

The museum is also featuring a series of events around the exhibition, one of which is a symposium on March 13th, featuring a  discussion on the intersections of art and science.

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Reckoning With Gravity

MassMoca is currently featuring a very cool exhibit in its massive gallery, Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With, by Eph artist (and Bicentennial Medal winner) Inigo Manglano-Ovalle ’83.

You can watch numerous videos of Manglano-Orvalle discussing his work and his view on art at the PBS website.  One of his video installations is currently being exhibited at the WCMA.

Speaking of prominent artist alums, check out the latest work from Camille Utterback ’92.

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Coffee Break with WCMA #2

martha-graham-wcma

Barbara Morgan (American, 1900-1992)
Martha Graham Letter to the World, 1940
gelatin silver print
Williams College Museum of Art,
Museum purchase, Miscellaneous Gifts Fund

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WCMA Coffee Break

grant-wood-dorr-1935 Grant Wood (American, 1892-1942)

Death on the Ridge Road, 1935
oil on masonite
Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Cole Porter

 

This painting is part of WCMA’s permanent collection. I love how each piece has several stories to it, not the least of which is how it came to be at WCMA. I would like to hear more about this bequest. What was Porter’s connection to the college? Please tell us if you know.

The only other tidbit of information I will offer is that this particular painting was unusual for Wood in that it was the only one of his landscapes that depicted a motor vehicle and a less than idyllic mood.

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WCMA

wcma-pissarro2

 

 

So, the recent thread on the Williams College Museum of Art has piqued my curiosity. I have visited the museum several times, and was duly impressed. It is a beautiful space, well-run, well-endowed, and obviously well-utilized by the college and the community. There were numerous comments that pointed out the ways in which this is so, but one in particular (by occasional commenter and Williams Art History major, Suz), gave me the understanding of just how vital the museum is as a center of learning, not only to the art program at Williams, but to the local schools as well. She says:

I think there are about 10 grade school tours a week and about 30 undergraduate tour guides. Also every 101/102 class at Williams makes extensive use of WCMA. I was even able to write for my first publication through WCMA, namely through my class with Prof. Gerrard on fakes and a related show at WCMA. WCMA is a huge resource for the college and for the surrounding community. Its closing would be the equivalent of closing all of the chem labs and telling all of the chemistry students to just get by on lectures and theory, then expecting them to go out and work in a top lab or in a top graduate program.

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