Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Lead an Art Tour


My first ever trip to an art museum was in elementary school. We were taken to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY. Perhaps it was in 4th or 5th grade.  I saw the museum's major Winslow Homer painting of his Prout's Neck, Maine studio glimpsed through the heavy fog. Even as a kid I'd heard of Homer as my parents had a wonderful print by Homer hanging over our living room couch. "Hey"I thought, "that's the guy we've got at home!" Obviously I was a real art world insider. The musuem's Homer  was and is a terrific painting, the only piece I remember from that early tour. Seeing as I am obsessed with painting rocky shorelines to this day, I know that early museum trip had an impact far greater than I then suspected.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, VA, where my show Unbroken Thread: The Art of Philip Koch is showing through Oct. 2 brings a lot of tour groups through its facility to see its exhibitions. Many are school groups. And the tours are led by docents that the museum trains themselves. They recently held a session to help docents get up to speed with things to tell the visiting groups to engage them in the exhibitions. 

Above Janet Rash (at left) who heads up PFAC's Education Department, is enjoying talking with the docents about my show. Here are a few more pictures from that session, with participants taking turns speaking about my paintings. If I'd been there I probably would have learned something. (The photos are 
courtesy of PFAC and were taken by PFAC's intern Teddy Fatiou).



This is by far the largest exhibition I've had with fully 50 paintings, drawings, and pastels.
Below is my The Voyage of Memory.



Below at the right is the oil Eye of the Sea.



And one of my favorites in the show is the tiny Forest Stream below at the left.


Newport News is way down in the Southeast corner of Virginia, right where the huge Chesapeake Bay opens up to the Atlantic (I'm up at the opposite end of the Chesapeake in Baltimore). Heading west from Newport News you eventually hit the Appalachian Mountains. That's where my other Virginia exhibit just opened. It's right outside of Charlottesville in the tiny village of Barboursville. There are vineyards there and people come through to tour those. Many stop at the Nichols Gallery who is running three small solo shows of landscapes through Oct. 30. Here's the announcement card they just sent out:






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