The Newport Art Museum is enjoying the start of spring with new exhibitions, engaging programming, and open doors welcoming guests to enjoy its arts campus.
The Museum remains open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and Sunday noon-5 p.m.
In “Digital Breath: Video and Sound Art in the Age of Global Connectivity,” on view until June 6, guest curator and multimedia artist Brian C. O’Malley brings together the work of seven artists with fresh and diverse perspectives exploring the theme of “breath” during the era of COVID with compelling video and sound artworks.
In celebration of the show, Newport Art Museum will host a virtual Artist Talk on Wednesday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. with four artists in the show as well as guest curator Brian O’Malley. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, John Devault, Lauren Mantecón, and Joseph Fortune will join O’Malley to discuss their individual explorations of the theme “breath” during this other-worldly time of the pandemic. Through this lens, each Digital Breath artist has created a compelling and thought-provoking response that asks us to consider human connection and disconnection. The talk is free for Museum members, $10 general admission, and will be delivered live on Zoom. Registration is available at newportartmuseum.org/events.
Creatives are often compelled to “make” as a way to grapple with what they see, feel and experience. This can mean mining deep wells of personal experiences, memories and emotions to make work for private or personal consumption, or for using their voice to amplify the struggles or issues they see taking place around them. Whatever the result, tapping into these rich sources of inspiration can be challenging but brings with it greater self-knowledge, compassion and creative energy.
On Wednesday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m, creatives of all kinds are invited to join a Cultivating Mindful Creativity Workshop. Writer, visual artist and founder of Born to Rise™ Kim Fuller will guide participants through an interactive workshop focused on cultivating connections, awakening a sense of mindfulness, and exercising our intuitive and empathetic muscles through conversation, writing and art-making. The workshop is $15 for Museum members, $20 general admission, and will be delivered live on Zoom. Registration is available at newportartmuseum.org/events.
On May 6, at 6:30 p.m, the Museum is pleased to present an Artist Talk with quilt artist and storyteller Bisa Butler. A quilt is a potent object. Made by hand, even the most minimal quilt design is a material record of the life, inspirations, tastes, history, and beliefs of the maker and recipient. Scraps of cloth leftover from a handmade wedding dress might be paired with sturdy bits that remain from a mostly threadbare work uniform. Sewn together, these fragments of color, texture and pattern create an abstract textile work layered with life’s richness and complexity.
Bisa Butler’s glorious contemporary quilts utilize the medium to lift up the stories of African American individuals both known and unknown. The vibrant colors and patterns of African fabrics from her ancestral Ghana, batiks from Nigeria, and prints from South Africa create a visual cacophony, a blissed-out intensity, brilliant beauty and a feeling of celebration. Her textile portraits immortalize cultural figures and anonymous individuals alike. Dignified and regal, their unapologetic maximalism finally makes looking away, ignoring, or forgetting them, an impossibility.
The talk is $15 general admission, free for students to age 18, and will be delivered live on Zoom. Registration is available at newportartmuseum.org/events. Newport Art Museum is pleased to partner with the Sankofa Community Connection of Newport, whose mission includes working towards school curriculums that recognize and celebrate the cultural heritage of African Americans of colonial Newport.
Two spring exhibitions will be on view until April 25. Visitors are invited to explore “Abstract Ideas,” featuring an array of modern and contemporary American artists from the Museum’s permanent collection. “Light and Presence: Richard Benson’s ‘The Touro Synagogue,’” curated by Megan Horn, presents Richard Benson’s 1988 portfolio of photographs of Touro Synagogue, and will also close on April 25.
Newport Art Museum continues to adhere to all State of Rhode Island COVID-19 guidelines and current regulations, and welcomes one and all to safely enjoy a trip through its galleries. More information on exhibitions, events, summer camps, and classes is available at newportartmuseum.org.
“At the Museum,” provided by the Newport Art Museum, appears each month in The Daily News and online at newportri.com. For more information, call (401) 848-8200.
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