Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lizabeth Brumley

At the Museum –

Many schools have been on Spring Break recently and families have been visiting the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. As guests sign our register, I learn that children have requested their parents bring them to the Museum or that parents with fond memories of days spent in the library and Museum wanted to bring their children in to share in those experiences. In either case, families are coming to the Museum and both generations are benefitting from their time in the galleries. Children are invited to participate in a scavenger hunt to look for details in the works of art in our permanent collections. This is great way to take some time to examine works more closely and appreciate the beauty and creative techniques of the fine art that surrounds us.

The Museum is often a point of interest for travelers passing through the state. Last year, we had visitors from 41 states and 19 foreign countries. Some have planned their trips to include a visit after reading travel magazines or brochures; some see our billboards and take a welcome break from the road; but many come in because of a recommendation from a friend. Our patrons do a wonderful job of inviting new visitors to the Museum, so that our circle of exposure is ever increasing. There are not too many places that offer so much without charging admission.

We invite you to plan a visit or schedule a group tour to the Museum at any time of the year. Our Museum Guild of Docents and Volunteers are well prepared to educate and enlighten. In addition to our permanent collections, traveling exhibitions are planned years in advance and continuously bring in exciting new exhibits and programming such as the upcoming "NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration" exhibit opening April 8, 2010.

We welcome you to take a little vacation close to home, come in often and bring a friend. As our billboard invites - "Come on in, the art is fine!"

We had some spring break fun...

At our Spring Break Art Festival (bottom two pictures) and Spring Break Art Break (butterflies!).

Exhibition opening: Thursday, April 8 5:30 pm

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art invites the public to attend the opening of "NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration" on Thursday, April 8. The exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The opening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a lecture by Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of the Division of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. A reception will follow at 6:30 p.m. with music provided by The JC Jazz Combo, a 7-piece ensemble under the direction of JCJC instructor Jeff Brown.

Since 1974, Crouch has served both the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History in a variety of curatorial and administrative posts. He holds a Ph.D. in American history from Ohio State University, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Wright State University, and has won several major writing awards. In the fall of 2000, President Clinton appointed him chairman of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board.

Crouch is the author or editor of more than a dozen books and many articles for both magazines and scholarly journals. His leading books include "The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright" (1989); "Dream of Wings: American and the Airplane, 1875-1905" (1981); "Eagle Aloft: Two Centuries of the Balloon in America" (1983); and "Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age" (2003).

NASA|ART will be on display at LRMA through June 27 and features nearly five decades of creations by artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik, and William Wegman.

Local exhibition sponsors are Cellular South Foundation, Southern Metals Company of Mississippi, The Pruet Companies, RAPAD Drilling and Well Service, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, Jefferson Medical, Merrill Lynch, and Robison Tire Company.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wes Lee Trio to play at Rogers-Green House benefit

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host its annual event A Taste of Art & Wine on Friday, April 16 from 7 - 10 p.m. at the Rogers-Green House. This year’s event "Fly Me to the Moon" will feature dinner, wine and spirits, and a silent auction which will include artwork by Mississippi artists, as well as wines and wine accessories. Music will be provided by The Wes Lee Trio. Tickets are $45 per person with proceeds from the event going toward the renovation and preservation of the Rogers-Green House and grounds.

Wes Lee is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He has played professional engagements since the age of 14, playing trombone in the genres of jazz, Dixieland, big band swing, and funk. In 1997, Lee formed a band known as Mr. Tone in which he played guitar and was lead vocalist. Mr. Tone and the Blues Funk Revival from Meridian, Mississippi toured the southeast through 2002 and released CDs in 1998 and 2001. Lee moved to Hattiesburg in 2005 where he headlines in The Hub City All Stars and has played guitar for many other artists in the area. He is currently producing a CD of primarily solo acoustic original music. Lee has shared the stage with such international acts as Tab Benoit, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Deborah Coleman, Lil Greenwood and Hattiesburg’s own Vasti Jackson.

To purchase tickets contact Liz Brumley at the Museum at 601.649.6374 or by Wednesday, April 14.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Easter Holidays coming up

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will close Sunday, April 4 in observance of the Easter Holiday.

The offices will be closed on Monday, April 5.

The galleries will reopen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6 at 10 a.m.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art presents NASA|ART Exhibition

NASA’s historic triumphs and pioneering legacy are well known to millions, but the inspiring rocket launches, moon landings and planetary explorations also have had an impact on the imaginations of America’s leading artists. As the space agency celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) presents "NASA|ART 50 Years of Exploration," featuring 72 works from those artists.

"NASA|ART" opens April 8 at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi and will be on view through June 27. The exhibition is organized by SITES and NASA in cooperation with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

The exhibition opening will be Thursday, April 8 with a lecture at 5:30 p.m. by Tom Crouch, Exhibition Curator with Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. A reception will follow from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

"NASA|ART" features nearly five decades of creations by artists as diverse as Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and William Wegman. Drawn from the collections of NASA and the National Air and Space Museum, the exhibition includes drawings, photographs, sculpture and other art forms and media. These works – ranging from the illustrative to the abstract – offer unparalleled insight into the private and personal moments, triumphant victories and tragic accidents that form the storied history of NASA.

For example, in Henry Caselli’s "When Thoughts Turned Inward," the artist captures the serene, almost spiritual moment before takeoff, when an astronaut must prepare mentally for a mission. In a Chakaia Booker’s "Remembering Columbia," the tragedy and pain of the lost Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew are transformed in the twisting tire remnants preserved from one of the shuttle’s earlier missions. And Andy Warhol melds Buzz Aldrin’s historic steps on the lunar surface with the unbridled exuberance and flashiness of the 1960s in his neon-lighted "Moonwalk" silkscreen.

The works featured in the exhibit date from the inception of the NASA Art Program in 1962, when NASA administrator James E. Webb asked a group of artists to illustrate, interpret and elucidate the space agency’s missions and projects. Since then, painters, musicians and conceptual artists have been with NASA every step of the way, strolling along launch pads, training in flight simulators, talking with engineers and technicians and visiting with astronauts before and after their flights.

"NASA|ART 50 years of Exploration," a companion book published by Harry N. Abrams in 2008, complements the national traveling exhibition.

NASA was established by Congress in 1958 "to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes." The agency is headquartered in Washington, D. C., with 10 field centers and other facilities across the nation. NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

The National Air and Space Museum, composed of the flagship building on the National Mall in Washington and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is home to the world’s finest collection of flight artifacts. From aircraft and space vehicles to engines, art and models, the wide array of the museum’s holdings tells the story of the history and technology of air and space exploration. The museum is also a key resource for research into the history, science and technology of aviation and space flight.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D. C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at

This exhibition is generously sponsored locally by Cellular South Foundation, Southern Metals Company of Mississippi, The Pruet Companies, RAPAD Drilling and Well Service, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, Jefferson Medical, Merrill Lynch, and Robison Tire Company.

Educational programming is partially funded through a Smithsonian Community Grant, funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service, which is used to strengthen the connections between museums nationwide and their communities.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

What Is a Conservator?

The staff at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art receives many calls about various aspects of art. Some callers are interested in finding an appraiser for their artwork, some want to know the best care for their great-grandmother’s photograph, and some are looking for a conservator to repair a damaged or aging piece of artwork. While we do not perform most of those tasks, we can point the caller in the right direction.

Recently I’ve had several questions concerning the care of oil paintings. Museum staff members are trained in the preventive care of works of art, but once damage or age of artwork has become a problem, we call in the “doctors of art.” We don’t know the tricks of their trade because their tricks may be different for every object, especially when dealing with late 20th and 21st century creations.

Conservators usually receive training and hold masters degrees in the visual arts, heritage preservation and/or chemistry. In the early years, conservators were artists who trained as apprentices. In the most recent decades, conservators receive their training collaboratively from museums, conservation labs and universities. There are a few conservation degree granting programs that exist, but most are located in the Northeastern part of the U.S. A conservator spends two to four years of study in a conservation graduate program.

Conservators specialize in their field of interest and those areas may include architecture, books and paper, electronic media, objects, paintings, photographic materials, textiles and wooden artifacts. Conservators are trained to be meticulous and good repair work is usually not spotted in a casual glance. Viewing a painting under a black light can be used to see where in-painting and repairs have been made. A conservator’s knowledge of materials, chemical makeup and potential chemical reactions are paramount in preserving the object.

A conservator’s philosophy is based on the idea of performing the least amount of change with the least amount of chemicals. This idea means the work is to be reversible so if additional work is needed fifty years down the road, another conservator can “undo” the work and treat the artwork in a more chemically-safe way. Combining chemicals is always a learning experience and science plays a huge role in the long-term care of objects.

Some of you may wonder the difference between a conservator and a restorer. Keep in mind that a conservator is an artistically and scientifically trained person who focuses on the longevity of the artwork, the work’s historical context as well as its visual appearance.

A restorer is someone concerned only with the visual aspects. A restorer generally has no training in the field other than as a hobby. An artist is also not a conservator and has no more knowledge of the materials than you and I.

Professional conservators should be members of organizations such as the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, in which there are strict ethical standards they must agree to uphold. A qualified conservator will be glad to provide you with a list of clients they have worked for as well their educational experience.

There are very few qualified conservators in our region, let alone in the state of Mississippi. I know of one qualified painting conservator who has recently moved from New Orleans, LA to Columbia, MS. We have worked with object conservators and paper conservators but must travel to their locations in Nashville, TN and New Orleans, LA.

So if you are looking for the right person, you can browse locations and specialties of conservators on the website of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works ( Conservators work by appointment and charge a consulting fee for large projects.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at 565 North Fifth Avenue and is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays. For additional information, call 601-649-6374 or view the museum’s website at

Tommie Rodgers is the registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Taste of Art & Wine: April 16

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host its annual event A Taste of Art & Wine to benefit the Rogers-Green House on Friday, April 16 from 7 - 10 p.m. at the Rogers-Green House.

This year’s event, Fly Me to the Moon, will feature dinner, wine and spirits, and a silent auction which will include artwork by Mississippi artists, as well as wines and wine accessories. Music will be provided by The Wes Lee Trio. Tickets are $45 per person with proceeds from the event going toward the renovation and preservation of the house and grounds.

Built in 1903 by Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Rogers, the Rogers-Green House was the childhood home of Lauren Eastman Rogers and was donated to the Eastman Memorial Foundation by Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner Green, Sr. The house has been occupied by the Museum since 2003, and is utilized for museum offices and activities and as a rental facility for private events and social gatherings.

A Taste of Art & Wine is chaired by LRMA Guild member Mary Anne Sumrall. The event is generously supported by Silver Sponsors Jones County Medical Supplies and Trustmark Bank, and Bronze Sponsors The Essmueller Company, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Sauls, Larry J. Sumrall Contractors, Inc., Dr. and Mrs. Aremmia Tanious, and Thermo-Kool. The event is also sponsored by E. & J. Gallo Winery and the LRMA Guild of Docents and Volunteers.

To purchase tickets contact Liz Brumley at the Museum at 601.649.6374 or by Wednesday, April 14.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Art Talk, March 18: Randy Meador

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will present Art Talk on Thursday, March 18 at noon in the Lower Level Lecture Hall. Randy Meador will present "Rediscovering the Lost Spaces of Laurel - The City Beautiful."

Meador’s talk will center on Laurel’s rich history of projects based on values that reflect the city’s special qualities, the intrinsic values that have made Laurel vibrant, and some successful examples of rediscovery. The presentation will also highlight initiatives that will turn new ideas for rediscovery into reality with a language that speaks of art and history.

Meador is a native of Jones County where he lives with wife, Cindy. He holds a B. S. Degree in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University. He has worked for the past 25 years as an engineering and planning consultant in the Pine Belt Region and for his home town of Laurel.

Meador is Vice-President of Neel-Schaffer and has been principally involved in the development of the firm’s south Mississippi region. He is a 1995 graduate of Leadership Mississippi. He was recognized that same year for his contributions to the economic progress of the Pine Belt Region and the state by being named to the Mississippi Business Journal’s "Top 40 Under 40." Meador says "the reward for an engineer and planner is to see the positive impacts of our projects to the communities in which we live and work and to see the difference those projects make in the lives of people."

Art Talk, sponsored by West Quality Food Services, Inc., is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to use the North Garden Entrance and bring a sack lunch. Desserts and beverages will be provided. For more information, call LRMA at 601.649.6374 or visit the website

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Guest Blogger: Angie King

Springtime Fun at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

By Angie King, LRMA Outreach Education Coordinator

We in the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art education department, are getting ready for spring! There will be several activities for families and children during Spring Break week. The LRMA Spring Break Festival will be held on the front lawn of the Museum on Tuesday, March 16 from 1 until 3 p.m. This year’s festival will feature live animals from the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson. Art projects will center around a "nature" theme using common household items. The various projects will include solar prints, a masking tape mosaic, and playing card paintings, as well as a table with ideas for art projects that can be made at home out of recycled materials. This event will be a great way to entertain the kids for free during Spring Break.

During Spring Break week, the Museum also offers a fun art class for children ages K5 through 6th grade. Spring Break Art Break will be held for three days, Wednesday, March 17 through Friday, March 19. Classes will be held from 10 a.m. until noon for children ages K5 to 3rd grade and 2 to 4 p.m. for 4th through 6th graders. Students will create projects in a variety of media based on the LRMA permanent collection. The cost is $35 for Museum members, and $45 for non-members. Please contact the Museum at 601.649.6374 or to make your reservations now, as space is limited. Reservations will only be held with payment.

Randy Meador of Neel-Schaffer, will speak at Art Talk on "Rediscovering the Lost Spaces of Laurel, " at noon on Thursday, March 18. Wildlife photographer Steven Kirkpatrick will be the featured speaker on Earth Day, April 22. Art Talk is an exciting serious held monthly in the spring and fall that features a wide variety of speakers on artistic topics. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy while listening to a stimulating lecture. Art Talk is free and no reservation is required.

There will be a lot happening this spring at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Even if you cannot make it to one of these great events, stop by to view our permanent collections and temporary exhibitions any time during regular operating hours which are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. or on Sundays from 1 - 4 p.m. Admission is always free and there is something here for everyone.

2010 Art Fair at the LRMA

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art held a reception to honor the winners of its second Art Fair on Tuesday, March 2 in the Museum Lobby.

First place was awarded to Mailea Halstead with second place going to Justin DeBoxtel and Waymon Moore claiming third place. All three winning entries were students at South Jones High School under the instruction of art teacher Sharon Howard.

For further information on LRMA Art Fair contact the Museum at 601.649.6374 or

LRMA Outreach Education Coordinator Angie King presents a check to the 2010 LRMA Art Fair winner Mailea Halstead of South Jones High School.

front: Mailea Halstead (1st place) Sharon Howard, South Jones High School art teacher, back: Waymon Moore (3rd place) and Justin DeBoxtel (2nd place).