(Boca Raton) — National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $35,000 to the Boca Raton Museum of Art for Maren Hassinger: Tree of Knowledge. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.
“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as the Boca Raton Museum of Art are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”
“The Boca Raton Museum of Art is honored to be receiving support from the NEA,” says Executive Director Irvin Lippman, “and so pleased that this funding will support a project that takes the concept of ‘art in public places’ to a new level of engagement.”
Tree of Knowledge will feature a residency with sculptor and performance artist Maren Hassinger, who will create an installation inspired by Boca Raton’s Pearl City neighborhood and the Banyan tree that has become a historical marker in this community settled by African-Americans. The artist will work with the public in rolling newspapers in community-based story-telling sessions to form the aerial roots of a vast “Tree of Knowledge” to be installed from the ceiling in the Museum’s main gallery. For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
More About Tree of Knowledge
Inspired by the majestic Banyan tree that serves as a grand, historical marker in the nearby neighborhood of Pearl City that was settled by African-Americans, the new installation Tree of Knowledge by Maren Hassinger will debut at the museum in the fall (opens November 5). During this summer, the museum will invite families, students, seniors and all members of the community to be part of this exhibition by creating thousands of 20-feet long, Banyan-style branches created with rolled-up newspapers. The public will be hand-making these art elements during community-based storytelling sessions at the museum. These creations will represent the aerial roots that hang vertically from the branches of Banyan trees. The monumental Tree of Knowledge will be installed from the high ceiling in the Museum’s main gallery. During the month of July, the museum will offer free admission to the public, coinciding with these creative sessions. From July 2 – 31, guests will have the unique opportunity to be part of this exhibition by creating these branch-style elements that will be featured as part of Hassinger’s large-scale installation.
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These Community Creation-Stations will be staffed by museum volunteers and will serve as a gathering place where the entire community can contribute to Tree of Knowledge. The long “branches” will be created by hand, by twisting up strips of newspaper and then connecting them. The branches will extend over twenty-feet in length, and the art installation will require thousands of these twisted branches. Hassinger herself has provided an instructional video to teach guests how to create and combine these elements, and will work with the volunteers in training for the creation stations. The community participants’ names will be collected and will be incorporated within the exhibition. Organizations may schedule group visits to the museum to participate in this fun art-making process by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 561-392-2500 ext. 206. The museum is also engaging the community via other outreach initiatives that have already started to help spread awareness of this installation, encouraging participation throughout the different Boca Raton neighborhoods.
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Note to Editors and Producers: Television crews are invited to the museum to film groups from the community creating the branches for the large-scale Tree of Knowledge (video b-roll will also be made available to the news media in July). Media interviews with the museum director and the artist, school groups, and volunteers are available upon request.
About Boca Raton Museum of Art
Founded by artists, the Boca Raton Museum of Art was established in 1950 as the Art Guild of Boca Raton. The organization has grown to encompass an Art School, Guild, Museum and Sculpture Garden. As part of a highly strategic and comprehensive reimaging of its public-facing exteriors, the museum recently unveiled a major renovation of its exterior spaces designed by Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rovira. The museum is located in Mizner Park, at 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.; and on weekends from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.