Art

Environmental Awards, National Accolades and a Call for Artists

MUSKEGON, MI – The Lakeshore Art Festival takes art and environmental stewardship to the next level each and every year.

The newly released 2018 Sustainability Report outlines the ways the festival continues to make progress towards a zero waste event. Over the last five years, the festival has diverted 7,510 pounds of material from landfills, achieving a diversion rate of 21.5% – the best of any festival in Muskegon County! Many factors play into this accomplishment, including compostable serving-ware requirements, multi-purpose recycling containers scattered throughout the festival, and the use of free refillable water stations. To review the complete report, visit bit.ly/LAFSustainability.

The festival continues to increase the number of exhibitors and move up in national rankings each year. Sunshine Artist Magazine, known for high-quality fine art and craft content, ranked the Lakeshore Art Festival #11 in the nation. Art Fair Calendar, an outlet promoting attendance at art fairs, just announced the Lakeshore Art Festival as the 5th best Art Fair in the country!

“This recognition shows us that exhibitors and guests are talking about the show on a national level. These efforts are rooted in the dedication to excellence from our talented team, quality art exhibitors and an amazing guest experience. All of these factors not only generate a buzz for Muskegon County, but have a direct impact on the local economy, both of which are major priorities for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce,” commented Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director.

Exhibitor applications will be accepted until Friday, February 1, for the festival taking place Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6, 2019. Artists who create original works of art in either the fine art or craft categories are encouraged to apply online via Zapplications: bit.ly/LAF2019.

About Lakeshore Art Festival
The Lakeshore Art Festival is always the first Friday and Saturday in July. The Lakeshore Art Festival features a unique blend of 350+ fine art and craft exhibitors, street performers, specialty food booths, interactive art stations, children’s activities and so much more in beautiful Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Local businesses interested in supporting this locally and nationally recognized festival through sponsorship can contact Carla Flanders at artfest@muskegon.org. For more information visit lakeshoreartfestival.org.

Acclaimed Folk Duo Kieran Kane & Rayna Gellert to Perform at Muskegon Museum of Art

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Photo Credit: Molly Secours

Muskegon, MI – Acclaimed folk musicians Kieran Kane and Rayna Gellert will perform at the Muskegon Museum of Art’s Frey Foundation Auditorium on Saturday, April 27, at 7:00 pm.

Kieran Kane has been referred to as “the godfather of Americana music” for good reason. His seminal work in The O’Kanes and Kane Welch Kaplin, as well as co-founding the independent label Dead Reckoning Records, laid the foundation for the contemporary world of Americana music. A successful solo artist, collaborator, and songwriter (with songs recorded by Alan Jackson, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, and many more), Kieran is a musician’s musician: his playing is always understated, always groove-oriented, and always serving the song.

If Rayna Gellert seems a preternaturally gifted songwriter, it’s because she’s seen farther into the old songs than most. Growing up in a musical family, she turned to Appalachian old-time music at a young age, becoming a prodigious fiddler, and leading a new revival of American stringband music through her work with the acclaimed roots band Uncle Earl. An in-demand collaborator, she has toured and recorded with artists such as Scott Miller, Abigail Washburn, Toubab Krewe, and Robyn Hitchcock.

Kieran and Rayna met at San Francisco’s celebrated Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which led to co-writing songs for Kieran’s recent album, Unguarded Moments (Dead Reckoning).They joined forces again for Rayna’s 2017 release, Workin’s Too Hard (StorySound Records). Their first duo album, The Ledges, was released in February on Dead Reckoning Records.

Fans of either artist will recognize musical kindred-spiritedness in their restrained and roots-oriented approach to both songs and arrangements.

Concert tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance and $15 for members of the museum. They may be purchased at the MMA Museum Store or by phone at 231-720-2580.  Doors open at 6:30. Beer and wine will be available at a cash bar prior to the concert and at intermission.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is located in downtown Muskegon at 296 W. Webster Ave., in downtown Muskegon, MI. Visit www.muskegonartmuseum.org for visitor information.

Made possible through generous support from Art Bridges

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MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART EXHIBITIONS
Through March 10, 2019 | SONS: Seeing the African American Male
Through March 10, 2019 | Ad Man: Joseph Grey II
January 31 through May 12, 2019 | A+ for Educators: Illustrations by Patricia Polacco
February 14 through April 21, 2019 | In Pieces: The Art of Vintage Puzzles

New Assistant Director at Muskegon Museum of Art

Muskegon, MI—The Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation has announced the promotion of Catherine Mott to Assistant Director, effective March 20, 2018. She has been employed at the Museum since 2007 as Curator of Education. She will assist Executive Director Kirk Hallman with lead administrative responsibilities in her new role.

Ms. Mott has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, with a minor in math, from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame. She resides in Montague, Michigan with her husband and two children.

Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation President Charles Johnson, II, comments, “In her eleven years at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Cathy has excelled in creating vibrant educational programs for both students and the public. Her contributions to the MMA’s vitality as a world class community art museum cannot be understated and her skill sets have continually expanded, making her a natural choice for this important position.”

The MMA is taking applications for the position of Curator of Education. Application information and the job description are posted at www.muskegonartmuseum.org.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave., in downtown Muskegon, Michigan. www.muskegonartmuseum.org.

Summer Shows at the Muskegon Museum of Art Offer Eclectic Trip Through American History and Culture

Overview
The Muskegon Museum of Art offers exhibitions rooted in American history and culture this summer, starting with a selection of 150 photogravures from The North American Indian by Edward Curtis, and moving to more recent times with vintage motorcycles from area bike collectors, 1951 stock car race photos, contemporary hyper-realistic sculptures of people, and a circus peanut and honey bear installation created from wax.

Exhibition Schedule
May 17 through August 12, 2018
•  Up Close and Personal: The Ultra-Realistic Sculpture of Marc Sijan
•  American Icon: The Art of the Motorcycle and Whiskey Ridge: The Summer of ‘51

May 24 through September 9, 2018
•  The 150th Anniversary of Edward Curtis: 150 Masterpieces from The North American Indian

June 21 through September 16, 2018
•  Perchance to Dream: The Art of Michael Peoples

Additional exhibitions on display throughout the summer:
•  Pictures of the Best Kind: Treasures from the Permanent Collection
•  Picasso in Print: 20th Century European Masters

Opening Receptions
Special events and programs will accompany the exhibitions, starting with free public receptions to open the shows:
Thursday, May 17, 5:30-8:00 pm
•  Up Close and Personal: The Ultra-Realistic Sculpture of Marc Sijan
•  American Icon: The Art of the Motorcycle and Whiskey Ridge: The Summer of ‘51

Thursday, May 24, 5:30-8:00 pm
•  The 150th Anniversary of Edward Curtis: 150 Masterpieces from The North American Indian

Thursday, June 21, 5:30-8:00 pm
•  Perchance to Dream: The Art of Michael Peoples

Record Number of Exhibitors Apply to the Lakeshore Art Festival

Muskegon, MI – A record number of nearly 450 exhibitors applied for this year’s Lakeshore Art Festival. “448 to be exact,” commented Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders. “This year’s numbers exceed our previous record by 122 exhibitors! The Lakeshore Art Festival has been getting national attention since its inaugural year in 2013 and the results are showing in record exhibitor numbers, enhanced quality of work and increased guest attendance!”

Show quality has also been enhanced by the “blind jury process.” Every year, a group of industry professionals, artists and crafters review each entry, not knowing who the applicant is (i.e. blind jury). Jurors rely solely on the images and body of work provided by the applicants and score each applicant based on standards of quality, uniqueness and hand-crafted appeal. “Careful attention is made to ensure variety and diversity in terms of items displayed throughout the show,” says Carla Flanders. “The focus of the Lakeshore Art Festival is not only to present one-of-a-kind art to attendees, but also to bring a lasting sense of creativity to the local community.”

In addition to the exceptional level of artistry and entertainment, the Lakeshore Art Festival will offer two new artful components…

The Door Project: In conjunction with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and Nuveen Art Center, the Lakeshore Art Festival will host its first ever community Door Project. The project will include 15 local schools decorating/painting refurbished doors. The doors will be displayed on location during the festival. Additionally, Nuveen Art Center will host a door painting celebration for guests to decorate during the show. A majority of the doors have been secured, but the festival is seeking a few additional doors. If you are interested in donating a gently used door, please contact Carla Flanders at artfest@muskegon.org.

Kayak Sculpture Public Art Project: Lakeshore Art Festival attendees will also be treated to a unique downtown art experience in the form of public artworks incorporating real kayaks. Several kayak sculptures, measuring up to eleven feet high and six feet wide, will be on display throughout downtown beginning July 5. Kayaks are being provided by KL Outdoor, the world’s largest kayak manufacturer. The downtown sculpture project is just one way the community is celebrating KL’s recent decision to locate their corporate headquarters in Muskegon.

Artists interested in participating in the Kayak Sculpture Project should click here to view the Call for Artists document, which includes detailed artist requirements and a submission form. Artists chosen to participate will receive a $500 stipend. The deadline to submit entries is Friday, April 20.

In addition to new events, Lakeshore Art Festival favorites will return, with a Craft Beer and Wine Garden in Hackley Park, Student Art Showcase, Street Performers and a Children’s Lane.

The Lakeshore Art Festival is always the first Friday and Saturday in July and will take place July 6 and 7, 2018. The Lakeshore Art Festival features a unique blend of 300+ fine art and craft exhibitors, street performers, specialty food booths, interactive art stations, Children’s activities and so much more in beautiful Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Local businesses interested in supporting this locally and nationally recognized festival through sponsorship can contact Carla Flanders at artfest@muskegon.org. For more information visit lakeshoreartfestival.org.

Prize to Recognize Women Figurative Realist Painters

Call for entries for first-of-its-kind prize to propel careers of women artists
$50,000 Bennett Prize recognizes women figurative realist painters

PITTSBURGH – Women who paint in the figurative realist style are invited to apply for the $50,000 Bennett Prize, the largest ever offered solely to women painters.

The call for entries runs from April 13 – Sept. 28, 2018. Details are at www.thebennettprize.org.

Endowed by art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt at The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Bennett Prize aims to spotlight women artists who are, or seek to become, full-time painters, but have not yet reached full professional recognition.

“The Bennett Prize is seminal at this moment, when it’s harder than ever to pursue a career as a painter or artist of any kind,” said renowned American painter Alyssa Monks. “Artists are being pushed to the fringes and art markets are making it more and more difficult for any artists to feel secure.”
“A prize at this level of value and seriousness can propel an artist’s career at a time when so many quit or lose faith or stamina,” Monks said.

The winner of The Bennett Prize will create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which will first be shown at the Muskegon (Michigan) Museum of Art and then travel the country.

The Prize is also designed to create opportunities for the public to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in the increasingly popular style of figurative realism.

“Women are creating important figurative realist paintings that should be seen by a wider audience,” Bennett said. “Figurative realist painters portray the diverse human form, and have much to say in a society struggling to understand human differences, including race, gender and social status.”

American painter Aleah Chapin echoed those thoughts. “A prize such as this is a microphone for women’s thoughtful and unique voices,” Chapin said. “We paint because we have something important to say. When the world listens, that is life-changing. The Bennett Prize amplifies that voice, telling the world that that what women have to say is valid.”

Bennett and Schmidt, of San Antonio, Texas, have endowed a $3 million fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation to ensure the prize will be awarded every two years in perpetuity.

“The Pittsburgh Foundation has a history of funding artists whose work and unique perspectives might otherwise be overlooked,” said Maxwell King, foundation president and CEO. “The Bennett Prize establishes an ongoing mechanism for recognizing and elevating the work of women painters.”

A four-member jury, including renowned realist artists Maria Tomasula and Andrea Kowch, will select 10 painters from among the entrants. The 10 finalists will each receive $1,000 to participate in an exhibition opening May 2, 2019 at the Muskegon Museum of Art, where the winner will be announced.

“The Muskegon Museum of Art looks to showcase innovative programs, and we expect The Bennett Prize to be a tipping point for the artists’ careers,” said Kirk Hallman, executive director of the museum.

The winner will receive $25,000 annually for two years, so she can devote the time necessary to mount a solo exhibition, which will open in Muskegon in 2021 and then travel the country.

The Bennett Prize is not open to hobbyists, students or artists who have been paid or received an award of $25,000 or more for any single work of art.

Schmidt and Bennett are among the country’s top collectors of figurative realist art and are committed to seeing that talented women painters receive long-overdue recognition.

“We’re aiming to help ensure that there are as many paintings by women as men in museums, commanding the same prices and critical esteem,” Schmidt said.

Women artists appear ready for the challenge of making that happen.

“The Bennett Prize validates and encourages artists who are placing all their chips precariously on their dreams,” Chapin said. “A prize like this tells them that what they are doing is valuable and important – to go ahead and buy that big canvas and big tubes of paint and spend time making the thing you want to exist. It’s worthwhile.”

First-of-its-Kind Prize Aims to Propel Careers of Women Artists

$50,000 Bennett Prize recognizes women figurative realist painters

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Bennett Prize, the largest ever offered solely to women painters, was announced today by art collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, who are endowing the $50,000 biennial prize at The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The Prize will spotlight women artists who paint in the figurative realist style, and who have not yet reached full professional recognition – both new artists and those who have painted for many years. It will allow the winner to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which will first be shown at the Muskegon (Michigan) Museum of Art and then travel the country. The Prize is designed for women artists who are, or seek to become, full-time professional painters.

The Bennett Prize also aims to expand opportunities for the public to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in the increasingly popular style of figurative realism.

“We are excited to announce The Bennett Prize at a time when women are creating important figurative realist paintings that should be seen by a wider audience,” Bennett said. “Figurative realist painting features the human form in all of its diversity. It has an important role to play in a society struggling to understand human differences and commonalities, including race, gender and social status.”

A four-member jury, including renowned realist artists Maria Tomasula and Andrea Kowch, will select 10 painters from among the entrants. The 10 finalists will each receive $1,000 to participate in an exhibition opening May 2, 2019 at the Muskegon Museum of Art where the winner will be announced.

“The beauty of this prize is in the extended significance of its effects: not only will it recognize recipients’ past achievement, it will also help foster their future accomplishment,” said artist and juror Maria Tomasula, “I know how important both of these things are to the life of an artist.”

The Bennetts, along with The Pittsburgh Foundation, consider the Muskegon Museum of Art one of the great hidden gems among American museums. It was chosen as the inaugural venue for The Bennett Prize due it its commitment to both women and realism, as evidenced by the art on its walls and the exhibitions it sponsors.

“The Muskegon Museum of Art has built a reputation over the past decade for redefining what a small city art museum can accomplish,” said Kirk Hallman, executive director of the museum. “Serving as inaugural host of The Bennett Prize is a wonderful opportunity for the museum to continue showcasing innovative programs.”

The winner will receive $25,000 annually for two years, so she can devote the time necessary to mount a solo exhibition, which will open in Muskegon in 2021 and then travel the country.

The call for entries runs from April 13 – Sept. 28, 2018. Full details are available here: www.thebennettprize.org

The Bennett Prize is not open to hobbyists, students or artists who have been paid, or received an award of $25,000 or more for any single work of art.

Bennett and Schmidt are among the country’s top collectors of figurative realist art and are committed to seeing that talented women painters receive long overdue recognition for their superb artistry.

 

Muskegon Museum of Art Exhibits:

•  Through March 18, 2018 | Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert
•  Through March 18, 2018 | Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America
•  Through May 20, 2018 | Thunder Boy, Jr.: Illustrations by Yuyi Morales
•  March 1 through June 10, 2018 | The Poetry of Metal: David Barnhill and David Huang