Season Preview: A look at AMoA's 2017-18 offerings
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By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Amarillo Museum of Art will explore architecture as a medium and Vietnam through several creative perspectives in the coming year.
As I kick off this weekly summer series of posts about the 2017-18 arts season, we'll first look at AMoA's next 12 months. The museum doesn't precisely follow the same September-to-May model that most Amarillo arts groups do, but their schedule fits in without too much jiggering.
Plus, starting with AMoA gives me the chance to announce that the museum will be the next arts organization spotlighted in The Season. Look for videos beginning in July.
But first, Alex Gregory, the museum's curator of art, walks us through the exhibitions on tap through April 2018.
Following the current Personal to Public: Celebrating Collectors, which shows off several major donations to the museum's permanent collection from private collectors, audiences will enjoy AMoA Biennial 600: Architecture, part of the museum's focus, every other year, on a different artistic medium.
"Architecture has always been an art," Gregory said. "They're thinking about space sculpturally."
Juror Rand Elliot, a distinguished architect in Oklahoma City, is choosing works to put on view from more than 500 entries that came from a 600-mile radius of Amarillo.
"In general, we're taking a snapshot of the region," Gregory said.
Viewers can expect to see photography, paintings, renderings, blueprints, video projects and sculptural installations. The exhibition opens with an artafterdark party at 7:30 p.m. July 14; admission is $25 or free for members.
In association with the biennial, the museum will partner with Center City of Amarillo for downtown Amarillo architecture tours by trolley between 10 a.m. and noon July 22, and Play! Design! Build!, a family event with activities exploring architecture from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 12.
The museum also will screen a trio of PBS films centered around architecture: 10 Buildings That Changed America on Sept. 12, American Masters — Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future on Sept. 19, and 10 Homes That Changed America on Sept. 26. Each film will screen from noon to 1 p.m., and admission is free.
Following the closing of the biennial on Oct. 1, the museum will bring back its popular 12 x 12 show and sale on Oct. 12. Amarillo-area artists are invited to exhibit a new work that's 12 inches by 12 inches (by 12 inches, if it's a 3-D piece) in a fundraising silent auction and exhibition. (A previous version of this story had "12 foot," which would be silly. Sorry for the error.)
Then, from Oct. 20 to Dec. 30, the museum will join Panhandle PBS and other community partners in focusing on the Vietnam War, in association with the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary about the war that premieres Sept. 20 on PBS.
"The Vietnam War will be one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Panhandle PBS is enhancing this national presentation by linking area organizations who have unique perspectives on stories that need to be told," said Kevin Ball, Panhandle PBS CEO. "We are extremely pleased that the Amarillo Museum of Art will partner with us on numerous exhibitions that further the understanding of the Vietnam War and its impact on the people of the Panhandle."
Partnering with our station and the other community entities gives the exhibitions "more impact," Gregory said. "We reach more people."
AMoA will feature three exhibitions tied to the war and its aftermath:
- A Shared Experience, which will feature work by Vietnamese immigrants Du Chau and Anh-Thuy Nguyen. The former, who had work featured in 2015's AMoA Biennial: Sculpture, came to America with his family as boat people following the war. The latter grew up in Vietnam and immigrated to the States as an adult.
- Paintings and Photography of Larry R. Collins, featuring work by an American veteran who was assigned to be a combat artist at the front. "His photographs are not the typical war photographs," Gregory said. "He primarily thought about individuals and the soldiers' camps."
- and The Soul of Vietnam: A Portrait of the North by Lawrence D'Attilio, a current artist who "is infatuated with Vietnam," Gregory said. "It's a fast-growing economy, and (the country is) undergoing a lot of changes, so this is a contemporary look at Vietnam and what's going on right now."
After the turn of the year, the museum once again will allow Amarillo artists of all ages and experience levels to exhibit in the AMoA Open, on view from Jan. 6 to 13.
Then, the museum will highlight the collection of Amarillo art lovers Mike and Dalia Engler for its annual Achievement in Art gala and exhibition, on view from Jan. 28 to March 25. The black-tie gala will be held Jan. 27.
The Englers, who are part of a prominent Amarillo cattle family, have an extensive collection of contemporary, often minimalist art and are longtime supporters of the museum, Gregory said.
Then, as usual, the museum will throw its walls open to student artists in a pair of exhibitions: The Amarillo College / West Texas A&M University Student / Faculty Exhibition from March 30 to April 15, and the Texas Panhandle Student Art Show on April 27 to May 11.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free. Call 806-371-5050.