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The National Academy Museum and School: Exhibits and Classes



The venerable, and exciting, National Academy Museum and School will host "Creative Mischief," its Fifth Annual juried show of works by faculty, alumni, and students from May 18  to  May 29. The vast, 100 work exhibit will fill the galleries in the beautiful Fifth Avenue Museum as well as in the Academy School on East 89th Street. Academy School Director Maurizio Pellegrin enthusiastically explains that all subjects, techniques, and disciplines will be represented. The pride of a truly international institution with 2,000 students a year coming from 40 countries, the show will reflect diverse histories, sensibilities, and approaches to art. Viewers will see everything from site-specific installations to figurative and abstract paintings, to photography, videos, and animation.

"Creative Mischief" is following a particularly handsome student show, "Black & White Perspectives: Works on Paper," that ran from April 14 to May 8.  Director Pellegrin explains he wanted to produce an exhibit that bypassed the "indulgence of color" and focused on weight, mass, volume, and lines. Seemingly imposing limits, the common denominators of black, white, and paper actually stimulated an impressive mix of interpretations. New ways of seeing and doing were found everywhere. There were wall pieces and floor pieces; big, small, and in-between sizes; works of multiple parts or multiple layers; paper that rippled and flowed freely on the wall and floor as well as art contained behind glass and frame. Victoria Borisova, a second-year student from Russia, explained she grew up around clothing with a fashion designer mother. Using paper, wire, and thread, she deconstructed clothing patterns to create a 3-dimensional black and white abstract design, "Dance of the Patterns," that seemed to move rhythmically on its pedestal. Speaking about the school, she said, "There are lots of talented people who think outside the box and inspire me." Joan Lane, a New York native with ties to Vermont, represented a more traditional mode, exhibiting  a matted and framed woodcut, "Freedom," that, in heavy, strong, disjointed white lines on a black ground, beautifully caught the strength and pride of a rearing horse. In "Black Coral,"Poramit Thantapalit used interlocking recycled cardboard bathed in acrylic paint and graphite to create a large abstract mass of flowers in shades of black, gray, and white. The viewer was drawn into "This Happy Breed of Man, This Little World" by Micaela Kramer,  a very large and evocative collage that incorporated asphalt, gravel, newsprint, and acrylic paint.

The National Academy School, opened in 1826, offers a wide array of classes for all ages and goals. Studio Art Intensive is a 2 or 3-year certificate program based on a minimum of 12 courses a year including a concentration in painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, or new media. Traditional, contemporary, and experimental approaches are offered. Practical application and career and portfolio development are a focus. Faculty are professional working artists.

Art camps for youngsters are being offered this summer from June 6 through August 5. The one-week sessions are Art & Drama (ages 5-9), Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, & Sculpture (ages 10-13), and Drawing, Digital Photography, 3D Modeling & Printing, Mixed Media, Mural Painting, Painting, Sculpture, and Video (ages 13-17). A broad range of styles, techniques, materials, and tools are offered. Materials are included. The summer ends with the Annual Young Artists Exhibition. Registration is open at: 212-996-1908, or learn more at: www.nationalacademy.org.

The National Academy Museum on Fifth Avenue has announced it will close on June 1 and put its building up for sale.  The National Academy School will continue to function normally.


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