June 5, 2019 | Alexandria, Louisiana
Last Summer, the Alexandria Museum of Art and the Rapides Parish Library endeavored upon a partnership to bring the literary and art worlds together in downtown Alexandria. That partnership blossomed in September with the first “mini-exhibition” in the downtown library. Museum Curator Megan Valentine worked with library staff to create a complimentary exhibit from the AMoA’s permanent collection to go along with the library’s Rapides Reads book selection, The Great Gatsby. In that first exhibit, pieces dating from the time period in which the book takes place, along with others that connected with themes, motifs, and symbols within the book, brought a visual art element to the literary experience for library visitors. Since then, other mini-exhibitions have been on view at the downtown library complimenting themes and projects.
At the beginning of 2019, an exhibition of art that connected with common stories, themes, settings, and motifs found in many of the media popular at creative conventions, such as graphic novels, video games, illustration, film, and television as part of the library’s annual “Creative Con”. In the Spring of this year, the theme was “Women and the Arts”, in conjunction with National Women’s Month programming, where female artists in AMoA’s permanent collection were featured, and currently, there is an exhibition for the library’s Summer Reading Program called “A Universe of Stories & Art”, that combines a number of pieces that explore natural phenomena, space, and earth. A major theme of every work is imagination and exploration, which is a major focus of the Summer Reading Program as well. Also included are a couple of prints from art books, such as The Domestic Life of the Rainbow and a print from Salvador Dali’s Conquest of the Cosmos, which uses their art to tell a story.
“One of the goals AMoA has pursued is diversity, equity and inclusion. We have presented exhibitions that uplift different cultures and segments of our community. We have put in place free impactful programming including the Muse teen club, Expressive Therapy for Veterans and healthy living programming with the help of Rapides Regional, as well as many programs that impact k-12 students and teachers. Additionally, have been free and open to the public on Second Saturdays for many years now. We are excited about this new partnership with Rapides Parish Libraries which will expand accessibility for families in our community to experience the healing, inspirational and educational benefits of engaging with art.” Catherine M. Pears, Alexandria Museum of Art Executive Director
“We are excited to join the ranks of many libraries and art museums in the nation by offering library cardholders the option to check out free AMoA passes at any Rapides Parish Library location! The ability to encourage members of our community to be life-long learners in a new way is worth a celebration.” Jennifer Hughes, Rapides Parish Library Public Relations Officer
As the partnership to bring the Museum to library guests continues to develop, AMoA and RPL gladly announce a new phase of their growing partnership designed to bring library guests to the Museum. Beginning this month (June) families will be able to “check out” a museum pass that will grant (up to 5) family members free admission into the Alexandria Museum of Art during regular business hours (Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm. Saturday 10am-4pm). Families will have two weeks to take advantage of their free pass from the time they received it. These free Family Museum Passes are available at all 11 Rapides Parish Library Locations (library locations and hours available at www.rpl.org).
Families are encouraged to take advantage of this program and visit AMoA to see temporary exhibitions such as Sordid and Sacred: The Beggars in Rembrandt’s Etchings Selections from the Villarino Collection and Concrete & Adrift: On the Poverty Line, both on view through June 22, 2019, The 32nd September Competition juried exhibition on view July 5–October 19, 2019, and the National WWII Museum’s The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II collection on view November 1, 2019–February 22, 2020. On permanent view in the third floor gallery, visitors can explore the story of art in Louisiana in AMoA’s permanent collection exhibition Connected Visions: Louisiana's Artistic Lineage.
About the Alexandria Museum of Art: The Alexandria Museum of Art opened in October 1977 as the public organ of the Central Louisiana Art Association, which had existed since 1938. Since its inception, the Museum was housed in a complex dominated by the historic Rapides Bank Building, c. 1898, a National Register structure. The Mission of the Alexandria Museum of Art is to foster a culturally rich community by engaging, enlightening and inspiring individuals through innovative art experiences.
About the Rapides Parish Library: The Rapides Parish Library is a medium-size public library, serving Rapides Parish (county) located in central Louisiana. The library consists of a Main Library, 5 urban branches, 4 rural branches, a bookmobile, a van service to the homebound and a van service to child development centers. The mission of the Rapides Parish Library is to promote lifelong learning, enhanced quality of life, and literacy through print, audiovisual and electronic resources. The Library staff ensures that all citizens receive the maximum value from available informational, educational, cultural and recreational resources.