Two new exhibitions open on Saturday at the Albrecht-Kemper art museum | Life
The past and present of local art conservation and creation collide with two new exhibitions at the Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum.
“Missouri Art Now: A Bicentennial Celebration” is a collection of contemporary art from across the state, while “The Joe Show: Selections from The Gray Manufacturing Corporate Collection” contains more than 100 pieces of classical paintings, drawings and sculptures.
“It’s really a celebration of what’s going on locally, whether you’re an art collector, working in a place that has a very large art collection, or making art.” , said Jill Carlson, chief marketing officer. and responsible for museum communication.
Both located on the ground floor of the museum, located at 2818 Frederick Ave., they will debut with an opening reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, to coincide with Smithsonian Day, a day when many museums premises are free for visitors.
Showcasing a variety of perspectives from across the Show-Me state, “Missouri Art Now” is a collection of over 60 urgent and evocative pieces created over the past year.
“It’s really a snapshot of what’s going on in contemporary art in Missouri right now… There are pieces that kind of reflect what’s happening in 2020 and 2021,” Carlson said.
Part of the celebration of Missouri’s bicentennial, the traveling exhibit, which concludes its trip to the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, is a collaboration between several art museums of similar size.
Those involved include: the Southeast Missouri Arts Council in Cape Girardeau; the Center for Missouri Studies in Colombia; the Post Art Library and the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin; the Hannibal Arts Council to Hannibal; and the Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum.
Carlson said the museum is proud of the collaboration and the stories each piece tells across the state.
“It shows the extent of the type of artists who are in this state and also the importance of the subjects they have chosen to represent. Sometimes it’s very abstract and sometimes it’s very concrete, ”she said.
Across the hall, some of the best pieces from decades of art collection by local entrepreneur Joe Gray can be viewed by the public.
“What we wanted to be able to do with this exhibition was not only to celebrate this collection that he started and founded in the 60s and that he continued with his children … But also to talk about these different types of topics. Carlson said.
Each part of the exhibit focuses on a different section of Gray’s collection, from pieces depicting Native Americans to fires to sailing. Browsing through Gray’s huge collection, museum curators said it was a task to pick out some of the most eye-catching works of art.
“(Gray) said one of his favorite things is collecting things that really touch you. And so I think each of these pieces does that,” Carlson said.
An advocate for the arts, Gray has not only collected art for decades, but uses it to boost morale by being on display at his local businesses.
“(He) kind of observed this over a period of time. It turns out that the artwork was really the catalyst to dramatically increase productivity, ”Carlson said.
To be able to exhibit works from the past and present, Carlson said they hope to inspire others about the importance of art.
“You don’t have to be the artist to make a difference in the artistic community. You can integrate the arts into your daily life, whether you are able to draw or not, and support the arts… And that can promote your overall health and well-being, ”she said.
Both exhibitions will be open from September 18 to November 7, 2021. The opening reception is free and open to the public. While the exhibits are on display, highlights of the permanent collection can be seen on the lower level of the museum.