The Newark #Museum of #Art Acquires Major Work by Bisa Butler

The Warmth of Other Sons to be featured in

Virtual Exhibition during the Newark Arts Festival, Oct. 8-11

 The Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey’s largest art institution, announced today that it has acquired a large-scale artwork by Essex County resident Bisa Butler, a rising star among contemporary Black artists in the United States, known for her quilted portraits celebrating Black life.

The Warmth of Other Sons is loosely based on source material including historic photographs of Black families that migrated from the South to the North looking for economic prosperity. Standing at 9 feet high by 12 feet wide, this exuberant, multi-layered artwork is a significant acquisition by the Museum and will be included in Art + Tech: Perception, Access, Power, a virtual group show developed in partnership with the Newark Arts Festival, opening on October 8, 2020.

Drawing on a rich history of African American quilters, Butler stitches and layers her portrait quilts using carefully selected fabrics, including, cotton, silk, wool, and velvet. The title of this monumental work is a reference to Isabella Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed chronicle of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, published in 2010.

Butler currently resides in West Orange, New Jersey, where she has a well-established studio practice and deep roots in the local community. She is an active member of the Newark arts community and previously taught in the Newark Public Schools for 10 years.

Local art enthusiasts will get an early glimpse of The Warmth of Other Sons virtually during the Newark Arts Festival, from October 8-11. Thereafter, this work will make its debut in Bisa Butler: Portraits, a solo exhibition organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, opening on November 16th. Mid next year The Warmth of Other Sons will return to The Newark Museum of Art where it will be installed in the Museum’s Seeing America galleries.

Bisa Butler, The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020
Velvet, wool, Vlisco cotton, silk, 108 x 104 in.
Collection of The Newark Museum of Art
Purchase 2020 Collections Exchange Fund 2020.1
Photo courtesy Claire Oliver Gallery © Bisa Butler

“Bisa’s art speaks to the deeply layered, complex, and vibrant histories of Black American life and the diaspora. Her work is especially meaningful as the country reckons with long-standing social and economic inequities impacting Black and Brown citizens, now in sharper relief with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Catherine Evans, Deputy Director, Collections & Curatorial Strategies at The Newark Museum of Art. “We are immensely proud to bring Ms. Butler’s powerfully affirming artwork into the Museum’s collection.”

Butler was born in Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of a college president and a French teacher. She grew up in South Orange, the youngest of four siblings. Her artistic talent was first recognized at the age of four, when she won a blue ribbon in an art competition.

Butler graduated Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was during her education at Howard that she began to experiment with fabric as a medium and became interested in collage techniques. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree from Montclair State University in 2005. A dedicated arts educator, she was a high school art teacher for 13 years, serving for 10 years in the Newark Public Schools and three at her alma mater, Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey.

“Honoring art by local artists and artists of color is a core tenet of this institution,” said Linda C. Harrison, director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “We believe guests of all ages, races, and genders will find inspiration when they see the amazing work from contemporary artists and artists from Black and Brown diasporas. Art can unite people in a way that few other mediums can do, and Bisa’s work is an example of that unification.”

Butler’s work is currently the focus of a solo exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York, which remains on view through October 4th. That exhibition will then travel to the Art Institute of Chicago this fall. In addition to The Newark Museum of Art, her works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Toledo Museum of Art; and Orlando Museum of Art, among others.

In 2019, Butler was a finalist for the Museum of Arts and Design’s Burke Prize. Her portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai was featured as a cover for Time magazine’s special issue honoring the 100 Women of the Year in 2020.

New England Aquarium offering virtual programming during temporary closures

With students across New England home from school amid closures related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, the New England Aquarium is offering special virtual programming to keep families engaged.

Each day at 11:00 a.m., content will be posted on the Aquarium’s social media platforms that includes live videos with educators, a behind-the-scenes look at animal care, and fun activities for children. Online visitors will also find a special webpage on neaq.org to take a “virtual visit” to the Aquarium, featuring video, at-home projects, and other educational resources. This page will be updated regularly with fresh material.

Last week, the Aquarium made the decision to close to the public and suspend all events and educational programming for a minimum of three weeks as a precautionary move to protect staff and visitors and ensure continued care for the animals. Much of the special programming available online will focus on the important work still happening at the Aquarium amid the closure.

“Even though our doors are closed to the public, a limited number of Aquarium staff are onsite daily caring for and supporting our nearly 20,000 animals,” said Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO. “Engaging and inspiring the public about the wonders of our blue planet is central to our mission. We are delighted to be able to provide an educational outlet for families and their students who are losing valuable time in the classroom.”

The New England Aquarium has a long-standing tradition of supporting education outside its walls. That includes homeschool program offerings, classroom resources for teachers, and educational tools for parents.

The public can find special features and projects on:

NEAQ.org

Facebook – @NewEnglandAquarium

Twitter – @NEAQ

Instagram – @newenglandaquarium

Temporary Closure of New-York Historical Society

In response to heightened concerns relating to the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19, the New-York Historical Society will close temporarily as of Friday, March 13 at 6 PM until the end of March. All onsite programs will be cancelled through the end of April. These decisions were made to support New York City’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to prioritize the health of our staff and visitors. Although no case of COVID-19 has been connected to the Museum, we are taking these preventive measures out of an abundance of caution to help ensure everyone’s safety. Visitors who have purchased tickets to a program will be contacted shortly to arrange either a refund or a ticket-to-donation to New-York Historical. In the meantime, New-York Historical is encouraging the public to stay connected online and explore our wealth of digital content at nyhistory.org. We are also offering curated digital content through our weekly eblasts.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and look forward to resuming full operation as soon as possible. We will continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, Governor’s Office, Mayor’s Office, and Department of Cultural Affairs. For future updates, please visit nyhistory.org.

The Montclair Art Museum is temporarily closed in the interest of staff and community health

The Montclair Art Museum is committed to the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and students. Beginning today, March 13, at 12 p.m., it will be temporarily closing the Museum and all programs, including Yard School classes and outreach programs, through March 31. In the interest of staff and community health, they feel it is best not to remain open.

The Museum will stay apprised of the evolving recommendations of the CDC and Montclair Township for avoidance and containment of COVID-19 and share updates as they become available.

Please continue to check the website and follow on social media @MAMmontclair for additional updates.

The Newark Museum of Art to Close Temporarily Starting March 14th

n the interest of protecting the well-being of our staff, members, volunteers, and visitors, and following guidance from local, state and federal authorities regarding measures that best promote public health, we have decided to temporarily close The Newark Museum of Art beginning on Saturday, March 14th. We will reopen on Thursday, April 16th. 

The Newark Museum of Art’s top priority is the safety and peace of mind for our members, visitors, staff and partners. Each decision we make during this challenge starts with us asking what is best for our visitors and staff. Lastly, we want you to know we are carefully monitoring the situation and will provide any new updates as quickly as possible. For additional questions about the virus, we suggest accessing the CDC website for the most reliable information.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum soon.

WORLDS BEYOND EARTH, A NEW HAYDEN PLANETARIUM SPACE SHOW, OPENS JANUARY 21 AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Featuring immersive visualizations of distant worlds, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, the American Museum of Natural History’s new Hayden Planetarium Space Show, Worlds Beyond Earth will open January 21, 2020, using a new planetarium projection system that is the most advanced in the world, and is part of the Museum’s 150th anniversary celebration. Worlds Beyond Earth, narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, takes viewers on an exhilarating journey that reveals the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that orbit our Sun and the unique conditions that make life on our planet possible.

 

In the past 50 years, humankind’s ability to travel through and study our solar system has increased exponentially with the advent of robotic spacecraft, and we have learned much about our neighboring planets—how they were formed and what they are like today,” said Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. “As with our previous, enormously popular Space Shows, Worlds Beyond Earth is a feat of science visualization, built on real data and research, and now dazzlingly showcased through the Hayden Planetarium’s new cutting-edge projection system. We can think of no better way to celebrate the thrilling state of space science today as well as the Museum’s 150th anniversary of bringing the world and the universe to our visitors.”

 

While humans have to yet to walk on another world beyond the Moon, Worlds Beyond Earth celebrates the extraordinary Age of Exploration carried out by our closest proxies, robotic explorers, over the past 50 years. Created by an award-winning team that includes Museum scientists, educators, and science visualization experts, Worlds Beyond Earth is an immersive theater experience based on authentic data from NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration (JAXA) missions, telescopes, supercomputer simulations, and research conducted at institutions around the globe. Viewers will be taken on an adventure across the solar system, from our Moon and planetary neighbors Mars and Venus to beyond the asteroid belt, where worlds of ice and gas like Saturn and Jupiter host moons revealing active weather, erupting volcanoes, and buried oceans.

 

“Our ability to render these distant worlds is nothing short of astonishing, thanks to past and current space missions and the data they provide,” said Carter Emmart, the Museum’s director of astrovisualization and the director of Worlds Beyond Earth. “We’re not making anything up here. The height, color, and shapes we see come from actual measurements. In the Space Show, you see these beautiful objects as they actually are, to the best of our abilities.”

 

This is the first Hayden Planetarium Space Show that will “land” audience members on other worlds in our solar neighborhood, reconstructing actual events at specific locations, including a landing on the gray, cratered surface of the Moon, which viewers will reach by following an Apollo launch out of Cape Canaveral and the subsequent landing of the Lunar Module “Falcon,” carrying the first Lunar Roving Vehicle; and the liquid methane lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan, an almost Earthlike but extremely cold world 1.4 billion kilometers away, illuminated by ESA’s Huygens probe, launched from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Visualizations based on 13 years of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will show viewers Saturn’s impressive, swirling rings as never before: bubbling with moonlets—house-sized baby moons—that form through a process that scientists think may parallel planet formation in the solar system. In addition, audiences will encounter one of Jupiter’s many moons, Io, which is the most volcanically active object in the solar system despite being covered by ice; Europa, another Jupiter moon with more liquid water beneath its icy crust than all of the oceans on Earth; Comet 67P, a frozen object traveling between the inner and outer solar system that the ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft chased for 10 years; and the dry and dusty landscape of Mars, based on high-resolution global maps from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Global Surveyor, and ESA’s Mars Express.

 

“I don’t think many people realize just how much we, as the human race, have seen of our solar system,” said Worlds Beyond Earth curator Denton Ebel, a curator in the Museum’s Department of Earth of Planetary Sciences and chair of the Division of Physical Sciences. “But we are out there, via these incredibly complex and successful spacecraft, and what we’re learning about our unique place in it is surprising and also a bit sobering.”

 

For example, as Worlds Beyond Earth audiences will see, NASA’s Magellan mission to Earth’s “twin” planet, Venus, revealed a world that once may have had conditions very similar to our planet’s but today has a surface hot enough to melt lead because of its long-term buildup of greenhouse gases. Sending spacecraft to explore Venus deepened scientists’ understanding of global warming and illuminated that pumping carbon dioxide into our own atmosphere leads to rising temperatures and threatens civilization on Earth. In contrast, our other solar neighbor, Mars, is freezing cold. Exploration reveals that Mars’ once-plentiful water supply and active volcanoes created conditions for life but that they didn’t last long, as demonstrated in a dramatic simulation of Mars’ surface evolution. The Red Planet’s core cooled quickly, causing its magnetic field to decay and allowing most of its atmosphere to be stripped away. What is left is a dry, frozen desert—a “failed Earth.”

 

Unlike Venus and Mars, Earth is surrounded by a strong magnetic field—powered by its hot, churning outer core, which is visualized in Worlds Beyond Earth—that forms a shield that deflects solar wind and protects our atmosphere. Our planet pumps out heat, feeding volcanoes at the surface and helping to sustain this atmosphere with the perfect blend of molecules for life.

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is the first Museum Space Show to take full advantage of the world’s most advanced planetarium projection system, installed last year in the Hayden Planetarium. The first-of-its-kind high dynamic range (HDR) laser system displays the widest color gamut of any planetarium in the world, allowing visitors to experience as never before both the darkness of outer space and the most colorful worlds in our solar system (see release on Hayden Planetarium upgrades).

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is part of the Museum’s 150th anniversary celebration, which officially began in March 2019 and includes a series of events, programs, and exhibitions inspired by the Museum’s legacy of scientific exploration and science education, including the role of the historic Hayden Planetarium in bringing the latest space science to the public. First built in 1935 and named for philanthropist Charles Hayden, the world-famous facility has transported generations of New Yorkers to the edges of the observable universe, revealing mysterious cosmic phenomena and nurturing their curiosity about the magnitude and workings of our universe. The new Space Show is dedicated to the memory of Charles Hayden and opens during the 150th anniversary of the year of his birth (see release on history of the Planetarium).

 

“We are proud to be an ongoing supporter of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Worlds Beyond Earth will continue the Museum’s long legacy of presenting the latest space science to NYC students and the general public.”

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is sponsored by Bank of America.

 

“Bank of America is pleased to sponsor the exciting new space show, Worlds Beyond Earth,” said Anne Walker, NYC President, Bank of America. “As one of the largest corporate supporters of arts and culture programming world-wide, we believe in the power of the arts to help communities thrive, educate, inspire, enrich societies, and create greater cultural understanding.”

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is curated by Denton Ebel, curator in the Museum’s Department of Earth of Planetary Sciences and chair of the Division of Physical Sciences, who specializes in the study of meteorites and cosmochemistry, and directed by Carter Emmart, who, in addition to his work as the Museum’s director of astrovisualization, was one of the original team members of the NASA-funded Digital Universe and OpenSpace projects, which continue to redefine how planetarium theaters present science to the public through immersive data visualization.

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is produced by Vivian Trakinski, who directs the Museum’s science visualization program, and documentary filmmaker Gavin GuerraRosamond Kinzler, senior director of science education, co-director of the Museum’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, and the principal investigator of the OpenSpace project, is the executive producer.

 

The script for Worlds Beyond Earth is written by Natalie Starkey, a geologist who is an author and science communicator. The score is written by Robert Miller, a New York City composer who also wrote the music for four previous Museum Space Shows, and was primarily recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London. It includes a classical guitar segment recorded in New York by musician and former New York Yankees player Bernie Williams.

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is the Hayden Planetarium’s sixth Space Show since the opening in 2000 of the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which premiered the first Space Show, Passport to the Universe, narrated by Tom Hanks, that same year. Previous Space Shows have included The Search for Life: Are We Alone? (2002), narrated by Harrison Ford; Cosmic Collisions (2006), narrated by Robert Redford; Journey to the Stars (2009), narrated by Whoopi Goldberg; and Dark Universe (2013), narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium.

 

Worlds Beyond Earth was created by the American Museum of Natural History,

the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space,

and the Hayden Planetarium.

 

Worlds Beyond Earth is dedicated to the memory of Charles Hayden in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth and made possible by the generous support of the Charles Hayden Foundation.

Proudly sponsored by Bank of America.

Generously sponsored in loving memory of Wallace Gilroy.

 

OpenSpace is based upon work supported by NASA under award No. NNX16AB93A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

History is fun in Virginia!

American History might only go back a few hundred years, but amazingly it is still alive and well at the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. These two locations give new life to the pages of your school textbooks. There, you can see what the days were like for the early colonists in Jamestown, then travel to the nearby American Revolution Museum and compare their experiences to those of families and soldiers a century later. Both are pivotal times in the development of our country and you don’t want to miss out on either experience. Take a day and spend it at these two great locations.

America’s first permanent English colony, the Jamestown Settlement, is an opportunity to embrace the experience of the early colonists. Living history reenactments of a Powhatan Indian village, climbing on board the recreated English ships, and a colonial fort immerse visitors in the sights, sounds, and even smells of daily life in the early 17th century. The interaction continues, and you can watch demonstrations and ask questions of the ‘costumed historical interpreters’ (the official job title of the reenactors).

Exhibits and galleries display artifacts and tell the story of European colonization. The impact of settlements like Jamestown on the local Powhatan Indians is a fascinating topic to investigate. There is also information on the first Africans known to come to Virginia. The cultures of three continents coming together is an amazing look into the origins of America. The documentary they show, 1607: A Nation Takes Root, starts your journey into the past. From there families, can enjoy time spent learning just how different life would be if they were born 400 years ago.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown ramps up the action. The dramatic events of the Revolution can be seen throughout the museum galleries or on the 180-degree surround screen film. Visitors can watch “The Siege of Yorktown” then go on to tour and compare it to the modern day city.  Kids will love all of the activities at the Continental Army encampment and the recreated 18th century farm. Join the American regiment for drills or watch artillery fire while chatting with soldiers. This and so much more is embodied with the American Revolution Museum’s living history exhibits.

Both the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will wow history lovers and get kids excited about learning. Set aside at least four hours to enjoy everything they have to offer. There are even specials available if you decide to visit both on your trip. Make it a historic day in Virginia and visit the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Coming up shortly is the yearly event Military Through the Ages, Jamestown Settlement – Military re-enactors and modern-day units show how uniforms, weapons, and military tactics evolved through the centuries. You can see this impressive display of armed forces from March 17-18- any history or military enthusiast will have a blast (pun intended). There are live  re-stagings, weapons and ammunitions use, reenactments of battles, and more. Some of the costumed re-enactors tell stories, give lessons, and help kids make crafts, “weapons” of their own, battle flags, instruments, learn to lead (or take part in) battles, parades, cook on open fires, explain how life was in his or her time period- the list goes on and on. Explore (recreations of) boats that once sailed the open seas- and how cramped the quarters were for sailors and settlers. Make sure you visit the recreated Native American village to get to know a bit about the people of the Powhatan Tribe.  There is so much to do during the Military Through the Ages event, there is no way to get it all done. It is one of the most fun learning experiences you will have with your children- just don’t tell them how much they will learn. 

Check out their websites for more details, tickets, and times.

Jamestown Settlement – Site

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – Site

Win Tickets to The Liberty Science Center #LSCStarShow

 

The Liberty Science Center in nearby Jersey City, NJ has a ton to do for kids and families. They recently opened the Largest Planetarium in the Western Hemisphere- not too shabby, ay?

 

“Its diameter is almost twice as long as a bowling alley lane. Its screen is taller than four giraffes. It offers a true 8K projection. Its lights produce trillions of colors. And it will provide breaking space and astronomy news and discoveries in real time.

It is Liberty Science Center’s greatest experience yet–the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the entire Western Hemisphere. The only three that are bigger are in Beijing, China, and Nagoya and Niihama, Japan.”

Liberty Science Center, the largest interactive science center in the NY-NJ metropolitan area, officially opened the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium on December 9, 2017.

The kids had an amazing time watching the live show in the domed theater. The seats we were in were pretty high up, but you can choose seats closer to the ground should you want to. The speaker used a laser pointer to show different stars and constellations in the sky, and made the sun rise and set as you watched in just a few seconds. He was also able to zoom in and out of very specific locations- one of which being the science center itself. You and your kids can see the stars at different times of the year as the speaker zooms around and gives explanations of each constellation.

“You can fit any other planetarium in the Western Hemisphere inside the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium,” said Hoffman. “Add in the state-of-the-art technology and you have a spectacular unique theater like none other in the world. Visitors will be able to fly through the universe, experience the grandness and vastness of space, roam planetary surfaces, navigate asteroid fields, and watch the latest full-dome movies.”

 

Other unique features of the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium include:

• A dome that has a diameter of 27 meters, or about 89 feet. That means if you made a straight line from one end of the dome to the other, it would be 1.5 times the length of a bowling alley lane.
• From the bottom of the theater to the top of the dome screen is 60 feet, the same height as 4 giraffes.
• 588 perforated aluminum panels are seamlessly joined together to form the domed screen with a surface area of 1,145 square meters, or 12,345 square feet. That’s a nice size four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in terms of area.
• The 10-projector system features an 8K resolution of 88 million pixels.
• The sophisticated software allows for downloads of the latest animations and images from NASA to keep up with breaking science news.
• The lighting system can produce over 281 trillion individual colors, which can allow the planetarium dome to look like the blue Earth daytime sky, the red sky of Mars, or a rapidly changing pattern to enhance laser shows. A human can see about 10 million colors, while a computer screen displays about 16.8 million colors for a “full-color” image.
• In addition to out-of-this-world planetarium experiences, guests will also enjoy immersive 8K films on the wraparound dome screen courtesy of a brand new digital projection system.

Find out more info here.

 

Also available is the new rotating exhibition, Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience.

“In this interactive, immersive exhibition based on one of the world’s most popular sci-fi series, you’ll step into the shoes of a newly minted cadet in the 26th century. As you travel through nine different zones, you’ll receive the necessary science, engineering, medical, and command training to navigate your way from orientation through graduation.

Both Trekkies and non-Trekkies will be engaged by the science behind the science fiction. Learn how Star Trek paved the way for many of today’s cutting-edge technologies—such as a functional tricorder, NASA’s warp drive theory, and experiments involving phasers and teleporters—and even get a glimpse into the future of Star Trek science.”

star trek museum

Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience will be at LSC through May 28, 2018.

If you would like to win a 4 pack of tickets, please just leave your name and email in the comments below. Ends Feb. 20, 2018. Thanks!
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