Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Born May 26, 1895. in Hoboken, N.J., Dorothea Lange was an important documentary photographer during the Great Depression. Lange studied photography at Columbia University but is best known for her portrait work of migrant workers in southern California. Hired by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program, Lange documented the desperate conditions of those suffering from the tragedies of the Great Depression. Her iconic images brought the misfortunes of the rural poor to the public’s attention.
Her work is considered both portraiture and documentary due to its emotion-invoking nature. Her best-known image, “Migrant Mother, Nipoma, California, 1936,” is a perfect example of this combination. Lange was able to bring out emotion in her images, in a way that did not always exist in photography. Sadly, Lange passed away in 1965, but her work will forever be remembered for its impact on society as well as the visual arts.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This relatively new art form is blowing up in New York, Philadelphia, Paris and even in our very own Athens, Ga. Yarn Bombing is a new form of graffiti that is more “feminine and cozy” than what you typically see on walls, streets or practically any surface in the urban landscape. According to a New York Times article published recently, Jessie Hemmons, who knitted a pink vest for the statue of Rocky located outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, says that her art is “like graffiti with grandma sweaters.” This oxymoronically named art form got its surge when Mandy Moore (not the one you’re thinking of) and Leanne Prain published a book of photos and tips for up-starters called Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009). Since then, many have taken up the cause and have created breath-taking and time-consuming projects all around the globe. You can even spot a “bomb” outside the Lamar Dodd School of Art on UGA’s Campus. Whimsical, crocheted smoke clouds escape the cigarette repository outside the front doors of the building.
A "Yarn Bomb" outside UGA's Lamar Dodd School of Art
The message that these artists communicate is somewhere between political activism (acknowledging a feminine side of a typically male-dominated art) and revitalizing the ideas surrounding knitting and crochet. The temporality of the pieces is another thing that draws artists to the medium. The yarn does not hold up in the elements for more than a few weeks and the objects are sometimes quickly removed, but ephemeral qualities make it so exciting. What a great way to spruce up the neighborhood. UGA graduates Francesca Valente and Carrie Mumah chronicle their Yarn Bombs around Washington, D.C., in a group called “The Warm and Fuzzies.”
To learn more about this urban phenomenon, read the article, which also shows a video of a woman “bombing” the bull statue near Wall Street. All we can say is that we love this creative outlet and it is certainly not your average warfare.
The story of the French street artist who goes by the name JR is not unlike that of most graffiti artists. At the age of 15, equipped with a can of spray paint, he began scribbling his name on every building he came across. He never viewed his activity as an art form, rather as a way of making his mark on history. Over time, JR began photographing his adventures and those of his friends. But then something changed. At the age of 25, JR found himself in the midst of the social unrest that was taking place in Paris. He decided it was a time for change, and he began contributing the only way he knew how. With the use of paste and a photocopier, JR began illegally posting massive portraits of Parisian “thugs” on the walls of city buildings. The public was confronted with towering images of the people they feared most and sought to avoid. JR used his art silently to provoke conversation. During his 2011 lecture for the TED organization, he commented that, “it was there that I learned the power of paper and glue. So could art change the world?”
Since then, JR has viewed the world as his gallery space, using everything from streetcars to synagogues as his canvas. He pastes up portraits of members of the community as a way to raise questions. He is interested in documenting the community, not the conflict, which is what separates him from most photojournalists. He has traveled to the Middle East during the heart of the Palestinian conflict and to war-torn nations in Africa. When anyone asked what he was doing, he simply responded with, “art. I’m just doing art.”
Due to the nature of the medium, his work becomes the property of the viewer after he leaves. Decay is part of the process. The passer-by is welcome to graffiti over his work and, over time, weather wears the image down to nothing more than a memory. His art is not meant to change the world; it is meant to change the way we see the world.
He said, “What we see changes who we are. So I hope that, together, we’ll create something that the world will remember. And this starts right now and depends on you.”
Friday, May 20, 2011
We're still refining and revising aspects of our wonderful new website (designed by the Adsmith), and one of the most recent parts to go live is the section where you can browse our newsletter in a full-page format. Just click to read it, then click again to zoom in.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Congratulations to David Matheny, who was named the M. Smith Griffith Volunteer of the Year, an award also known as the "Smitty," at the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 17.
Matheny began his service to the Georgia Museum of Art during the late 1990s, when he was first asked to serve on a fundraising committee for a museum event. He was nominated to the board of directors of the Friends of the Museum in 2002, on which he served for six years. He was president of the board of the Friends from 2006 to 2008. He continues his service on the Nominating Committee and as a committee member for the next Friends’ fundraiser.
Matheny has also contributed professionally to the Georgia Museum of Art. He was an architectural consultant for the museum’s 1996 building, and when the first plans for Phase II were being drawn, his expertise was invaluable. He is also a principal in the Armentrout Matheny Thurmond architectural consulting group and was the primary architect for the renovation and expansion of Barbara and Vince Dooley's house.
As a result of his service to the museum, Matheny was nominated in 2008 to serve on the Board of Advisors of the Georgia Museum of Art. He is currently an active member of the board and serves on the Public Affairs and Outreach committee.
Matheny has distinguished himself in one area in particular: fundraising. Since his first committee assignment, he has served on every fundraising committee for every major Friends’ fundraiser during the past decade. During 2006, 2008 and 2011, he was the chair of the Elegant Salute fundraising committee, setting new records for fundraising and a new standard for the Friends. During the past year, his tireless efforts netted almost $100,000, much of which will be directed toward educational programming.
With the assistance of an etiquette expert and a collection of museum employees, who, trust us, have seen it all, we have compiled a brief guide to museum manners in the age of iPhones, bucket-size coffee drinks and handbags you could pitch a tent in.Our favorite sentence in the article? "Jeffrey Arnett, manager of development and marketing for the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago says he is frequently forced to mediate the conflict between modern visitors' hydration needs and the more arid requirements of a photography collection."
The good news is that Chicago's museum employees say you are pretty close to perfect just the way you are. They don't care what you're wearing as long as it's not a backpack. There is nothing you could say about their exhibits that would offend them; they're just happy to have started a conversation. They're flattered that you want to take their picture.
. . . Museum manners, however, have to take into account one fairly unique circumstance. "You're dealing with priceless objects. It's one of the few places that is true."
Which is why, at the Art Institute of Chicago, public affairs director Erin Hogan says, pens, flash photography and backpacks are unwelcome. Also, she says, "we are not a huge fan of pointing," which can lead to jabbing, which runs the risk of unintentional contact with artwork.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
We were excited to see this GMOA photo featured as Birmingham-Southern College’s “Hilltop Photo of the Week”!
The photo, taken at this January’s Elegant Salute XII, depicts two Birmingham-Southern alumni: Anna Burns Dyer (’70), and our director, Bill Eiland (’70; right). Eiland was also the recipient of Birmingham-Southern’s Distinguished Alumni Award at the school’s Homecoming/Reunion Weekend festivities this past fall.
The BSC Photo of the Week website also featured a short blurb about the museum’s reopening and expansion. To check it out, click here. Thanks for the shout out, Birmingham-Southern College!
This year’s theme is “Museum and Memory: Objects Tell Your Story,” which highlights the role that objects play in society’s collective memory. Museums aren’t just big buildings filled with old junk; they are visual showcases of humanity’s time spent on this earth. History builds upon itself, and the absence of the precious artifacts housed in museums would be indescribable. Restoration, conservation and curatorship are all integral parts of museums. So on May 18, take an hour or two to visit your local museum (like the Georgia Museum of Art) and appreciate the beauty that has been preserved and displayed for the benefit of you, your community and the future members of society.
Also, don't forget to stop by the gift shop after your visit to the GMOA. We're offering a 20% discount in the shop, both online (with the code MUSEUMDAY) and in person.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Our director was passing through the Atlanta airport this week and made his way over to the T Gates, where our exhibition "All Creatures Great and Small" is on view until April 2012. He snapped some photos with his phone, so you can see how it looks on display, with the video running.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Grace is a homeschooled sixth-grader who enjoys playing guitar, geocaching and photography, among other things. She also writes a column for the Athens Banner-Herald and maintains a blog called The Kid Reader. How has a sixth-grader already accomplished so much? Grace credits Athens’ artsy atmosphere:
“If I were in a really big city, I probably wouldn't be able to write for the newspaper. Living in a small town means I have a lot more opportunities. Athens is very welcoming of independent and up and coming artists and musicians."
Speaking of artists, Grace referred to the Georgia Museum of Art’s very own Anthony Goicolea exhibition as a source of inspiration. She attended Goicolea’s artist’s talk that took place at the museum in February and was inspired by the meaning behind his photography.
To read the Athens Patch article on Grace and check out some samples of her art, please click here.
Thanks, Grace, for the shout out and we hope to see you again soon!