Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power @ University Museum of Contemporary Art
Feb 2 – Apr 30 all-day

The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) at UMass Amherst is proud to present Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power .

Kara Walker has become one of the most widely-known and controversial artists working today. Exploring the painful history of American race relations through large-scale silhouette installations, Walker’s work transforms historical materials, literary sources and popular culture, challenging us to access buried emotions about our nation’s past. In her hands, the medium of silhouette becomes a tool for examining the traumatic legacy  of slavery.

This exhibition brings together 60 works in a variety of mediums, from printmaking (such as lithograph, etching with aquatint, photogravure, linocut, and screen-print), to wall murals, metal sculpture and shadow puppetry. The exhibition was curated by Jessi Di Tillio, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon. All works in this exhibition come from the Portland, Oregon-based collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.

Collector Jordan Schnitzer has said, “Kara Walker is one of the most important artists in our collection. Her art needs to be seen and the themes need to be examined. No artist today does a better job of forcing the viewers to deal with stereotypes, gender, and race.”

The exhibition includes three narrative series — The Emancipation Approximation (1999–2000),  Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War: Annotated  (2005), and  An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters  (2010) — along with numerous individual works that underline Walker’s use of Antebellum and Reconstruction-era imagery and themes. Her narratives unfold in elaborate tableaux that tackle issues of race, slavery, sexuality, identity, and power. The works, which are inventive and painful but also satirical and humorous, were selected for the exhibition to display the range of approaches Walker uses to explore the legacy of slavery.

Walker explained, “One theme in my artwork is the idea that a Black subject in the present tense is a container for specific pathologies from the past and is continually growing and feeding off those maladies….” By looking carefully at a selection of Walker’s projects in different media, this exhibition emphasizes the interface between technique and concept in her work. Walker’s use of historically inflected techniques investigates the question: “How is contemporary identity shaped and affected by the imagery from the past?”

Every Day Art Program: Statement Pieces
Feb 18 – Mar 14 all-day

Get inspired by Eloise’s imaginative costumes and bold fashion sense as you create your own wearable art.

Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts @ Historical Deerfield
Feb 27 @ 9:30 am – Apr 2 @ 4:30 pm

Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts explores through more than 20 objects how nature has inspired, impressed, and enlightened society long before the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859. Using three themes, the exhibition explores the subject of flora and how it inspired the decorative arts.

“Botanical Studies” looks at the movement to classify, study, and teach though a selection of educational books and prints detailing floral anatomy and stages of life. “Art in Nature” delves into the museum’s rich collection of decorative arts to see how plants and flowers have influenced designers and craftspeople in fields as diverse as textiles, ceramics, furniture, and architecture. Finally, “Domesticating the Outdoors” showcases ceramic and glass vessels which brought colorful and fragrant flowers and plants indoors for personal enjoyment and study.

A Conversation with Artist Alison Saar @ Mead Art Museum
Mar 1 @ 5:00 pm

Internationally acclaimed Alison Saar will mark the installation of her imposing print Sweeping Beauty, 1997, recently purchased by the Mead through a student curatorial project, funded by the Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisition Fund. Followed by a reception.

Hampshire College Art Gallery Tour @ Hampshire College Art Gallery
Mar 2 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Late opening and exhibition tour, as part of Amherst Arts Night Plus. Enjoy evening opening hours from 5-8pm and a guided tour of the exhibition at 6pm.

March Amherst Arts Night Plus: Poetry Night and Art Exhibition @ Emily Dickinson Museum  
Mar 2 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Emily Dickinson Museum returns to Amherst Arts Night Plus for our first poetry open mic, poetry reading, and one-night art exhibit of 2017. Open mic signups are from 5-6 pm, and the open mic begins at 6 pm with the featured readers following.

Featured poets:
Allison O’Shea, Robbie Dunning, and Lauren Singer, members of Northampton Poetry

Featured artist:

Our one-night art exhibit features the work of Rhys Davies, and will be on display throughout the night.  The event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Every Day Art Program: Sea…What Can You See? @ Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Mar 11 – Apr 15 all-day

Gaze through a telescope out to sea, what is it you see? Ships, birds, maybe a whale? Join us in the art studio as we create scenes from our imagination.

Innovations in Education: A Study Tour of the Early Childhood Centers of Pistoia, Italy @ Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Mar 12 – Mar 17 all-day

(30 PDPs) Join us for a unique opportunity to visit and study the early childhood centers of the city of Pistoia, Italy and learn about Pistoia’s internationally-renowned early childhood education.

The Innovations in Education study tour, launched in 2010, has quickly become known for the variety of learning opportunities it offers its participants, as well as its intimate view of Pistoia. Participants tour school environments; learn about the schools’ history; talk with school staff and teachers about both practical and philosophic aspects of teaching and learning; see a wide variety of documentation; and share with other participants their observations, beliefs and practice. Participants also have the opportunity to experience the geography, history and culture of Pistoia, where the value of aesthetics and deeply held beliefs about the potential and rights of all children and families are so foundational.

For more information including cost and registration, please click here.

Open Hearth Cooking Classes: “Cooking with Amelia Simmons: The First American Cookbook” @ Historic Deerfield
Mar 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

The registration fee for each class is $60.00 per person ($55.00 for members). Class size is limited to 8 participants ages 16 and up. Please make checks payable to: Historic Deerfield, Inc.

Register online or download a registration form. Mail completed form to: Cooking Class, Historic Deerfield, P.O. Box 321, Deerfield, MA 01342.

Registration fees will be refunded if cancellation is made by 12 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the program. You will receive a confirmation letter in the mail. Register early as classes fill up quickly!

Members’ Annual Pancake Breakfast Celebrating Very Hungry Caterpillar Day @ Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Mar 19 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

First Seating – 9:30 am
Second Seating – 10:30 am
This event is free to Members, but space is limited. Reserve now at membership@carlemuseum.org.

Enjoy fresh pancakes in The Carle Café, a special project in the Art Studio, Special Storytime and film in the Auditorium, plus the chance to meet the Caterpillar and receive a special Member gift.