New Bedford Art Museum winter exhibit to feature UMD artists and curators

UMass Dartmouth alumni and faculty will play major roles in the New Bedford Art Museum's upcoming winter exhibits that will run from Feb. 9 through May 22. The New Bedford Art Museum is located at 608 Pleasant Street, New Bedford.

UMass Dartmouth alumni and faculty will play major roles in the New Bedford Art Museum's upcoming winter exhibits that will run from Feb. 9 through May 22. The New Bedford Art Museum is located at 608 Pleasant Street, New Bedford. 

The museum's main galleries will feature the David Loeffler Smith Retrospective, curated by Kate Levin and Donald Beal. Smith is a former director of the Swain School of Design, which merged with UMass Dartmouth in 1988. Beal, also a Swain alumnus, teaches at the UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts. CVPA is also a major sponsor of the Smith exhibit. 

The Community Gallery highlights the paintings of the late Southcoast resident and fisherman, Finn Gudmundsson, in an exhibit curated by Severin Haines, entitled, Finn Gudmundsson -- A New Bedford Primitive. Sig Haines, curator of the Finn Gudmundsson show, is also a Swain alumnus and a professor in Fine Arts at UMass Dartmouth. 

The Vault Gallery features the Vault Series, an annual exhibit of well-known contemporary artists curated by Joan Backes that will feature the work of painter, Susanna Coffey. 

Kathy Dinneen, NBAM Director notes, "We are very excited to have on display the work of three painters in our winter exhibitions. The main exhibition showcases the work of David Loeffler Smith, whose career spans well over six decades of making, studying and teaching art, a legacy that is very much a part of the history of the visual arts in New Bedford and the SouthCoast region.  We are also pleased to have on exhibit the paintings of internationally recognized artist, Susanna Coffey, in an exhibit curated by Joan Backes.   Our third exhibit, curated by Severin Haines, presents the work of a local resident and primitive painter, Finn Gudmundsson." 

The public is invited to the Opening Reception for all of its winter exhibitions on February 11, 2011 from 6:00 -- 8:00 P.M. The evening will feature music by Andy McWain on keyboard. For additional information, please call the NBAM at (508) 961-3072. 

NBAM is open Wednesday -- Sunday, noon to 5 pm.  Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and free to NBAM members and children under 18 years of age.  Free on AHA! nights, the second Thursday of each month from 5 -- 9 pm. 

For additional information please contact Peggi Medeiros at (508) 992-9624, or call the NBAM at (508) 961-3072. 

More on the David Loeffler Smith Retrospective -- Kate Levin and Donald Beal, Curators 

David Loeffler Smith is an American painter with a national reputation. A student of both the legendary Hans Hofmann and Stefan Hirsch, Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bard College at a period when few artists earned degrees of any kind. He went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1961 Smith won the Henry Posner Prize from the Carnegie Institute.  He has had numerous New York solo exhibitions at important galleries such as M-13 and the First Street Gallery. Mr. Smith has been a guest lecturer at the NYU Studio School, Queens College, City University of New York, the Vermont Studio School, the Maryland Art Institute, the Parson's School of Design and the International School of Art, Todi, Italy. 

Smith came to New Bedford in 1962 as the director of the Swain School. Subsequently, he held numerous positions at Swain, including, a member of the faculty, Dean, Admissions Director, and Chairman of the Painting Department. After the merger of Swain with UMass Dartmouth, he became a Professor of Painting. 

As curators Kate Levin and Donald Beal explain, David Loeffler Smith is that rarest of human beings -- a great artist and a great teacher, and they are very honored to help present this retrospective of Smith's work from over 60 years.  The College of Visual & Performing Arts of UMass Dartmouth is the lead sponsor of this exhibit. 

More on Finn Gudmundsson -- A New Bedford Primitive - Severin Haines, Curator 

     Finn Gudmundsson, who passed away in the fall of 2010, was a much-loved member of the SouthCoast Scandinavian community.   Gudmundsson was born in Iceland in 1929, and immigrated to the United States in 1957.  A fisherman by trade, he loved to paint and created many large paintings of his beloved homeland.   

Long time friend Severin Haines has mounted an exhibition of many of Gudmundsson's paintings in the museum's Community Gallery, to celebrate his life and work.  When the exhibit ends Haines plans to ship the paintings to Iceland to Gudmundsson's family where they will be exhibited.     

A Special Reception in Gudmundsson's honor is scheduled for Sunday, February 20, 2011, 3:30 -- 5:30 pm at NBAM.  Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served. 

More on the The Vault Series: Susanna Coffey -- Joan Backes, Curator 

According to curator, Joan Backes, the "Vault Series: Susanna Coffey explores the many facets of the artist's ongoing body of work.  While viewers will undoubtedly be familiar with her self-portraits, Coffey also addresses themes of war, still life and plein air landscape often painted at night. This exhibition recognizes how Coffey continually revisits traditional subjects in order to discover new meanings in her work." 

Susanna Coffey received her BFA from the University of Connecticut, and MFA from Yale University.  She has held the F H Sellers Chair in Painting at the School of Art Institute of Chicago since 1998.  Coffey has received numerous awards, including an NEA and a Guggenheim Fellowship. .  Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums internationally, and can be seen in many public collections such as: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, the Minneapolis Museum of Art, The National Academy and Museum NYC, The Akron Museum, The Rockford Art Museum, The Weatherspoon Museum, and Williams College Museum of Art.    

Susanna Coffey will be holding a lecture at 4:30pm, Friday, February 11, 2011  at the UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store lecture hall, 715 Purchase St., New Bedford, MA 02740. Open to the public. 

Behr paint generously donated by Home Depot for the Vault Series Exhibit. 

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