ALBANY — The Albany Museum of Art will bid farewell to Executive Director Paula Williams, who is retiring July 1, and will have a special announcement at the Summer Exhibitions Reception set for 6 to 8 p.m. on June 27.
The event is free and open to the public.
Officially opening at the reception will be three new exhibitions that will continue at the museum through Oct. 12:
♦ “Figure Forward,” works by Jill Frank, Jaime Bull and William Downs, in the Haley Gallery;
♦ “Educators as Artists, a Juried College Faculty Exhibition” in the East Gallery, and
♦ “Fragments of a Violent World,” nano photography by Michael Oliveri, in the West Gallery.
“The art is always first and foremost,” Williams, who has served five years in her second stint as executive director of the AMA, said. “That is intrinsic in everything we do at the AMA. We have three fantastic new exhibitions that look at life from different perspectives — from a new take on the female figure to the educator’s viewpoint to the microscopic world few of us ever have the opportunity to see.
“I do deeply appreciate being included in this event, and I’m looking forward to the announcement that will be of special significance to the museum.”
“Figure Forward” includes the work of three Georgia artists. It is AMA Guest Curator Didi Dunphy’s interpretation of the original exhibition curated by Sarah Higgins — now editor and art director of Art Papers — at the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University.
Dunphy says “Figure Forward” offers “a sharp departure from the way the female figure traditionally has been depicted in art.”
In the exhibition, Frank, through her photography, attempts to capture the layers as individuals shift between their authenticity and the way they present themselves as part of a group or in reaction to observation. Her series that will be on view, “The Creek,” was photographed in the Hudson Valley of New York in 2018.
Downs brings his extensive experience of drawing figures from life together with references to art history, creating drawings that defy straightforward interpretation and present a dreamlike, timeless sense. His work balances on a fine line between figure study and psychological allegory.
Bull approaches bodies, especially women’s bodies, with affectionate humor and a celebratory, feminist perspective. She takes clothing such as spandex, one-piece bathing suits and workout attire and stuffs them — often with shopping bags — to create lumpy, curvaceous, slouching figures.
In the East Gallery, Educators as Artists will include 20 works of art by 15 faculty members at seven colleges and universities in Southwest Georgia and North Florida.
Educators whose works are included in the show are Carrie Anne Baade, Charles Badland, Chalet Comella Baker, Amy Fleming, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Clinton Sleeper, Anne Howard Stagg and Robert Austin Yorke, all of Florida State University; Richard Peterman and Selena Nawrocki, both of Valdosta State University; Scott Marini of Albany State University; Charles Wells of Georgia Southwestern State University; Rich Curtis of Thomas University; Donna May Hatcher of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and Chris Johnson of Andrew University.
The “Educators as Artists” exhibition was juried by Hannah Israel, professor of art and gallery director at Columbus State University.
In the West Gallery, Oliveri combines photography and science to produce work for “Fragments of a Violent World.” The exhibition will explore the microscopic world of entymology. Oliveri uses a scanning electron microscope to create images that trigger observers’ visual memories in unexpected ways.
A fourth exhibition in the Hodges Regional Sales Gallery, “Inspiring Wellness Through the Arts,” opened earlier in June and comprises artwork of Dr. Jose Tongol, an oncologist at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Sales of Tongol’s artwork benefit the Gloria Tongol Cancer Wellness Fund, with a portion going to the AMA.