Toledo Museum of Art

Arts beat: VIVE! has right stuff in performance of orchestral masterpieces

Ed.  Note: This is the first is a series of commentary and observations on area arts events. This will supplement, not replace, the coverage BG Independent news already provides. By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Usually when Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” or Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” are performed, the size of the orchestra approaches 100. On Sunday (Oct. 8) VIVE! Ensemble conducted by Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia took on those early 20th Century masterworks with a dozen musicians on each. The performance in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery, was stellar. What the pieces might have missed in orchestral heft they gained in translucent textures with subtleties of voicing ringing out through the ensemble. Diaz, a student in Bowling Green State University’s Doctorate in Contemporary Music program as are a number of the other musicians in the ensemble, shaped these pieces with clarity and a sure sense of form. As the “Rite” roared to a finish, two sets of timpani and a bass drum provided enough boom to drive the piece home. But the three percussionists on the “Rite” never overwhelmed the rest of the ensemble. Instead it was the audience that was overwhelmed and moved by the performance. A few more observations: * Both pieces open with signature solos, and Kenneth Cox on flute on “Prelude” and Joshua Hart on bassoon on “Rite” did justice to their solos. The smaller ensemble meant that all the solo parts stood in greater relief. The ensemble benefits from having such strong musicianship throughout its ranks. * The picturesque “Prelude” seemed perfect for an art museum, almost like…


Art expert unravels mystery of ancient Greek pots

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art is offering an in-depth learning experience with Sanchita Balachandran, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. On Saturday, Sept. 23, Balachandran will present a lecture titled “CSI (Ceramics Scene Investigation), Ancient Athens: Investigating Greek Potters and Painters” in the Little Theater at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Balachandran’s talk will focus on her ground-breaking work to solve the 2,500-year-old mystery of how ancient Greek craftspeople fabricated their highly artistic and technologically significant red-figure ceramics. Based on her 2015 Johns Hopkins University undergraduate course, “Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics,” Balachandran, an art conservator, will discuss the importance of collaborating with a professional potter and incorporating the expertise of art historians, archaeologists and materials scientists in teaching a hands-on class for college students to make their own “ancient” cups. In addition to the lecture, Balachandran will collaborate with the TMA Conservation Department on photographing a small selection of ancient works in a new way. “During her visit to Toledo, Sanchita Balachandran will discuss her latest research to identify the presence or absence of line drawings on red figure ceramics utilizing Reflection Transformation Imaging, a photographic-computer process that reveals low relief details of the artists’ design and handiwork,” said Suzanne Hargrove, head of conservation at the Museum. “She will highlight examples she has studied at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum and other cultural institutions, and will include select artworks from the TMA collection of red-figure vessels to be imaged during her visit for this talk.” Both the “Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics” course and some of…


Toledo Museum “Fired Up” over exhibit of glass art by women

Submitted by THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has launched a celebration of the critical contributions made by generations of women glass artists. Drawn from the Toledo Museum of Art’s internationally renowned glass collection and with key loans from notable private collections, “Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists” presents more than 50 stunning objects by women who now rank among the most innovative and celebrated glass artists in the world. The works, which range from small scale to life-size in a variety of glass techniques, document nearly six decades of unwavering dedication, from the art that helped women forge a path in the Studio Glass Movement of the 1960s to the ingenuity of 21st-century innovations. Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists is on view at TMA from Sept. 2, 2017, through March 18, 2018. The discovery of glass as a serious artistic medium in the ‘60s – sparked during the Studio Glass Movement that originated at the Toledo Museum of Art – was important. Yet in its earliest decades, women faced an uphill battle in their demand for fair recognition of their significant impact, vision and work. The exhibition is co-curated by former TMA Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Glass Jutta Page (now Executive Director of the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University) and Mint Museum Senior Curator of Craft, Design and Fashion Annie Carlano. “The illustrious achievement of women in glass can be more fully understood through this comprehensive and visually compelling exhibition,” said TMA Director Brian Kennedy. “These objects also bridge the fields of art, craft, design and sculpture…


Young jazz composer unveils adventurous project at museum concert

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz from a new generation will be featured at the Toledo Museum of Art Friday when Bowling Green State University grad Galen Bundy presents his Project 206 in concert. The concert will mark the release of composer and keyboardist Bundy’s first recording “Struggle is Joy.” The show is Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the museum’s Glass Pavilion. Bundy, 24, will be joined on stage by some of his peers from the area Ben Wolkins, trumpet,  David Mirarchi, alto and baritone saxophones, Johannes Ronquillo, bass, and Travis Aukerman, drums. Together they explore free jazz within an electronic soundscape. Some of the music, Bundy said, is highly structured, and through composed. Other pieces adhere to the traditional heads-solo format typical of mainstream jazz. He was influenced by the use of electronics by jazz artists Donny McCaslin and David Binney. The sound of Project 206 has echoes of Miles Davis’ early electronic experiments, the free jazz of Ornette Coleman, and the genre-defying work of Flying Lotus. They grow out of Bundy’s experience at BGSU where some of these pieces were conceived. A jazz piano major he did collaborate with musicians in the university’s fertile new music scene. The Project 206 also reflects his love of film music, particularly that of Hans Zimmer that “mirrors live action with a lot of fast changes.” Bundy selected his fellow musicians for this project who could handle the musical and technical challenges. That includes Mirarchi, currently a student at BGSU. He and Bundy played in the university’s top big band and in small ensembles. Aukerman and Ronquillo are products of the…


Music marathon at Toledo Museum to mark centenary of composer Lou Harrison, Aug. 12

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with Bowling Green State University, will celebrate the centenary year of Lou Harrison with a music marathon from noon until 10 p.m. on Aug. 12. Harrison (1917-2003) – a composer, environmentalist and gay icon – began his own musical revolution more than 50 years ago, and is considered the godfather of the influential world music movement, particularly its popularity in the West. His more than 300 compositions written for symphony orchestra, ballet, small chamber ensembles and soloists incorporate western, eastern and custom-made instruments. “We welcome opportunities to host fascinating, innovative performances for our visitors, and this year’s music marathon celebrating Lou Harrison is no exception,” said TMA Programs Manager Scott Boberg. The schedule includes chamber music, a documentary film about Harrison and a demonstration of gamelan, the traditional Indonesian ensemble of mostly percussive instruments used widely in Harrison’s compositions. The marathon culminates with a Peristyle concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion performing two concertos: The Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra featuring Grammy Award-winning soloist Paul Jacobs, and the Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra with soloist Todd Reynolds. Harrison is best known for challenging the traditional music establishment with his explorations of new tonalities and propulsive rhythms and his ground-breaking use of percussion. His contemporaries and colleagues included composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder Judith Malina; and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Beyond his myriad musical accomplishments, Harrison was also recognized and received multiple awards as a political activist. Merwin Siu, artistic administrator of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra…


Dancing the night away at Toledo Museum’s Block Party

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Toledo Museum of Art’s annual Block Party takes place throughout the museum’s campus. And for the fourth party held Saturday night, even the lawns and terrace didn’t seem like they were quite big enough as thousands of neighbors, coming from as close a few blocks away or neighboring communities, jammed the museum grounds for a night of entertainment, food, beverages, and camaraderie. The air throbbed with the sounds of hip hop, electronica and funk. Two dance groups performed, including the Hellenic Dancers. The troupe’s performance was tied to the opening in the museum’s Canaday Gallery of the major exhibit “The Berlin Painter and His World.” The show showcases dozens of vases painted in 5th Century B.C. in Athens, Greece. Considered the finest representations of their time, the vases come from museums around the world.  During a glass demonstration tiny replicas of those vases were being created. Greek food was also among the cuisines available from the food trucks arrayed along Monroe Street. The evening also featured The Dancers of Aha! Indian Dancers and Birds Eye View Circus. Despite the international flare, all the performers come from Toledo, a nod to the area’s cultural richness. The multi-ethnic throng ranged in age from babes in arms and hard-to-corral toddlers to elders, who for whatever their infirmities, still could move to the music. As closing approached, people were still dancing to the throbbing beats delivered by DJ Folk. In the middle of it all, Alexander Calder’s sculpture “Stegosaurus” presided, poised it seemed to snap its moorings and join the dance.    


Toledo Museum of Art ready to party all summer & into fall

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art is offering a series of special events and programs this summer, and many are related to the exhibition The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C. while it is on view July 8-Oct. 1. Those activities really get rolling with a Community Block Party on the museum grounds, Saturday evening , July 8. FREE Special Events and Activities Play Space June 27-Sept. 3, Museum Grounds The Museum’s youngest visitors are invited again to explore TMA’s popular Play Space on the lawn just west of the main Museum. The outdoor Play Space features musical instruments, big blue blocks and interactive Elements of Play games. Designed by youth from TMA’s Teen Apprentice program and The Arts Commission’s YAAW Alumni, with artist Laura Amtower, the Elements of Playincludes three unique games inspired by visual language and childhood memories. Children and their caregivers will be encouraged to play together. Play Staff will be on duty Tuesday–Sunday from 12-4 p.m. from June 27-Aug. 13. From Aug. 19-Sept. 3, Play Space will be staffed Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the Elements of Play games and musical instruments throughout museum hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m. TMA Block Party July 8: 6-10 p.m., Museum Grounds Celebrate summer with thousands of party-goers and enjoy entertainment, food and music purveyors during the Museum’s fourth annual block party. The festivities are spread out across Monroe Street, which will be closed to traffic, and coincide with the opening of the special exhibition The Berlin Painter and His World, a display of ancient Athenian vase painting….


Tom Muir’s signature vessel finds home at Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It has taken 30 years for Tom Muir’s “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” to find a home. The metal coffee server, one of the silversmith’s signature works, could have entered the White House collection of American Crafts. Instead that institution received a vessel inspired by Beluga whales. And it was one of the two works being considered by the Institute of Art of Chicago. That collection got the first in the series of these fertility figures though. Muir has had private collectors offer to buy it, but the price wasn’t right, and he kept it close to home. Now the 30-year-old vessel has found its place in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art. “This was always one of my favorite pieces,” he said. The piece is made of 18-carat gold, sterling silver, oxidized copper and anodized aluminum. “I wanted it to have red belly to make it alive.” The base is shaped like udders. “It was a more interesting way to present it.” The museum has been holding the piece for several years, said Muir, a Distinguished Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University. The intent was to purchase it when the proper arrangements could be made. Jutta Page, then curator of glass and decorative art at the museum, contacted him earlier this year, to start the purchase process. Now the executive director of Old Dominion University’s Barry Art Museum, Page said she was pleased that the museum completed the purchase. In an email, she described “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” as “a significant American contemporary work by this much-revered local artist, nationally recognized metalsmith,…


Kara Walker provides visual commentary on historic Civil War images

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has installed all 15 prints from the 2005 series Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) by distinguished American artist Kara Walker. The portfolio, recently acquired in its entirety by TMA, features the artist’s signature silhouette figures in silkscreen layered over enlarged wood engravings of U.S. Civil War scenes taken from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War, first published in 1866. By uniting her contemporary re-imagining of events with the historical record, Walker creates a powerful visual statement that complicates and challenges conventional accounts of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. For over two decades Walker has been renowned for her meaningful and provocative engagement with issues of race, gender and sexuality and is one of the most successful and influential artists working today. “The Toledo Museum of Art believed it was important to acquire this particular series by Kara Walker, as it represents the first time that she uses the type of visual culture that has inspired her work as the physical, material support for it,” said Museum Director Brian Kennedy. “The merging of historical and contemporary imagery in this project brings her remarkable vision full circle.” Kara Walker, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), which will be on view at TMA from June 17 through Oct. 22, 2017, is curated by Robin Reisenfeld, the Museum’s Works on Paper Curator. “The dramatic force that Walker creates through her lively dialogue with traditional Civil War-era iconography is both poignant and layered,” said Reisenfeld. “We look forward to engaging the greater Toledo audience with…


Ancient Mediterranean artisan gets first solo show at Toledo Museum of Art

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The first major museum exhibition focused on the art and career of the influential ancient Mediterranean artist known as the Berlin Painter will visit the Toledo Museum of Art July 8 through Oct. 1, 2017. Eighty-four vessels and statuettes of bronze and terracotta from the early fifth century B.C. will be shown – including dozens of the finest vases attributed to the Berlin Painter along with works by other noteworthy artists of the period. University of Oxford scholar Sir John Beazley (1885-1970) identified the work of a single anonymous artist in over 200 vessels worldwide, and named him after a characteristically painted vase found in a museum in Berlin in 1911. The exhibition features masterpieces on loan from 15 renowned museums and two private collections, including the British Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; J. Paul Getty Museum; Vatican Museums; Musée du Louvre and the Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. “The Berlin Painter and His World represents the exceedingly rare opportunity for the individual style of one of the most important and prolific ceramic artists in history to be traced through extraordinary works of art gathered together from around the world,” said TMA Director, President and CEO Brian P. Kennedy, Ph.D. “It also provides a rich glimpse of Athenian life 2,500 years ago.” Divided into four sections – “The Berlin Painter’s World,” “The Berlin Painter’s Style,” “Gods” and “Heroes” – the exhibition explores a range of painted subjects, from athletics and musical performances to the rich body of Greek myth and epic. “We look forward to making these wondrous works of ancient…


Portraits in friendships between BGSU student photographers & Wood Lane individuals exhibited at Toledo Museum

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News To find the Wood Lane photo exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, walk toward Matisse’s “Apollo” on the ground floor, then take a left. Just down the hall from that masterpiece, images of people served by Wood Lane line the walls of the Community Gallery. Most of the photos were taken by students in Lynn Whitney’s Community Projects class at Bowling Green State University. Some were taken by the Wood Lane individuals themselves. The exhibit, “Speaking of,” is the culmination of semester long project through which a dozen BGSU student photographers were teamed up with Wood Lane individuals. This is the project’s fifth year. At the opening, Whitney said this was “a project that seeks to bring a voice and alternative vision to a community of especially wonderful people.” In the beginning the Wood Lane individuals were the subjects. The photographers worked with them to depict their lives. This year, though, they were also given cameras and with the guidance of their student partners also made photographs. They went out bowling, shopping, for ice cream, and talked, said Lisa Kaplan, a BGSU graduate and a professor at Adrian College who has watched the project develop. And they came to the museum both for a visual literacy workshop and to view the Kehinde Wiley exhibit. This kind of partnership is especially needed now, Kaplan said. “We face a nation that’s increasingly suffering in many ways from a terrible lack of empathy. The struggle continues to get to a place where people with disabilities are fully integrated members of society who have full access to…


Alarm Will Sound to perform “Ten Thousand Birds” in sculpture garden

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Area residents will have the opportunity to experience new music in a new way when acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound gives a special performance of “Ten Thousand Birds,” a work commissioned from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. The performance will follow the cycle of a day, starting with bird songs heard in the morning, then afternoon, evening, night and returning to morning. The audience is encouraged to walk around to experience the music from multiple perspectives. The performance will begin at dusk (approximately 7 p.m.) April 21 in and around the sculpture gardens at the Toledo Museum of Art. The event is sponsored by Bowling Green State University’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music and the Toledo Museum of Art. Both Alarm Will Sound and John Luther Adams have appeared on BGSU’s annual New Music Festival at the College of Musical Arts. Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. It has established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Its performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of London and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.” The versatility of Alarm Will Sound allows it to take on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Alarm Will Sound has been associated since…


Kehinde Wiley’s portraits bring people from the street to museum walls

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Kehinde Wiley found his direction as a painter on a street in Harlem. He’d recently finished his graduate studies in art at Yale and had enrolled the Studio Museum of Harlem’s art residency program in 2001. At Yale he painted black males with extravagant hair styles. Thursday in a talk at the Toledo Museum of Art, he said that had completed his study “at the feet of the fathers,” and was in a crisis as to where to go next. There at his feet he found a piece of paper. A rap sheet. On it was the young man’s mug shot. Wiley said at that instant he thought: “This is a really cool portrait. I know that’s kind of screwed up. If you’re thinking like I think which is to use your life to tell a story about the world you live in, finding this piece of paper tells a story about the world we live in.” He turned the mug shot into a portrait, and that painting is now hanging in the Toledo Museum of Art’s exhibit Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. The major retrospective of the Brooklyn-based artist’s career is now on exhibit through May 14. In the 15 years since finding that mugshot Wiley has achieved “super star status,” said Brian Kennedy, director of the Toledo Museum. That was evident by the standing-room-only crowd that gathered in the Peristyle on Thursday to hear the artist’s talk on his work. Wiley has achieved fame by both celebrating and challenging the notions of Western art. He has highlighted the lack of black bodies…


Kehinde Wiley’s urban take on Old Masters coming to Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art presents Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, an exhibition of 60 paintings and sculptures questioning ideas of race, gender and the politics of representation. On view Feb. 10-May 14, 2017, A New Republic spans Wiley’s 14-year career including his earliest explorations of the male figure, his unique take on Old Master portraiture and his later forays into sculpture and iconography. The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. “The magnitude of this exhibition will impress even those familiar with Wiley’s work,” said Brian P. Kennedy, TMA director, president and CEO. “He has taken the grandeur of portrait painting and translated it with his portrayals of contemporary African American men and women. Wiley bridges the gap between traditional portraiture and our daily lives, and in doing so, he raises questions about identity and how we perceive ourselves and others.” Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. “The Toledo Museum of Art is home to a wide array of singular masterpieces gathered together from across time and geographic regions,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, TMA director of collections. “The museum’s strong collection of Old Master paintings offers a particularly compelling framework for the presentation of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Playing with traditional conventions of European portraiture, Wiley examines symbols of power, wealth, status and identity in today’s world. Juxtaposing A New Republic with the Old Master portraits hung in TMA’s adjacent…


Michael Daugherty’s American musical landmark center of Toledo celebration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Hearst Castle in California has an organ. Composer Michael Daugherty told an audience at the Toledo Museum of Art he’s never heard it. He does know that it was used to accompany the showing of the silent films that William Randolph Heart’s mistress Marion Davies starred in. Hearst would round up his guests into the theater to watch the films, and he had people who would go and rouse anyone who dozed off. That’s the kind of detail Daugherty as a lover of American culture savors. Scott Boberg, the museum’s manager of programs and public engagement, said the composer’s work is “a comprehensive exploration of American culture and geography.” He’s written works inspired by Route 66 and the Brooklyn Bridge, Superman and Elvis Presley, the paintings of Grant Wood and Georgia O’Keefe, and the Detroit Industry murals of Diego. “You get a sense of America.” Daugherty said he’s been to the Hearst Castle at least 10 times. He’s fascinated by the structure, with its enormous Neptune pool as well as the glittering Hollywood era it represents. When he received a commission to write a concerto for organ and orchestra he decided this would be the right occasion to celebrate Hearst, his castle, and Orson Welles’ classic film “Citizen Kane,” an acerbic portrait of the media mogul. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is playing the concerto this weekend on a program that includes another American work inspired by a castle “Xanadu” by Charles Griffes and a masterwork for orchestra Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. The Toledo Museum of Art programmed the “Citizen Kane Experience” around…