Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
In Mizner Park
T: 561.392.2500 F: 561.391.6410
Tues, Wed & Fri
Saturday & Sunday
Mondays & holidays
10AM - 5PM
10AM - 8PM
NOON - 5PM
|Friday, July 5, 2013|
|5 Boca Museum Artworks on Flickr|
We at the Boca Museum are certainly fans of the recent boom in photography. We have an Instagram page and upload images to Twitter, not to mention Facebook and Pinterest. In fact, we have expanded our photography policy to allow cellphone photos in our second-floor permanent collection galleries.
There are a few drawbacks to the avalanche of photos though, one of them being the credit lines that accompany images. When we print up any materials that feature an image, we always include a certain set of information about the piece. Of course, not every visitor to the museum has the time to be studiously copying down an artist’s name, the title of an artwork, the medium used, and so on.
To that end, we’d like to spotlight five of the artworks that appear often on social media, specifically Flickr, and fill in some blanks on who made what, when, and why. If you would like to learn more about an artwork you have seen or photographed at the museum, leave a comment below and we will tell you all about it!
|Space Station by Julio Larraz
|Credit Infrogmation / Flickr Creative Commons
Space Station by Julio Larraz
Julio Larraz was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1944. He created this sculpture out of painted bronze and it stands a whopping 17 ½ feet high. It is placed in the courtyard near our front door and was purchased by the Boca Museum with funding provided by anonymous donors and the Dr. and Mrs. John J. Mayers Foundation.
A lot of people see this and immediately think “teacups” because of the cups’ small size and the shape of the pot on the top. This is actually a stack of coffee cups with a coffee pot balanced precariously on top.
Larraz is addressing the historically unbalanced politics of Latin America, specifically, the coffee business. Using metaphor, he implies that all the little coffee cups – the workers – hold up the big pot – the owner – on coffee plantations and in coffee business.
Power is imbalanced and at any point, the cups could cause the pot to come crashing down.
|Hoy es Hoy [Today is Today]
by Javier Marin
|Credit dancriss/Flickr Creative Commons
Hoy es Hoy [Today is Today] by Javier Marin
Javier Marin was born in Mexico in 1962. He created this magnificent sculpture in 2002 out of bronze, like Larraz, but he left it unpainted. This is another very large piece, it is almost 13 feet high, 8 feet in width, and 10 feet deep. It sits on the side of the museum that faces US-1 and was purchased by the Boca Museum with funds from our Collectors Forum group in addition to the Dr. and Mrs. John J. Mayers Foundation.
This sculpture does not depict just one woman’s face. Instead, it is a combination of multiple races: Mexican, Native American, and Asian.
|Labirintite by Rabrama
|Credit HeatherV.Howell/ Flickr Creative Commons
Labirintite by Rabarama
The Boca Museum doesn’t actually own Labirintite, it is on loan from Vecchiato Art Galleries in Padua, Italy. We’ve been lucky to have it since 2001. Rabarama is an Italian artist who was born in 1969 and she made this sculpture out of painted bronze. Paint doesn’t fare too well outdoors here in Boca because of the salt air. Because of that, we have had to sand and repaint this piece once already and are about to do it again. The first time, Rabarama visited the museum from Italy and did it herself!
The piece is five feet high by nine feet long and six feet deep. Rabarama covers all of her sculptures in patterns like this: mazes, puzzle pieces, numbers, and letters. These refer to her interest in genetics and DNA, basically what makes us up as people. The labyrinth on this one refers not only to the genetics that make up our bodies but also to the journey that each person takes in his or her own life – the experiences that make us up as people.
by Dorothy Gillespie
|Credit KaufmanRossin/ Flickr Creative Commons
Celestial Presence by Dorothy Gillespie
Sadly, Dorothy Gillespie passed away last year at the age of 92. She had a very long, full life as an artist though. For instance, she created this polychromed hanging sculpture out of shaped, cut aluminum in 2007, at the age of 87! It is 25 feet high, 20 feet long, and 12 feet deep.
It has been hanging at the museum for six years and every year we have to take it down for hurricane season as it hangs so closely to our windows. There are more than 350 “starbursts” hanging here! This gift from the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation transforms both the inside and the outside of the museum into an elaborate fantasy of explosive, multi-colored movement.
|Music Power II by Arman
|Credit walkoutofhermind/Flickr Creative Commons
Music Power II by Arman
French/American artist Arman was born in Nice, France and lived from 1928 to 2005. He uses only his first name in deference to Vincent Van Gogh, who only signed his first name on paintings. Influenced heavily by the Dada movement, Arman made “accumulations” of objects like the violoncellos seen here.
Sliced, smashed, or burned musical instruments were one of his most recognizable subjects since the 1960s. This piece was created in 2002. As an amateur cellist and son of an antiques dealer, Arman was surrounded by music from a very young age. He gifted this sculpture to the Boca Museum himself.
|Thursday, December 9, 2010|
|Local Art Classes Open House in Boca Raton for All Ages at The Art School of the Boca Raton Museum of Art|
A lot of the fun of going to see an exhibition can come from the inspiring ideas that an artist gets when they see another’s work. I know that at Art Basel Miami Beach last week, a lot of people were discussing how they could utilize new techniques and materials they saw there, in their own work, which is why it is so valuable to have The Art School working in collaboration with the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Open to the community, The Art School offers classes in all manner of fine arts disciplines:
- 3-D (assemblage, fiber art, collage, mixed media)
- Drawing (children’s book illustration, fashion illustration, figure)
- Jewelry (casting, fabrication, lapidary)
- Painting (china & tile, encaustic, figure, portrait, watercolor)
- Photography (camera basics, fine art, Photoshop,)
- Sculpture (clay,stone, wheel-throwing)
- Print (monoprint)
- And many others…
This December 12th from 12:30 – 3:30 PM, The Art School will be hosting its Open House. You can come and meet the teachers and see examples of work from their previous classes.
The classes are quite affordable and many are taught by working artists who have earned their M.F.A. It is important that the teachers be active in their respective circles. For example, Susan Hanssen won The Gold Award from the Florida Watercolor Society for their 2010 exhibition.
Either beginner or professional can take part in one of the 100 weekly classes or lectures, as well as 40 weekend workshops. Lifetime learners and weekend warriors alike can benefit from the flexible schedule and broad spectrum of classes. The Adobe Photoshop classes are a special favorite of creative professionals looking to expand their repertoire.
In a nutshell, The Art School is a valuable facility that anyone can enjoy. The classes are small enough that an aspiring student can get the attention they need in a supportive atmosphere. Many students return year after year for both the opportunities provided and to become a part of the dynamic creative environment. There is no better place to learn about art opportunities than from the gossip of fellow artists!
Definitely stop by the Open House and rediscover the excitement of working alongside fellow creative minds, spark ideas and invigorate your creating side.
|Thursday, December 2, 2010|
|Where in the World is our Security Guard?|
DUANE HANSON (American, 1925 – 1996), Security Guard, 1990, autobody filler (fiberglass and polyester resin) polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories, 72 x 32 x 15 inches. Loan, courtesy of Mrs. Duane Hanson
Meet the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s newest world traveler: Security Guard.
This lifelike sculpture that is normally installed next to the actual security guards’ office in the museum has traveled all the way to Baden-Baden, Germany. He isn’t seeking to claim a new position at the Museum Frieder Burda but rather was loaned to be part of the exhibition Duane Hanson/Gregory Crewdson: Uncanny Realities.
From November 27, 2010 to March 6, 2011, Security Guard will be part of a larger exhibition comprised of 25 Hanson sculptures and 20 Gregory Crewdson large-scale photographs that deal with “the human abyss.”
In conjunction with the stark, eerie photographs, the Hanson sculptures will create a dialogue about the American middle-to-lower classes and the “disappointments of the American dream that are buried within them.” Hanson’s unique ability to capture every imperfection in the sculpture’s physiognomy adds to the feeling of verité, therefore prompting a feeling of empathy on the part of the viewer.
Other sculptures that appeared in the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s exhibition, Duane Hanson: Sculpture and Photographs 1978 – 1995 are Children Playing Game, Housepainter, and Man on Mower.
Germany isn’t the first place that Security Guard has traveled. He’s been no slouch on the sightseeing front. Prior to the Boca Raton Museum of Art's exhibition, he visited the Albright-Knox Gallery of Art in 2004 for Bodily Space: New Obsessions in Figurative Sculpture, and the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania from 2006 – 2007 for Duane Hanson: Real Life.
While Security Guard is in Germany enjoying the culinary delicacies and winter weather, the museum here in Boca will be filling our galleries with costumes from Cosprop, the London-based costumery for film, television, and theatre. CUT! Costume and the Cinema opens on January 18th 2011.
|Tuesday, October 26, 2010|
|Pros and Cons of Smartphones in the Museum|
Andre Gisson, Museum, 1991, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. Permanent Collection 1992.147. From Michael and Peggy Gourgourinis and Galerie Mihalis on behalf of the artist.
A recent article in the New York Times, “From Picassos to Sarcophagi, Guided by iPhone Apps,” addressed the omnipresence of smartphones and the insatiable lust of their users for new and better apps. In this case, the topic is, what apps are useful or could potentially be useful in a museum setting?
Renowned museums like the New York Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum make use of smartphone apps to better lead their guests through the exhibitions. In general, once the app is downloaded to the mobile device (each family of smartphones require a unique platform specific app) and the user is in the building they can click through information on specific artworks. Some of the electronic information supplements the material available on the wall text, some expand the experience with audio feeds while others offer no more than what is on view in the museum.
Writer Edward Rothstein notes the differences between the more common museum audio tour equipment versus the information available via the smartphone app. In sum, he isn’t overly impressed with the apps but notes there will most definitely be improvements to come, as the programs are still in their infancy.
About the MoMa app he writes, “Moreover, apart from the audio itself, information is slight and availability inconsistent. Search for works by Warhol: some have almost no commentary; others offer excerpts from a book; others link to audio commentary. The app never got easier to use; it remained fussy and interfering. It was a relief to turn it off.”
Overall, the applications are meant to supplement the viewing experience, not detract from it. Even if the first version is a bit tedious, it is no doubt that subsequent versions will become more streamlined as time passes.
I, myself, remember wishing I could lug all of my Contemporary Art History texts into the Centre Pompidou so that I could better show my friend the genesis of video art (which I had studied at university) while we looked at each piece in the exhibition. Instead, I could only suggest some preemptory reading for the train ride, and then had to rely on my own fallible memory once we were inside. I pity anyone who owns a smartphone who dares enter a museum with me now. There is no doubt I would hijack it in the name of on-the-spot research.
Which brings us to an obvious contention that many curators must have with using applications. Curators tend to mount shows in such a way that the artworks conduct a dialogue with each other. The visitors to the show are expected to consider the layout as a whole, and then focus more finely on specific areas. For instance, what does this gallery have in common with other galleries on this floor? What is different? And then, is there a theme to the series of artworks on this wall? Or, why is this specific painting hung above that drawing? The nuances of how a show is hung could easily be lost with most of the audience’s heads bent, looking up the corresponding image on their phones. It is possible that one could miss a larger concept found in the gallery at MoMa while looking up the specifics of Francis Bacon’s biography on Wikipedia.
But, the world is moving on, as they say and we shall move with it. The BRMA has an application available for viewing on our website through a Cooliris feed or through the Cooliris app on an iphone or ipad. It presents images from the permanent collection with their provenance on a 3-D wall. This presentation allows you to either continually scroll laterally through the exhibition or step through it in a traditional slide show format. The Museum’s eGallery makes viewing the works infinitely easier.
We have not yet implemented an application on the scale of the New York museums, but a visitor can use our eGallery while in the museum to identify which artworks they would like to see as well as read wall text that accompanies the pieces. Because Executive Director George Bolge chose the artworks as if he were planning a traditional gallery exhibition a visitor can experience a contextually complete experience from anywhere in the world or use it as a guide while visiting the Museum to find some of its most cherished pieces.
What kinds of applications would you like to see available at the museum?
|Monday, September 20, 2010|
|Artist in Residence|
Beginning in 2008, the Museum’s Artist in Residence (AIR) has been a feature year-long program at area schools providing arts integration for teachers, staff and students in Kindergarten through 5th grade (how the visual arts functions across the curriculum.) Despite the need for more funding, the Museum has made headway implementing this unique and useful program at Plumosa School of the Arts in Delray Beach (2009-10) and Hammock Pointe Elementary School in Boca Raton (2008 and 2010-11.)
The Artist in Residence program features Catalina Aguirre Hoffman as the Artist in Residence and Lauren Shapiro as the Assistant Artist in Residence, both of whom teach the art studio class twice a week during the school year at the host school. They work on campus in a classroom dedicated to the AIR program provided by the host school. Matching the curriculum with the art in the Museum’s Permanent Collection, the Education Department then chooses the works of art to be used as inspiration for the program. Museum lesson plans are supplied to the teacher to reinforce and extend the art studio experience back into the classroom.
AIR integrates visual arts instruction with the current grade-level curriculum in content areas such as math, science, social studies and language arts. For example, if a teacher is covering African history in her classroom the Museum provides lessons plans to the teachers that are from the Museum’s African collection. These masks in the Museum’s collection serve as models from which the students can draw inspiration for their own creations as well as offer primary source material for their studies.
Art can be integrated into the classroom in other ways as well; it needn’t only be for art projects. For example, an abstract artwork can be used to display the varied degrees of angles (30°, 45°, 90°) in a math class.
The scientific method can be taught through art. During the third grade classroom project, Museum staff will reinforce states of matter via the process of chemical change. They will be given a lump of clay to weigh as their base measure. Then, the students will mold the clay and weigh again to observe any change after adding to or subtracting from the initial piece of clay. Finally, they will fire the clay in the oven and again weigh it, noting any difference after the chemical change. These results will be charted on a graph to illustrate the concepts of observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation and conclusion. As you can see, art can truly be considered a crossover subject.
When finished, the students’ art creations are installed on the school grounds. Usually, each grade’s pieces are placed in different areas of the school, from the cafeteria to the principal’s office or throughout the hallways.
As an added bonus, the AIR program is very earth conscious. Many of the items used are recycled items, which mean many have been rescued from area landfills. In fact, this point is illustrated by weighing the items used and then converting the sum into cubic feet and pounds so that the students can get a concrete idea of what has been saved from the rubbish heap.
Because some of the materials used are common household items, it is also easy for the kids to recreate the projects at home and the materials are relatively inexpensive. The program has benefited from generous benefactors but clearly with additional funding, the Museum can strengthen and further expand its educational programs. While the public schools themselves pay nothing for this vital partnership, they provide an opportunity for the Museum to connect with the youth in our community. As our mission states, the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s goal is to “enhance...the understanding of the visual arts...through the acquisition and maintenance of a permanent collection...” And what better way to do that than to take visual arts instruction directly into the classroom?
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