october 7, 2016 newsletter

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Two recipients of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge open: “Breathing Lights” and “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” (10/6)

Both projects were two of four recipients, selected from 237 entries to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, which sought to create collaboration between the visual arts and larger civic needs, challenging mayors to collaborate with artists on developing innovative public art projects that enrich communities and attract visitors.

Breathing Lights, illuminates the city streets of a trio of New York cities, Albany, Schenectady and Troy, through the windows of hundreds of vacant buildings this October and November. Using LED lights that are individually set to brighten and dim, to evoke the notion of “breathing,” the project “will transform abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth.” In addition to the multi-city installation Breathing Lights includes eight months of programming and events to highlight community issues, including youth media projects, building reclamation clinics, community arts presentations, gallery talks, and policy-focused symposia.

Above image: Breathing Lights Opening Day
Photo courtesy: The Foundry for Art Design + Culture

The City of Spartanburg winning project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, also opened over the past weekend timed to the annual National Night Out, on October 4, 2016. The project includes installations in 10 targeted neighborhoods and represents a partnership between City of Spartanburg Police and Community Relations Departments, light and digital media artist Erwin Redl, The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, and neighborhood associations throughout the City of Spartanburg. Redl’s designs include multi-media and LED installations, which includes illuminated smokestacks on the site where a factory once stood, suspended “mobile curtains,” and multiple floating “light island,” aimed at transforming the urban settings into safer neighborhood environments.

Image: “Mobile Suspension” is five multicolored mobile curtains that float above the center lawn of Denny’s Plaza, located in the heart of Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District. Each curtain is 51 feet long and 12 feet high and consists of a woven pattern of four-inch translucent acrylic squares. The exhibit is part of Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. Photo by Carroll Foster.

Portland Art Museum announces expansion and 20-year art lending partnership with the children of Mark Rothko, Christopher Rothko, and Kate Rothko Prizel. (10/6)
The announced museum expansion, designed by Chicago-based Vinci Hamp Architects, most visibly includes a three-story structure, to be named the “Rothko Pavilion,” anchored by a glass-walled stair tower that will connect the Pavilion to the Museum’s Main Building. The expansion adds approximately 30,000 square feet of space to the Museum, and feature 9,840 square feet of new gallery space, including space for contemporary and media art, as well as a new Education and Design Lab, and new space for the Museum’s library.

The partnership includes the loan to the Museum of major paintings by Mark Rothko from the private collections of Christopher Rothko, and Kate Rothko Prizel, in recognition of the artist’s relationship to Portland, his home as a youth after immigrating from Latvia, and the Museum, where he took art classes as a teenager and received his first solo exhibition. The paintings will be loaned individually in rotation over the course of the next two decades.

To date, $21.75 million (43 percent) of the $50-million capital goal has been raised, including the $8 million lead gift from an anonymous donor allowing the naming of the new pavilion in Mark Rothko’s honor. In addition, $5.4 million has been raised towards the $25-million endowment goal. Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place in 2018, with an anticipated completion date for the project set in late 2020 or early 2021.

3Arts Awards award $250,000 to 10 Chicago Artists (10/3)
The Chicago-based nonprofit recently announced the recipients of the ninth annual 3Arts Awards, presented to women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities working in dance, music, theater, visual arts or teaching arts. Each of the awardees, selected by a national jury, received an unrestricted grant of $25,000. This year’s recipients include: dancer-choreographers Barak adé Soleil and Ayako Kato; singer-songwriter Jess Godwin and improvisational jazz cellist Tomeka Reid; theater maker Jo Cattell and director Maggie Popadiak; visual artists Candace Hunter and Aram Han Sifuentes; and teaching artists Alexandria Eregbu and William Estrada. The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art on October 3.

Sam Gappmayer appointed director of John Michael Kohler Arts Center. (10/3)
Gappmayer comes to his new position from the Peoria Riverfront Museum, where he served as president and CEO. Previously, Gappmayer worked as the top executive at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho. He will succeed the long tenure of Ruth DeYoung Kohler, who served as the center’s director for over four decades, from 1972 to 2015. He is scheduled to begin his new position at the Wisconsin-based institution on October 17.

Nicole Berry named deputy director of The Armory Show (9/29)
Berry joins The Armory Show from her position as deputy director at Expo Chicago, where she has served since 2011. In her new role, Berry will have direct oversight of VIP and visitor relations, as well as new curatorial initiatives, effective October 2016.