GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-01-12 - Las Vegas Weekly

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l a s v e g a s w e e k ly 11 0 1 . 1 2 . 1 7 What's the purpose behind the latest name change? We have Mesoamerican art objects in the Braunstein gallery, and we house one of the most fa- mous and inspiring donations of contemporary art in recent American history—the Nevada portion of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel 50x50 Collection. [Given] the fact that we have those two massive collections and that we're growing our own collec- tion of contemporary artists with ties to Southern Nevada, it's natural to have "of Art" by the name. During my time at UNLV, it felt like more students should have been visiting the Barrick. How do you attract more? For a lot of students, if they don't have a class [at the museum] and they're not feeling adventurous, they may not even walk through the doors until their final year. But we're changing this. English 101 classes have been visiting for the past few years. They come through and look at art and describe what they see through essays, discussion and dialogue. When you ask them to describe what they see, sometimes you have to wait through the silence—they may not know how to describe an abstract piece of art. After they leave, although some may not be converted, they at least know that an artist has intent and that they're bringing their own choices to the work. How can you further extend the experience to the community? I want to bring in Clark County School District students for tours. I want to have a school bus out there every day, so that when they fi- nally go to college and we ask them, "Have you ever been to an art museum?" more than half of them raise their hand. What do you hope visitors take away from their Barrick experience? It's really important to see artwork in person. I remember the first time I saw an artwork in person that I had only seen in a flat magazine—it was a crazy experience. And we get to see a version of that here almost every day; we get to see people have those reactions. Our tours are not about telling people what to think or what the art is about. They're very interactive, question-led tours. If I get up there and tell them why an art piece is important, that's really not that interesting. If they can come to the conclu- sion that something is important to them, or even not, at least they're engaging. You'll unveil the changes when the new semester begins this month? Yes, we have a huge open- ing celebration coming up. For the first time in a while, we're opening three shows at once: our Mexican and contemporary art mask show [Masking] curated by Karen Roop [as- sistant director of English composition]; Salvador Dali prints and books [Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here] in our Teaching Gallery, curated by Lee Cannarozzo, our history intern; and Process, an amazing, multimedia exhibition of work that focuses on the artists' studio and their process versus the end product. What other programming do you have coming up? Kara Joslyn, an artist featured in Process, is coming on February 16 to do a fine art, paper- building, all-ages workshop to make large-scale sculptures. John Bauer [also featured in Process] will talk about Photoshop, mediated experience and painting, and you can see his works. He'll also give a lecture as part of the University Forum [Lecture Series], which should be huge. On April 10, [author] Sharon Louden will do a panel all about artists and their extended practice—artists as cultural producers. Beyond the shows, what else does the Barrick have planned for 2017? We're starting a 50 Gifts for 50 Years campaign, looking for monetary gifts and gifts of artwork for the collection. We're creat- ing catalogs, which we haven't done in a while. I'm looking to have a small museum shop. I also want to invite artists to lead Visitor Made series workshops, so that people have a chance to speak with the makers of what's in our exhibition hall. How do you think the Barrick figures into the Valley's overall art scene? You can always rely that we're going to be open—we're one of the few places that has 9-5 hours, and we're open six days a week—and that we'll have engaging programming. And one of the most important things is that we're free. Our core collection of contemporary artists with ties to Southern Nevada is an asset to not only UNLV and educational art scholars and historians, but to Las Vegans from all walks of life who are searching for a deepened sense of pride in our city. If we celebrate what we have, and we're proud of it and support it, then this dialogue, this broken record of us not being a cultural city, might start to fade a little bit. For more of our interview with Kerlin, visit he fine arts space soon to be known as the Barrick Museum of Art began life in 1967, even before it was part of the UNLV campus proper. In 1975, it became the UNLV Museum of Natural History and moved into the school's old gym space (hence the presence of cartoon-wolf mascot Beauregard on the gallery floor today). Its first contemporary art exhibit took place in 1986, three years before Marjorie Barrick got added to the name. In the decades since, the museum has continued to evolve, and in celebration of its 50th birthday, it has planned some innovative changes for 2017, kicked off by this month's rebranding: adding "of Art" to the name, the development of a new logo and more. Interim director Alisha Kerlin, 35, filled us in. Barrick MuseuM of art Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Thursday until 8 p.m.); Saturday, noon-5 p.m.; suggested donation $2-$5. UNLV, 702-895-3381.

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