The Exhibit Will Highlight Abstract Artist, Olivia Gatewood
Durham, NC, (January 19, 2023)-This Winter for Black History Month, award-winning artist Olivia Gatewood, will be on exhibit at Hayti Heritage Center. To kick off the exhibit, Olivia's daughter, the founder of The E-Spot with Camille, will host the Artist's Chat at Hayti Heritage Center this Friday.
Olivia Gatewood is a North Carolina native who exudes a vibrant passion for life and its simplistic beauty. Utilizing a multitude of media, Olivia creates abstract compositions of sensual, tactile colorations that epitomize artwork as a profusion of tactual expressions reflective of the beauty she finds in the natural world around her. She successfully translates blank canvases into visual experiences that resonate with brilliance.
Olivia received her BFA with honors from California State University in Turlock, CA. She went on to pursue graduate studies at Hacettepe and Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.
Gaining inspiration from her love of world travel, Olivia lived for 14 years between Germany, Turkey, The Netherlands, and Hawaii. She taught art in the American Military Schools in Holland and Turkey and worked as an illustrator for the US Air Force while in Germany. She has gained inspiration from her underwater adventures as an advanced certified scuba diver and downhill skier. Olivia earned her Black Belt in Combat Shotokan and was the European Division Fighting Grand Champion for two years. Her fighting spirit contributes to her being an eight-year breast cancer survivor. Her enormous passion for life and adventure is reflected in her paintings.
Olivia's paintings have been presented in national exhibits and have won numerous awards. Her work can be found in personal collections as diverse as those of talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, the late actress and singer, Suzzanne Douglas, the late Dr. John Hope Franklin, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon, and corporations like Mitsubishi International in Tokyo, Japan, and SAS Institute. Her paintings have been shown in many feature films and nationally syndicated television shows including "New Jack City," "The Parent 'Hood" and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her work was displayed on the cover of and featured in several issues of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Olivia has one daughter, Camille, and one granddaughter. She has a home studio/ gallery in Rougemont, NC where she paints and hosts painting workshops.
"My art reflects my life and belief in experimental improvisation's essential purity. I work with various media and techniques to create unusual visual effects. Using an amorphous blend of color, I strive for new images that fit into my sense of the beautiful. These images often suggest biomorphic origins flowing from some subconsciously remembered or dreamed epoch. I utilize surface tensions to attract, refract and reflect light. I work with organic lines, forms, and richly textured shapes that glow with color. These elements sometimes become the subject matter of my paintings.
These paintings should be regarded as short stories in vision, full of life, color, and expression They are visual mysteries of the universe and cast a magical spell around a world full of romantic interest. My artwork is about stepping outside the boundaries of
what people think art is supposed to be. It's about change, growth, and the evolution of one's self. I paint melodies to stimulate an awareness of the beauty surrounding us and integrate my life as a universal being."
Exhibitions Highlight Careers of Groundbreaking African American Artists
Raleigh, NC (December 6, 2022)—This spring, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) will host a pair of exhibitions celebrating the accomplishments of two African American artists, Michael Richards and Ruth E. Carter. Presented March 4 to July 23, 2023, Michael Richards: Are You Down? is the largest-ever solo exhibition and first touring museum retrospective of this artist, whose career was tragically cut short when he died in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Richards’s moving tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian (1999), is currently on view in the Global Contemporary galleries at the NCMA, and has been a visitor favorite, on continuous display since 2003. This retrospective will feature another version of the sculpture, and will also present several recently conserved artworks, including the exhibition’s namesake Are You Down? (2000). Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design, open from April 1 to August 6, 2023, presents intricately designed costumes from popular movies, including Amistad, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Selma, and Black Panther. The exhibition dives into the Academy-Award winner’s research, process, and incredible craft.
“We are excited to present these two exhibitions highlighting the work of these trailblazing artists,” said Valerie Hillings, museum director. “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian (1999) has been an NCMA favorite for years, and we cannot wait to introduce visitors to more of Michael Richards’s powerful and diverse body of work. Ruth E. Carter’s influence cannot be understated, and it is fortuitous that we can share with our visitors her iconic work near the release of her latest project, the costumes for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; seeing her artistry go from the big screen to the museum galleries.”
Michael Richards: Are You Down?
Michael Richards: Are You Down? is the first museum retrospective of Michael Richards’s artwork, exhibiting his extensive sculpture and drawing practice. Of Jamaican and Costa Rican lineage, Michael Richards was born in Brooklyn in 1963, raised in Kingston, and came of age between post-independence Jamaica and post–civil rights era America. Richards used the language of metaphor in his art to investigate racial inequity and the tension between assimilation and exclusion. Flight and aviation were central themes for Richards, who explored the concepts of freedom and escape in his work. His artwork gestures toward both repression and reprieve from social injustices, and the simultaneous possibilities of uplift and downfall, often in the context of the historic and ongoing oppression of Black people.
Significant points of reference for Richards include the Tuskegee Airmen—the first African American pilots in United States military history who served in World War II—and the complexity of their triumphs in the face of segregation. Other important influences include cultural, religious, and ritual stories from African, African American, Jamaican, and Judeo-Christian traditions, as well as Greek mythology. Richards merged worlds in his art, bringing together spiritual and historical references with popular culture. His recurring interest was in both the everyday and the transcendent, and how to bring them into conversation with each other. Centering his own experience, Richards also used his body to cast the figures for his sculptures, which often appear as pilots, saints, or both. Inextricably connected to the moment of its making in the 1990s, Richards’s work—engaging Blackness, flight, diaspora, spirituality, police brutality, and monuments—remains timely and resonant decades after its creation.
An Academy Award–winning costume designer, Ruth E. Carter has dressed film and TV actors in ways that have defined generations. Her art adds dimensionality, flair, and culture to the characters she helps envision. Her vibrancy and attention to detail in costuming is integral to translating stories of race, politics, and culture to the big screen. From humble roots in Massachusetts, Ruth E. Carter has been helping style the Afrofuturism movement, an aesthetic movement connecting African diaspora culture with science and technology, for almost 40 years.
Designing pieces for films such as Black Panther, Malcom X, Selma, and Do the Right Thing, Carter has created costumes for legends Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Chadwick Boseman, Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and more. The exhibition features more than 60 of Carter’s original garments while also showcasing her immersive process and extensive historical research that imbue every project she brings to life.
Free Coloring Pages by Ruth E. Carter
Olivia Gatewood is a North Carolina native who exudes a vibrant passion for life and its simplistic beauty. Utilizing a multitude of media, Olivia creates abstract compositions of sensual, tactile colorations that epitomize artwork as a profusion of tactual expressions reflective of the beauty she finds in the natural world around her. She successfully manages to translate blank canvases into visual experiences that resonate with brilliance.
Olivia received her BFA with honors from California State University in Turlock, CA. She went on to pursue graduate studies at Hacettepe and Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.
Gaining inspiration from her love of world travel, Olivia lived for 14 years between Germany, Turkey, The Netherlands, and Hawaii. She taught art in the American Military Schools in Holland and Turkey and worked as an illustrator for the US Air Force while in Germany. She has gained inspiration from her underwater adventures as an advanced certified scuba diver and as a downhill skier. Olivia earned her Black Belt in Combat Shotokan and was the European Division Fighting Grand Champion for two years. Her fighting spirit contributes to her being an eight-year breast cancer survivor. Her enormous passion for life and adventure is reflected in her paintings.
Olivia's paintings have been presented in national exhibits and have won numerous awards. She was recently honored by Governor Roy Cooper and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her contribution to the arts in NC. Her work can be found in personal collections as diverse as those of talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, actress and singer, Suzzanne Douglas, the late Dr. John Hope Franklin, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon, and corporations like The Environmental Protection Agency, Mitsubishi International in Tokyo, Japan, and SAS Institute. Her paintings have been shown in many feature films and nationally syndicated television shows, including "New Jack City," "The Parent 'Hood" and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her work was displayed on the cover of and featured in several issues of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Olivia has one daughter, Camille, and one granddaughter. She has a home studio/gallery in Rougemont, NC where she paints and hosts painting workshops."
Watch my day at North Carolina Museum of Art's latest collection! It's breathtaking. I decided to not do a voiceover. I wanted you to enjoy the beauty of the location without distraction. Enjoy. Let me know if you check it out and what you think of it too?
Raleigh, NC (September 8, 2022)—The North Carolina Museum of Art collection galleries will reopen on October 8 after an ambitious transformation of its displays. Closed to the public since June, the Museum has undergone a total reinstallation, adding new thematic galleries; refreshed interpretation of the entire collection including a community voices project spotlighting visitor viewpoints on select artwork labels; new interactive learning experiences, including digital games and labels; and expanded introductory wall text in English and Spanish. The Museum will now have a significant portion of the total collection on view—approximately 1,000 works out of its more than 4,000 object collection—along with 100 works the Museum has not previously presented to the public.
New acquisitions from William Kentridge, Lucie Attinger, Marie Watt, and Edmonia Lewis, and five site-specific commissions, including a new permanent installation by Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno and year-long displays by Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj and North Carolina- based artists Elizabeth Alexander and JP Jermaine Powell, will go on view for the first time. Seventy-seven loans from international and national museums will temporarily join the collection to strengthen the diverse viewpoints being presented.
“As thrilling as it is to look at the reinstallation by the numbers, we are most excited about welcoming everyone back to the galleries. It has been a labor of love from every department at the Museum to get ready for the opening weekend celebrations on October 8 and 9,” said Museum Director Valerie Hillings. “We hope visitors will connect more deeply with their favorite works of art in the People’s Collection, some displayed in never-before-seen thematic contexts, and discover unfamiliar paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video installations. The new experiences to explore are countless.”
New Themed Galleries for the Collection
The opening weekend will include artist-led gallery tours, family activities, musical concerts, dance performances, and poetry in the galleries. A free keynote lecture by collection artists Leonardo Drew and Ursula von Rydingsvard will take place virtually and in person on October 9.
The reimagined presentation broadens the representation, narratives, and media in the galleries. Visitors will be able to learn about national and global histories through works of art and better understand cultures that were and are diverse and interconnected. All themed galleries will have introduction panels in English and Spanish.
● Made in the Americas: This gallery bridges the collections of ancient America and American art and showcases the interconnectedness of the Americas, both hemispherically and with other parts of the world. The narratives emerging from artworks in this gallery emphasize how cross-cultural contact, global influences, and international encounters and exchange have defined American artistic production.
● Portraits and Power: This section displays both historic and contemporary portraits side by side to demonstrate their powerful role in how people are presented through images. It invites visitors to contemplate what has changed in these dynamics of power over the years, or perhaps what has not, through surprising comparisons like the Museum’s Hyacinthe Rigaud’s portrait of Louis XV (circa 1715–17) alongside Kehinde Wiley’s Mrs. Hale as “Euphrosyne” (2005), and Beverly McIver’s Truly Grateful (2011) contrasted with Anthony Van Dyck’s Lady Mary Villiers (circa 1637).
● The Africa We Ought to Know: Previously on view as two separate collections, this gallery reconnects Egypt to Africa, celebrating that Africa is a continent where empires have flourished over millennia, each contributing to fascinating antiquity and a vigorous history that extends to a dynamic and creative present. Visitors will be able to explore the continent and learn more about its people through interactive maps of trade routes and various African kingdoms.
● Art Conservation: This space will showcase the study of art, science, history, and technology as conservators share their deep understanding of the materials and techniques used in the reconstruction and restoration of different types of objects. Rotating conservation projects will be featured, highlighting how artworks are researched, analyzed, and preserved. The first object featured will be visitor favorite Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky by Chris Drury (2003), which reopened in the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park in 2022 after extensive conservation.
● The Arts: “Art”—the visual arts—is often separated from “the arts,” a shorthand that actively segments creative expression into disparate parts: music, dance, painting, literature, and more. In this gallery the broad spectrum of the arts will be presented through a variety of media including moving images to foster understanding of creativity in new, vital ways. As museums continue to rethink what can be shown or expressed inside galleries, the integration of various art forms, including dance, music, theater, and poetry, plays a key role in reimagining the museum experience.
Acquisitions, Commissions, and Loans
As part of this reimagined installation of the People’s Collection, the Museum will also be highlighting major gifts and acquisitions, both permanent and short-term new commissions, and 77 exciting loans. New works of art in the Museum’s collection to be revealed during the reopening include a mixed-media sculpture by contemporary American Indian sculptor Marie Watt; photography by North Carolinian Endia Beal; internationally renowned South African multimedia artist William Kentridge’s video installation KABOOM! (2018); silver Torah finials by 18th-century female silversmith Hester Bateman; a marble sculpture by African American and American Indian artist Edmonia Lewis titled The Old Indian Arrow Maker and His Daughter (modeled 1866, carved 1867); and an oil painting by Swiss artist Lucie Attinger, Mon Atelier (My Studio) (1889).
In the Museum’s West Building—the Thomas Phifer-designed, natural, light-filled galleries that opened in 2010—visitors will be greeted by a series of new areas for art, including new site-specific installation Zonal Harmonic 4N 200/15, a series of suspended sculptures that will hang from the entrance ceiling by Berlin-based, Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno. Nearby space will be dedicated to year-long temporary installations by North Carolina-based artists Elizabeth Alexander and JP Jermaine Powell. In East Building a large wall in the new Global Contemporary Art Gallery will feature a year-long, site-specific installation by Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj. Temporary installations by global contemporary artists will be featured in this gallery on an annually rotating basis.
To further broaden the narratives presented in the reinstallation, 20 community members from North Carolina and beyond have been invited to respond to objects in the collection in conversation with labels written by NCMA curators. Representing multiple perspectives, these contributors include artists, students, civic leaders, journalists, and food activists. Their unique experiences and insights offer alternative narratives and broaden our understanding of art, history, and culture through a contemporary lens. The selected works span time, geography, and culture, and many address complex issues throughout our global history. Among the participants, along with the artwork they are interpreting, are:
● Carl Borriello, Advocate for the Blind: The Cathedral, Auguste Rodin, modeled 1908, Musée Rodin cast 1955
● Catherine Crosby, Town Manager, Town of Apex: Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, Mickalene Thomas, 2011
● Liz Kanof Levine, Proud Daughter and Co-Chair, Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery: Cover for a High Holy Days Prayer Book, Ilya Schor, 1956
● Ashley Minner, Ph.D., (Lumbee), Community-Based Visual Artist: Indian Fantasy, Marsden Hartley, 1914
● Nzinga Muhammad, Interdisciplinary Studies Major, Bennett College: Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Michael Richards, 1999
● Egyptian-born Samia Serageldin, Author of The Cairo House and Editor at South Writ Large: Amulet of Isis and Horus, Ptolemaic Period, 305–30 BCE
● Jimmie Sutton, North Carolina Artist and Arts Educator: The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset, Claude Monet, 1882–83
The reinstallation offers visitors numerous ways to interact with and connect to the People’s Collection through technology. Digital labels will be in five galleries, including the Judaic, African, and American galleries; select European galleries; and the new Portraits and Power Gallery, allowing visitors to explore additional information and high-resolution images. These labels will be available in English and Spanish.
A partnership with the conservation staff, the interactive station Beyond White: Marble Sculpture and Color will focus on the Roman Fragment of a Sarcophagus with Ram from the third century. Through research and conservation, Museum staff learned this object had color when created thousands of years ago. Visitors will be able to explore these pigments and see a digital version of what the object would have looked like when new and colorful.
There will be a map projection in The Africa We Ought to Know gallery to encourage learning about the empires in Africa, paired with voice narration, to give a deeper understanding of the trade routes on the continent. A map in the Dutch collection will highlight the history of the 80 Years War. Travel and trade in the 17th century will be explored in a family-friendly game, with a focus on artists in the People’s Collection and the objects found in the paintings. Other installations include an ancient-animals video, created in partnership with the North Carolina Zoo and geared toward youth and family; an installation to explore the making of silver, mahogany, and chocolate; an exploration of other Cloud Chamber installations around the world; and eight performing arts experiences at the NCMA.
Visit ncartmuseum.org/peoplescollection for a full schedule of opening weekend celebrations. The weekend kicks off Friday night, October 7, with the NC Artists Party, featuring music and dancing. The Museum then welcomes community members to its free Saturday ReMixed Block Party, including artist-led gallery tours, family activities, music, dance, and poetry in the galleries, Monster Drawing Rally, and a Music at the Museum Festival. On Sunday the galleries will be filled with jazz music, dance performances, and new works by NC-based artists, plus a free lecture with collection artists Leonardo Drew and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
The new People’s Collection presentation is made possible in part by corporate partner Bank of America.
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Maya Brooks, is a Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
"I first discovered my passion for the humanities by designing Barbie Dreamhouses. I get asked all the time what inspired my career aspirations, and that is the truth. I would set up the houses for hours, making sure to glue each piece in its proper place. I would host "showings" to anyone who visited my room, providing commentary on why I chose to put each item in its specific location.“
Meet Stephen Hayes, he is a local artist born and raised in Durham. Hayes is an Instructor in Studio Arts in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University with Stephen Hayes: Selected Works, an exhibition in the NC Art Museum. Currently, Hayes is also bringing back life into Duke’s sculpture studio on Oregon Street by teaching sculpture and drawing classes. A new version of his ongoing project, Voices of Future Past, will be on exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh in the spring. Hayes has a BA from North Carolina Central University and a MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Check out his exhibit now at NCMA. Hayes approach is simple: “If I can’t find it, I’ll make it. If I can’t make it, I’ll find it.”
ICONS AND MUSES
Alphonse Mucha, a Czech-born artist, most known as the artist that transformed Paris into his public art exhibit, by creating beautiful posters that made art accessible to the general public. Alphonse created illustrations for theater posters, fragrances, and even rolled cigarette advertisements. Showcasing women as his main subjects usually centered on goddesses or icons.
"Representations of women are at the heart of Mucha's style. For him, the
beauty and elegance of the female form embodied and most directly
communicated his artistic philosophy. In the development of his artistic style,
it was Parisian superstar actress, producer, and director Sarah Bernhardt
who inspired him the most. Bernhardt's fame and influence transcended the
discrimination she faced as a Jewish woman, and she became an icon of the
modern woman, both in her acting roles and as portrayed by Mucha. He met
Bernhardt toward the end of 1894 through the commission of a poster for
her production of the play Gismonda. Despite Mucha's inexperience with
producing posters, Bernhardt was struck by the novelty of Mucha's design,
which featured her life-size figure in an unusually tall format with elegantly
flowing outlines and delicate pastel colors."
NCMA, North Carolina Museum of Art, is the first American exhibit in almost 20 years
and is paired with local artists, Lakeisha Reid, Alisha Locklear Monroe, and Tori "FNord" Carpenter.
They each made their portraits in "Mucha" style and you have to see them in person to get the full beauty of each piece. In the museum's gift shop they have on display and for purchase pieces by local artists: Georgia Hartley, Sharon Hardin, Monica Linares, USU local soy candles, and Brasstown chocolates, all of which have a "Mucha" inspiration included. Check out my Instagram for more photos and videos from Media day.
"In designing these posters, Much established a consistent style, featuring
iconic female figures carrying alluring messages, combined with a variety of
decorative, symbolic motifs. Recognizable, engaging, and relatable, Mucha's
posters were popularly described as "le style Mucha" (the Mucha style),
and these characteristic elements of his work became key features of the
emerging art nouveau style."
More information and to get tickets:
"In parallel with the development of his ideas of art for the people, Mucha was
drawn to spiritualism, a religious movement based on communications with the
spirit world, most prominently through mediums and seances. During Mucha's
time in Paris, publications by the Russian spiritualist Helena Blavatsky were
widely circulated among intellectuals. Blavatsky had founded the highly influential
Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. With the motto "There is no religion
higher than truth," the society advocated spiritual enlightenment through the
pursuit of truth by studying the religion, philosophy, and science of both the East
and the West, such as Christian mysticism, Buddhism, and cabalism, as well as
Neoplatonism, hermeticism, and occultism."
"During the 1890s, along with his spiritualist pursuits, Mucha became interested in
Freemasonry, a fraternal organization that advocated work for the betterment of
humanity through charitable activities, human solidarity, and the quest for higher
intellectual, moral, and spiritual values. Sharing these ideals, Mucha joined the
Freemasons on January 25, 1898. The impact of Mucha's spiritualism and masonic
philosophy on his art is manifested in his visionary work, The Lord's Prayer, along
with others that use symbolic and sculptural expression to visualize the invisible
spiritual world and its connection to the world around us."
I love Mucha's philosophy on art; that it's for everyone, not just the very elite that can afford commissions, He made art accessible by creating posters. He also used his art to speak out about political issues and to express his culture. A must-see at NCMA.
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