Thursday, November 30, 2017

Competing with Netflix: The Georgia Museum of Art's Student Night

UGA students Gabby Victorio and Kylie Anderson at Student Night
How do you catch the attention of college students on a Thursday evening when there’s Netflix to be watched, essays to be written and concerts to go to? A combination of free pizza, amusing crafts, a WUOG DJ, a Polaroid photo booth and an innovative exhibition by an African American artist will not only capture their attention but attract them in hordes. The Georgia Museum of Art StudentAssociation put on its second student night of the academic year on Thursday, November 9, highlighting the exhibition “Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs andtête-à-tête.”

Students making collages at Student Night   
The student nights are put on three nights a year by the Student Association as a way to draw students in and showcase the current exhibitions and permanent collection of the museum. Each student night includes a craft that is related to the exhibition, free food catered by a local restaurant, a DJ from the student-run college radio station (WUOG), an activity involving the exhibition and a Polaroid photo booth. The craft for this Student Night involved students making collages with Polaroids and magazine clippings as homage to Thomas’ work and the activity had students using Snapchat to complete a scavenger hunt of images from the exhibition.

Student Association president Rebecca Gross said, of choosing the Thomas exhibition for the student night, “Our whole team really felt drawn to this show. We always go and take a walk through the galleries to choose an exhibit before we start planning student night, and this one was an immediate yes. Not only were all the works visually striking, but the themes addressed really stuck out to us. The show deals with things that may be uncomfortable for some people to talk about, but I think they are exactly the things we need to talk about, especially as college students. Our hope in featuring this exhibit was that the vibrancy and visual opulence would draw students in, and from that they would be prompted to think about some of these important social issues.”

Members of the student association in front of the photo booth    

The Student Association has been active for many years now and continues to grow with each passing year. Students enjoy the opportunity to be an active member in promoting the museum and its wonderful exhibitions. 

The Student Association is planning its next student night for February 8, 2018. Join them for a night of art, music and fun. 

Stephanie Motter
Intern, Department of Communications

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Former Intern Daniel Chamberlin Is Making a Career in Museums

Daniel Chamberlin giving a tour at the Owens-Thomas House, Savannah.

Daniel Chamberlin was a volunteer intern at the Georgia Museum of Art from 2012 to 2014. He worked on numerous projects while here, including with Dale Couch, curator of decorative arts, and with the preparators, helping to mount exhibitions including "Rugs of the Caucasus." For that exhibition, he also wrote materials for its catalogue. We've followed his museum travels since he left here and been proud to see him working first at Hay House, Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, in Macon, where he was a museum interpreter, and now in a similar role at the Owens-Thomas House and Telfair Academy, part of the Telfair Museums in Savannah. We asked if he would write something for us on his experience here, and he was kind enough to oblige.

During my time as an intern at the Georgia Museum of Art I was exposed to so many great things I have taken with me into other jobs since that time. Working with Dale Couch as a curatorial intern was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had, and he continues to be a mentor to me today. His wealth of knowledge combined with the resources available at the Georgia Museum of Art were invaluable. I not only learned a great deal about object analysis, best museum practices and research methods; but was exposed to both public and private collections giving me innumerable learning opportunities. He introduced me to many other museum professionals within the field, and I continue to maintain those connections today. Through those I have been able to further my own education and career path.
Unlike many student interns, I completed two consecutive internships, and stayed for a second year to work within the preparators' department. The skills I gained during my time working with Todd Rivers and Larry Forte have also proven to be of great worth — from exhibit design to ​various construction methods. Given the chance to design and execute a temporary exhibition, I was able to work directly with curatorial and preparation staff members simultaneously, which gave me such an in-depth and holistic experience. 
All of this has carried me through much of the work I have done since that time. Currently employed by the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia, I am still using those skill sets and knowledge I gleaned within the collections and galleries of the Georgia Museum of Art. I would highly recommend these intern programs to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in museum work on any level. 
To learn more about internship opportunities at the museum, which are rich in experiential learning, visit our website here

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Mickalene Thomas highlights her muses

Mickalene Thomas, La leçon d’amour, 2008. © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy the artist; Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The word “muse” conjures an image of an ethereal ancient Greek figure, but artist Mickalene Thomas has a different, more grounded set of muses, comprising strong African American women, including her mother, friends and former lovers. Thomas is best known for her large-scale paintings of women, which complicate the art historical representation of female beauty and reconsider tropes around femininity, identity and desire.

Currently based in Brooklyn, Thomas earned her bachelor of fine arts in painting at Pratt Institute in 2000 and a master of fine arts at the Yale University School of Art. She experimented with photography by taking photographs of herself and her mother. For each image, Thomas creates a tableau with furniture and fabrics that the models pose within. She uses stylistic influences from the 1970s, the civil rights movement and second-wave feminism as she puts forward a complex depiction of what it means to be a woman and an expansive definition of beauty.

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia is presenting the exhibition “Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and tête-à-tête” through January 7, 2018. More than 40 works by Thomas and artists whose work she has selected are on view.

Thomas’ work both deconstructs and reappropriates art history while it reflects a personal community of inspiration. Her photograph “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires,” for example, reimagines Edouard Manet’s famed painting of a bohemian picnic with three women who are close friends of the artist.

“We are excited about the opportunity to exhibit the work of this cutting-edge contemporary artist,” said Shawnya Harris, the museum’s Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art. “Our audiences will be engaged and fascinated with works that are both accessible and thought provoking.”

Carrie Mae Weems, "Project Row Houses," 2006 – present. © Carrie Mae Weems,
courtesy the artist and Jack Shaman Gallery, New York.
Thomas served as curator of the other artists’ works on display in the exhibition, an installation of work by fellow photographers that includes specific works of art that have inspired her. Artists include Derrick Adams, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi, Malick Sidibé, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas and Carrie Mae Weems.

This exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation in New York, a not-for-profit foundation that aims to connect the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work. This exhibition is sponsored by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc., and locally by UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.

Remaining programs related to the exhibition include a Teen Studio program tonight (November 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.), which is free and includes a pizza dinner (email or call 706.542.0448 to reserve a spot); Student Night, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art Student Association, also tonight, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; and an Artful Conversation on December 13 at 2 p.m. Several of these programs are in conjunction with UGA’s 2017 Spotlight on the Arts festival.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Spotlight on the Arts Enters Its 6th Year

When UGA started its Spotlight on the Arts festival, it was a much smaller affair, but last year about 23,000 people attended its events. The festival runs November 1 – 12, with events in the literary, performing and visual arts happening all over the UGA campus. Today (November 2) brings the Student Spotlight, on the Tate Student Center Plaza, with theatrical and musical groups performing every 15 minutes until after 4 p.m. It's a great chance to see all the things students in the arts are doing on campus.

Of course, the museum has many events scheduled as part of Spotlight, including the first film in our Americans in Paris film series, "An American in Paris," tonight at 7 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium. Come experience Vincente Minnelli's lavish musical on the big screen, as Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron sing and dance their way around Paris.

Friday, November 3, brings one of our Morning Mindfulness sessions at 9:30 a.m. These free guided mindfulness meditation sessions, held every other Friday during the school year, include a variety of instructor-led meditation, movement and mindfulness techniques. No experience or special clothing is necessary, and we provide meditation pillows or yoga mats. (Reservations are encouraged; please contact 706.542.0448 or Funded in part by the Hemera Foundation.)

We have no special events planned for this Saturday, November 4, when UGA plays South Carolina at home at 3:30 p.m., but we will be open, as we are every home game Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. And Sunday, November 5, at 3 p.m., we'll have a docent-led tour of highlights from the permanent collection. We'll have another tour Wednesday, November 8, at 2 p.m.

On Tuesday, November 7, at 10 a.m., we'll have the latest in our series of Toddler Tuesdays, with a special tour, story time in the galleries and art activities just for little ones. This free, 40-minute program is designed for families with children ages 18 months to 3 years. Space is limited, and registration is full for this session, but you can email or call 706-542-0448 to be placed on the waiting list. 

Toddler Tuesday in action
From November 1 – 7, we're hosting the poster competition part of the 4 minutes, 33 seconds: Spotlight on Scholarship event, in our education resource center, just off the lobby. Stop by to see student research in the arts, then attend the in-person competition in our auditorium on Tuesday, November 7, at 7 p.m., where students have 4 minutes and 33 seconds to present their research and win cash prizes.

Teen Studio attendees will make photography collages
The evening of Thursday, November 9, will be one of our busiest times, with both Teen Studio and Student Night. This edition of the Teen Studio program focuses on the Mickalene Thomas exhibition and runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Teens ages 13 – 18 are invited to this studio-based workshop led by local artist and educator Kristen Bach. The group will spend time in the galleries exploring the work of contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas in the exhibition "Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and tête-à-tête" before creating their own mixed-media works of art using photography and collage. This program is free and includes a pizza dinner, but space is limited. Email or call 706-542-0448 to reserve a spot. 

Student Night is open to all UGA students, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Titled "Exposure: Race, Gender & Sexuality," it also focuses on the Mickalene Thomas exhibition. Thomas’ work focuses on the experience of African American women and the resulting work is vibrant and larger than life— definitely a must see. Come to see the exhibition, then stay for the Polaroid photo booth, collaging, button making, WUOG dj and local eats. Student Night is generously sponsored by the UGA Parents Leadership Council and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. 

Finally, Saturday, November 11, is an away game, which means it's time for the Spotlight on the Arts Family Day. In addition to the museum's monthly Family Day, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon and focuses on color as a theme, and creative writing activities taking place in the museum's education resource center in the afternoon, you can also bring your little ones to the Saturday Morning Club at Hodgson Concert Hall in the Performing Arts Center, an instrument petting zoo at the Community Music School in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music (plus performances by Community Music School attendees), dance performances (inside the music school) and an art carnival all over the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The Taqueria 1785 food truck will be on hand from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For details on all of these events and the dozens of others all over campus, visit