Posts Tagged ‘Ashley Bryan’

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Theater at the PMA

September 19, 2018

Ashley Bryan programs at the museum

As many of you know there is a fabulous exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA). Earlier blog posts can be found by using “Ashley Bryan” in the “search archives” box on the right side of the blog.

What you may not know is that there are performances taking place that brings Beautiful Blackbird, one of Ashley’s books, to life.

Learn more about the Beautiful Blackbird performances on the PMA website.

Other Ashley Bryan Programming at PMA includes:

  • PMA Family Day on October 20th, which will include an art making activity inspired by the cut paper collages and written words of Ashley Bryan, 11 am to 3 pm.
  • PMA Film screenings of I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan created by Richard Kane, in early November.

And, more theater opportunities for your classroom…

Discover how you can use theater to get your classroom excited about books, reading, and art. Join Side x Side’s lead teaching artist Gretchen Berg for a hands-on, minds-on theater workshop inspired by the exhibition Painter and Poet: The Art of Ashley Bryan. Berg is a teaching artist and educator with over 30 years of experience. She is well known across New England for her work with educators and students to integrate theater, dance, and the visual arts into classroom curriculum. Berg holds an Ed.M in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has taught at Harvard University, Bowdoin College, Bates College, and the University of Southern Maine.

FMY contact Emily Junker, Learning and Interpretation Assistant, PMA.

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In Today’s News

August 19, 2018

Ashley Bryan review

“Oh, When the Children Sing in Peace,” 2006, collage of cut colored paper on paper, from “Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals,” 12 by 20 inches. Photo from Portland Museum of Art

Daniel Kany writes a review in the Portland Press Herald today. He starts by saying:

“At 95, Ashley Bryan, a resident of Little Cranberry Island’s village of Islesford for more than three decades, is one of Maine’s most important artists. The list of problems starts here: We don’t know him.

But we should.”

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

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In Today’s News

August 13, 2018

Ashley Bryan

Bob Keyes article in the Maine Sunday Telegram provides the latest news on Ashley Bryan. His show opened recently at the Portland Museum of Art and it is fantastic. At age 95 Ashley is working on a number of books and is planning on one being completed within the month. It is a book of collages based on Christina Rosetti’s poems. He’s also working on a larger project based on his time during WWII when he served in the segregated Army. Seventy four years ago he was at Omaha Beach.

I was very excited to read that he is working with Maine composer Aaron Robinson who happens to be a former student of mine. They are collaborating on an African-American requiem for chamber orchestra, choir and spoken voice.

He’s calling it “A Tender Bridge: An African American Requiem,” based on a Bryan quote: “I always confuse the past and the future, the way I mix up death and life – they are connected only by a tender bridge. This is why stories are at the heart of civilization.”

Plan to take your students to the museum for the show and watch for information on the performance of one of Ashley’s books scheduled for the end of October.

READ the entire article.

“Oh, When the Children Sing in Peace,” 2006, collage of cut colored paper on paper, from “Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals,” 12 by 20 inches. Photo from Portland Museum of Art

 

 

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Ashley Bryan at the PMA

August 6, 2018

Amazing artist and storytelling – share with your students

Ashley Bryan’s prolific and varied creative career has spanned more than half a century, and this is the first major art museum exhibition in Maine for the award-winning, 95-year-old artist and Little Cranberry Island resident. 

A pioneer of African and African American representation in the children’s book medium, Painter and Poet highlights the breadth of Bryan’s work, from his earliest books of African folktales to his 2016 book Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, which won a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Honors in both Author and Illustrator categories.

Coming in October
Beautiful Blackbird: An Adaptation of the Story by Ashley Bryan presented by the Theater Ensemble of Color. This will take place at the PMA and also at USM where you will be able to bring students to the play. Watch for more information on this opportunity.

Coming in November. PMA Films presents I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan

Take a trip to Bryan’s Little Cranberry Island and into his home and studio in this article from the most recent edition of the PMA magazine, Inside the Circle. 

Ashley in his home

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Art Exhibits

July 16, 2018

Visit Maine museums this summer

Maine is fortunate to have several amazing art museums and other venues to view art work by outstanding artists. Some of my favorite artists and art work are on display throughout the summer and into the fall. I hope that you take time to visit one or more of the following and consider taking your students to the shows. Check them out. Please note: these are not the only shows at these locations nor are they the only locations and shows taking place this summer. Support your local art venue!

  • Bates College Museum of Art (Lewiston) – Amazing Maine artist Dahlov Ipcar created art until she passed earlier this year. “Dahlov Ipcar: Blue Moons & Menageries” includes a wide variety of her art work. Read the story of how she impacted a Maine child who now as an adult curated the show. June 1 – October 6
  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockland) – Brunswick artist John Bisbee is an inspiration to all, especially those who are dyslexic. In his first solo show “John Bisbee: American Steel” in 10 years, he forges and welds nails in amazing ways. It is a powerful show. In a recent article from the Portland Press Herald John tells about his present work – stretching himself in many ways and even including text. June 30 – October 14
  • Monhegan Museum of Art & History – Celebrating the museums 50th birthday with 80 of the artists who came to the island to create and were awed and inspired by its indescribably light and rugged beauty. July 1 – September 30
  • Portland Museum of Art  – “Painter and Poet”. At a young age, Ashley Bryan noticed the lack of children’s books with African American characters. Through his work as an artist, author, and educator, he has committed himself to filling that void in black representation by creating books about the African and African American experiences. The show includes drawings, paintings and puppets. Consider taking your students to see Ashley’s amazing art work, sure to inspire. Ashley is a kind and gentle giant who lights up a room when he walks into it. At age 95 he continues creating. August 3 – November 25
  • Farnsworth Art Museum“Stories of the Land and Its People”  includes artwork created by 162 students in grades 4 and 7 from Appleton, Lincolnville, and Hope Schools. A wide variety of work that is based on the study a variety of subjects including Maine studies, science, environment, poetry, and geography. May 20 – September 9
  • Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville) – John Marin exhibit “Modern Wonder” includes a wide breath of Marin’s work. He looked at towering skyscrapers and bustling streets of Manhattan and rollicking waters and windy coast of Maine and saw great forces at work. June 5 – August 19
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Ashley Bryan Screenings

June 7, 2018

Documentary on Children’s Book Author Ashley Bryan

June – August 2018 Screenings in Belfast, Great Cranberry and Portland

Portland, ME— The new award-winning film I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan, winner at 14 film festivals, will be screening in three Maine locations: Belfast, Great Cranberry Island and Portland from June through August 2018. See schedule below.

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016), directed by Richard Kane, is a powerful documentary film featuring one of America’s greatest living African American poets, illustrator and artist, named a Library Lion by the New York Public Library, a recipient of three Coretta Scott King Awards, and a 2017 Newbery Honor for his book “Freedom Over Me” reviewed in the NY Times.

Ashley lives on Little Cranberry Island in view of Mount Desert Island where the local school bears his name. Now available on Vimeo on DemandVideo TRAILER

Born in Harlem in 1923 and drafted in his teens into an all-Black battalion in World War II, Ashley preserved his humanity through drawing and painting. Soon to be 95, he is an award-winning poet/illustrator of 50+ published children’s books, maker of magical puppets from discarded materials and stunning sea glass windows inspired by his African heritage. Ashley urges us to seek unity over division, peace over war and love over intolerance and bigotry.

Reviews:

 “… a vibrant, inspiring, personal portrait of an artist who possesses the desire to help people find their inner child”  — BOOKLIST

“The film is … a wonderful tool to learn about diversity, cultural competency, inclusion and social justice.” — AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION” 

“elegantly constructed … intriguing and palpably warm … vibrant, joyous, evocative, witty, and thoroughly engaging.”  DennisPerkins, MAINE TODAY

Website with more information.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018, 2pmBelfast, ME Senior College Festival of Art, U Maine Hutchinson Center Auditorium, FREE. Director Richard Kane will be in attendance for a Q&A.

SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2018 at 3pm – GreatCranberryHistorical Society, GreatCranberryIsland, ME. IN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions welcome for the further distribution of the film. Mail boat from SW Harbor, CranberryCove Ferry.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2018 at 6pm – Portland, ME, University of Southern Maine Wishcamper Center, Room 133, the Lee Room. IN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions $5-$20 for the further distribution of the film. Seating is limited. This screening follows the August 3rdPortland Museum of Art opening exhibit of Ashley Bryan’s art.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018 at 3:00pmGreatCranberryIsland, ME  GreatCranberryHistorical SocietyIN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions welcome for the further distribution of the film.  Mail boat from SW Harbor, CranberryCove Ferry.

These events are sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists.

For Further Information Contact:

Richard Kane

207-359-2320

kanelewisproductions@gmail.com

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Ashley Bryan Film

February 26, 2017

Community support

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screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-3-14-47-pm March 17 at 6 pm – Portland Youth Film Festival, Portland, Maine Screening and Q&A of “Ashley Bryan´s World” at the Portland Museum of Art

Synopsis: I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan  is about this 93-year-old creative wonder who skips and jumps in his heart like a child. He served in a World War II all-Black battalion and experienced the racism of a separatist Army and the horrible carnage of D-Day.  As a result he dedicated his life to creating beauty and joy, spreading love and awe through his art. He’s a poet/illustrator of over 50 children’s books, makes magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. Ashley lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community. His life story and the art he makes from this wellspring of experience is an inspiration to people of all ages.

For more information please email ashleybryanfilms@gmail.com.

 

 

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