By Howard Pousner
The new year will bring a new view of what used to be the Ancient American Galleries at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Closed since late May, the galleries will reopen with an updated focus, covering a wider time frame and broader geography, and with a new name — Art of the Americas — on Feb. 9.
The reinstalled galleries will feature more than 425 works spanning 4,000 years, from 2000 BC to the 20th century.
Native North American art will be included in the re-installation, expanding the galleries’ prior focus on South and Central America.
Rebecca Stone, the Carlos’ Faculty Curator of Art of the Americas, organized the exhibit, which includes new art works from Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Significant additions include more space dedicated to Panamanian art, a new textile display and other art from Costa Rica, and several new cases of Colombian ceramics.
For the first time, the galleries will present cross-cultural displays, highlighting similarities and differences between neighboring cultures.
In addition to the new acquisitions and loans, other changes include the rewriting of display labels and case text to incorporate new research and discoveries. Many pieces previously on exhibit are being regrouped in different case designs.
The presentations reflect information small and large gleaned since the Ancient American display was mounted a decade ago. For instance, from observing whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, Stone discovered similar features on a female effigy that she had assumed was a woman transforming into a jaguar. The features, the curator came to realize, actually suggest a woman transforming into a whale shark.
A small exhibition of modern Southwestern ceramics will be on view in a changing exhibit space in the galleries when they reopen and will remain on view through 2013. “Walking in the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Melion-Clum Collection of Modern Southwestern Pottery” will include seed pots, red- and black-ware, vessels inspired by basketry and a large case of objects produced by the Quezada family of potters of Mata Ortiz, Mexico.
More on the Art of the Americas Galleries: www.carlos.emory.edu/new-art-of-americas.
Georgia advocacy group improves digital outreach
Georgia Arts Network, designated the state’s official arts advocacy organization by Americans for the Arts in 2010, has launched a revised Web site at www.gaartsnetwork.org.
The nonprofit organization changed its name from the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies last year, seeking to align its name with a broader mission of representing artists, arts organizations, arts educators and arts supporters across Georgia.
The website features news affecting the statewide arts community and will be expanding to include a Georgia arts events calendar.
Next up for the Arts Network is the annual Arts Advocacy Day at the state capitol on Jan. 29.
“We look forward to working with an ever-expanding network of members and partner organizations to advance the cause of the arts as a dynamic force in Georgia’s economy and a conservator of the story of our state’s proud culture,” Wayne Jones, president of the organization, said in a statement.
Jones also is executive director of Arts Connection, a multi-county collaborative arts agency based on the campus of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.