Museum Hosts Valentine’s Family Day

The Valentine's-themed event is set for Saturday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. until noon.

The Valentine’s-themed event is set for Saturday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. until noon.

The University of Mississippi Museum is helping families get into the Valentine’s Day spirit by hosting a “Quilting Cupids” Family Activity Day this weekend.

This drop-in event is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Feb. 13). Admission is free to all and a snack will be provided.

Families and children of all ages are invited to make fun Valentine-related projects that are inspired by the museum’s new exhibit of fine art quilts, “Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light and Motion.”

Activities include paper quilt-making, learning to sew and a gallery scavenger hunt. Museum staff also will collect donations of quilts and blankets for More than a Meal and Interfaith Compassion Ministry, both benefiting families in the Oxford-Lafayette community.

“Family Days at the UM Museum are truly a special opportunity for families to explore the museum and create hands-on art projects together,” said Emily McCauley, curator of education. “We are thrilled to introduce families to the spectacular quilts of Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry.”

The event is sponsored by the Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi and an Ignite Ole Miss crowd-funding campaign, which raised funds to support three years of free family days.

The University Museum, at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit http://www.museum.olemiss.edu and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

UM Museum Receives National Recognition

Yearlong academy helps staff prepare for accreditation process

The University Museum was one of only 10 institutions in the country to be chosen to participate in the American Alliance of Museums Small Museums Accreditation Academy.

The University Museum was among only 10 institutions to be chosen for the American Alliance of Museums Small Museums Accreditation Academy.

OXFORD, Miss. – The  American Alliance of Museums has chosen the University of Mississippi Museum to participate in its new Small Museums Accreditation Academy, an honor extended to only 10 institutions nationally.

A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts funds the new accreditation academy. An advisory panel of leaders in the museum field assists the academy’s work. The staffs of the participating museums will undergo a yearlong readiness program with the goal of creating cultures of excellence inside those institutions to prepare them for accreditation.

The selection brings national recognition to the museum staff from peers, said Robert Saarnio, director of the University Museum and Historic Houses. The staff is exceptionally proud of this honor, he said.

“Our yearlong participation will require intensive focus on core documents such as a strategic plan and a disaster preparedness and response plan, among others,” Saarnio said. “At the end of the 12-month period, we will be positioned to commence the formal accreditation process, which is the pinnacle of achievement and acknowledged stature for American museums.”

The American Alliance of Museums, formed in 1906, is made up of 30,000 museum professionals, volunteers, institutions and corporate partners. The group brings those professionals together to develop standards and best practices, share knowledge and provide advocacy on issues that concern the museum community.

The academy uses a guided online experience. It combines live sessions, mentoring and collaborative activities for staff and governing body members at small museums. It is designed for “high-performing” organizations that are striving to achieve best practices to meet the accreditation demands.

“The limited staff and resources of small museums do not preclude them from being operationally excellent and having tremendous impact on their communities,” said Laura L. Lott, the alliance’s president and chief executive officer. “I’m excited to welcome these 10 museums to our new program as they take a major step toward being recognized by the field for that excellence.”

Other museums participating in the accreditation academy are:

  • Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • Earth & Mineral Sciences Museum at the Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Flushing, New York
  • J. Wayne Stark Galleries, College Station, Texas
  • Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, King City, California
  • Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina
  • Museum of Art at University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Zanesville Museum of Art, Zanesville, Ohio

The University Museum is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. It is closed on Mondays and on university holidays. For more information, click here.

University Museum Opens Fine Art Quilt Exhibit

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry set for artist lecture Jan. 28

'Skylights' is one of the quilts included in 'Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light & Motion' at the University Museum.

‘Skylights’ is one of the quilts included in ‘Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light & Motion’ at the University Museum.

OXFORD, Miss. – A collection of fine art quilts spanning a 40-year career by acclaimed artist Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry are on display at the University of Mississippi Museum through April 16.

“Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light, & Motion” is a 54-quilt exhibit that includes Fallert-Gentry’s first quilt from 1976 and retrospective pieces from the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s.

Fallert-Gentry is internationally recognized for her award-winning, fine art quilts. She is best known for her organic, curved seam designs, her noted use of color and her illusions of light, depth and motion. Her attention to detail has earned her a reputation for fine craftsmanship as well as stunning designs.

Her work has appeared in hundreds of exhibitions and publications throughout the world and can be found in museum, corporate, public and private collections in almost every state and eight foreign countries.

The artist will be on hand for an opening reception and artist lecture from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 28) that coincides with the Sixth Annual Fiber Arts Festival opening evening. In her talk, Fallert-Gentry plans to introduce the use of the quilted sandwich as an art medium and show dozens of examples that cover a wide range of styles.

She will also share information on her personal processes, techniques and history to help viewers understand and enjoy the exhibition. After the lecture, Fallert-Gentry will conduct a Q&A session in the gallery where the quilts are on display.

Born in 1947 in Elgin, Illinois, Fallert-Gentry graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in 1969. She also studied art at Illinois State University, College of DuPage and University of Wisconsin. Fallert-Gentry was a lifelong resident of northern Illinois until 2005, when she relocated to Paducah, Kentucky. There she opened the Bryerpatch Studio gallery and workshop center in Paducah’s historic Lower Town Arts District.

In 2013, Fallert-Gentry married Dr. Ron Gentry and set up a second working studio in Port Townsend, Washington, where she completed many of the quilts featured in this exhibit. In 2014, she sold her Paducah studio and relocated full time to Port Townsend where she continues to make new work in her studio overlooking Puget Sound and the snow-capped Cascades.

“My studio overlooks Puget Sound, several islands and the snow-capped Cascades, and every time I look out I see something a little different,” Fallert-Gentry said. “Since I seldom make landscape quilts, these inspirations find their way into my work in more subtle ways. Four of the pieces I have finished since moving to Washington were about reflections in the water and the patterns I see on the surface of the water as the tide flows in and out of Port Townsend Bay.”

From 1986 to 2013 Fallert-Gentry shared her knowledge with students through her workshops and lectures in 11 countries on five continents. She continues to share her mastery, knowledge and experiences through her exhibitions, lectures, publications and website.

“I find some inspiration everywhere I go,” she said. “In Japan, I’m inspired by the esthetics, the beautiful arrangements of space in everything from gardens and architecture to the fabrics, food and the way products are displayed in the shops. In South Africa, I was inspired by the wild animals and birds, and in Australia, the sinuous shapes in the rainforest and the birds.”

The University Museum is at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Hours for the museum are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit http://www.museum.olemiss.edu and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

University Museum Invites Families to Santa’s Workshop

Saturday event features a Polar Express theme

Santa's Work/Shop will take place on Saturday, December 5.

Santa’s Work/Shop takes place Saturday (Dec. 5).

OXFORD, Miss. – Families across north Mississippi are invited to join the University of Mississippi Museum for Santa’s Workshop Family Activity Day, coming up Saturday (Dec. 5).

The museum classrooms and lobby will be transformed with fun seasonal activities for the whole family. The drop-in event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year’s Santa’s Workshop will be Polar Express-themed. Families will create mugs for the polar journey, pose at the “sELFie station,” search for hidden museum-going elves and paint a snow globe inspired by winter scenes from the museum’s collection and “The Polar Express.”

Families can ride the “elf mobiles” or walk to the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts to see its annual Gingerbread Village. The elf mobiles will be waiting outside by the “South Pole” for families to take an adventure to the village.

“Santa’s Workshop is always a highlight of the year, and this year we have extended the event by an extra hour to give more families the opportunity to explore different activities and seasonal fun,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “I always love the opportunity to collaborate with the Ford Center, and bringing children to the magical world of Gingerbread Village adds such a special touch to the morning.”

The museum has included the Gingerbread Village in its activities for the past few years, said Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s communications coordinator.

The Gingerbread Village is on display Dec. 3-19 at the Ford Center.

This Family Day is made possible through an Ignite Ole Miss campaign earlier this year that raised more than $6,000 to offer free family days to the Oxford community for three years.

To keep up with museum events, follow the museum on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or visit its website. Share memories of the family day on social media and use the hashtag #freefamilydays and tag the University of Mississippi Museum.

For more information about Santa’s Workshop Family Activity Day, contact McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073.

Go ‘Over the River and Through the Woods’ on Family Activity Day

University Museum to host free drop-in event Oct. 17

The UM Museum hosts the second family activity day of the semester on Saturday (Oct. 17) from 10 a.m. to noon.

The UM Museum hosts the second family activity day of the semester from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Oct. 17).

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum staff invites families to join  them for the second family activity day of the semester on Saturday (Oct. 17). The museum classrooms and lobby will be filled with fun activities during the free drop-in event that runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

This event features the theme “Over the River and Through the Woods,” inspired by the museum’s current exhibit of paintings by American impressionist Kate Freeman Clark, on loan from the Kate Freeman Clark Gallery in Holly Springs.

Besides Clark’s landscapes, families will enjoy a variety of events, including story time, snacks, impressionistic sun catchers, fall reflection paintings and spooky October scene paintings.

“Family Days give parents and grandparents with children of all ages the opportunity to explore the museum in an engaging and hands-on way,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s education curator. “Kate Freeman Clark’s stunning landscape paintings will transport viewers young and old, and we are excited for the building to fill up with families experiencing the exhibit together.”

This family day is made possible through the Ignite Ole Miss campaign in April that raised more than $6,000 to offer free family days to the Oxford community for three years.

“Baptist Memorial Hospital was our corporate sponsor for the Ignite campaign and we couldn’t have reached our goal without their support,” said Rebecca Philips, membership, events and communications coordinator. “We are thankful for all of the individuals who helped support our Free Family Day initiative.”

Graduate and undergraduate students who volunteer at the museum make all educational programs possible, McCauley said. The volunteers get to experience hands-on activities with children of all ages in a classroom setting.

“Family days are awesome,” said Stacy Siebenaler, graduate assistant to McCauley. “It is such an enriching opportunity for families to spend time together.”

To keep up with museum events, follow the museum on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or visit the museum’s website, http://museum.olemiss.edu/. Participants can share their memories of the family day on social media and use the hashtag #freefamilydays and tag the University of Mississippi Museum.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled. For more information, contact McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073.

Family Activity Day Returns Saturday with Outdoor Fun

University Museum offers art, nature activities with Lets Move! at Bailey's Woods

The University Museum is hoping to raise $6,000 to host Free Family Activity Days for three years.

The Let’s Move! Family Activity Day, set for Saturday (Sept. 19), runs from 10 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi are partnering for a day of art and nature during this weekend’s Family Activity Day.

The Let’s Move! Family Activity Day, set for Saturday (Sept. 19), features fun activities exploring art and nature along the Bailey’s Woods trail. The drop-in event runs from 10 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.

The event starts in the museum parking lot and continues down the trail all the way to Rowan Oak. Transportation will be provided back to the museum from Rowan Oak. Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is sponsoring the Let’s Move! Family Activity Day.

The event was originally scheduled for April 18, but was rescheduled to this Saturday because of rain.

“We wanted to reschedule because this is one of our most popular family days,” said Rebecca Phillips the museum’s membership, events and communications coordinator. “We hope to have many families here to enjoy the outdoors and activities along Bailey’s Woods trail.”

In 2011, the museum joined Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens, an initiative that works to prevent childhood obesity. The initiative is overseen by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and was launched in 2010 by first lady Michelle Obama. Let’s Move! is dedicated to encouraging children to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Last year, the UM Museum launched a fundraising campaign on the crowd-funding platform Ignite Ole Miss to keep Family Activity Days free for all children. The campaign raised enough money to keep the events free over the next three years. The museum typically hosts two to three family days each semester.

“Our original goal was $6,000, and thanks to the tremendous support of Baptist Memorial Hospital and the many generous individuals who have given, we have exceeded this goal and are thrilled to make new memories with families at the museum,” said Emily McCauley, curator of education.

To keep up to date with museum events, follow it on Facebook or Twitter, or visit the museum website.

For more information about Let’s Move! Family Activity Day, contact McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073. In case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.

UM Museum to Unveil Abstract Sculpture Collection

Ben Butler’s modern woodworking, cast sculpting style brings new perspective to viewers

One of Butler's concrete casting pieces that will be unveiled for "Intervals and Disturbances" at the University Museum

One of Butler’s concrete casting pieces unveiled this week for “Intervals and Disturbances” at the University Museum

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum is unveiling its next exhibit, “Intervals and Disturbances,” this week. The collection, which features the work of abstract sculptor Ben Butler, opened Tuesday (Sept. 8) and will be on display until Dec. 18.

An opening reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 10). The reception coincides with the University Museum’s annual Membership Party.

Butler’s gallery of sophisticated sculptures features intricate woodworking and concrete casting that evokes growth, erosion, accumulation and dissection. The collection traces the emergence of complex phenomena in the natural world, and, as Butler puts it, through the scope and series of delicate processes.

“The questions in my studio and the things that I explore always have to do with process,” Butler said. “I’m interested in investigating how something comes into being. For example, I tend to see the natural work not as a series of objects but as pure process. Close observation reveals the processes. In the moment when you’re observing something, if you’re careful about observing it, it becomes clear that it is not a fixed thing. It’s a snapshot of an ongoing process of growth, decay, erosion, expansion, transformation or sometimes all those things at once.”

Butler has had an interest in art all his life. He attended Bowdoin College, a private, liberal arts school located in Maine. He started college ambitiously as an art and neuroscience double major. In college, he was able to find what he was more interested in within art, and eventually, he lost interest in science due to the rigors and tediousness of the curriculum, he said. Art proved to be the best vehicle for Butler to incorporate his vast array of interests, but science and an investigation of the scientific process have crept their way back into his work over the years.

“That’s something I still love about being an artist,” Butler said. “I can pursue different interests and study up on different things and pick and choose what I end up incorporating into my work.”

Butler’s gallery features pieces he designed in the past 10 years, while two pieces will be unveiled at the University Museum show. For this exhibit, Butler will introduce a full range of pieces to create a collection of objects that explore new opportunities and spaces.

“Most of the pieces are done within the last two years and have never been shown in the region. There are two pieces I just finished that were brought here on Monday (Sept. 7),” Butler said. “I knew for this show I wanted to assemble a collection of my most interesting objects. I usually respond directly to an exhibition space. This show is object based, as opposed to a site-specific installation, so I’m interested in how the selection of the sculptures and their placement can inform the conversations that they have with each other. I laid out where things would go and realized here’s a blank wall and opportunity to do a brand new piece that would be customized to fill that void.”

A family activity day will be held at the University Museum on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. The museum will have activities inspired by “Intervals and Disturbances.” The museum kicked off an Ignite Ole Miss campaign last spring to raise money to support free family days for three years. Museum supporters surpassed their goal by raising more than $6,000, and this fall they will host four family activity days for the community.

Marti Funke, University Museum collections manager, and Rebecca Phillips, University Museum coordinator for memberships, events and communications, both agreed that while Butler’s show will provide an educational benefit, it will also provide a variation to the normalcy of recent exhibits at the museum.

“Ben’s exhibit is so different than what we’ve typically showcased,” Phillips said. “You look at the exhibition postcard and really can’t tell exactly what it is. It’s exciting. I’ve been here for two years, and we’ve never had any large sculpture pieces. I’m excited to have new visitors and for all ages to enjoy Ben’s artwork.”

Funke also reiterated the complexity and uniqueness offered by Butler’s upcoming show.

“It’s a single artist, rather than a compilation of works from several artists that compile a theme,” Funke said. “All of the work is so varied, but it ties together. You really do have several dramatic moments as you’re experiencing everything that is in the gallery. It’s done with fewer pieces than we normally have in an exhibition. They’re so multifaceted and interesting that there doesn’t need to be more. You’ll have plenty of interactions. Visually it looks different than anything we’ve had recently — possibly ever.”

Funke and Phillips said regular patrons of the museum and the community alike will be captivated and appreciative of Butler’s exhibit.

“I think people will be pleasantly surprised,” Funke said. “Our regular members are used to the permanent collection, and this just brings a whole other medium. It also brings an opportunity being in the round with the objects in a way that we usually don’t have. I think people will be surprised and excited about it.”

“We’re always trying to reach a younger audience,” Phillips said. “We’re a university museum and a lot of university students have not visited here. I think that having this modern exhibit will get college students in the door. Our members are familiar with seeing new artists, and I think it will challenge them in a good way.”

 

 

Constance Pierce Schedules Second Workshop July 25-26

Master artist to assist all levels of experience in sketching at University Museum

Amateur artists enjoy learning from master artist Constance Pierce.

Amateur artists enjoy learning from master artist Constance Pierce.

OXFORD, Miss. – Aspiring artists have a second opportunity to learn from the best at a University of Mississippi Museum workshop hosted by Constance Pierce July 25-27. The workshop was added due to a large number of requests following the initial workshop in June.

“Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters” is a two-day weekend event July 25-26 in the museum’s studios and galleries. Sessions run from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $30 for members and $45 for non-members and includes all materials.

Space is limited. and pre-registration is required. To register online, visit here or come by the museum front desk during normal hours of operation, Tuesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“Our first ‘Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters with Constance Pierce’ filled up as soon as registration opened and was such a success that we have decided to offer this weekend workshop again at the end of July,” said Emily McCauley, education curator. “At the last workshop, several of the participants arrived saying they could barely draw a stick figure, and to see the work they created after just one weekend was truly exciting.”

The session on Saturday will demonstrate how to prepare sketchbook pages in advance by creating delicate watercolor monotypes. Students will then practice ‘paraphrase’ sketching of master artists’ drawings while experimenting with watercolor pencils and wash.

On Sunday, actual sketching begins in the Museum galleries. Participants use the watercolor pages created the prior afternoon to gesturally sketch over them while viewing works on site in the museum galleries. A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

To complete the afternoon, the group will return to the studio to add final accents with wash.

“This two-step process is especially useful for museum sketching, because the wet medium is utilized before the dry sketching that is required in galleries and museums,” McCauley said.

Pierce has twice exhibited her sketchbooks at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She served as a professor of drawing, painting and art journals at St. Bonaventure University in New York and was a Visiting Artist at Millsaps College in Jackson.

Her sketchbooks are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library, the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings and at the Oxford Treehouse Gallery. She exhibited in Japan in June. 

UM Museum Offers Workshop with Masters

Art novices invited to learn sketching June 27-28 from professional Constance Pierce

OXFORD, Miss. – Amateur and aspiring artists have a rare opportunity to learn from a master, thanks to a workshop in June at the University of Mississippi Museum.

Constance Pierce

Constance Pierce

“Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters” is a two-day weekend event June 27-28 in the museum’s studios and galleries. Sessions begin at 2:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $30 for members and $45 for nonmembers and includes all materials.

Space is very limited and early registration is recommended. To register online, click here or come by the museum front desk during normal hours of operation.

“We are so thrilled to announce this newest adult workshop, led by esteemed artist and educator Constance Pierce,” said Emily McCauley, education curator. “Coming with an amazing background in museum and art workshops, Constance Pierce’s first weekend workshop at our museum promises to be an engaging program that you will not want to miss out on.”

Saturday’s session in the museum’s Art Studio demonstrates how to prepare sketchbook pages in advance by creating delicate watercolor monotypes. Students will then practice “paraphrase”‘ sketching of master artists’ drawings while experimenting with watercolor pencils and wash.

On Sunday, actual sketching begins in the museum galleries. Participants use the watercolor pages created the previous afternoon to gesturally sketch over them while viewing works in the galleries. A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

To complete the afternoon, the group will return to the studio to add final accents with wash.

A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

“This two-step process is especially useful for museum sketching, because the wet medium is utilized before the dry sketching that is required in galleries and museums,” McCauley said.

Pierce has twice exhibited her sketchbooks at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Her sketchbooks are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library, the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings and the Oxford Treehouse Gallery. She is exhibiting in Japan in June.

UM Museum to Offer Free Family Days for Three Years

Corporate sponsorship puts fundraising campaign over goal

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UM Museum to offer free Family Activity Days for the next three years.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum will host free Family Activity Days for the next three years, thanks to the support of corporate sponsors and community members.

Through the 30-day Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding campaign, the museum surpassed its goal of $6,000. Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi donated $2,000 to the program.

“I am beyond excited that we were able to reach our goal of providing free Family Days for so many children, parents and grandparents to make lasting memories in the museum for years to come,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s education curator. “We are so grateful to Baptist Memorial Hospital- North Mississippi for being such a wonderful community leader and coming forward with an amazing corporate sponsorship and also for each and every donor who supported this project.”

Families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities.

Families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities.

The UM Museum hosts Family Activity Days two or three times each semester, often based on themes from museum exhibits. Families participate in various activities and enjoy refreshments as they are led through artistic, educational experiences by education interns. Over the last few years, the program has grown tremendously. In 2014, 800 children participated in Family Activity Days.

“We want to make sure Family Activity Days are accessible for all families,” said Rebecca Phillips, museum communications coordinator.

April’s “Let’s Move!” Family Activity Day was rescheduled to the fall semester due to bad weather. At this active, outdoor event, families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities from the museum to Rowan Oak along the Bailey Woods Trail.

The University Museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Follow the museum on Twitter @UMmuseum and on Facebook.