Call and Response, Song Festival

Spring has arrived at the Newport Art Museum, and music will again literally and conceptually fill its galleries.

Begun in 2020, “Call & Response” has been one of the museum’s most popular exhibits. As with a “call and response” in music, this show features artists responding to other artists. The Newport Art Museum houses approximately 3,000 works of art, including prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, paintings, textiles, and decorative arts. The museum also keeps archives related to its history. For this third “Call & Response”, the museum has invited three regional artists to participate: Diane Barceló, Emily Belz and On-Kyeong Seong.

Exhibiting artists were free to explore and see everything in the collection. By making research appointments, artists have seen everything from paintings and quilts to chess sets and cameos. One artist even chose the museum’s main building (John NA Griswold House) as her inspiration. Each artist responded with an original artwork, or series of artworks, in any medium. The final exhibition, visible until May 8, presents the new creations of each artist alongside the works from the collection that inspired them. While highlighting the creativity of regional artists, “Call & Response” presents objects from the museum’s collection, from storage and galleries, in a new context: through the eyes of working artists.

On Saturday, April 16 from 2-4 p.m., the museum will host the Newport String Project in the galleries for a live chamber music performance – a celebration of spring that will lift your spirits – just in time for Newport Daffodil Days.

For this concert, the Quartet will perform the rarely heard Vistas al Mar by Catalan composer Eduard Toldra Soler, inspired by the maritime poetry of Joan Maragall. The performance will also feature the contemporary classic Entr’acte by Caroline Shaw. The quartet is delighted to be joined by guest artist Jesse Holstein (viola) for a performance of Brahms’ monumental String Quintet No. 2 in G major.

Guests will enjoy seating in the Ilgenfritz Gallery, where “Call & Response” will be on view, during this inspiring performance. Seating is limited and reservations are highly recommended at newportartmuseum.org/events.

Additionally, on May 22 at 4:30 p.m., the museum will host “Song Fest!”, a long-awaited return of live choral performances, featuring all of the programs of the Newport County Choral Collective.

The Newport County Youth Chorus Prep Chorus will perform songs they learned during the “Music From Around the World” and “Broadway Show Tunes” sessions. The Middle School Ensemble and the Aquidneck Singers will sing songs they have learned throughout this year, performing together for the first time since January 2020. Audience members will hear music in different styles and in different languages ​​and will also enjoy familiar songs such as “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “A-tisket, A-tasket”. Reservations are strongly recommended at newportartmuseum.org/events. A suggested admission donation of $20 per person, or $40 per family, will be payable at the door Per state recommendations, masks are not required, but are recommended for those who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated.

Sarah Cahill, hailed as “a remarkable pianist and fearless illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times and “a brilliant and charismatic advocate of modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York, has commissioned and premiered more of seventy compositions for solo piano. “The Future is Female” piano marathon focuses on piano literature with more than 70 compositions by women around the world, from the Baroque to the present day, including new commissioned works. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 5 at 3 p.m. when the museum, in partnership with Newport Classical, will host this marathon four-hour performance during which audience members can sit and listen for any length of time, go and come and enjoy the galleries. This performance is dedicated to Joan Sweeney and Jim Godbout in recognition of their generous support of Newport Classical, and will be free with admission to the Newport Art Museum.

Event tickets, registration for summer art camp and adult classes, and information about past, present, and future exhibitions are available now at newportartmuseum.org, or stop by the museum at 76 Bellevue Ave., Newport.

“At the Museum”, provided by the Newport Art Museum, appears monthly in The Daily News and online at newportri.com. For more information, call 401-848-8200.


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Reggie S. Williams