Icons & Mainstays
The upcoming art season promises a colorful mix of creative works from near and far
BY CATHERINE ENNS GRIGAS
From one of the most interesting artists working on the international scene to beloved local artists who gained fame painting the area’s natural beauty to an interactive exhibit focused on the human body, Treasure Coast art museums promise something for everyone this upcoming season.
Visitors to Vero Beach Museum of Art can look forward to exhibitions including iconic names in American art such as Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer, French poster art from the “Belle Époque” and a display of gilded bronze sculptures by renowned Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei.
The A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Fort Pierce opens its season with an exhibition featuring pop culture portraits by a husband and wife duo, then delves into familiar but popular territory with an exhibition of Highwaymen paintings that includes a nod to the 50th anniversary of the death of Alfred Hair, a central figure of the group. Hair was killed in a barroom brawl at the age of 29. Later, James Hutchinson, a Florida Hall of Fame artist, whose long career began as a student of A.E. Backus, will be honored with an exhibition of his works that include Florida and Hawaii landscapes as well as portraits of Seminole Indians.
The Elliott Museum will be showing “Magnificent Me,” a traveling exhibition from the Discovery Network that examines the biology of the human body with a host of hands-on activities. Showing in conjunction will be “In Her Image,” an exhibition by local artists from Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, using discarded mannequins as a form to create their art.
VERO BEACH MUSEUM OF ART
3001 Riverside Park Dr., Vero Beach
“L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters”
Oct. 19 to Jan. 12, 2020
This exhibition features 62 posters and ephemera by five grand masters of the medium: Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Alphonse Mucha, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The posters date from 1875 to 1910, the spirited era in France known as the Belle Époque. These pioneering artists reigned in Paris during this period of artistic proliferation, defining a never-before-seen — and never forgotten — art form. “L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters” was organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Visual Artists, Washington, D.C.
“Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold”
Now through Dec. 12
A dozen gilded bronze sculptures representing the animal symbols of the traditional Chinese zodiac face visitors in the museum’s rotunda. Ai Weiwei was inspired by twelve zodiac heads originally located at Yuanming Yuan (Old Summer Palace), an imperial retreat built in the 18th and 19th centuries outside of Beijing. In 1860, Anglo-French troops looted the original zodiac heads during the Second Opium War. The seven heads known to exist (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey and boar) have been returned to China. Ai Weiwei based seven of his sculptures on these originals while the remaining five (dragon, snake, goat, rooster and dog) are the artist’s reimagining of the missing sculptures.
“Fred Wilson, The Way the Moon’s in Love with the Dark (2017)”
Now through Dec. 31
Post Front Rotunda Fred Wilson’s chandelier creation engages visitors from the moment they enter the museum. It is over 8 feet high and 5 feet wide and is made of black murano glass, brass and steel.
“From Homer to Hopper: American Art from The Phillips Collection”
Feb. 1 to May 31, 2020
Holmes and Titelman Galleries
“From Homer to Hopper” presents some of the most important American paintings and sculptures from The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. The exhibition explores the history of American art from the late 19th century through the 1960s, as the country was establishing its artistic identity and setting its course for modern art. The selection of works encompasses the exacting realism of Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, the impressionist paintings of Childe Hassam and John Henry Twachtman, the evocative images of Edward Hopper and Charles Sheeler, and continues with the bold modernist abstractions of Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove and Georgia O’Keeffe.
A. E. BACKUS MUSEUM AND GALLERY
500 N. Indian River Dr., Fort Pierce
“Double Feature: Contemporary Icons”
Nov. 26 through Dec. 29
Husband and wife artists James and Candice Ceravolo, who go by the names Ceravolo and Candice CMC, explore themes of popular culture. Ceravolo’s works are richly colored images of cowboys, spacemen and celebrities. Candice CMC makes large scale portraits of famous people, made up entirely of tiny images of doughnuts. The exhibition is presented in cooperation with ArtLink International.
“Driving Force: Alfred Hair and the Florida Highwaymen”
Jan. 8 through Feb. 16, 2020
The distinct work of the African-American artists known as the Highwaymen is explored in an exhibition that focuses on Alfred Hair (1941-1970). As a young artist, Hair saw the landscape paintings he made as not only an artistic endeavor, but a commercial enterprise, and he is credited with encouraging the incredible output of the Highwaymen. The guest curator is Highwaymen art collector Roger Lightle. The exhibition leads up to the museum’s annual Highwaymen weekend celebration and the city’s Highwaymen festival.
“James F. Hutchinson: Visionary Truths”
Feb. 22 through April 26, 2020
As a teenager, James Hutchinson (born 1932) developed his artistic skills in the studio of A.E. “Bean” Backus and grew to become a renowned painter in his own right. This exhibition, drawn from his own collection, presents the artist’s story through his journey describing the beauty of places where he painted, including Florida, Jamaica and Hawaii. He is also known for his portraits of the Seminole people. Among a lifetime of honors, in 2011, Hutchinson was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
Through the Eye of the Camera
May 8 through June 19, 2020
This popular yearly competition focuses on the best works of photography as art with a juried exhibition that includes cash prizes for the winning exhibitions.
THE ELLIOT MUSEUM
825 N.E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart
“Between the Tides”
Now through Dec. 1An exhibition by artist Ron Garrett that explores the state’s maritime heritage includes mixed media sculptures, paintings and linocuts, along with etchings of marine life and shipwrecks discovered from Biscayne National Park up to the Treasure Coast.
Dec. 19 through March 15, 2020
The wonders of the human body are explored in this interactive exhibition from the Discovery network that is appropriate for all ages. Different medical technologies enable viewers to see the working of human systems, such as seeing, hearing, moving and thinking.
“In Her Image”
Dec. 12 through March 15, 2020
A juried exhibition focusing on women’s issues, Treasure Coast artists are invited to make a statement using discarded mannequins supplied by the Treasure Coast Art Association as the medium. Interested artists can find the prospectus on the Fort Pierce Art Club website, treasurecoastartassociation.org. The deadline for entry is Dec. 7. For more information, contact Jeanne Johansen at 772.579.1529 or email email@example.com.