April 2018

May newsletter

The Friends Office will be busy, busy, busy with Art in Bloom the whole month of April and right into May! Because of all that is going on, there will be a Special Edition of the April  Newsletter coming out in about a week.  Additionally,  the May newsletter will arrive in your inbox at the end of the month.
We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to make both Art in Bloom 2018 and the May newsletter the best they can be.
 

April Friends Lecture Explores Tattooing’s Vibrant History

Anna Felicity Friedman will speak at 11AM in Pillsbury Auditorium at Mia on Thursday, April 12 as part of the Friends Lecture Series sponsored by the Friends of the Institute.

Anna Felicity Friedman, PhD, will speak on the history of tattooing at the April Friends Lecture Series.
Anna Felicity Friedman

Anna Felicity Friedman, PhD, will speak on the history of tattooing at the April Friends Lecture Series.

Anna Felicity Friedman describes herself as an “interdisciplinary scholar, tattoo/body art historian, and tattoo collector.” Friedman will speak at Mia on April 12 on the history of tattooing. She has been studying tattoo history for the past 20 years after discovering rare books on sailor tattoos housed in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Her interest and fascination have led to a 27-year personal experience of tattoo placement.
Friedman has taught at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, sharing her expertise in the areas of liberal arts, visual and critical studies, performance art, art history, and social studies. She has also held the position of assistant curator in the History of Astronomy department at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. An active blog site, tattoohistorian.com is maintained with Friedman’s goal of posting at least one tattoo history fact on a regular basis.
Free tickets are available for this lecture by calling 612.870.6323 or online by clicking here. Overflow seating will be available if needed.

TATTOO CURIOUS? JOIN US FOR THE ART OF POWER/THE POWER OF INK

Explore the fascinating, rich art history of the tattoo at the Minneapolis Woman’s Club with Friends.

Dr. Anna Felicity Friedman, an interdisciplinary scholar, tattoo/body art historian, and tattoo collector, will speak at The Art of Power/The Power of Ink lecture at the Woman’s Club in Minneapolis.
Dr. Anna Felicity Friedman, an interdisciplinary scholar, tattoo/body art historian, and tattoo collector, will speak at The Art of Power/The Power of Ink lecture at the Woman’s Club in Minneapolis.

You’re invited to an evening at the Minneapolis Woman’s Club on April 12 at 5:30PM to explore the fascinating, rich art history of the tattoo. Your guide? The illustrious Dr. Anna Felicity Friedman, an interdisciplinary scholar, tattoo/body art historian, and tattoo collector.
Dr. Friedman’s picture is worth a thousand words:  the perfect introduction to a woman who promises to be interesting, provocative, scholarly, and multicultural.  In addition to her work on the history of tattoo, she has been an assistant curator in the History of Astronomy department at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, worked at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Field Museum. She also plays bass in a band. Doesn’t this sound like a speaker best enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand?
Dr. Friedman will speak at Mia on the morning of April 12 at 11AM at a Friends lecture, but will then guide us through new landscapes not yet explored in the evening lecture.
Join the Friends of the Institute for an evening of body art appreciation at the Minneapolis Woman’s Club at 5:30PM on April 12, with wine,  appetizers, and a new talk by Dr. Friedman. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.powerofink.eventbrite.com .
Continue the conversation at dinner following the event. For reservation information, contact Beverly Hauschild Baron at beverlyhb@gmail.com.

Join a friends volunteer opportunity

Bring Art Adventure to first graders in a neighborhood school close to Mia.
Calling all new and former Art Adventurers: Mia is bringing the Art Adventure program to neighboring Whittier School. It’s an easy, fun way to spark a love of art and foster critical thinking in young people. Volunteers work in pairs/teams. Choose 1-3 visits (3 preferred, if possible). Carpooling from Mia to/from Whittier available. To volunteer, or for information, contact
Nancy McRae 612.240.3774 or email friendsoutreach@artsmia.org.
Dates for Art Adventure include:

  •       Training (required): Thursday, April 5, 10:30-12:30PM at Mia
  •       Classroom visit: Thursday, April 12, 10:30–11:15AM at Whittier School
  •       Classroom visit: Thursday, April 19, 10:30–11:15AM at Whittier School
  •       Classroom visit: Thursday, April 26, 10:30–11:15AM at Whittier School
  •       Optional field trip to Mia with your classroom: Date TBD

Friends Only Book Club Meets April 13

April’s selection tells the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of two half sisters in 18th century Africa.
April Book ClubFriends Only Book Club meets Friday, April 13 for a 10:30AM docent tour and 11:30AM discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. We will meet in the Curtis Carlson Family Foundation Studio (Rm 114), and the docent tour starts promptly at 10:30AM. No reservation is required.
Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana, grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, earned her BA at Stanford University and her MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her widely acclaimed 2017 novel Homegoing tells the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of two half-sisters in 18th century Africa. One an American slave and one a privileged African, their very different lives and traditions converge in their 21st century American descendants.
Future Friends Only Book Club meetings:
Friday, April 13, will be our last formal meeting until September, but docent book tours will continue. Read Peter Hessler’s River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze in May, and Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow in June — then join a docent book tour any Tuesday at 11:30AM, Thursday or Friday at 6:30PM, or the third Sunday of each month at 3PM.
Please contact Ellen Archibald or Jeanne Scheiderer at friendsonlyevents@artsmia.org with any questions.

The Arts as Connector: Uniting the World’s Cultural Districts

Maxwell Anderson will speak at 11AM in the Pillsbury Auditorium at Mia on May 10 as part of the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Series, presented by the Friends of the Institute.

Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson

Just in the past year or so a combined $8.45 billion has been spent on the construction of performing arts venues, museums, and cultural districts, with more than 101 major arts facilities opening around the world. The level of investments is likely to continue to soar with globalization at the core of this construction activity.
Maxwell Anderson, chairman emeritus of Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN), is fascinated by this phenomenon. GCDN is a federation of global centers of arts and culture that fosters cooperation and knowledge sharing among those responsible for conceiving, funding, building, and operating cultural districts and/or clusters with a significant cultural element. Anderson will discuss how the GCDN seeks to bridge the social impact and concerns of these enormous investments with the intent of improving the benefits of art patrons around the world at Mia on May 10.
Anderson is well versed in the art world having directed art museums in Atlanta, Toronto, Indianapolis, the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City, and the Dallas Museum of Art. His career has been devoted to addressing challenges facing the cultural sector, from programmatic relevance to community engagement.
Anderson was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Princeton University in 1985, Visiting Professor at the University of Rome in 1987, a Visiting Lecturer at the Museo del Prado in 2009, and is currently a Consulting Scholar in the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He serves on numerous boards and is a former president of the Association of Art Museums.
He received his bachelor’s degree in art history from Dartmouth College and earned a masters and PhD from Harvard University. Soon thereafter in 1981, an interest in antiquities led Anderson to accept a curatorial position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Department of Greek and Roman Art. Since 2016 he has served as president of Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the work of leading contemporary African American artists from the Southeastern United States.
Free tickets are available for this lecture starting April 15 for Friends members by calling 612.870.6323 or online by clicking here. Tickets are available April 17 for the general public. Overflow seating will be available if needed.

FRIENDS SPRING LUNCHEON

Following Maxwell Anderson’s May 10 lecture “The Arts as Connector: Uniting the World’s Cultural Districts,” please join us in the Agra Culture Resturant for our spring luncheon.  A delicious tropical chicken salad with baby greens, island fruits, toasted cashews, and mango-ginger dressing will be featured along with freshly baked breads and sweet butter. Dark roast coffee and hot tea complete the meal. You may request a vegetarian option when you reserve.  
To RSVP call 612.870.6323 or visit tickets.artsmia.org after April 15. The cost is $30 inclusive of tax and gratuity. All reservations must be received by 5PM, May 2.

The Bus and Us: Friends for 40 Years

In a wonderfully fitting way to celebrate their long friendship, Barb bought a school bus to Mia in honor of her dear friend Sue.

Barb Levie and Sue Stillman
Barb Levie and Sue Stillman

Friends Board member and Volunteer Chair Sue Stillman and her friend Barb Levie have shared a 40-year friendship. Barb was no stranger to Mia, in fact, she was a 45-year member and a Minneapolis College of Art & Design graduate. However,  Sue introduced her to the Friends of the Institute with a “BOGO” membership several years ago. Now Barb is a Friends volunteer and participant in many events including lectures, luncheons and the 2017 Art and Architecture trip to Cuba.
As Sue says, “We brought our personal relationship here.” In a wonderfully fitting way to celebrate their long friendship, Barb bought a school bus to Mia in honor of Sue. “I started crying when she handed me the bus,” Sue says. Barb comments, “I know how much Sue loves Mia and the Friends. She was a teacher for years and values education. So what better way to honor her than by bringing 45 school children to Mia?”
This past year 65 bus grants were made to underserved schools in the Twin Cities. These grants give students the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding art collection and be inspired by the wonder of art. Each grant is funded by the Friends Transportation Fund, made possible by each $175 gift. As a token of the gift, each recipient is given a miniature yellow school bus.
Honor a friend, celebrate a friend, remember a friend. To buy a bus or for more information, contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

Thank you Rochester Friends

Coffee and treats provided by our “Southern” neighbors.

At Friends monthly lectures during the 2017–2018 season, guests enjoy coffee and treats partially provided through funds donated by the Rochester Friends. To experience this hospitality yourself, come to the Regis Fountain Court before the lecture.

Thank you to Rochester for helping to provide these treats. Join us in thanking them for this welcome gesture of hospitality!

Polaris, a painting that leads the way

In Polaris, Martin Wong draws our attention to the dual nature of man as we seek our way in the Universe.
By Susan Arndt, Mia docent

© Estate of Martin Wong, Courtesy PPOW Gallery, NY
© Estate of Martin Wong, Courtesy PPOW Gallery, NY

The brilliant blue in Martin Wong’s painting, Polaris, attracted me to the piece like a magnet.  My attention quickly diverted from the vibrant color to the children outlined in gold. They sit together in an open circle, in various animated positions. They seem prepared to move in an instant. They are both attentive and distracted. Wong has plucked them from the diversity of what was his Lower East Side neighborhood and set them into a brilliant blue field that is filled with a map of the constellations. The constellations are named and also rendered in gold. The children are among the stars and Polaris is in the center of their group. It all would seem ideal except for the figure in the upper left corner outside the circle. We only see the lower legs and feet. This figure is not outlined in gold.        
Life is not ideal and Wong knew that. He grew up and came of age in 1950’s and 1960’s Chinatown and San Francisco with a constant flow of diversity surrounding him. The son of Chinese immigrants he had a being-of-two-worlds-awareness, feelings of belonging and not belonging, that can be common to first-generation immigrant children. These are themes he would eventually explore in his work.
After earning his degree in ceramics from Humboldt State College during the counterculture movement, Wong paid his way by painting lightening fast portraits of people dubbing himself the “human instamatic.”  At that time he was also creating costumes and sets for a street theater group known as the Angels of Light. The group specialized in fantastical drag spectacles that were heavy on camp. In 1978, Wong moved to New York City, first occupying a room in the dilapidated Meyer’s Hotel in exchange for being the night porter. In 1982 he moved to the Lower East Side where he became friends with graffiti artists and the ex-con, poet, and playwright, Miguel Pinero. It was Pinero that urged Wong to paint what was around him–the urban environment in all of its gritty reality.
The large brick tenements, the African Americans and immigrants from the Caribbean, South and Central Americans that inhabited them were subject matter for Wong. He was an observer, recording the variety in the cultural identities around him always noting what effect the place had on them, and what effect they had on each other. In other words, what brought people together, and what kept them apart. He recorded their humanity.
The constellations, named and outlined in gold, appeared in multiple paintings. They were not intended to be the focus, but another layer, visual reminders that the stories of the Lower East Side are as old as the stars. In Polaris, Wong has made this commentary the subject. He has drawn our attention to the dual nature of man by placing twins near the constellation of Gemini at the bottom right of the circle. One looks away while the other points to the guiding North Star. The children are participating, active, involved, choosing–good or bad–who they might become. The figure on the outside, it would seem, has a decision to make.