Mississippi: Back Roads, Small Towns by Alan Strassman, Opening Reception, Tuesday, February 7, 7:00 pm, on view February 2-27, Gallery: In August 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till allegedly insulted a white woman at Bryant’s Grocery Store in Money, Mississippi. Three weeks later, in the Sumner, Mississippi Courthouse, an all-white jury acquitted his two killers after little more than an hour of deliberation. On January 24, 1956, Look Magazine published the confessions of the two killers who were reportedly paid $4,000 for their interview.
As a high school senior Alan Strassman wrote a prize-winning essay about the acquittal of Emmett Till’s killers. Sixty years later, he made a pilgrimage to the trial site - Sumner Courthouse and the Mississippi Delta - where he photographed back roads and crumbling small towns where cotton is no longer king.
Amateur photographer Alan Strassman’s work, widely exhibited in New England, has been acquired by corporate and private collectors and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A graduate of Princeton and the Harvard Business School, he also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Anima Mundi by Angela Mark, on view February 2-27, Main Hall: Latin for The Soul of the World, Anima Mundi is a pure ethereal spirit spread throughout all nature, the divine essence where all of life’s energy, past, present and future, reside. The idea originated with Plato and similar concepts exist in eastern philosophy and with the alchemists.
Intrigued by the concept of the world having a soul, Angela Mark embarked on this series of paintings. As with people, she imagined the world soul as one of both purity and conflict. When pure, the world soul is strong and radiant. When in conflict the world soul is weak and slowly losing its life force. For the spirit plants and trees the Anima Mundi is a means of survival and a way for them to communicate with one another.
In the last century as the world experiences climate change, the Anima Mundi is in conflict and it could well disappear completely if the ecosystem becomes too unbalanced. It is an integral part of the world without which it cannot exist.
Since the early 1980s Angela Mark has been in exhibits in Europe and throughout the U.S. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The International Electrographic Art Museum, Cuenca, Spain, Wadsworth Library, Hartford and others.
Teen Gallery and Second Floor Display Cases:
Portraits and Ceramics from Newton North High School, second floor Teen Gallery, on view through spring 2017: After looking at portraits by artists like Max Beckman and Oscar Kokoschka as well as Fauvist works and finally the work of Jean Michael Basquiat, students created their own Expressionist portraits. Working with oil pastels, the students used color as a way to enhance the expressions.
Students worked with negative space, scale, texture, surface and volume to create the ceramics in the display cases. Some students chose to tell a story or work with shape to create provocative forms.
Thanks to Eric Blomster of Abraxis Framing Co. in Newton, who provided the frames cost-free. (Image by: M. Haider)
February displays will be on view through 2/27.
Atrium Cases One: Learn more about Frederick Douglass’ extraordinary life and his connections to the local antislavery movement in a display organized by Historic Newton. Come to the related program on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00 pm.
Atrium Case Two: Find out about the May 17, 2016 Walk for Hunger. Info: projectbread.org.
Three Main Hall Cases: Learn about the Sierra Club. Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization -- with more than two million members and supporters. Info: sierraclub.org/massachusetts.
Third Floor Language and Literacy Center Country Display: Learn about Egypt from a display of books, CDs and DVDs!
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