Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Acquisitions: "Patchwork/Terry" by Sam Gilliam

Created by abstract painter Sam Gilliam in 1980, “Patchwork/Terry” was commissioned by Rita Curran Morgan, Teresa Friedlander’s mother, as a college graduation gift for her daughter, whom she called “Terry.” Teresa has enjoyed this work for over three decades and, through her generous gift, has extended this opportunity to countless new visitors to the Georgia Museum of Art, in memory of her mother. Morgan was an administrative assistant to Gilliam and his wife, Dorothy, during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Gilliam is a significant figure in the development of abstract color field painting. A prolific painter currently active in the Washington, D.C., area, Gilliam gained initial recognition in the late 1960s for his large and colorful, unstretched — or “draped” — canvases. In the 1980s, his techniques included putting large pieces of canvas on the floor and pouring or throwing acrylic paint on them to build thick layers. The artist then used a rake, broom or fingers to move the paint to add texture and reveal the various colors. When the canvases dried, Gilliam cut them into geometric shapes and pieced them together into three-dimensional paintings over polygonal wooden stretchers, as with “Patchwork/Terry.” Here, Gilliam exposes its painted edges, suggesting spatial qualities akin to sculpture, with the work itself appearing as colorful, textured fragments reminiscent of quiltmaking.

Shawnya Harris
Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator
of African American and African Diasporic Art

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Can’t Get Enough of the Georgia Museum of Art? Join Us on Snapchat!

This week we’d like to share our Georgia Museum of Art Snapchat account with you, where our staff posts daily, behind-the-scenes pictures and videos from museum life. We are proud to be the third museum in the nation to acquire a Snapchat and are excited about exploring this platform further as a way to stay in touch with art lovers in the Athens community and beyond.

Point your phone at this image, this is our unique Snapcode.
For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a smartphone application that allows users to post updates of their life that only stay online for 24 hours and show other users how they have experienced their day. We use our Snapchat account to inform our followers about events, exhibitions and exciting developments. For example, our past snaps have included videos of the preparatory crew putting together an exhibition in the museum galleries, a photo series about current pieces on display, videos of group tours and other related art-lifestyle posts.

Snapchat comes as the newest addition to the museum’s growing social media presence that currently includes Facebook, TwitterInstagram and this blog.

To add the Georgia Museum of Art to your Snapchat, open the Snapchat app and point your Snapchat camera at our unique Snapcode, which is shown here in the blog post. Then tap the screen. Your app will register the museum’s account and you can start viewing our content immediately. Alternatively, you can follow the museum by adding our username, @georgiamuseum, directly in the app.

Madison Bledsoe
Public Relations Intern

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Museum Installs Public Art: The Do Good Fund Teen Photography Workshop

Last Tuesday, June 7, two educators, one preparator and an intern from the Georgia Museum of Art took a break from the galleries to install a new exhibition on an exterior wall of CinĂ©, the local community-based cinema and arts venue in downtown Athens, Georgia (234 W. Hancock Avenue). This installation is the culmination of the Do Good Fund Teen Photography Workshop, in which a group of local teens learned about the art of photography through the Do Good Fund's exhibition of photographs by Southern artists. In response, the young artists created work to influence community engagement. In conjunction with Inside Out, a worldwide outdoor photography project, the display of eleven teen portraits honors the contributions of young adults to our community’s well-being.

Time-lapse video of the installation by Larry Forte

At the museum, we pride ourselves in preserving works of art to ensure their long existence for the public. For this outdoor installation, we faced a number of challenges that rarely threaten an exhibition indoors. The final large-scale photographs were printed on paper and adhered to the public wall space with a homemade wheat paste made from a mixture of flour and water. Although we always understood this installation was ephemeral and to last for one month, torrential rain and wind quickly disintegrated many of the photographs in just one week, with only two photos managing to stay intact.

But not to fret. The damaged work will be replaced in time to celebrate teen artists at the Athens Farmers Market on Wednesday, June 22, across from CinĂ© at Creature Comforts from 4 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to create their own self-portrait and continue the young artists’ message that, together, we add life to the Athens community in all of our beautifully individual ways.

Brittany Ranew
Education Program Specialist

* * *

We are the next wave of thinkers, inventors, and astronauts; the ones who will make Athens proud. We are curious, brave, active, smart, shy, busy, loving, daring and different in many ways. We are the quiet ones with books under desks, the bold ones who stand up for what's right, and some of us aren't quite sure who we in are yet.

In these photos you can see our origins our eyes. 
Together, we add life to the Athens community.

Artists on view (from left to right): Piper, Crystal, Savannah, Eva, Stacy, Jessa, Kamron, Annesly, Tina, Umberto and Angelina

Contributing artists: Don, Madison, Michael and Sofy

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Georgia Museum of Art and Museums for All

On April 14, 2016, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia became the first museum in the state to commit officially to serving low-income families through the Museums for All program. Organized by the Association of Children’s Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Museums for All encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. A study featured in the New York Times concluded that “visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition.” The study showed that students who visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on school tours “demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions.” In addition, “most of the benefits … observed are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools.”

Young visitors examine a rare Japanese
three-paneled screen at the Georgia Museum of Art.
With Museums for All, museums with an admission charge offer reduced or free admission to visitors who present an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The Georgia Museum of Art is pleased to join this group of institutions. As part of the state’s flagship land-grant university, the museum has a strong commitment to service and outreach and already offers free admission to all visitors, thereby removing the need to present a card or an ID. About 15 percent of families living in Athens-Clarke County have incomes below the poverty line. By participating in Museums for All, the museum hopes to make low-income visitors aware of this fact and further broaden and diversify its audience.

“I’m pleased to welcome the Georgia Museum of Art into the family of Museums for All participants,” said IMLS director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “As the first museum in Georgia to sign on to the program, the Georgia Museum of Art is leading by example. Through its community outreach and Museums for All participation, the museum will establish its credentials as a true community cornerstone that is accessible to all.”

A full list of participating institutions is available at

For museum hours, location and directions, visit our website.

Hillary Brown
Director of Communications

Thursday, June 02, 2016

"Turned and Sculpted": Wood Art Photography by Michael McKelvey

Hot off the press is the catalogue for the museum's spring exhibition "Turned and Sculpted: Wood Art from the Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason," on display from May 14 to August 7. The exhibition features 30 objects, all made entirely of sculpted wood, by some of the most renowned contemporary artists in the form. The word “turned” in the title of the exhibition reflects the fact that many of the artists used a lathe to sculpt the wood, rotating the material on its axis to create a symmetrical, rounded form.

For the catalogue photography, capturing the intricate textures of wood and the three-dimensionality of wood art poses a unique set of challenges, and photographer Michael McKelvey has done an exceptional job in conveying the tactile nature of the wood sculptures as well as their beauty. Assistant registrar Sarina Rousso, who was present at the photography shoot, said, "I've been working with Michael for about ten years and during all this time it's still an honor to assist someone with such a keen eye for detail and a great appreciation for all art mediums. Some of the bowls were 'tricky,' as he put it, to honor the true piece and deal with the high gloss, but I think he was quite successful!"

Watch the video below for a look at the photographs featured inside the publication.