PAINTINGS BY ST. PETERSBURG ARTIST JACK BARRETT AND INUIT PRINTS AND SCULPTURE PROVIDE MORE REASONS TO VISIT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, ST. PETERSBURG
MEDIA CONTACT: David Connelly, email@example.com or 727.896.2667, ext. 224
St. Petersburg, Fla.-- At the core of Jack Barrett’s vibrant, whimsical canvases is the steady hand of an expert draftsperson. He once said, “Drawing is where you show your soul.” Indeed, he drew inspiration from hundreds of sketchbooks, filled to the brim with drawings of people he observed on the bus, at cafés, on street corners, in doctors’ waiting rooms.
Jack Barrett: People Watching brings together works that convey the breadth of Mr. Barrett’s explorations of the human figure. In addition to paintings and sketchbooks, select sculptures will be on view. This vibrant exhibition opens Saturday, November 6, 2016 and continues through Sunday, February 19, 2017 in the Lee Malone Gallery. The Tampa Bay Times is the Media Sponsor of all Museum exhibitions.
A Gallery Talk with Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill and his wife Louise Barrett will be held at 3 p.m. on opening day, Saturday, November 5, which is also the late artist’s birthday.
Jack Barrett (1929–2008) attended Carnegie Institute and graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He worked as an illustrator for the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) from 1970 until 1990. Upon retirement, he devoted himself to fine art. He won numerous awards for both. His work is in the collection of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, St. Petersburg College, and in many private collections. He had a career retrospective, A Soul’s Journey, at the Morean Arts Center in 2008.
In her review of that exhibition, Lennie Bennett, Art Critic of the Tampa Bay Times, wrote that “he veers from simple figuration to complex abstraction, from suave brush strokes to heavy impasto, from starkly contrasting colors to elegant modulations.” She also noted that “his sketches and studies are treasures.”
This is the first time Mr. Barrett’s art has been shown at the MFA and is part of the ongoing “Spotlight” series, which Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill developed to recognize the work of talented area artists.
THE FAR NORTH: INUIT PRINTS AND SCULPTURE
Sunday, November 19, 2016-Sunday, March 19, 2017, Works on Paper Gallery
This Museum premiere of 30 works by accomplished Inuit artists spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dr. Teresa Wilkins of the Museum staff is the curator. She specialized in non-Western art during her graduate study at Indiana University Bloomington.
The Inuit people of the Arctic, formerly known as the Eskimo, have combined traditional and contemporary worlds in their work and have developed a distinctive visual language using modern materials and techniques. Through their art, the Inuit have continued a vital storytelling tradition among themselves, while reaching out to the broader public. They are especially known for their prints and sculpture.
Art is part of traditional knowledge in Inuit society, also encompassing storytelling, mythology, music, and dancing. Standard motifs include depictions of animal and human figures and scenes of everyday life and rituals. Interaction with the Western world increased in the seventeenth century with the rise of the whaling industry, bringing changes to the Inuit way of life and the beginnings of the Inuit art market.
Experienced Inuit sculptors began to produce ivory miniatures as trade goods, everything from small figural sculptures like Polar Bears to utilitarian pieces such as Cribbage Board (both nineteenth century). Trade between the Inuit and the West increased as explorers visited the region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the late 1940s, the Canadian government saw the carving industry as a source of income for the Inuit. As art became more of a commodity, it began to change in size, media, motif, and style.
Printmaking was introduced to the Inuit by noted Canadian artist and designer James Archibald Houston in the 1950s. Seasoned carvers, the Inuit immediately took to the stonecut method. Artists such as Peter Morgan (born 1951), who began sculpting at age 12, created imaginative prints such as A-Ta-Ta! My Finger! (1975) and The Hunter Who Pretended (1976).
These are just a few of the gems in The Far North, which once again reveals the diversity and richness of the Museum’s collection. For most, this exhibition will be a new journey, a discovery, an encounter with an extraordinary culture and its unforgettable art.
For a complete list of public programs, please visit mfastpete.org.
Gallery Talk on Inuit Prints and Sculpture by Members Services Manager Dr. Teresa Wilkins
Sunday, November 20, 3 p.m., followed by reception
Dr. Teresa Wilkins joined the MFA in 2014 after serving as the Assistant Curator in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas for the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University Bloomington. She has also been Exhibits Coordinator at the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in Clewiston.
Among the exhibitions she has curated are: Seminole Music: To Sing as a Group—Multiple Voices of Seminole Music, Cultures in Flux: Art of the Pacific Northwest, and Youth, Dancing, and Joy: Photographs by Malick Sidibe. She has written catalogue essays, including on Inuit art, and has presented papers at the annual conferences of professional organizations.
Dr. Wilkins holds her BA magna cum laude in non-Western art history from the University of South Florida, where she was a Presidential Scholar; her MA in Pacific art history from the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and her PhD in non-Western art history from Indiana University Bloomington.
Book Club @ MFA, Presented by Keep St. Pete Lit, Thursday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.: Melanie McGrath’s The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic will add another layer of understanding to The Far North.
OUR AMERICA: THE LATINO PRESENCE IN AMERICAN ART
Thursday, October 27, 2016-Sunday, January 22, 2017
Local Sponsors: Bright House Networks; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; Telemundo Tampa; and the Tampa Bay Times
Our America is one of the most expansive exhibitions of Latino art ever presented in the Tampa Bay area. It features 75 works by 62 gifted modern and contemporary artists. They range from vintage posters to abstract paintings, from compelling photographs to dramatic sculpture. The art is as diverse as Latinos themselves. Dr. E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, organized this traveling exhibition.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo, and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
The MFA at 255 Beach Drive N.E. has a world-class collection, with works by Monet, Morisot, Rodin, O’Keeffe, Willem de Kooning, and many other great artists. Also displayed are ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian, Asian, African, pre-Columbian, and Native American art. Selections from the photography collection, one of the largest and finest in the Southeast, are now on view in a gallery dedicated to the medium.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, until 8 p.m. on Thursday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is only $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursday. Regular admission is $17 for adults, $15 for those 65 and older, and $10 for students seven and older, including college students with current I.D. Children under seven and Museum members are admitted free. Groups of 10 or more adults pay only $12 per person and children $4 each with prior reservations. The MFA Café is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. For more information, please call 727.896.2667 or visit mfastpete.org.