Bruce Museum Presents: Thought Leaders in Art and Science

Bruce Museum Presents is an exciting new series of monthly public programs featuring thought leaders in the fields of art and science.

Showcasing experts on compelling subjects of relevance and interest to members and visitors to the Bruce Museum, as well as the communities of greater Fairfield County and beyond, Bruce Museum Presents launched on Thursday, September 5, 2019, with Generation : How Contemporary Women Artists Are Re-Shaping Today’s Art WorldThe series continued on Thursday, October 3 with a fascinating discussion, From the Bottom of the World: The Art and Science of Antarctica.

Upcoming Bruce Museum Presents programs:

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:30-8:30 pm

Rewind/Fast-Forward: Celebrating the Artist Documentaries of Olympia Stone

Olympia Stone is an independent producer of documentary films about art and artists. Her first documentary, The Collector, explored the five-decade career of her father, famed NYC gallery owner and art collector Allan Stone. Since then, her award-winning films continue to probe the motivations and personal histories of eclectic artists as a way of providing insight into their work.

Join Olympia Stone, and two of Stone’s artist subjects—James Grashow (The Cardboard Bernini) and Elizabeth King (Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King)—for a retrospective of these astonishing and illuminating films, and their maker. Moderated by Leonard Jacobs.

First broadcast nationwide on PBS in 2012, The Cardboard Bernini won Best Documentary at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2013, and was an official selection at 20 additional festivals, including Sebastopol and Santa Fe. The Cardboard Bernini examines the life and work of artist James Grashow as he spends five years building a giant cardboard fountain, inspired by the work of the famous Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Propelled by a crucial event documented in the film, Grashow is driven to experience the process of creation and loss by making an extraordinary artwork that will be destroyed in the end.

Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King engages the viewer in the work of sculptor and stopaction filmmaker Elizabeth King, who embarks on each new project by posing a single question to herself: “Can this be physically done?” Tracing King’s creative flow, curiosity, and obsessive drive to solve the inevitable series of artistic and technical problems that arise in creating her disconcerting sculptures and animations, this documentary film explores King’s passion about the mind/body riddle, the science of emotion, the human/machine interface, and those things a robot will never be able to do.

Doors open 6:20 pm; reception begins at 6:30 pm, followed by panel and Q&A, 7:00-8:30 pm. 

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Thursday, December 5, 2019, 6:30-8:30 pm

Can Art Drive Change on Climate Change? An Evening with Alexis Rockman

Among current American artists profoundly motivated by nature and its future—from the specter of climate change to the implications of genetic engineering—Alexis Rockman holds a high place of honor. Born in 1962 and raised in New York City, Rockman has been the subject of many international solo and group exhibitions, including a major retrospective organized at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Join us for a night of captivating discussion and debate featuring Alexis Rockman and a specially curated panel of thought leaders in contemporary art and science.

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Bruce Museum Presents inaugurates an exciting time of change and progress for this institution,” said Robert Wolterstorff, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “As we prepare our expansion in order to become the region’s leading cultural center, the Bruce Museum is poised to present dynamic and unique educational programming equal to the caliber of our new spaces and collections.”

Suzanne Lio, Managing Director of the Bruce Museum, conceived Bruce Museum Presents. “We have long been an important resource in our community for forward-thinking public programs,” Lio notes. “This series raises it to the next level. By leveraging our unique network of institutional and professional connections, the series will offer unprecedented access for our members and visitors to major thought leaders in the fields of art and science.”

Arts consultant Leonard Jacobs, former Director of Cultural Institutions at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, produces the series. “Bruce Museum Presents will be a signature complement to the Bruce’s exhibitions and public programs,” Jacobs says. “Through talks, panel discussions, and fascinating interactive events, the goal is to support and enhance the Museum’s mission to ‘promote the understanding and appreciation of art and science to enrich the lives of all people.’”