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Old art works featured in new exhibits


Photo
chris coduto/arizona daily wildcat
Kevin Gilliam, an exhibit specialist senior at the UA Museum of Art, installs works from Making the Scene, Arizona Style. The exhibit will run from Oct. 9 to Jan. 23.
By Kylee Dawson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 7, 2004
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Distinguishing good art from bad art can be tricky.

And while everyone is entitled to their opinion, certain people are just more qualified to call good art by its name and send portraits of Elvis on black velvet back to the yard sales from whence they came.

Having worked at the Museum of Art for 17 years, it's safe to say that Betsy Hughes can definitely tell a Pollock from a kindergarten art project.

As the assistant curator at the UA Museum of Art, Hughes helped curate two new exhibits: "Zingers: Important Works from the 20th Century" and "Making the Scene, Arizona Style."

"Both exhibits are a means to rotate the Museum's 5,000 object collection thus providing visitors the opportunity to view works they may have not seen before, and to view objects that may be among their 'favorites' in the Museum's collection," Hughes said.

All drawn from the museum's permanent collection, there are 19 art works in the Zingers exhibit, which presents a selection of European and American works from the 20th century, Hughes said.

"Included are artists active in many of the major art movements of the time, including Surrealist works by Jean Arp, Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage Tanguy; early American Modernist paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and Arthur Dove and Abstract Expressionists works by Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock," Hughes said.

The "Making the Scene" exhibit, which includes 25 art works from the Museum's permanent collection, is "devoted to artists who found inspiration for their art in the Arizona landscape," Hughes said.

Included in the exhibit are paintings of the Grand Canyon by Gunnar Widforss, Ernest Blumenschien's painting of Roosevelt Lake, George Elbert Burr's scene of the Superstition Mountains and scenes of Southern Arizona from Oracle to Nogales by Doug Denniston, Robert McMillan, Bruce McGrew and Jim Waid, Hughes said.

Hughes definitely worked hard on both exhibits, but said she also had assistance from others.

"Both 'Zingers' and 'Making the Scene' were exhibitions conceptualized by the Museum's former Chief Curator, Dr. Peter S. Briggs," Hughes said. "Dr. Briggs left the museum at the end of June and the task of organizing the exhibits fell to me."

With the responsibilities of selecting art works, conducting research and preparing educational materials, Hughes said it can take several months to several years to prepare an exhibit, depending on its complexity.

"I began the serious selection of the objects for each show over the summer," Hughes said. "Research and writing of

didactic materials was the result of research already in the museum's records and new research by myself and graduate assistant Marcin Aleturowicz," who studies art history, she added.

"Zingers: Important Works from the 20th Century" and "Making the Scene, Arizona Style" open Saturday.

"Zingers" will run through Jan. 9 and "Making the Scene" will run through Jan. 23.

The UA Museum of Art is located on the southeast corner of North Park Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard. Admission is free.



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