Monday, July 27, 2009

Comings and Goings

Hello everyone! Just a quick post about the latest staff changes at the Addison:

We have recently said "good-bye" to Maggie Adler, our Director of Development. She has left the museum to pursue a Masters Degree in the History of Art at Williams. Also, our venerable custodian, Hector Rivera, has decided to retire after fifteen years of keeping the Addison at its sparkling best. We wish them both the best of luck with all their future endeavors.

Meanwhile, the Addison has said "hello" to its newest addition, my son, Scott, who was born in June. I'm pleased to say he and his mother are doing quite well, despite my colleagues' jokes that I should catalog him as a new museum acquisition!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lorna Bieber, Artist-in-Residence

How does one be an artist-in-residence without a museum in which to reside? Artist Lorna Bieber, the Addison’s spring 2009 Edward E. Elson artist-in-residence, commuted from New York for workshops with Lawrence High School art classes during the spring semester.

Bieber reinterprets anonymous images found in books and magazines through traditional and non-traditional techniques to create complex, many-layered, mural-sized photographs.

Lorna Bieber, Branches, 200-07, 114 gelatin silver prints, 9 x 6 feet, Courtesy of the artist

Working with a humanities class and a photography class, Bieber inspired LHS students to create large-scale, multi-paneled images of their own. By gaining insight into Bieber’s creative process and having the opportunity to receive individualized critique throughout their own process, students were able to not only better understand her work, but were able to expand the boundaries of their own work.

With the use of a scanner/photocopier, students enlarged, shrunk, layered, and combined their own photographs and those taken by others to create their own unique photographic installations. They considered various formats and image juxtapositions, using both Bieber, their teachers David Meehan and John Travlos, and their peers as sounding boards for ideas. Some composed works from multiple paper printouts, while others used transparencies and computer screens.

The students’ work was hung in places of prominence throughout Lawrence High School, in order to further inspire students, teachers, and visitors.

The goal of the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence Program at the Addison Gallery of American Art is to create meaningful interactions between artists and students. Since its inception, the program has brought together thousands of students and more than fifty acclaimed artists, including Robert Frank, Trisha Brown, Abelardo Morell, Wendy Ewald, Dawoud Bey, Richard Shaw, William Wegman, Lee Mingwei, Kerry James Marshall, and Sue Williams.

For more information about the Addison’s Edward E. Elson artist-in-residence program, click here.

Posted by:

Jamie Kaplowitz
Education Fellow

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update on the Addison Expansion and Renovation

Despite the dreary New England weather, construction on the Addison's addition and renovation continues on its blisteringly fast pace.

Folks driving by the museum on Main Street can now see that the glass curtain walls have been installed on the addition. (See left: click images to make them bigger.) In time, the windows will be covered by a screen of metal mesh that will serve to shade the building and provide a modern architectural design against the museum's neoclassical facade. The windows look in on the future Museum Learning Center on the first level and the new staff office area on the upper level.

The interiors of these spaces have been coming together as well. (See right: the future Museum Learning Center. Click here for the rendering of what the space will eventually look like.) With all the forms and scaffolding removed, the deep, waffle-style coffered ceilings are exposed and the gorgeous views looking out over Phillips Academy's great lawn and the future green roof garden are unhindered. Walls are going up in these spaces to create meeting rooms, offices, and storage areas. We're finally able to walk through the physical spaces that we've only been able to visualize in our minds by looking at plans on paper.

The museum's front steps are being reinstalled with improved, water-proof support underneath. (See left.) Wiring and piping throughout the original building and the addition continues. And the loading dock, the part of the buildling I've been looking forward to the most, is near completion.

Lastly, we are now hoping to reopen sometime in late April 2010. Keep an eye on the building and here for the latest on the project, and we hope to see you here visiting the museum soon!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives