ROCKLAND — Beginning Wednesday, July 13, the Farnsworth Art Museum will celebrate painter, printmaker, illustrator, author, puppeteer, poet, and storyteller Ashley Bryan with three events that honor her lasting contributions to Maine’s role in American art. Bryan, this year’s Maine in America recipient of the award, died Feb. 4 at the age of 98. An exhibition that brings together examples of the artist’s work throughout his long career, including paintings, illustrations, puppets and stained glass, is on view in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery until December 31. .
When told in August 2021 that he was the 2022 winner, Bryan commented, “This recognition is more than a tribute to me; it is a tribute to all Maine artists and especially those of color as it impacts the role Maine plays in American art. I hope that through my art everyone will see what is beautiful in themselves and explore something about art. Making art is one of the most adventurous experiences you can have – so always make art and create stories around ideas you have.
Three events at Farnsworth will celebrate Bryan over the course of a week. On Wednesday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Farnsworth invites everyone to join in a celebration of life for Ashley Bryan. This family event is free and open to the public. The party will mark what would have been the artist’s 99th birthday with artistic activities, followed by a birthday cake reception.
On Sunday, July 17, the Farnsworth will host a members preview and open house to honor Bryan. Starting at 11 a.m., members of Farnsworth are invited to preview the “Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return” exhibition. Then, at noon, all are invited as the Farnsworth celebrates the artist’s many contributions to art and culture with a musical performance, storytelling, art-making activities and more.
This is the 17th annual Maine Museum in America Award, which honors an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. Past winners include Toshiko Mori, Betsy Wyeth, Joyce Tenneson, Lois Dodd, the Shakers of Sabbath Day Lake, Matthew Simmons, Dahlov Ipcar, Paul Caponigro, Alex Katz, Robert Indiana, Will Barnet, Andrew Wyeth, John Wilmerding and more.
All three events will take place at the Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St. For more information or to register, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.
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