Archive for November, 2012

The Art of Observation

 
WAM Curator of Education, Ann Grimaldi, leading "Art of Observation" gallery discussion

WAM Curator of Education, Ann Grimaldi, leading "Art of Observation" gallery discussion in the exhibition "On the Path to Abstraction: Highlights of the Permanent Collection".

Curator of Education Ann Grimaldi and volunteer docent Kate Barrett lead a discussion with UNCG Teacher Education majors in Kinesiology on the “Art of Observation.” Dr. Barrett, retired UNCG professor emerita in Kinesiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Science), and Grimaldi created the program three years ago to aid students in academic areas where observation is crucial such as in gymnasiums and playing fields.

Using works of art on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, students practice an awareness of their observation habits through processes like scanning, detail recognition, organization and analysis of visual data. Knowing “how to look” and “what to look for” is an essential step in understanding what we see and for physical education teacher education students, it can be critical in assessing students’ motor skill development. Over 160 UNCG students have participated in the program to date, which has been expanded to psychiatric nursing and dietetic nutrition areas.

(Photo above shot in the permanent collection exhibition On the Path to Abstraction: Highlights of the Permanent Collection)

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Dan Graham Gets a Temporary Design Face Lift

 
Christopher Thomas with Design I students

Christopher Thomas with Design I students, installing their project on the covered Dan Graham sculpture "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts". Photo: Myra Scott

If you visited the Weatherspoon this Fall, you probably witnessed the tell-tale signs of roof repairs, scaffolding and noise. As excited as we were for our twenty-three year old building to get a new roof, we knew we would need to be extra vigilant about protecting works of art in the Sculpture Garden, especially Dan Graham’s Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts. Graham’s glass and mirror sculpture was purchased by the museum for its permanent collection in 2006 and is a favorite with school groups.

Dan Graham, "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts", 1989

Dan Graham, "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts", 1989, two-way mirror, clear glass and aluminum, 72 x 72 x 72 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Jefferson-Pilot Endowment, the Burlington Industries Endowment, the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment, the Frances Stern Loewenstein Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment, the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment, the Jane and Richard Levy Sculpture Fund, the Judy Proctor Acquisition Endowment, the Melanie H. and Robert C. Ketner Family Acquisition Endowment and the Weatherspoon Guild Acquisition Endowment, 2006.

Protecting the sculpture required the construction of a special on-site crate consisting of particle board and strengthened by 2x4s that were bolted directly into the courtyard surface. With roof repairs taking longer to complete than planned, WAM staff thought it would be a good opportunity to work with UNCG design students to dress up the temporary wooden cube and give visitors something to experience (rather than weathered particle board) when entering the Sculpture Garden. We approached UNCG faculty Christopher Thomas and Lee Walton about a design competition with participants from their Design 1 and Art 140 classes.

Christopher Thomas adds:

“Responding to a call for proposals from the Weatherspoon to ‘make use’ of the plywood box currently in place over the Dan Graham sculpture protecting it from construction debris, Design I students from my class and Lee Walton’s wrote in. (Cambrin Culp, Lydia Flores, Tiffany Hutchens, Shannon Keller, Lily Musai and CJ Toomer are from my class).

One of the student entries. Design proposed by Cambrin Culp, Courtney-Nachè Toomer, Lydia Flores.

Design proposed by students Cambrin Culp, Courtney-Nachè Toomer, Lydia Flores.

WAM Curator of Collections, Elaine Gustafson, provided us with information on the artist and his work so that students could better understand what his sculptures were about…the idea was to make images in response to the themes in Dan Graham’s work while exploring some basic Design I value and shape problems.  So, issues of fragmentation, social disconnect, reflection and environment were some of the departure points for the students’ designs.

Final installation was done using ink jet prints and wheat paste on a gorgeous Fall Friday followed by ham and bean soup in the museum courtyard!”

Students participants from Lee Walton’s Art 140 class:  Jenny Bennett, Miguel Cervera, Janelle DeRobertis, Chandler Field, Dray Fountain, and Logan Ritchey.

Visit the museum’s Event Photo page for more images.

Roof construction is finally winding down as work completes after Thanksgiving break. The final detail to complete is the re-installation of the speakers for the Bill Fontana sound work “Spiraling Sound Axis“—which is also a part of the museum’s Sculpture Garden experience.  Fontana’s work had to be de-installed during construction.  As soon as the Fontana speakers are re-installed our preparators will be able to remove the plywood protection from the Graham sculpture.  Visitors will once again be able to enjoy both the Graham sculpture and listen to the Fontana sound installation.

Kids playing inside the Dan Graham Sculpture at the Weatherspoon

Kids playing inside the Dan Graham Sculpture at the Weatherspoon

Thank you to the Design 1  and Art 140 students for all their work on this project.

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Chinese Arts Delegation Visits the Weatherspoon

 
Chinese delegation visits the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Chinese delegation visits the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Photo: David Wilson, UNCG University Relations.

The Weatherspoon had a special visit (hosted at UNCG) on November 2 as a delegation of 26 Chinese provincial and municipal leaders came to the museum for a presentation.  The group – which is also visiting New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – included mayors and top leaders from seven Chinese provinces who wanted to learn more about the cultural and performing arts and the entertainment industries in the U.S.

Link to more photos from the visit here.

This cultural delegation was organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), a national organization engaged in people-to-people diplomacy between the People’s Republic of China and other countries. It aims to further international cooperation and, among its many activities, it is entrusted by the government with promoting cultural exchange and cooperation.

The visit of these Chinese leaders was the result of an initiative undertaken by a delegation of UNCG administrators and faculty who visited the CPAFFC headquarters in Beijing in April 2012.

The UNCG symposium (“Entrepreneurship and the Arts in the U.S.”) included lectures and discussions by top artists, teachers and performers; including a presentation at the Weatherspoon Art Museum with our director Nancy Doll.

Museum Director Nancy Doll with member of the Chinese delegation.

Museum Director Nancy Doll with member of the Chinese delegation. photo: David Wilson, UNCG University Relations.

While visiting the Weatherspoon, the delegation toured several exhibitions, including On the Path to Abstraction, Art on Paper 2012: The 42nd Exhibition, and The Cone Sisters Collect.

Two special concert performances were also presented at UNCG in honor of the guests. UNCG faculty musicians presented a concert at the Recital Hall of the School of Music Theater and Dance. Performers included the Faculty Jazz Quartet, the East Wind Quintette d’Anches, the McIver String Quartet, pianist Andrew Willis on fortepiano, and singers Clara O’Brien, Nancy Walker and Donald Hartmann. Students of choreographer and dance professor Duane Cyrus also performed in the UNCG Dance Theater in the HHP building.

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Self & Others: Literacy Through The Visual Image

 
Diana Greene with Newcomers students.

Diana Greene with Newcomers students.

Working with photographer/writer Diana Greene, students at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Greensboro, NC are discovering aspects of themselves and others through photography, writing experiences, and visual art from the Weatherspoon’s collection.

The Arts-in-Education collaboration between the Weatherspoon Art Museum (WAM) and the Newcomers school is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council with additional support from the Toler and Schandler-Lopp Foundations.

Self and Others: Literacy Through the Visual Image began in September with an introduction to photography for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. On October 24th, students worked with Diana Greene and Weatherspoon staff and volunteers to photograph each other in selected settings, with props, in each student’s planned pose. These photographs will become the catalyst for the students’ stories about themselves.

Photography lesson with Diana Greene.

Photography lesson with Diana Greene.

During the second part of the residency students will write from pre-selected reproductions of WAM art works—like Elizabeth Catlett’s Sharecropper and Nina Berman’s Randall Clunen, from the Purple Hearts series. Through their emotional and narrative content, works of art like these can transcend the language barrier, inviting students to investigate the lives of others. In the Spring, the students will also visit the museum to view The Penetrating Gaze exhibition and participate in a writing activity with Diana Greene at the museum.

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