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Art for the Senses: Fitchburg Art Museum exhibit combines creative media

Boston-based artist Adria Arch’s recent experimentation with installation—as seen in her “hybrid paintings”—combines the artist’s interests in color, pattern, and engaging the audience through fresh ways of seeing and experiencing painting. Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor, on view September 21–November 10, 2019 at Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM), inserts Arch’s new “hybrid paintings” into FAM’s ongoing exhibition Evoking Eleanor, which features the work of Eleanor Norcross (1854–1923), founder of the Fitchburg Art Museum, prominent art collector, community leader, and accomplished artist in her own right.

Arch’s installation of colorful shapes painted on lightweight plastic with mixed media slyly references the palette and composition of Norcross’s paintings and collection of decorative objects from the nineteenth to early twentieth century.

Arch also imagines Norcross’s era through visual suggestions of the period’s fashion: cut velvet, antique hat netting, and brocaded fabric. The accompanying sound designed by composer and musician Ken Field enhances Arch’s playful interpretation. Visitors will be invited to move through Reframing Eleanor and to touch Arch’s suspended artworks, which are inspired by both the formal properties of painting and spatial considerations of sculpture.

This exhibition is organized by FAM Curator Lisa Crossman with Terrana Curatorial Fellow Marjorie Rawle. It is the first in a series of solo shows to respond to the legacy of FAM’s beloved founder.

Left: Eleanor Norcross, Mrs. E. R. Miller, n.d., oil on canvas, 29” x 23.5.” Right: Detail from Adria Arch, Reframing Eleanor, 2019, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo courtesy of Will Howcroft.

Fall Movement Workshops at FAM

In conjunction with Arch’s exhibition, FAM is hosting a series of workshops for young people based on the intermingling of art forms. All workshops will be run by artist Adria Arch with dancer and professor of mathematics at Fitchburg State University, Catherine Buell, and Karen Krolak, Artistic Director/ co-founder of Monkeyhouse. FAM Curator Lisa Crossman and Executive Director of the Fitchburg Historical Society Susan Navarre will provide historical context related to Arch’s and Norcross’s artworks and the cultural references made by each.

Open to teens and adults age 12 and up. Maximum 15 dancers per workshop. Preregistration is required. Participants are encouraged to attend both workshops, although it is not required. To register for the workshops, go to workshops or call 978-345-4207.

Workshop 1: Moving Pictures: Responding to Art through Movement

A lesson in improvisational modern and contemporary dance techniques held in the galleries through the suspended sculptures of Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor.
FAM Members $5, non-members $10
Wednesday, October 2, 4:30 pm

Workshop 2: What's in Sight: Site-Specific Creation

Let's see how visual artists and dancers respond to a place or object. We'll call on color, shape, and space as our inspiration.
FAM Members $5, non-members $10.
Wednesday, October 9, 4:30 pm

Public Event: Leaping,Twisting,Turning

An improvisational movement piece by young local dancers that responds to Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor. Attendees participate in a guided experience as we respond to the art with movement. No experience necessary!
FAM Members FREE, non-members FREE with admission.
Sunday, October 20 at 1:30pm

The programming is generously sponsored by Fitchburg State University with funding from Mass Humanities.

Artist Biography

Adria Arch is a visual artist based in Boston, MA. She has had solo exhibitions at Danforth Art in Framingham (MA), the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury (MA), and the Hunt Gallery at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. She has completed site-specific murals at Lesley University's Porter Square building in Cambridge (MA), Stonehill College, and Danforth Art in Framingham (MA). Her work is included in many private and public collections including the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Fidelity Corporation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

About FAM

FAM Mission: The Fitchburg Art Museum is a catalyst for learning, creativity, and community building. We accomplish this mission with art historical collections and exhibitions, special exhibitions of contemporary New England art, education programs, public art projects, community partnerships, and creative economy initiatives.

FAM Vision: All decisions, initiatives, projects, and programs at the Fitchburg Art Museum reflect our commitment to education and the greater community. The Fitchburg Art Museum serves the cities of Fitchburg and Leominster and the surrounding communities in North Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Founded in 1925, FAM plays a vital role in the cultural life of the region and has recently repositioned itself to focus on community access and service. FAM uses its artistic and educational resources to aid in the economic revitalization of Fitchburg, and the Museum maintains active educational partnerships with the local school systems, as well as Fitchburg State University. FAM is an engine for creativity, education, community building and fun!

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