Posts tagged ‘Friends of the ASU Art Museum’

Notes From Underground: Fall Season Opening

Guest blogger and ASU student Veronica Rascona writes about the ASU Art Museum’s Fall 2012 Season Opening Reception:

At 6:30 on the evening of September 28, the ASU Art Museum launched its 2012 season. People gathered in the darkness at the front of the building to talk, eat and watch a performance by the mixed parkour, martial arts, dance and acrobatics group Movement Connections. The group, dressed in white, took advantage of the museum’s unique structure as they silently crawled, leapt and ran all over the walls and stairs of the Art Museum’s entrance.

In a touching moment, a little girl got caught up in the mix and one of the performers invited her to perform a stunt with him—a simple handstand, nothing dangerous. After performing a few more acrobatics on their own, eventually the performers climbed up onto the cement pillars in the front of the Museum. They performed a few stunts and then began pointing toward the façade of the museum upon which a video was being projected. It appeared to have been filmed from the window of a car and depicted an expanse of desert landscape rushing by.

The video continued to play as Movement Connections wrapped up their performance. People then began to shuffle down the stairs, waiting for the next sequence in the evening’s activities. Some ventured into the Museum to look at the current exhibits on display, while others, like myself, sat just outside the doors, taking in the array of lights that filled the underground courtyard—part of the “55: Music and Dance in Concrete” performance that would start at 7:30 p.m.

I sat to one side of the courtyard and began to notice other elements—a video of an eye opening and closing and rolling around in its socket was projected onto the back of the pillars that outlined the courtyard. Above and below the eye was the phrase, “Don’t touch me!!” projected backwards. It was somewhat disturbing,and I did not know what to expect from the performance after seeing these images. Just before the performance began, the audience was instructed as to where to stand in order to best view the performance, but were also told that the performers would be moving throughout the space alternately providing various vantage points a better view.

The crowd gathered, and from my vantage point I witnessed three of the visiting dancers, each dressed in red, black and white, slowly fill the empty space between us and the Museum. I could not see what was happening on the other half of the courtyard as it was blocked by cement pillars and benches, but this was how the show was meant to be viewed: people seeing different parts of the show, each person having a unique viewing experience. The three girls on my side slowly moved into position.

The lights changed from bright white lines filling the space to a strange speckled effect, and music composed of electronic sounds, “from 55 improvised and 55 composed pieces” started to play. The dancers began to move. Their dancing was rapid; they moved convulsively, throwing themselves at the cement walls and against the floor as the lights continued to change and pulse. The effect was alarming and intriguing. As the dancers moved throughout the space, the crowd adjusted to watch each new scene; at one point the only male dancer shut himself behind a gate while a video of him stuck in what seemed like a jail cell played on the wall behind the bars. The video cut from scenes of him in the cell, to the real dancer performing similar movements in the real, jail-like space.

The music and lights continued to change as the dancers set and reset their stage, from one side of the courtyard to the other, to behind the bars, to on top of the cement benches, to at one point taking the elevator in the middle of the space up to the second floor where we lost sight of them for a moment. The performance, meant to engage the audience in sight, sound and movement, felt like a piece about escape; the dancers’ jerking movements gave the impression that they were almost trying to break out of their own skin.

What was most beautiful about the whole event, however, was not only the performances, but the interaction between the performers and their audience. I looked over the faces in the audience and everyone’s eyes were on the performers, completely captivated. The decision by both performance groups to use the space around their audience created an atmosphere in which we were all connected. Not only did everyone get to watch a fun and intricate performance, but they were encouraged to feel like they were a part of it all.

Thanks to Sean Deckert and Veronica Rascona for the use of their photographs.

55: Music and Dance in Concrete  premiered at Fort Worden as part of Centrum’s Reverberations series, in addition to premiering at the ASU Art Museum. The project received initial funding from the MAP Fund and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, as well as support from Arizona State University, and RBMA. The project is supported by the Japan Foundation through the PerformingArtsJAPAN program. The Centrum Artist Residency program is made possible by support from the Washington State Arts Commission and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Additional support was provided by 4Culture Site Specific.

Miguel Palma’s Trajectory is supported in part by the FUNd at ASU Art Museum, the ASU Art Museum Advisory Board and Friends and Margarita and Willie Joffroy.

October 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

Family So-Much-Fun Day!

Family Fun Day. Photo by Stephen Gittins.

“Okay, I’ll dance to one more song, but then I HAVE to get in line to get my face painted,” said one adorable young girl who was dancing in the gallery with the Zumbatomics participatory activity, led by Melinda Mills-Walkey.

“I want to be KISS,” said one young man as he approached the face painter. His mother explained that he was very interested in becoming a rock star and that she had no idea how he had even found out about KISS, but she saw nothing wrong with it.

Another child suddenly halted working on the art project in front of her when she saw her favorite PBS character, Super Why, and only returned to the table after having her photograph taken with him.

I observed each of these moments at the ASU Art Museum’s Family Fun Day on July 9th, 2011. With hands-on art-making activities, interactive performances and readings and illustration demonstrations by Chris Gall and Alex Rex, everyone at the museum on Saturday had a great day.

This is my fifth year organizing the Family Fun Day with the help of our Windgate Intern, who also curates an exhibition based on a theme, pulling works broadly from our collection.  It’s so rewarding to see the hours put into planning the crafts, contacting performers and working with our fabulous community partners result in such an entertaining day for families. My favorite part of Family Fun Day is that the entire event is free, allowing families to have fun without worrying about how much it costs. This year, more than 1,200 people stopped by to enjoy the four-hour event, and that’s not including visitors to the Ceramics Research Center across the street.

Now we’re putting the supplies away from Saturday’s activities, and starting to prep for next month’s 1st Saturdays for Families (Saturday, Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), which explores the exhibition By myself and with my friends through an interactive dance led by choreographer Elizabeth Johnson, a special visit from the Arizona Animal Welfare League (and animal friends), and a fun animal-making art craft.

And I also will start planning next year’s Family Fun Day — after I finish recovering from this year’s event.

 –Andrea Feller, Curator of Education

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Photos in the slideshow are by Stephen Gittins and Stu Mitnick.

July 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

IT’S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE: Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

February 1 – May 14, 2011

Season Opening Reception:
Friday, February 18 from 7-9pm

“With a population of roughly 6.5 million, (Arizona has) over 40,000 inmates. The state of Washington, with a population slightly larger than Arizona, has roughly 18,000.” *

“A recent Pew Center report indicates that in 2008, one in 33 adults in Arizona was under correctional control, which includes jail, prison, parole and probation. Twenty-five years ago, this number was one in 79. What has changed so much is not human nature, but the offenses for which we incarcerate and the imposition of mandatory sentences.” **
– Rep. Cecil Ash, R-Mesa (Ariz.)

The Residency
It’s not just black and white is a three-month-long residency exhibition with Gregory Sale, a Phoenix-based artist who will work through artistic gestures to initiate and host dialogue, aspiring to give voice to the multiple constituencies of the corrections, incarceration and criminal justice systems. The ASU Art Museum gallery space will operate as a site for developing and displaying visual and mediated exhibitions, dance and other staged events, discussions and readings.

As the title It’s not just black and white implies, the intent of the project is to expose and examine the many often conflicting viewpoints, perspectives and values that are generated from serious considerations of justice and public safety. The project will provide the opportunity for the public to explore the impact of modern criminal justice through fact-based tours, dialogues and programs – offering more first-hand experience of the many strands that make up this complicated narrative.

ASU Art Museum Social Studies Initiative
The Museum’s Social Studies initiative is a series of residency exhibitions, begun in 2007, that explore this dialogue-based, process-oriented context by literally bringing the studio into the museum, and by engaging the public directly in the creative process of exhibition-making in the space where “the art object” is usually found.

The ASU Art Museum continues to transform museum traditions by returning to the original sociological function of the institution – to encourage the circulation of ideas embedded in the archive, to provide a safe place for curiosity and to create an exchange point for the flow of conversation between and among artists, curators, collectors, students, social and governmental institutions, and the public.

Get Involved
Calendars within the gallery, on the exhibition website and this museum blog will announce programs and performances, as well as opportunities to participate in Tent City Jail tours as they are confirmed over the course of the residency. Individuals and organizations demonstrating a sustained engagement in civil justice and themes of the project may also reserve the gallery for classes, meetings, workshops, etc. See “Open Bookings” on the website for details.

Community Partners
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Humanities Council, Gina’s Team, The University of Arizona Poetry Center, with additional partnerships currently being developed.

Advisory Committee
Shelley Cohn, Arts Advocate and Community Volunteer; Nancy Dallett, Public Historian, ASU, School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies; Bill Hart, Senior Policy Analyst, ASU, Morrison Institute for Public Policy; Adriene Jenik, Professor and Director, ASU, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, School of Art; Teri Murphy, Faculty Associate for Justice and Social Transformation, and Fellow, ASU, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict; Jeremy Mussman, Deputy Director, Maricopa County Public Defender and Member, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice; Amy Rex, Manager, Maricopa County Criminal Justice Projects, Maricopa County Manager’s Office; Matthew Salenger, Architect and Artist, colab studio llc; Arthur J. Sabatini, PhD, ASU Associate Professor of Performance Studies, Humanities, Arts and Culture, College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Arnim Wiek, Assistant Professor, ASU, School of Sustainability

Key Artistic Collaborators
Claes Bergman, Teniqua Broughton, Vikki Dempsey, Matthew Garcia, Stephen Gittins, Sloane McFarland, Elizabeth Johnson, Ken Lamberton, Matthew Mosher, Kara Roschi, Richard Shelton, David Tinapple, Erec Toso

It’s not just black and white is supported by grants from
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Friends of the ASU Art Museum.

Curated by John D. Spiak, It’s not just black and white – Gregory Sale: Social Studies Project 6 will be installed in the Turk Gallery of the ASU Art Museum’s Nelson Fine Arts Center location.

Museum Blog
Keeping checking this blog for information and updates on the project:

*The Arizona Republic, January 28, 2011
**Arizona Capitol Times, December 11, 2009

Additional Blog Posts
Angela Davis, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Youth in Detention = Social Practice
Reconnecting – It’s not just black and white
Dream like you mean it: The Mother-Daughter Distance Dance
Another Active Week and the Schedule for April
Waiting for Release, Sentencing Reform & Welcoming Home
Invitation to Join Us for Volunteer Event – GINA’s Team
Inside & Outside – It’s not just black and white
More Similar Than Different + Tent City Jail Tour Opportunity
You can’t move forward until you know where you are
Olympic Gold Medalist, Gina’s Team and PVCC Students!
IT’S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE: Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

January 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm 13 comments

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