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Modern Is

Hans Erni, L'Arlequin, Undated, Colored LithographFebruary 3 - March 10

The Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center is delighted to present this selection of works from its permanent collection that explores the notion of the "modern" in the visual arts. It includes work from Henri Matisse, Alexander Calder and Raphael Soyer.

Modern Style
Modernism is most often identified as a stylistic and conceptual break with the established institution of painting and sculpture-a development that began to emerge in the second half of the 19th century. Artists no longer felt constrained by the conservative approach of the classical tradition, which had dictated both subject matter and style for centuries. Historical, religious or mythological themes were considered most indicative of an artist's skill, whereas subjects like landscape, still-life or scène de genre (scenes of daily life) were given little critical attention.

In the 19th century, technological innovations such as trains, electricity, and photography greatly impacted the daily life of the general population. Artists were likewise susceptible to these historical developments and sought a new approach that mirrored the significant changes happening around them.

Modern does not imply a particular visual style, technique, or subject matter, but rather indicates a new perspective from which the artist engages their work. Including examples from the late 19th century up through the early 21st century, Modern Is presents the opportunity for visitors to draw their own conclusions on what is modern about this grouping of paintings, drawings, and prints.

Events and Programs

Thurs., Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.
Opening Reception

Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.
Songs of Passion
Assistant Professor of Music, Sean Parr will lead a concert of opera excerpts and classical song. "Songs of Passion" will feature composers Puccini, Donizetti, Gounod, and Schumann. The concert features the professional talent of soprano Brittany Palmer and Elizabeth Blood on piano. Concert is free and open to the public; a reception will follow.

Thursday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

The Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center is introducing a new program called Beauty Bound, which seeks to appreciate the art of book design and presentation.  Whether a scholarly, classic, or innovative publication, everyone loves a beautiful book!

This program will begin with a reading and discussion of Dr. Katherine Hoffman's most recent publication Alfred Stieglitz: A Legacy of Light. Her lecture, titled "Through the Lens: Alfred Stieglitz and His Fight for the Role of Photography as a Fine Art,"  will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Saturday, March 10 at 6 p.m.
The Gleason-Brown Sextet will perform "From Django to Brubeck: Revolutionary/Evolutionary Jazz in the Twentieth Century." 

Popular music, like each art form that opened itself up to the possibilities (and, yes, liabilities) of Modernism, found in the '20s a then-radical expression in the new "hot" sound which had its origin in New Orleans and its earliest outlets in Chicago, New York and Paris.  After four decades of development from its "dixieland" and "blues" base into such well-defined sub-genres as "swing", "bebop", "cool", "progressive", "fusion" and "post-bop" - and after several subsequent "post-Beatles" decades of seeing its importance to the culture come into question - jazz survives because people who compose it, play it, listen to it - or leave a warm home in the middle of March to support it in live performance - believe as much in the future of the music as in its history.  From Django to Brubeck: Revolutionary/Evolutionary Jazz in the Twentieth Century is both a survey of some key compositions in 20th century jazz and also a musical argument that the achievements of Armstrong, Ellington, Miles, Dizzy, Sonny, Monk, Mulligan, Brubeck and so many others deserve space in the atlas of the past century's musical icons.

Special guest performer:  David Newsam on guitar. 

Please note: The Chapel Art Center is closed February 25 - March 4, 2012 for spring recess.