“Life in Stories” special event aims to capture spirit of storytelling in Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition

Photo of Slideshow, Elisa H. Hamilton. Photo of Marsha Parrilla, Ernesto Galán.
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BOSTON- On Saturday, March 24, artists, musicians, dancers, and other artistic thought leaders will offer discussions and performances throughout the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with the current exhibition, Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth, as inspiration. Programming will take place throughout the day, from 11:30am – 4:30pm.

Renaissance master painter Fra Angelico transformed the history of western art with his breathtaking works, painted in the 1400s, by infusing traditional subjects with new meaning. His paintings featured ground-breaking approaches to narrative and expressive storytelling.

Multimedia artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons will speak about her artwork and Fra Angelico’s paintings in Calderwood Hall at 1pm. Campos-Pons’s work is often autobiographical, investigating themes of history, memory, gender and religion. Through deeply poetic and haunting imagery, Campos-Pons’s artwork evokes stories of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, indigo and sugar plantations, Catholic and Santeria religious practices, and revolutionary uprisings.

Photo of Slideshow, Elisa H. Hamilton. Photo of Marsha Parrilla, Ernesto Galán.

In the Fall of 2017, Now + There commissioned artist Elisa H. Hamilton to create Slideshow, a multi-media project for HUBWeek on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Using photography, analog slides, and storytelling, Hamilton and ten other Boston-area women put their gutsy, generous, everyday lives on view. They will reunite as part of Life in Stories at the Gardner Museum to create an intimate, communal story-sharing space in the Museum’s Living Room from 11:30 – 4:30pm. Visit nowandthere.org/slideshow to learn more.

Two artists, Kadahj Bennett and Marsha Parrilla, will respond to the exhibition and the theme of life stories with performance. Bennett, a beatmaker, actor, artist, and musician, will perform a narrative and poetic collections of songs, photos, and speeches in the historic Tapestry Room gallery at 2pm. Parrilla, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, will perform a solo dance-theater piece, in the Museum’s flower-filled Courtyard at 3pm.

There will also be participatory activities in the Education Studio and in the galleries. Spotlight tours of the Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition are planned at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. in Hostetter Gallery.

Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth will be on view through May 20.


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