“A museum is not just four walls to hang pictures. It is an organization of ideas, information, of activities—it is the building and the people which together bring about the experience of art that is so rewarding and enjoyable.”
Our founding director Hedy Landman’s words (above) are as relevant today as they were in May of 1975 on the occasion of the dedication of this budding organization, then Danforth Museum, now Danforth Art. It was with great sadness that we learned from her family of her death at the age of 93 on September 29, 2014.
Mrs. Landman was an artist, a curator, a director and an art activist at and for some of the nation’s most prestigious museums. Born in Slovakia, she moved to Sweden at the age of 18, where she was hired as a porcelain maker for Rorstrand. She had an eye for art and design, and moved to Paris to curate Swedish art at the Institut Tessin. In 1952, she immigrated to the United States and later received a master’s degree in art from Oberlin College.
In 1975, Mrs. Landman became the first director of the Danforth Museum, now Danforth Art. A wonderful choice for the position, Mrs. Landman helped articulate the museum’s early mission and to draw the public to join her in this forward-thinking, creative endeavor. She understood that art must be enjoyed by the public, “to fulfill the mission of the artist,” she said. She believed that both viewing and creating art were an exchange- between medium, artist, and audience. And, she understood the power of art, in all forms, to refuel and engage a viewer, its maker, and the community—ideas that still are at the core of the organization’s vision and mission some 40 years later.
Mr. and Mrs. Landman relocated to Chicago in 1977 following his appointment as Director of Public Information at the University of Illinois, and she quickly became involved in the Chicago art community. On behalf of the city, she lectured on the subject of Chicago’s architecture and curated a collection of photographs and lithographs at the Mackintosh Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. Because of her efforts to save the Chicago Cultural Center, its top volunteer is recognized annually with the Hedy Award, named in her honor. Until her death, she remained a staunch supporter of the arts and a sought-after art expert across many mediums.
Hedy Landman is remembered by her stepchildren, stepgrandchildren, nieces and nephew, cousins, and by her many friends. With gratitude and in celebration, she is remembered by all of us at Danforth Art. No memorial service for the public has been announced.
“My own personal aesthetic?” asks Noelle Fournier, “I am very interested in non-representational work. I enjoy studying pattern and color, manipulating media, and playing with the idea of mapping and experience.”
A talented artist, Noelle has extensive experience in scenic painting, watercolor and collage. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from St. Lawrence University in 1988 and a M.Ed. from Lesley University in 1996. Her teaching experience includes positions at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, and Cambridge-Ellis School.
In 2012, she joined the faculty at Danforth Art School, teaching children’s studio art classes, and now joins the staff in a newly-created position Children’s Studio Education Coordinator. Noelle is committed to developing a strong body of lesson plans in an effort to promote quality, meaningful art making for all ages of learners, and has taught art to preschoolers through professional development for teachers.
In her new position, she will oversee studio art experiences for young audiences, developing new classes and assuring that all classes meet Danforth Art’s standards for quality art education. But, parents and students, do not fear! Noelle can’t stay out of the classroom; she will continue to teach our children’s classes and Professional Development programs.
“In addition to skill-building—how do you work a pencil or brush—and concept-building—principles of composition and design, each student should also consider connections to art history—how does your work relate to what came before—and connections to self—how are your own feelings conveyed in your art,” says Noelle.
“Students should learn how to speak about their art, discuss what they made, and describe their motivations and process, and to develop their portfolio to show style and method.”
Noelle is drawn to artists who experiment and innovate in their work, just as she does in her own painting, and is enthusiastic about connecting Danforth Art’s current exhibitions to studio art experiences in the classroom.
“When I look at interesting artwork,” she laughs, “I can’t help but think up ideas for lesson plans!”
Who We Are: The Team from Williamstown Art Conservation Center
Danforth Art was pleased to welcome three expert art conservators from The Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC) in Williamstown, Massachusetts: Hélène Gillette-Woodard, Rebecca Johnston, and Montserrat Le Mense. In a three-day project funded by a Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the team conducted a preservation assessment of the Permanent Collection and made both short- and long-term recommendations for its care. Danforth Art’s collection contains 3,500 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and other works on paper, as well as nearly 600 3-dimensional works of ceramic, wood, and plaster sculpture.
Head Conservator of Objects for WACC, Hélène Gillette-Woodward has more than twenty-five years’ experience in conservation, having worked in such notable institutions as the National Museum of American History and the Indianapolis Museum of Art in addition to private practices. She has a BA in Art History and a BS in Ecology and Chemistry from the University of Maryland and a MA in Art Conservation from the State University of New York, Buffalo.
Montserrat Le Mense, Conservator of Paintings at WACC since 1995, specializes in the examination and treatment of paintings. She has worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts, and the Cinncinnati Art Museum. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from St. Norbet College, a MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, and a MS in Art Conservation from the University of Buffalo.
Prior to joining WACC in 1994 as Conservator of Paper, Rebecca Johnston interned at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University Art Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Library of Congress. She has a BA in the Technology of Artistic and Historic Objects from the University of Delaware, a MA in Paper Conservation from Buffalo State College, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Paper Conservation from Harvard University Art Museums.
“This assessment by the team from Williamstown Art Conservation Center was an important step forward for us as we continue to improve our collections care,” said Kristina Wilson, Assistant Registrar of Danforth Art. “I learned so much from their combined expertise, and feel empowered to implement short- and long-term solutions that will have immediate and long-lasting benefits for the collection.”
This evaluation will prepare Danforth Art to make informed decisions about collections care and will help us leverage funding to prepare for an eventual move to the Jonathan Maynard Building. We are grateful for the nearly 70 hours of time spent on assessment, documentation and treatment planning by the WACC team and for their meticulous care of our prized works of art.
Who We Are: Teen Docents and Summer Interns
Danforth Art was peppered with apple red, lime green and steel blue t-shirts on Free Fun Friday as our Summer Interns and Teen Docents buzzed through the galleries and the big tent outside assisting visitors with gallery programs and art-making activities. More than 25 teens were all smiles—some spattered with paint, ink and clay outdoors and others professionally reminding visitors of museum etiquette indoors—as they greeted hundreds of visitors on a gorgeous summer day. Supporting one of our largest public programs, Free Fun Friday, is just one way that our Interns and Teen Docents serve as ambassadors for Danforth Art throughout the summer.
Seventeen Summer Interns, ranging in age from 14 to 22, provide crucial administrative and classroom support for Summer Arts classes for children and teens in the School. Most of these teens apply for the program because of their interest in working with children or art, and some are pursuing studio art or art education themselves. All are excited to work with children of all ages in hands-on projects across many art mediums.
“Each intern brings something unique to the table. On their first day, they don’t have the confidence to mentor the children or aid the teachers. But, after a couple of days, they find their footing and throw away their nerves,” said Abigail Michelson, our Summer Intern Coordinator. “It’s wonderful to see this progression.”
A special thanks to our Summer 2014 Interns: Kayla Barletta, Tessa Beatrice, Jacquelyn Braxton, Abigael Bridemohan, Molly Chan, Trisha Ann Danforth, Max Donahue, Chen Greenman, Jackie Helliwell, Marissa Jordan, Katie Kerber, Shelley Liu, Daria Lugina, Danielle Newberry, Derrick Newberry, Shelby Robin, Brianna Vagnini, and Elizabeth Yeager.
Ten teens, ranging from incoming freshmen to high school seniors, were selected for our prestigious Teen Docent program this summer. Through in-depth training exercises and off-site field trips, Teen Docents learn Visual Thinking Strategies, an inquiry-based teaching strategy that encourages critical thinking and conversation, and other tour guide methodologies that encourage audience interaction.
“The camaraderie that has developed amongst this group is really something special. I see our Teen Docents developing confidence and their tour facilitation skills,” said Amy Briggs, Assistant Director of Visitor Learning & Experience, who trains and supervises the Teen Docents. “But, even more than that, I see ‘shy’ kids really come out of their shells and bond with peers. I learn from them every day… and hope they learn from me too!”
A special thank you to our 2014 Teen Docents: Jordan Bembery, Kate Carpenter, Kelsey Collins, Sarah Ellis, Camille Gerard, Sarah Hulton, Genevieve Kent, Grace Macken, Oliver Mason, and Careera Uppaluri.
Who We Are: Sam Light, Exhibiting Artist Community of Artists and former Teen Docent
“I never expected that my parents old 35mm camera would become one of my most treasured possessions and am so excited to keep it with me in the future,” says Sam Light, a budding photographer whose silver gelatin print Above Sedona is featured in the 2014 exhibition Community of Artists.
In the fall, this talented 18-year-old and former Danforth Art Teen Docent will head to Pratt Institute in New York to study photography, a medium that has inspired him for more than four years. Although he was exposed to art and art-making at a young age, Sam first became serious about art when he entered high school. It was in art class that he first discovered his passion and talent for photography. Now, he is drawn to the darkroom where film and old analog materials have become his medium.
Sam’s Above Sedona print was selected for inclusion in Community of Artists from more than 500 submissions in an anonymous jurying process. The print is part of a large body of work created for a year-long research project for school. Inspired by questions of nationalism and meaning—of what objects and concepts are thought to be “American”—Sam began to reflect on the idea of the great, American road trip, thinking about how nostalgia is evoked and identity is explored on the open road. As he embarked on his own road trip across the desert, he became fascinated as well with the cultural concept of elbowroom, and with how emptiness in place could impact identity.
“This image is an aerial shot of the highway cutting through the beautiful landscape of Sedona, Arizona,” Sam explains. “Acting as a symbol for our freedom…I like the contrast of the road against the untouched land and how I, as the photographer, was able to see this from an uncommon angle.”
This is the second year that Sam has had work selected for the Juried Exhibitions. Sam first learned about Danforth Art in his sophomore year when he was looking for an art-related summer activity. He immediately applied to the Teen Docent program after watching the video Where Something Special Happens. His experience working with children and families at Danforth Art has been a life-changing experience for Sam.
“In my work at the museum, I have encouraged families to really look at the art on the walls and then be inspired to create from what they see. This has made my choice to pursue a career in the visual arts very simple. The feeling for community involvement I have had at Danforth Art is something that I know I want to keep with me in the future and the only way I know how is by continuing to follow my creative and artistic passions. Danforth has made me into a successful artist, leader and member of a greater community and for that I am incredibly grateful.”
Sam continues, “When I first came into the museum to be interviewed for the Teen Docent program in May of 2011 I never imagined that three years later I would have my second photograph displayed in the Annual Summer Juried Exhibition.”
Sam Light’s Above Sedona is on view in Community of Artists through August 3. To learn more about the Teen Docent program, please visit http://www.danforthart.org/teendocents.html.
Who We Are: Jennifer Gross, 2014 Juror
for Off the Wall
“Danforth Art’s juried exhibitions connect with the artistic pulse of this region, and feature fine examples of both artistic innovations and long standing practices that should be celebrated,” said Jennifer Gross, 2014 Juror for Off the Wall.
Of her appointment as Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at in 2013, Jennifer Gross noted, “I was interested to work more immediately with contemporary artists, and also in landscape architecture so it was a wonderful fit.” Prior to joining deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, she served Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. She has worked at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art, where she was also an Assistant Professor. Gross received her PhD in Art History from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She received her Master of Arts degree in Art History at Hunter College. She has curated many exhibitions and organized artist projects, and has served as juror at cultural institutions across the country.
Gross stated that she was delighted to serve as juror for this exhibition, stating, “It was a pleasure to see the aesthetic ambitions of the applicants and to note the wide range of materials, methods and styles that are being pursued today in and around Boston.”
She selected 53 works by 37 artists for this exhibition. Although she was drawn to less traditional mediums such as woodcutting and watercolor, she also selected remarkable examples of sculpture and painting.
“This was a very disparate body of work to select from—one that covers every discipline of art-making. The works that I selected have very little in common with each other or with any curatorial premise. I was drawn to selecting work that I believe reflects well the singular ambition of the individual artist. Whether this was technique, beauty, innovation, political or social expression, I was drawn to works that capture the integrity of a unique vision,” said Gross.
Of her First Prize selection, Julia Talcott’s Log, she said, “I liked the boldness of the piece. It has a very folk art feel but a great ambition in its scale.”
May is Museum Membership Month, a perfect time to celebrate YOU—Danforth Art’s incredible, dedicated members! Danforth Art has over 1,500 members from throughout MetroWest and Greater Boston. You represent diverse lifestyles and interests—from first-time students to studio art class “regulars,” artists who submit work to juried exhibitions and art-lovers who attend every exhibition opening. You, our members, are gallerists and artists, parents and students, donors and docents. You care about art; or, you love painting–or both! Whatever your reason for joining, we thank you for being part of the art-minded community that makes Danforth Art unique.
Your membership dollars help support museum and school operations, educational and community programs, as well as our permanent collection and exhibitions. And Danforth Art membership is a great value! Our members enjoy exclusive benefits like free admission and discounts on studio art classes, and special invitations to our exhibition openings. Membership quickly pays for itself!
You belong at Danforth Art. If you are not yet a Danforth Art member, we invite you to join in the month of May for a chance to win a special prize. We’ll choose two new members a week and upgrade their membership to a higher level, extending the full benefits of that level at no additional charge, for one year. To become a member today, please visit our admissions desk or purchase a membership online now.
Who We Are:
“Photography is a curious person’s paradise,” says artist Lisa Kessler, whose exhibition In the Pink opens at Danforth Art this Sunday, April 6. “It was my license to go anywhere. I wanted to photograph things that were actually happening—all candid, all taken from the real world.”
Now nationally recognized for both documentary and fine art photography, Lisa Kessler first discovered the art of photography in high school. There she was first introduced to the idea that a photograph could express the ideas and views of the photographer. “Composition was thrilling to me,” she said. “I loved the idea of imposing a rectangle around what you were seeing in a specific way to perfectly compose and elevate the image.”
During college, Kessler was drawn both to history and photography. She volunteered abroad, working with immigrants and refugees, and then began a documentary photography project in Mexico. A visual document of the political change after the 1986 earthquakes, these images were her first political work, a powerful statement on both the natural and man-made disasters she witnessed around her.
When she returned to America, Kessler felt the pull of her camera. She studied photojournalism, always trying to marry meaning with her strong visuals. She freelanced and began teaching. “The camera is just a tool,” says Kessler, reflecting on her first experiences working with students, “I needed to figure out how to empower them to use that tool to figure out what they want to say. I like the challenge of helping students see that they are the authors of their own lives.”
“Pink is defined in many conflicting ways in our culture. It is feminine, delicate, pornographic, powerful, vivid,” said Kessler. “I hope to broaden our perspective, so we are not bound by what we think the color is supposed to mean. It’s about liberation.”
Kessler planned certain stops on her trip, destinations where pink was a subject of interest. She visited the playful Iowa Hot Pink Grannies, the powerful Nutcrackers roller derby team, the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo in Vegas, and the Phoenix jail known by many as the “emasculation jail” for its requirement that inmates wear pink underwear.
Photographer Lisa Kessler considers Pinkie (shown above) to be one of the most important images in her series. Photographed at The Huntington, a private museum and library in San Marino, California, Kessler’s image captures a young girl lying on a gallery bench below Thomas Lawrence’s Sarah Barrett Moulton: Pinkie (1794). Lawrence’s Pinkie, paired with Thomas Gainsborough’s Jonathan Buttal: The Blue Boy in display and in popular culture since the 1920s although the two paintings had no connection, is believed by many to be the piece which cemented the gendered interpretation of the color pink.
“People either love pink or they hate it, but these photographs don’t have to be a little didactic lesson. They have to stand alone as visual delights. I used the cultural construction of the color only as a jumping off point to make interesting pictures.”
A selection of Lisa Kessler’s pink photographs are exhibited In the Pink at Danforth Art through June 15. Kessler has curated text—comments from writers, artists, and psychologists on the color pink—to accompany the images, all of which will contribute to a forthcoming book by the artist.
Sunday, April 6, 4pm Talk, 4:45pm Reception: Join us for a gallery talk and light reception this Sunday. This event is free for Danforth Art members, and included in museum admission. Advance registration is not required.
Who We Are
“It feels like a history lesson now,” says exhibiting artist Michael David of the AIDS epidemic in Boston in the 1980s that inspired his print series Bearing Witness. “How do you make people understand a fear that lasted ten years, discrimination that did not go away? The statistics were harrowing at first. It was a very isolating disease.”
Boston artist Michael David received his BA at Brandeis College in 1977 and his MFA from Boston University in 1980. Trained in classical painting, David spent his early career exploring use of the figure in contemporary prints and drawings. He did not see the human form as an isolated element, but rather in situ, as seen life. He drew scenes of subways and restaurants, reflections of the everyday.
But, by the late 1980s, David was drawn to a new subject matter, one much more personal. “I did not sit down intending to do drawings about AIDS,” says David. “I did not intend to be political. I was just processing my own fears, my own grief, as I saw close friends dying from the disease.”
David describes the climate in Boston in the mid-1980s as a time of intense fear and rampant rumor as hundreds, mostly gay men, contracted the still-misunderstood disease. The disease was cruel and their suffering was not met with empathy. When his own close friend was diagnosed, he volunteered to sit vigil bedside and made drawings as a result of his experience.
First exhibited at Massachusetts College of Art in 1989, Bearing Witness portrays heartbreak and loss in drawings that are universal reflections of human suffering. Receiving critical recognition, and, he admits, some negative responses to the subject matter of his work, David was invited to exhibit in college art galleries across the country. “I wanted the works to sensitize students to and educate them on AIDS. Colleges allowed students to discuss both the art and the disease, and my work served as a backdrop for students to process their own anxieties.”
David is proud to see the works back on exhibit at Danforth Art. Although 25 years have passed, the artist felt a swell of emotion as he unwrapped the drawings, a visceral pull to the terror and sadness that first inspired the work.
Sunday, March 23, at 3pm: Michael David and Michael Dowling, Artistic Director of Medicine Wheel Productions, will speak about the gay, medical and art communities’ responses to the AIDS epidemic in Boston during its early years. Selections from David’s series Bearing Witness are on view through May 18.
Who We Are
“The Musée Rodin in Paris, the Frick Collection in New York and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco," says Cynthia Hall Kouré, listing her favorite museums. “Museum visits are always part of my travel plans. I value the time I have spent in museums around the world with my family and friends. It’s truly quality time, time for relationship building.”
Cynthia Hall Kouré, a Natick resident for more than 20 years, joins Danforth Art this month as its new Director of Development. Cynthia brings extensive experience in fundraising, strategic financial planning, and communications for nonprofits in both Boston and MetroWest. Most recently, she’s worked with human services organizations to provide emergency services and hunger relief for people in need, but has an extensive background working with such art and culture organizations as the Paul Revere House, the Louisa May Alcott House and the Wayside Inn. She has a particular interest in historic preservation and museums in general.
“Museums communicate the historic and cultural legacies of the communities in which we live. They educate the public on broader themes of humanity of which we need to be reminded. Artists have the vision and courage to make works of art that express these themes. Consider the work of Winfred Rembert on view at Danforth Art; his art illustrates the challenges and struggles of the Civil Rights-era rural south, and is an important educational tool for today’s audiences. ”
Cynthia will assume responsibilities for fundraising and strengthening Danforth Art’s position in the community at an important time immediately following our acquisition of the Jonathan Maynard Building on the historic green in Framingham Centre.
“Danforth Art is a remarkable organization that is positioned for growth in Framingham, in MetroWest, and among regional museums. Its programs, classes, and exhibitions have touched so many. It provides opportunities to be exposed to art and to working artists, and to create art, opportunities for engagement that are integrated into what we hope and art museum and art education center to be.”
Who We Are
School Manager Ashley Occhino was raised in an art museum; her mother was director of the Attleboro Art Museum so Ashley’s childhood was spent playing in the galleries, taking art classes, even napping under her mother’s desk! “My early, intimate exposure to fine art was uncommon, but I wish all children could feel as comfortable in a museum as I did in galleries and museums as a child.”
Fascinated by interior design, Ashley studied textile and fiber arts at college, earning a BFA at UMass Dartmouth and her MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia where she served as teaching assistant. She also exhibited her own basketry and woven sculpture in local galleries and got “real-world”—and hands-on—experience at internships and jobs in arts administration and exhibit installation. Returning to Massachusetts after graduation, Ashley found work at the Society of Arts and Crafts and then the Fuller Craft Museum where she embraced “the atmosphere of people learning” as an Education Associate. Working in arts education felt like a natural progression. “Both my mother and father were teachers- my mother before she became an art museum director—so I suppose it’s in my blood!”
As Danforth Art’s School Manager, Ashley oversees daily operations of the school and works closely with students and faculty. She is also part of a team who will carefully evaluate school offerings to create the kind of curriculum that sets Danforth Art apart. Setting and reviewing benchmarks for the more than 400 studio art classes for children and adults allows Ashley to focus on how “core studio art learning grows minds and imaginations in a tangible and quantitative way.”
During this past December’s School Vacation Week programs, Ashley was visited in her office by several 4th and 5th graders, excitedly sharing their new creations – photograms, camera-free photographs made with only light and photosensitive papers. “Their work was incredible,” she boasted. “These kids had never seen or used a darkroom, never developed a picture: most had only ever used a digital camera. It felt like Danforth Art had taught them a lost art.”
Together with School Registrar Jaclyn Dentino, Ashley is working hard to grow our student audience. “This is about more than just signing your kids up for art class. It’s about their learning to understand what another artist did visually, and with different mediums, learning about the process, seeing at a different level.”
Danforth Art offers diverse art education, using modern and traditional techniques, for all ages and levels from studio art classes to one-day workshops to our Professional Artist Series. Registration for winter classes is still open and enrollment for Summer Arts begins on February 1.
Who We Are
As a little girl, Amber attended a birthday party at Danforth Art. While her friends giggled in their brightly-colored smocks, this serious young artist focused on her mass of clay. She pinched and coiled, molded and rolled, until her “pinchy, spiky thing (that really did not resemble a dragon)” was complete. To eight-year-old Amber, it was a masterpiece, and, to her proud grandmother, it is still.
Amber had always been a whimsical child. She recalls one basketball game during which her coach “caught me doing ballet leaps over the half-court line.” Amber loved art. She could get blissfully lost in a painting or might be found playfully mimicking a sculpture in an exhibit hall. At home, she dutifully painted and colored at the Crayola lighted art table in her living room, joyfully experimenting with color, line and texture.
At that birthday party, Amber found inspiration. As she continued to take children’s art classes at Danforth Art, competing with her stepsister for space in the family’s coveted fireplace mantle gallery, she found an artists’ community.
Amber returned to Danforth Art years later to work as a Visitor Services intern. A Studio Art major in painting at Framingham State University, she now viewed the galleries with the eyes of a trained artist. She appreciated the diversity of works and mediums in the juried art shows and drew inspiration for her own painting from the exceptional permanent collection. Her college friends yearned for a “cool job” like hers, and Amber loved being a “gallery girl.”
From her perch at the desk in the Rosenberg gallery, Amber enjoyed seeing other budding artists explore the galleries for the first time. “I would eavesdrop on kids on a tour and they always noticed things about the Gerry Bergstein pieces that I didn’t see. In these textured and complex pieces, they would see random objects-a sub, a pickle, strange items floating in space- that I hadn’t even noticed.”
In the summer of 2012, Amber joined the Danforth Art team as the Membership Coordinator. It was an easy transition for this artist who has herself long felt part of the Danforth Art community to help shape that community for Museum Members. Amber is your primary point of contact to learn about the many benefits of Museum Membership. She processes new memberships, supports current members and organizes special Members’ events. Amber has already seen an increase in the number of artists joining the Museum as members, but she hopes to see growth in membership to new and diverse audiences, and to deepen the membership experience for all. Amber is proud that Danforth Art continues to offer art programs that engage and inspire the children who will be tomorrow’s artists.
Who We Are
A small leather fob tooled with the image of a single piece of cotton reminds Adam Adelson of Winfred Rembert’s improbable journey from cotton picker, to civil rights activist, to chain gang prisoner, and finally artist. Adam is Director of Adelson Galleries Boston in the South End’s SoWa district, and introduced Boston to Rembert’s work last winter. Though only a modest keychain, the gift signifies the dedication that carried Rembert from blistering southern crop fields to major-museum exhibitions—a work ethic Adam strives to follow.
Though Adam has yet to take up Rembert and his wife Patsy up on their invitation to visit Rembert’s hometown of Cuthbert, Georgia, Adam enjoys the southern sensibility—“Life is slower and not as instantaneous as the big cities.” Every year, he, his father, and brothers go boar hunting in Texas with eponymous, Houston gallery-owner Meredith Long. The rural experience “is much wilder than what we're used to up north,” as a result “people are more present and aware of each other.” That same spirit of camaraderie manifests in Rembert’s “Playing” paintings, autobiographical scenes of community, including church worship and dancing in juke joints. “Picking” and “Prison” round out three themes characterizing Rembert’s life and work.
Student, Skate Shop, and SoWa might define the phases of Adam Adelson’s life. He grew up in Sleepy Hollow, New York and attended the same school, Hackley, from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in a class of only 87 students. Boston University offered a larger academic arena, and in 2012 he graduated in a class of over 4,000 students. As an undergraduate he studied with Patricia Hills, majored in art history, and minored in philosophy, but it was an unlikely venue outside the classroom where Adam found his path to gallery director. “At B.U. I curated 10 local artists in a show exploring modern conceptions of nature’s helmet—the human skull,” to an overwhelming response, “the opening had over 300 people!” In a hidden gallery over Orchard Skate Shop in Allston, Adam chose to embrace the family business rather than follow the auction house career he began at Grogan & Company in Dedham, MA.
“I was fortunate to have been surrounded by art from a young age,” he recounts, though his younger self—dragged crying through the Louvre—might disagree. Now Adam is asserting a new Adelson presence in Boston, selecting a Harrison Avenue location over Newbury Street, where his father Warren opened the previous Adelson Gallery in 1967. Two years and numerous exhibitions into business, Adam brings expertise in Modern and Contemporary art to the Collections Committee at Danforth Art, and his new role as Secretary of the Board, after officially joining earlier in 2013.
This month, Adam shares Rembert’s work with a new community; Winfred Rembert: Beyond Memory, featuring work courtesy of Adelson Galleries Boston, opens at Danforth Art Saturday, November 16 with a Members’ Only Reception from 6-8pm. While the vibrant colors and graphic lines of Rembert’s work are “magnets to the eye,” Adam invites closer observation, “many scenes appear chaotic and disjointed until the viewer steps up close to the painting and looks at the subject eye-to-eye.” Sight, eyes, and illuminating darkness inherit thematic significance; Rembert’s Adelson Galleries Boston exhibition was titled Caint to Caint, after the adage: “Can’t see when you go to work; can’t see when you get back.” A mantra that Adam remembers when he reaches for the leather key fob to open and close his gallery every day.
Who We Are
This summer, Catherine Carter and Robert Collins exhibited in Danforth Art's annual juried exhibition Community of Artists. This fall, Carter and Collins shrink the canvas and turn the tables, co-curating "Small Works," an exhibition in the School Gallery at Danforth Art. We asked Collins and Carter a little more about what makes a small work so compelling...
When asked to pick a favorite piece the exhibition, the co-curators were unanimous-Lisa Russell's "Intonation." Technically and conceptually, Russell's work demonstrates that the strength and possibilities of "small works" extend far beyond their stature. Collins is an abstract and figure painting instructor at Danforth Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, who studied at Boston University with Philip Guston and has exhibited extensively in New England. He notes the technical skills that distinguish small works--"small brushes, tight compositions, clean shape development, and clear color." Echoing Collins's language of minimalism, Carter touches on the conceptual editing that working within a small composition requires, "you have to keep to one idea, emotion or statement. It's like a haiku versus a novel; you have to be extra concise in what you're trying to communicate."
Who We Are
“I never stopped to think about this before,” considers Francine Weiss, juror of the 2013 New England Photography Biennial currently on view at Danforth Art, when asked about the first photo she ever took. Her mother, a physician, had moved the family to Johannesburg on an invitation to work in local hospitals. South Africa was under apartheid and though Weiss had a journal, she found that, at only 10 years old, she “didn't have all the words to express what [she] was experiencing or seeing there.” She turned to images, and a home in an impoverished township outside the resort town of Sun City proved a ripe subject for her first photograph. Her second was fairly apolitical, “a curious antelope, with his head cocked” staring directly into the lens.
Since receiving her first camera as a gift from her father, Weiss has taken and studied countless more photographs. She received a BA in English and studio art from Wellesley College and a PhD in American Studies from Boston University. Her past museum experience includes three years as a curatorial fellow and research assistant at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and two years as a graduate intern and curatorial fellow at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Before joining the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University as Curator and Loupe Editor, she was the Acting Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
A specialist in the history of photography and American visual culture, Weiss wrote her dissertation on Edward Weston’s photographs for Leaves of Grass. Natural landscapes are more than just a scholarly interest for Weiss; they are also her favorite local photographic subject. With many images in this year’s New England Photography Biennial coming from distinct local environments, Weiss’s favorite place to photograph in New England is not the rugged Maine coastline, or the rolling foliage-painted hills of Western Massachusetts, but an unassuming swampy area near conservation land in Sudbury. “I often pass it while driving,” she says, “It's a flooded area with leafless trees sticking out of it and tall grasses.”
The themes of Weiss’s photographic memories—the sublimity of nature in swampy conservation land, and distinctive built, urban environments like an impoverished South-African township—come together in the 76 images of 44 photographers she selected for inclusion in the New England Photography Biennial.
On view through November 3, 2013.
Who We Are
Two weeks in and Shauna Gonsalves is already enamored with Danforth Art’s permanent collection. “Hyman Bloom! I really love Hyman Bloom’s work!” Gonsalves brings a strong professional background in museum education to her new role as Senior Visitor Services Representative.
Working closely with the Assistant Curator of Education, Gonsalves hopes to enhance visitor experience at Danforth Art and implement a hybrid museum-education and visitor-services model. Though she studied art history and considered pursuing curatorial jobs, Gonsalves says her passion is museum education. “I was working in a museum in New York in an alternative learning partnership for children serving suspensions and I realized how important community outreach and education was to me.”
Danforth Art’s emphasis on education drew Gonsalves to Framingham, she says. “The chance to make a big splash in a small, but vibrant, organization is very exciting.” As Senior Visitor Services Representative, Gonsalves will promote and support school and adult tour groups, and develop strategies for engaging visitors in the galleries. When she isn’t discussing current exhibitions with visitors, Gonsalves loves cooking and baking.
Who We Are
Juror of Danforth Art's 2013 Off the Wall Juried Exhibition. As Curator of Contemporary Art at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts (who formerly worked in curatorial departments at the Williams College Museum of Art and MFA, Boston), Deitsch is a definitely a player in
For more about Dina’s thoughts on Off the Wall
Who We Are
During Over the Moon, an idea hit Donna Maxwell, Danforth Art member and visual arts teacher at Framingham’s Potter Road School. That night she met illustrator Andrew Glass, bought his book, Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale, and asked him to sign it to her school’s library.
That week, Maxwell read the book to her second graders—eighty of them—and they discussed the illustrations (the originals are on exhibit through May 24 in the Children’s Gallery). Using blue, brown, black, and white tempera paints, students painted something that they’d “heard” in the story. After the paintings had dried, Maxwell asked them to add lines, shadows, and textures to their work, using crayon or colored pencils.
“It’s amazing that they’re just second graders,” says Maxwell. “I’ve never done a project like this before, but I’ve never had a book like this before either.”
In fact, Maxwell was so proud of her students’ work, she mailed the works to Glass, who wrote back, “I was overwhelmed by their spontaneity and visual inventiveness. No one could do any better!”
Maxwell has a long history with Danforth Art. She grew up in Framingham, attended middle school in the Danforth building, and while attending Framingham State University, she took a museum studies class taught by Hedy Landman, Danforth Arts first director.
“Danforth is a resource for the community and beyond,” says Maxwell. “I’ve always felt supported by the museum.”
Who We Are
In the School Gallery, on the second floor, you’ll find an exhibit of works by advanced students inspired by George Nick, whose works are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Danforth Art, among other places. Four of Nick’s paintings are on view now in Landscape Expressed: Direct Vision, in the Rosenberg Gallery. It’s on view now through May 24.
The idea for 15 Artists/13 Lessons from George Nick began last summer when Ron Krouk, art instructor at Danforth Art, took a plein air class from Nick. “During the class [Nick} talked about these thirteen lessons,” says Krouk, himself a teacher of painting, drawing, and monotype at Danforth Art. “He said couldn’t find students dedicated enough to do them.” Nick, after thirty years of teaching at Massachusetts School of Art and Design, had developed a list of thirteen important lessons for painters. Krouk admitted to be intrigued, so he recruited twenty-five advanced artists to apply, and Nick culled it down to the very best.
Students met once a week in Nick’s Concord, Mass., studio to talk about their assignments. Afterwards, they painted at home. The next week, students hung their work in Nick’s studio, and he went around the room and critiqued their efforts.
They were “pretty impossible assignments,” admits Krouk. One dealt specifically with complementary colors. Nick told students to paint a 16”x20” still life using only red, green, and white and six tone-colors. “The simplification is awkward, but try to create the three-dimensional world convincingly,” he advised the class.
Krouk says, “We thought that seeing these paintings, all done from observation, would be interesting and useful to Danforth students.” The show is up now through April 28.
Who We Are
Look closely. On March 23, as you enter Over the Moon, you’ll not only see a new set of banners on the building, but a new logo and name: Danforth Art.
Creator of this new identity is Stoltze Design, which invested many hours distilling the characteristics of the school and museum into a simple, yet powerful mark. The new name emphasizes “art” over “museum” or “school,” an idea carried forward in the logo, a combination of a lowercase “d” and backwards slash. The “d” represents an inviting, welcoming place, and the slash leaning upon the small “d,” symbolizes interdependence. What this means, says Katherine Hughes, senior designer at Stoltze, is that education and exhibition depend on each other.
Stoltze Design, founded in 1984, works with top-shelf organizations in Boston, such as Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, and MassArt, as well as national companies, such as Sony Music and Geffen Records. They work on projects ranging from branding and identity to websites, print, and packaging.
“We got the sense that the Danforth wanted to project something much more progressive, since they were showing more contemporary art, but they were projecting an image that was more conservative,” says Clif Stoltze, designer and founder of the firm. “I would not have known by just looking at the materials that they show art that’s contemporary and forward-thinking.”
Previously, Stoltze had designed a new identity for the MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex in preparation for its move. “I don’t know if they would have updated their identity if they hadn’t decided to move and wanted to publicize it,” says Stoltze. “The last thing any organization wants to do is to move into a new building with an old logo.”
An exhibit at Over the Moon will show not only the new logo, but how Stoltze arrived at this particular mark. In honor of this historic occasion, all guests will receive a gift: a Stoltze-designed T-shirt with the new Danforth logo and name: Danforth Art.
Who We Are
Among the many who created the Danforth proposal to purchase the Jonathan Maynard Building is Amy Rossi, part of the Danforth’s negotiating committee, as well as former president of the Board of Trustees.
Amy joined the Danforth’s board in 2001, part of an effort to engage the MetroWest corporate community. She is vice president of Bernardi Auto Group, in Framingham.
Amy admits that negotiations took many months longer than anyone had anticipated, but they were always cordial and “respectful of the needs of the other side, with the best of intentions for both parties.”
As far as Amy is concerned, there was never any thought to moving the museum outside of Framingham. “As a grassroots organization started by community activists, it was important that we maintain our connection in Framingham,” she says. “There is a great deal of value in that history. Now the citizens of the Framingham can continue to enjoy this museum. “
Who We Are
If you visit the Newton Free Library this month, you’ll see a display in the lobby promoting the Danforth Museum’s Boston Expressionism exhibitions and collection. The exhibit is designed, at least in part, to publicize Katherine French’s upcoming lecture, “Boston Expressionism: An Expressive Voice,” which she’ll give on January 24, 7:30 p.m., in the library’s Druker Auditorium.
But Ellen Meyers, director of programs and communications at the library, admits the display is also her way of telling the Newton community, “Here’s a place of great cultural wealth . Go!” For many years, Meyers has been a fan of the Danforth. She tours the exhibits with her granddaughters, ages three and nine, and takes her ninety-year-old father-in-law to studio classes.
“I’m a member of the MFA, but I find the Danforth a little more accessible and more interactive, particularly in the Children’s Gallery,” says Meyer, who gave a Danforth family membership to her son.
“I love the idea of promoting the arts to the community,” says Meyer, who is also chair of the library’s art committee and reviews artists’ submissions. She notes that many of them have participated in the Danforth’s juried shows, such as Off the Wall.
“Katherine came to us from a newly formed partnership with North Hill,” says Meyers. The lecture is part of North Hill’s ongoing educational series. Some of the senior community’s classes were held at the Danforth last fall.
Another tie-in, Meyers interviewed Katherine for her thirty-minute television program, “Books and Beyond.” It airs throughout January, twice a day, on NewTV at 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you don’t have access to this Newton station, you can see the entire program online here.
Who We Are
Not long ago, Carolyn Melbye was registering students at the Danforth, wondering how she could make her job even more rewarding. Now she’s an expressive arts student at Lesley University and doing outreach at the Danforth for its Art and Healing program.
“You see people change for a few minutes,” Melbye says about helping seriously ill thought art. She may work with them to make a clay pot or bead a bracelet, all the while they’re busy, “they forget that they’re cancer patients, and they connect with other people.”
“The benefit to being in the Danforth community is they’re leaving the hospital and treatment and entering a space where they can share ideas,” says Melbye. “What’s really rewarding is that it reminds them that there are still many things that they can do and maybe do again. Art can reach them.”
Funding for Danforth’s Art and Healing program is provided by Framingham Union Aid Association and Laura Riegelhaupt Memorial Scholarship. For more information, please contact Pat Walker, director of education, at 508-620-0050 x17 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Are
Bernardi Auto Group proudly supports community and this commitment has benefited numerous organizations throughout the region. Significant and long-time supporters of the Danforth, Bernardi Auto Group and its affiliate Acura of Boston have always looked for creative ways to help. The idea of establishing a corporate art collection fits perfectly into their way of doing business.
Selected artists include Susan Baggett of Wellesley, Pelle Cass of Brookline, Christopher Chadbourne of Boston, Howard Fineman of Newton, Francis Guardino of Brighton, David Hawkins of Auburndale, Doug Johnson of Marlborough, Stella Johnson of Watertown, Brian Kaplan of Brookline, Ronna Kazarian of Wayland, Sarah Pollman of Allston, Coleman Rogers of Lowell, Eleanor Steinadler of Cambridge, Cindy A. Stephens of Westford, and Catharyn Tivy of Brookline. All are members of the Danforth, representing more than one third of our museum membership who define themselves as artists.
This stunning new corporate art collection may be publically viewed in Customer Service and Reception areas in Acura of Boston’s showroom at 1600 Soldier’s Field Road, Brighton—great art and a great example of a mutually supportive partnership between the Danforth and a corporate supporter that truly understands the Danforth’s community.
Special Note: In the coming year, Bernardi Auto Group has invested in the Danforth’s future by committing support for three benefit events—A Matter of Taste, Over the Moon and Off the Wall—as well as helping to underwrite free admission for two new Drop Into Art programs on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day. Join us these new Family Days on January 21 and February 18, 2013 to see a great community partnership at work.
Who We Are
It is with deep sadness that we note the passing of David MacNeil, known to classical music listeners as the voice behind WCRB’s broadcasts from Tanglewood and the Boston Symphony. Believed to be one of the longest running radio personalities in the Boston area, he interviewed such major celebrities as Tony Bennett and Eartha Kitt, as well as narrated special program pieces for Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. He once served as guest conductor for the Pops in a performance of John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever using an official baton presented to him by conductor Harry Ellis Dickson.
David MacNeil was also a founder of the Danforth Museum of Art, where he served as trustee for more than thirty years and became trustee emeritus in 2005. A graduate of Waltham High School and Boston University, MacNeil lived in Framingham for many years. Termed by fellow co-founders as “conscience of the Danforth,” MacNeil was often first to ask the group to “be mindful who we serve.” Also a trustee for the Young Audiences of Massachusetts, he was pleased to participate in Danforth's work with area youth, particularly our Teen Docent Program. He will be greatly missed.
Those wishing to honor David MacNeil may contribute to the David MacNeil Scholarship Fund, which will be used to provide classes and workshops for area children and teens. Contributions may be made by sending checks to attention of MacNeil Scholarship Fund, or by calling 508-620-0050, ext. 10.
Meet Robert Freeman
In studio three, Robert Freeman just finished teaching his first class at the Danforth Art School. Ten teenagers participated in his Observational Drawing class, and some of them experienced drawing for the first time. These students progressed a lot in just one afternoon. In fact, Freeman is so proud of the results, he asked to have his picture taken in front of their work.
Freeman has been showing nationally for over 30 years, and is in the collections of the National Center for African American Artists, Boston Public Library, Brown University, deCordova Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He earned his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Boston University, where he studied under Reed Kay and Philip Guston. He was the first artist-in-residence at the Noble and Greenough School, in Dedham, where he taught for 25 years.
He’s known for his powerful figurative work, such as Black Tie, now hanging in the Linde Gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. About this painting of African Americans dressed in formal attire staring uncomfortably at the viewer, Freeman says the imagery came to him when he was seated at such an event, feeling awkward and not quite welcomed.
Freeman’s painting, Just Yesterday, is part of the Community of Artists juried show, up now through August 5, at the Danforth.
Meet Susan Heideman
Susan Heideman’s work, which will appear in her upcoming Danforth show, Proteanna, September 9 – November 4, 2012, is already creating a buzz. When the vibrant works arrived this summer at the museum, the staff couldn’t help but stop and stare at the intriguing sewn paper collages, consisting of torn and reassembled fragments of the artist’s own monotypes inspired by marine biology.
“I suture unlike forms together, sew these grafted entities onto large sheets of watercolor paper, then paint (with aqueous media) and sew additional features and forms into and around them, further mongrelizing their identities in ways that are completely improvised,” she says.
Heideman , a professor at Smith College for 36 years, retired this past spring, allowing her to devote more time to art making. She agreed to leave the studio a week this summer to teach a watercolor class to Danforth’s teen docents.
For a sneak peek of Heideman’s show, see Proteanna Series #6, part of the Community of Artists juried exhibition, up now through August 5.
Meet Jessica Roscio
Jessica Roscio, Associate Curator and Museum Registrar, has been incredibly busy these past few months. After managing the submission process and collecting all artist works for our Annual Juried Shows Off the Wall and Community of Artists, Jessica is now gearing up for our second annual juried show featuring picture book illustrations, Picture This!
Growing up in northern Virginia just outside of D.C., Jessica took advantage of the wide selection of cultural institutions in the area and her interest in museums grew out of these visits. “I always felt like I belonged in a museum. I love history, I love art, and I always knew that I was meant to work in museums,” she says. With this in mind, she attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and received a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Art and Art History.
While in college Jessica interned at both history and art museums and through her internships and art history courses, she found herself drawn towards the curatorial side of art institutions. After obtaining a Master of Arts in Art History with a museum studies focus from the University at Buffalo, Jessica furthered her career with research fellowships, curatorial positions, and adjunct professorships at institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Suffolk University; and Emerson College.
Jessica joined the Danforth in the summer of 2011. She can usually be found in a gallery with a pencil tucked behind one ear, or in one of the collection storage rooms processing artwork. Her areas of specialization include 19th Century American Art and Photography, Material Culture, and Gender Studies. She is currently completing her doctorate in American and New England Studies at Boston University, focusing on the work of women photographers.
Meet Cody Hartley
“Artists respond to the world around them,” remarks renowned curator Cody Hartley who served as Juror for this year’s Off the Wall. Choosing both representational and abstract works to describe the many ways artists record their experience of place, Hartley has created an exhibit that reflects a fascination with a variety of styles and media. As a result, our 2012 Off the Wall includes traditional landscape painting, 3-dimensional fiber sculpture, video installation and more. Maps make an appearance. Space often helps define surface.
Hartley’s interest in art that explores atmosphere and location has been reflected in his past professional work. While Assistant Curator of American Art at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, he organized Remington Looking West and co-curated Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness and the Art of Painting Softly. As Assistant Curator of Paintings in the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, he contributed to the placement and installation of work for the MFA’s new Americas wing—clearly a job that required constant consideration of how location affects the way we see.
Having lived in the American Southwest, California and now Boston, Hartley is sensitive to the aesthetics of place. In his current position as Director of Gifts of Art at the MFA, he is responsible for helping expand a touchstone collection for museums both near and far. “I kept thinking of the word surround,” says Hartley, “of how art can index our place in the environment.” His selections for Off the Wall not only provide a revealing glimpse into how contemporary artists know their world, but also a unique curatorial vision that explains that knowing.
Who We Are - Isy Mekler
Isy Mekler is not your average thirteen-year-old. The seventh grader at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton is already an accomplished entrepreneur and advocate for literacy. When considering his project for his Bar Mitzvah, Isy was reminded of an essay he had written the previous year on The Giving Tree, the iconic children’s book by Shel Silverstein. In the essay, Isy “wrote” to Silverstein to thank him for inspiring Isy to be a more giving person. With this in mind, The Giving Tree Project was born.
Isy envisioned The Giving Tree Project as a fundraiser to buy books for children in need and got in touch with Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit whose mission is to prepare America’s youngest children to succeed in school by promoting early literacy. His goal, to ask artists from across the country to create a work of art that could be then auctioned by Reach Out and Read to raise money for books.
With The Giving Tree in mind, Isy (with the help of his relatives) constructed three-dimensional Masonite trees that artists could easily paint. He then contacted his school art teacher and searched for artists and illustrators on the internet. All in all, Isy sent emails to 300 artists all over the United States. Thirty of the 300 responded and Isy sent each one of them a tree to create their own unique works.
Isy received 27 trees from artists including Newbury Honor book winner Grace Lin, New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Peter Reynolds (of Judy Moody fame) and author-artist John-Paul Jimenez. Along with the completed trees, each artist sent a description with their own interpretation of The Giving Tree. Three of the artists involved contributed signed books or prints. Before the trees are auctioned off by Reach Out and Read this summer, they will be on display at the Danforth from April 15 – August 17 in the Children’s Gallery.
Who We Are - Deborah D. Blumer's Legacy
This year marks the 5th Anniversary of Over The Moon, our annual benefit event honoring Deborah Blumer’s legacy. The Deborah D. Blumer Fund was established in 2006 to support arts education through exhibitions and educational programs both in the Museum and the School of Art. Since 2006, the Blumer Fund has made a tremendous impact on the Danforth’s ability to create unique art programs that engage, inspire, and transform the lives of children and adults.
A longtime Framingham resident, Deborah Blumer graduated magna cum laude from Framingham State College with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Blumer represented Framingham in the House of Representatives from 2001 until October 2006 when she passed away unexpectedly. In the House, she served on the Joint Committee on Higher Education, the Joint Committee on Children and Families, and the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Deborah Blumer was married to Irwin Blumer who is a Research Professor in Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Boston College. Of their three children, two are teachers. In addition to the Blumer Family’s passion for education, Deborah Blumer was one of the Danforth’s most active supporters. She served on the Danforth’s Board of Trustees and took classes in the Museum School.
Following her death in 2006, the Danforth and the Blumer family established the Deborah D. Blumer Fund as a living memorial to honor her legacy.
Who We Are
New to the Board of Trustees this year, Susan Litowitz is no stranger to the Danforth Museum and School of Art. Just over three years ago, Susan was taking classes at the deCordova and was looking for different class offerings and a place that would be more convenient to her home in Sudbury. Someone mentioned to her the Danforth and she enrolled immediately.
Meet Dale Hamel
Dale Hamel is a Needham resident and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Administration, Finance, and Information Technology at Framingham State University. Dale has spent nearly twenty years in senior policy and finance positions at a number of Massachusetts higher education institutions. In addition to his duties at Framingham State, Dale is also the President of the Board of the Framingham Downtown Renaissance and is a Trustee here at the Danforth.
According to Dale, “At the time of the museum’s founding, the then president of Framingham State College played an instrumental role in starting the Danforth. The University and the Danforth have enjoyed an ongoing relationship since that time.” Dale’s positions both at Framingham State and here at the Danforth only strengthen the ongoing relationship between the two institutions.
Dale is also the President of the Board of the Framingham Downtown Renaissance (FDR), a coalition of business and community leaders focused on supporting a vibrant center for business, social, and cultural activity. Dale is proud to recognize the economic and cultural benefits the Danforth Museum and Museum School provide to the town of Framingham.
Recently the Danforth Board of Trustees completed a strategic planning process that made clear the close relation and benefit of the museum and the museum school. Dale says “With the direction articulated in the strategic plan, we have a unique opportunity to create future museum and museum school programs that will enhance the experiences in creating and enjoying art.”
Dale has undergraduate degrees in business administration (B.A.) and computer information systems (B.S.), master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Higher Education Policy Planning and Administration (Ed.M.), and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration (Ph.D.)
Meet Jill Weber
Danforth member, Jill Weber is a children's book illustrator and designer, who has published with many major publishers. She began her education at the Rhode Island School of Design and completed her BFA at The New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Meet Danielle Silva
After her incredibly successful first fundraising event (A Matter of Taste), Danielle Silva is hard at work gearing up for the Danforth's Annual Appeal. New to the Danforth Museum this year, Danielle started as the new Development Marketing Associate in September.
A Massachusetts native, Danielle grew up in Marshfield and earned her Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts and Art History at Bridgewater State University. She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy focusing on art history and oil painting. Danielle enjoys multiple mediums of art including painting, printmaking, and sculpture.
Prior to the Danforth, Danielle was a Development Associate at the St. Philip's Academy in Newark, NJ where she worked in fundraising. While at St. Philips, she single-handedly raised funds to help a displaced family of St. Philips who had lost their home. She also managed morning day care, tutored second grade students and was a substitute teacher for second grade art classes.
Most recently Danielle was the Coordinator of Stewardship and Donor Relations at The College of New Jersey. Danielle's background in art and development has made her a perfect addition to the Danforth Museum family. Be sure to say "hi" at one of our next events.
Meet Dr. Jeremy J. Nobel, Danforth Overseer
This fall many have enjoyed panel talks and discussions sponsored by the
Following events of 9/11, Nobel noted that, “for a lot of people (especially children), creative expressionism allowed them to better manage the storm of emotions.” This observation led to the creation of the Foundation for Art and Healing in 2003, an organization with a mission to “bridge” the gap between the clinical side of medicine with the expressive and healing powers of the arts. As Founder and President, Nobel works to demonstrate the significant impact the arts have on the ability to cope with an illness, both emotionally and spiritually. “We see an expanding role for our Foundation to raise awareness of art’s healing potential,” says Nobel, “as well as design and develop programs that can bring forward the benefit of art and healing in practical and sustainable ways.”
A graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, as well as Princeton University’s Science and Human Affairs Program, Nobel holds Master’s Degrees in Epidemiology and Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition to his active interest in the visual arts, Nobel is also a published poet and recipient of numerous poetry awards, including the Bain-Swiggett Prize from Princeton University and the American Academy of Poets Prize from the University of Pennsylvania. These creative pursuits have allowed him to see new and different relationships between the external world and personal experiences to gain a better understanding of the healing process overall.
To meet Dr. Jeremy Nobel in person and discover more about the Foundation for Art & Healing, please come to the Danforth Museum on Sunday, October 16 at 3 pm when will Nobel lead a panel discussion with health care professionals entitled Creative Expression, Health and Wellbeing in which noted health professionals discuss the critical role art and creative expression play in the health and wellbeing of those living in today’s fast paced world. To learn more about the Nobel’s work with the Foundation for Art & Healing, and to sign up for their e-newsletters, please visit www.artandhealing.org.
Framingham Co-operative Bank
Framingham’s only community bank proudly supports Framingham’s only community art museum! Serving individuals and businesses since 1889, the Framingham Co-operative Bank is a small community bank able to provide an unexpectedly wide array of customer service—and has provided long-time corporate supporter for a community museum that is nationally recognized. Actively supporting cultural, educational and human service organizations within Metrowest, it ranks as one of the Town’s most modern and progressive financial institutions. For three consecutive years, the Bank has supported the Danforth Museum’s free Fall Family Days, providing children and adults’ access to museum exhibitions as well as docent tours and hands-on activities. Past grants from the Framingham Co-operative Charitable Foundation have enabled the Museum to make much needed renovations to the Danforth Building and provided support for Drop Into Art, a year long program of free art activities for children and their families. Please join us in applauding their efforts to improve lives of children and adults within the immediate community and beyond.
Meet Artist Janine Schmitt
We proudly present in the Museum School Gallery the work of Janine Schmitt, an advanced student, who specializes in abstract painting. Janine's large oil-painted canvases shine with the brilliant colors of her native Brazil.
Originally a New Yorker who frequented local museums and galleries, Janine moved to Westborough two years ago where she began a search for similar venues, artists and new friends. A friend's suggestion led her to the Danforth where she immediately knew she had found a special place. She describes the Danforth as "opening a new door in my life."
Enjoy her vivid Portrait of the Mind exhibition on view during Danforth Museum School hours through Friday, May 27th. These thirteen works feature very rigid grid constructions layered with soft edges, dancing shapes, imaginary writings, images of the mind's need for order, and a visual story of the soul's quest to break boundaries.
We hope you enjoy this dynamic show and hope it ignites inspiration for your own artwork.
Learn more at www.janineschmitt.com
Meet Our Sponsors
BellaCakes is not any ordinary cake shop. Located in Marlborough, MA this unique cake boutique specializes in making cakes and confections with a couture approach.
Opened in 2008 by award-winning pastry chef, Kristen Livoti, BellaCakes gives customers the opportunity to have their own unique edible piece of art. Each creation is carefully designed to reflect the customer’s individual tastes and personality. Their cakes and confections are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are deliciously handcrafted using only the finest ingredients with innovative flavor combinations. Flavor offerings range from green tea buttercream frosting to vanilla bean pound cake. For the customer’s with special diets, BellaCakes is a strictly nut-free shop and provides dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options so that everyone can enjoy their treats.
We asked owner, Kristen Livoti, to comment on BellaCakes partnership with the Museum.
“Katherine French originally contacted me in 2008 after we first opened and asked us to provide baked goods for a charity auction at the Museum. I was happy to help and enjoyed participating in the events. We are proud of our partnership with the Danforth because we like to the support the local art community. BellaCakes is on the cusp of something different in regards to cakes, we treat it as an art form, which partners well with the Museum and their mission. I think it’s nice to have an art museum so close to home and many people may not recognize the benefits of that. It is wonderful for people to have a place to explore and learn rather than go all the way into Boston.”
BellaCakes will be featured at the Museum's upcoming benefit event Over the Moon on Saturday, March 27th from 8pm – 10pm. Come experience their original creations for yourself!
Learn more at www.bellacakes.net
Meet Corporate Partners
Kaeding, Ernst & Company is a leading provider of employee benefit solutions serving the employer market for the past 30 years.
With a specialized working knowledge and understanding of the mission and challenges in the non-profit sector, the Kaeding Team assists New England based businesses in the design, and management of core employee and executive benefit programs.
We asked, Executive Vice President, Tricia Mackoff to comment on their corporate partnership with the Danforth Museum of Art:
“We are proud of our alliance with the Danforth Museum – both in promoting the success of the employee benefit programs as well as the success of this fine organization. It has been our pleasure to support exhibits and events, to enhance outreach into the community as well as to raise awareness of the hidden treasures of this local Museum with many of our clients and friends!
When you first enter the door, you are introduced to extraordinary artistic talent but equally welcomed and impressed by the talent and commitment of the entire staff under the direction of Katherine French. These personal touches transform the building into a relationship- a trait we believe key to both of our successes.”
Visit Kaeding, Ernst & Company at www.kaedingco.com
Meet the New Board President
Colleen Rolph joined the Danforth Museum of Art Board of Trustees in 2008 after receiving training through the Massachusetts Arts & Business Council Business on Board Program. She will take over as acting Board President at the October 27th Annual Meeting.
We asked Colleen to give us thoughts on her vision and goals as incoming Board Chair:
“The Danforth is at a critical juncture in our history. We’re an organization on the cusp of greatness. We’ve withstood the doom and gloom of the past 12 months and have flourished despite all the economic obstacles—a strong, positive indication we’re delivering a valuable art experience to our customers, constituents, and community. As my daughter always proclaims when attending classes at the Danforth “I love this place, it’s the best!”
With our 35th anniversary approaching next year, it is my goal to build upon the momentum and success of our past board chairs. We’re in a position to make our vision a reality and it starts with a permanent home in Framingham for the museum and school. We need to listen, collaborate, and work together with the town to make it happen. Our passion remains focused on the celebration and creation of art where Boston Expressionism is center stage and a keen eye on emerging and established, living artists. Delivering engaging and influential exhibits coupled with outstanding programming is key to sustaining soaring attendance and classes filled to the brims. Finally, it’s my intent to leverage social media to build national awareness and support for the Museum’s vital role in the local community and art world. I feel privileged and thrilled to be appointed President of the Board of Trustees during this significant time in our future. We truly appreciate your past contributions. I want to thank each of you ahead of time for your continued patronage, engagement, and financial support in the years ahead as we make art a part of everyone’s lives.
Meet Corporate Partners
Damianos Photography is an award-winning creative team specializing in photography of architecture, products and people for business. They create distinctive images for architects, general contractors, graphic designers, web designers and companies that want to promote their products or services.
Founder Lynne Damianos and Associate Jeremy Graves also teach a variety of photography and Photoshop-related classes and workshops to students, professionals and organizations. They are faculty members of the Danforth Museum of Art, Worcester Art Museum, The Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, Boston Architectural College and Keefe Tech. Lynne earned her BS in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Jeremy earned his BA in art with a concentration in photography from Salem State College.
They are active members of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Commercial Industrial Photographers of New England (CIPNE), the Boston Society of Architects, the Society for Marketing Professional Services and Fountain Street Studios. For more information, visit www.DamianosPhotography.com and www.FountainStreetStudios.com.
We asked Lynne, as a corporate partner, working artist and Museum member, What does the Danforth Museum of Art mean to you?
"I am continually amazed by the diverse selection of high quality, intriguing exhibits the Danforth brings to the MetroWest. The Museum provides a venue for those who may be intimidated or don’t want the “event” of heading to Boston to see great art. The Museum also does a tremendous job of reaching artists throughout the region with exciting shows like the Off the Wall Annual Juried Exhibition, and the New England Photography Biennial. Artists can connect with the community through the opportunities like the upcoming Small Works Exhibition & Sale and Student Holiday Sale."
Lynne and Jeremy have generously donated their services to capture the many exciting things happening at the Museum. Look for their work throughout the year.
Meet Danforth Museum of Art Trustee Nina Nielsen
After 46 years, one of Boston’s most influential galleries will close its doors to allow owners Nina Nielsen and John Baker to begin a well deserved sabbatical. For many the Nielsen Gallery, located at 179 Newbury Street in Boston, has been a significant champion of emotive expressionism (see 6/17 Boston Globe article). Director Nina Nielsen has also played an important role at the Danforth Museum of Art as a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Collections Committee. Nielsen Gallery’s final show entitled Surprise Inventory Exhibition will be on view through June 26th, and features a selection of work from their extensive inventory. In an unexpected gesture of support, Nina Nielsen and John Baker have generously pledged a portion of the proceeds from all sales to be donated to the Danforth Museum of Art.
Museum Director Katherine French is both grateful and honored. “Nina Nielsen is one of America’s most influential gallerists, one whose support of contemporary artists and collectors has made a real difference to an on going conversation in the arts community. She has a great eye and work by artists that she has represented during the course of her distinguished career now appears in the permanent collections of major Museums, as well as in significant private collections throughout the world.”
This opinion is widely shared by artists, collectors, museum professionals and other gallerists. “They are a class act, and this is a gracious way for them to end their tenure on Newbury Street,” remarked fellow gallery owner Howard Yezerski when considering Nielsen Gallery’s impact on the Boston arts scene. Since opening the door on Newbury Street in 1963, Nina Nielsen has cultivated an environment that supports contemporary art. Together with husband and partner John Baker, Nielsen has represented such dynamic painters as John Walker, Katherine Porter, and the 2007 MacArthur Foundation Grant Recipient Joan Snyder. In addition, they have represented the estates of such renowned artists as Pofririo DiDonna and Gregory Gillespie. Their efforts have been widely recognized.
The AICA (United States section of the International Association of Art Critics) has awarded Nielsen Gallery first and second place awards for Best Show in a Commercial Gallery Nationally for two outstanding exhibits, The Privilege of Solitude, which featured the work by Alfred Jensen and Forest Bess in 2005 and Jay DeFeo: Applaud the Black Fact in 2009. Other major exhibitions have included Jackson Pollack’s Forty Four Psychoanalytic Drawings (1939-41) and The Self-Reliant Spirit, featuring the artists Albert Pinkam Ryder, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley.
When asked about her dual role as a gallery owner and collector, Nina responded by saying “We have always been our own best collectors, and have tried to share art that is meaningful to us through the gallery.” For her, “art is all encompassing,” but she recently came to feel that it was time to reform the way she and John Baker could “share our vision with the Boston art’s community and the world at large.” Closing the gallery was a personal decision, but does not mark an end to their creative involvement. “The time has come to change how we incorporate art into our lives,” remarked Nielsen, “but we will continue to do this in a meaningful way. We take this sabbatical to allow ourselves time to discover the best path for a new vision.”
Nielsen’s pledge to contribute proceeds from their last sale is especially appreciated at a time that is especially challenging for non profits. “It gives me great pleasure to help support museums such as the Danforth Museum of Art. The more support we give each other, the stronger the New England art scene will be.” For Nielsen, the Surprise Inventory Sale is “a way of giving back to the many people that have helped share in our vision—artists, collectors and great institutions like the Danforth.”
Goodbye to Nielsen
Meet New Corporate Partners,
The Danforth Museum of Art is dedicated to supporting New England’s vibrant arts community by showing the very best in contemporary art and strives to collaborate with business partners who share our vision. This month, we welcome new Corporate Partners, Stanhope Framers.
We asked David to comment on the Museum’s place in New England’s contemporary art scene, as he sees it. “The Danforth Museum of Art under the direction of Director Katherine French, has demonstrated an interest in not only showing older New England artists, but contemporary artists as well. As a collector and arts supporter, it is so interesting to visit the Museum and see a show by a Boston painter from the 40s alongside a contemporary artist like Jo Sandman. This creates a wonderful exciting contrast and a conversation that gives the Museum a level of depth that is very unusual for a regional Museum.
Stanhope Framers works to think strategically about how to expend our philanthropic resources; what we can afford and what organizations are important to us personally as well as professionally. We believe that supporting Museums like the Danforth is vital to our business.”
Founded in 1972 by David Murphy, Stanhope Framers has over 32 years of experience in making fine, classic and contemporary frames for leading museums, art galleries, corporate collections, discriminating collectors and artists alike. Stanhope Framers is a privately-owned company with a retail store in Boston and a framing facility in Somerville where an extraordinary selection of over 2000 frame styles are custom made using environmentally-sensitive materials. Partners David Murphy & Richard Siegel are committed to providing quality service and supporting a variety of philanthropic causes throughout New England.
David Murphy is a respected business owner, collector and supporter of New England’s artistic community, having donated artwork and framing services to fundraising events and regional arts organizations, including ARTcetera and the Danforth Museum of Art.
Richard Siegel brought his training as a printmaker to Stanhope Framers after the company merged with the Old Cambridge Company in 1993. His twenty six years of experience has helped make Stanhope Framers a leader in the industry.
Visit them on the web at stanhopeframers.com.
Meet Member Artist
We asked artist Cynthia Katz to speak about her experience as a member of the Danforth Museum of Art community:
I have enjoyed many hours at the Museum in the Swartz Gallery viewing New England Currents Series exhibitions, viewing the work of friends or artists I’ve followed over the years. And I was thrilled to be included in the last Photography Biennial. I still have the phone message on my machine from “Corie at the Danforth” alerting me to my inclusion in the show. Hopefully, I’ll be as lucky this summer. I admire Katherine French’s commitment to “think big” regarding the Museum’s vision while offering first class exhibits on a scale that honors our community. You can count on my support.
Cynthia Katz has spent more than 20 years photographing “the people, places and things in her life.” She admits to wearing lots of hats: mother, partner, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, dancer, Red Sox fan and photographer. In addition to being an artist, she practices yoga, gardens and lives in West Concord Mass with her teenage son, her pre-teenage cat and her partner.
Katz holds a BFA from the University of NH, Durham and an MFA from Bennington College, both in Photography. She has taught Photography at Concord Academy since 1987 and has served as the Visual Arts Department Head since 2001. The artist, who maintains studio space at ARTspace Maynard, has been included in group and individual shows throughout New England and the North East. Two works, Lexington Rd. and Main Street, from her Renovation Series were selected for the 2007 New England Photography Biennial.
Meet The Artist, Murray Dewart
We asked Murray "As an artist with work in the permanent collection, what value do you see as the value of the Danforth Museum of art and similar institutions?"
Museums are vital resources to our communities. They are places where the cultural conversation is protected and enhanced. They are essential to our understanding of art. You only need to go to places where there are no museums to realize how easy it is to become impoverished, that the cultural vitality can so easily be lost. The Danforth Museum of Art, located in the downtown area of Framingham, is a local treasure.
Museums are great protectors of the most delicate things to survive in the history of the world; subtle line drawings, fragments of 5th century jewelry, thousand year old fabric are protected and shared in Museums. The great privilege of being an artist is to be in conversation with the great artists of the past. You can encounter them in books, but there is nothing like meeting them in a museum where you come upon the work of artists past. What we call culture is very often that conversation across time. Museums like the Danforth Museum of Art make this conversation possible.
Murray Dewart has built large public and private sculptures across the United States in his thirty-five year career. Called “one of Boston’s premier sculptors” by Sculpture Magazine, he has work in twenty collections, including the Boston Athenaeum; the Danforth Museum of Art; the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; The Harvard University Art Museums; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University. As a founding member of Boston Sculptors, a cooperative gallery, Dewart has worked with and supported other sculptors by collecting their work and sometimes donating this work to area museums. This past year Dewart donated North Shore Pine Cones by the artist Niho Kozuru to the Danforth Museum of Art’s permanent collection. His own work is also represented in our collection in a small maquette for a piece entitled Memory’s Gate. The final work was featured throughout Boston and Massachusetts for several years, including spans at Harvard University, the Weston Library, and on Boston Common for two years during the Millennium. The completed sculpture is now permanently installed at a community center on Martha’s Vineyard.
Dewart has been commissioned by two Chinese cities, Beijing and Fuzhou, to build large bronze and granite sculptures for their international sculpture parks. His park project for the city of Cambridge, MA has been described by critic Marty Carlock in Landscape Architecture Magazine as a “landscape gem hosting three small but world class sculptures." His bronze Sun Gate was purchased by Harvard University for the Leverett House courtyard. Dewart is one of many who make up the community of artists here at the Danforth Museum of Art. To learn more, please visit his website at www.dewartsculpture.com.
Meet Guest Curator, Jeanne Williamson
Artist Jeanne Williamson combines printmaking, painting, collage, and sewing in her work. She received her BFA in Fibers/ Crafts from the Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts) and her MSAEd in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. She is an accomplished artist, teacher, and author. Williamson is a member of The Boston Printmakers, the Surface Design Association, the Women’s Caucus for Art, and the Studio Art Quilt Associates and has been featured in numerous books and publications. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts, with her husband Joshua Ostroff.
The Danforth Museum of Art presented an exhibition of works from the artist’s Orange Construction Fence Series, during the Spring of 2006 and had works selected for the 2006 and 2007 Museum Annual Juried Members’ Shows. Williamson has taught a variety of workshops and lectures in the Danforth Museum of Art and Danforth Museum school on her unique journal/quilting techniques and her book, The Uncommon Quilter, which is based on her completion of one small art quilt every week from 1999 through 2005. The artist guest curates, Mixed Media Fiber Art, on view at the Danforth Museum of Art January 7 – March 1, 2009. Williamson will present a gallery talk about the exhibit on Saturday, February 7, 4pm and will teach a workshop, Web Design Planning for Artists on Saturday, March 14th in the Museum School.
We asked Jeanne Williamson to discuss her experience as a member, exhibiting artist and teacher at the Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School. What do you see as the Museum's greatest benefit to you and residents of the MetroWest area?
"As a person who likes to look at art, I love having an art museum in MetroWest, because it's easy to drop by instead of planning a trip in to Boston. The Danforth Museum offers wonderful exhibits that are practically in our backyard.
As an artist, I very much appreciate the different opportunities the Museum offers whether it's taking classes, teaching, or different exhibition opportunities. More specifically, as an artist who uses fiber in her work, I especially love the fact that there are three shows at the Museum through March 1st, that have a fiber theme to them in one way or another."
Meet Musuem School Student, Merrilee Torres
We asked Merrilee to comment on her experience in the Museum School during the past year: "I retired about a year and a half ago so that I could spend my time doing what I have wanted to do for my entire life. I have been taking classes with Wilber Blair and feel that I have learned so much. My deepest thanks to my teacher, the Museum school staff and faculty for making Danforth a place for OPPORTUNITY."
Meet Corporate Partners Gray, Gray, & Gray
Since 1982, Patterson and Gerry CPAs has provided a wide range of services for more than 1,300 clients across the country (and internationally) with the majority of clients located in New England. The firm has assisted businesses and individuals with strategic advice and planning in addition to traditional CPA firm services such as accounting, auditing and taxation. In 2005, Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP celebrated its 60th anniversary, marking six decades as one of New England’s leading independent accounting firms. The two firms merged in 2008, and are now able to offer a broader array of services to their clients.
Patterson and Gerry CPAs has been a corporate partner of the Museum since 2002, supporting exhibits, events and educational programming. We welcome the combined firm of Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP as a 2008 corporate partner and overall sponsor of A Matter of Taste.
We asked Partner Jim Patterson to comment on the firm’s partnership with the Museum.
Brian Lies (pronounced Lees) is a wonderfully prolific and talented illustrator. He grew up in Princeton, NJ, and fell in love with books and illustration at a young age. He attended Brown University to study Psychology and Literature. Shortly after graduating, Lies went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Since then, he has illustrated approximately twenty books. He has had four written-and-illustrated books on the New York Times bestseller list, his latest, Bats at the Library, Bats at the Beach, Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite, and Hamlet and the Magnificent Sandcastle. Lies lives in a seaside town in Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, two cats and a hamster (no bats!).
Alina Gotal is a Framingham High School Senior and second year Danforth Museum of Art Teen Docent. Although art has been her favorite thing to do since kindergarten, she likes to express herself in many ways. Alina studies dance and is involved with a student run dance company. She plays the cello and has performed at several Museum events.
"Young Docents Draw on New Experiences"