New Art Exhibitions Funded by Grants Totaling Over $300,000

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Two new art exhibitions, a national tour of an existing film exhibition, a curatorial research fellowship focused on the Republic of Georgia and the maintenance of film program operations will be supported by grants totaling $304,000 received by the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

The museum received a $150,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, three grants totaling $120,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts and a $34,000 research curatorial fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts - all in the past two months, said Elisa Isaacson, the museum's director of foundation and corporate relations.

The grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts will support three distinct projects: an exhibition featuring conceptual art from Northern and Southern California titled "State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970," a solo exhibition of San Francisco-based former graffiti artist Barry McGee and a national tour of one of the Pacific Film Archive's current exhibitions, "Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000."

The exhibition on California art - a project that the museum has partnered with the Orange County Museum of Art to implement - will include traditional forms of media, such as drawings, writings and video. The exhibition will also recreate noteworthy performance pieces from the past, including some that go on for several days.

According to Isaacson, McGee was selected for a solo exhibition because he is one of the few artists who have successfully made the transition from the fringe world of street art to the established art world without compromising his vision.

"The National Endowment for the Arts wants to make art accessible throughout the country - not just in pockets that provide a lot of cultural opportunities," she said.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts selected the museum as a recipient of a curatorial research fellowship to further develop its collection of films from the Republic of Georgia, a project that will eventually culminate in an international tour.

"There's a poetic spirit about the Republic of Georgia," said Susan Oxtoby, the archive's senior film curator and grant applicant. "They have a great tradition of landscape cinema and poetic sense about the language and images used."

Oxtoby will travel to sites that house collections of Georgian film over the next year to establish relationships with other experts and seek exchanges.

Rachel Bers, program officer for the Andy Warhol Foundation, said in an e-mail that Oxtoby's proposal was selected because of its impressive scope and depth.

"We are hopeful that her efforts will result in a film program that brings works rarely if ever seen by American audiences to the U.S. and encourages future scholarship in this rich but under-examined area of film history," said Bers in the e-mail.

A $150,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will be used to sustain Pacific Film Archive operations over the next three years.

The museum raises between $800,000 and $1 million in grants each year, Isaacson said.

"Being supported by these foundations and agencies is more important than ever in this economic climate," she said. "We're really happy that they recognize the importance of what we're doing."

Tags: BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE, WILLIAM AND FLORA HEWLETT FOUNDATION, ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS


Madeleine Key is the lead development and capital projects reporter. Contact her at [email protected]



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