Art Speaks: Contemporary Connections with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit Collection
October 23, 2010 through January 2, 2011
Fred Beans Gallery
Please note: This exhibition is now closed.
The best way to teach kids about art is to expose them to art—not reproductions, but the real thing. That’s the idea behind the Bucks County Intermediate Unit Collection (BCIU), which was created in the late 1940s by then-superintendent Dr. Charles H. Boehm, in collaboration with Bucks County painter Walter Baum. Focusing especially on the renowned Pennsylvania Impressionist school, this remarkable collection was exhibited in area schools for many years before the paintings were removed due to conservation issues. Through a partnership with the Michener that was established in 2001, portions of the collection were brought back to the schools through the Art on the Move project, supported by various local, state and federal funds, including a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
With the support of a second IMLS grant in 2007, the Art Speaks/Bucks County project focused on contemporary art recently added to the BCIU collection made by artists Selma Bortner, Vincent Ceglia, Emmet Gowin, David Graham, and Paul Keene. This exhibition features over 50 artworks created by Bucks County students from preschool through high school in response to the work of these five artists.
This exhibition will also feature a special installation called SNAG, which will be exhibited in the Putman-Smith Gallery. SNAG was conceived and created by Philadelphia-area artist Astrid Bowlby. As part of the Art Speaks curriculum, art educators and students investigated the complex world of contemporary art, including such non-traditional forms as installation art. Ms. Bowlby was commissioned by the project for this purpose and will create an installation that explores the Bucks County landscape tradition, but with a contemporary voice.
Along with the program in the schools, Art Speaks/Bucks County provided free art workshops to community centers, senior centers and homeless shelters in the Bucks County area. This project will be featured in our Children’s Gallery from December 14, 2010 through January 23, 2011 curated by artist Patricia Goodrich.
Be sure to visit the Art Speaks blog page after you have seen this exhibition. We invite you to share your own thoughts and insights about both the exhibit and art in general. We’d like to know how “art speaks”—to you.
Art Speaks/Bucks County exhibits and programs were funded by a Museums for America grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and organized by the Michener’s Education staff: Curator of Education, Adrienne N. Romano and Art on the Move/Art Speaks Coordinator, Kip Malloy.
Lead Sponsor: Pamela Minford Foundation
Co-Sponsor: In Memory of Robert V. Nesi from his family
Additional Support: Charter Management Corporation, Jim & Mary Ellen McMaster
More information on exhibitions at the Michener Art Museum can be found here.