"Maple Madness" Strikes the Clark February 1

For Immediate Release

January 20, 2004

"Maple Madness" is the theme for an afternoon of family fun at the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, February 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. Maple-sugar inspired live entertainment, art making, and activities will celebrate the Clark's current exhibition Sugaring Off: The Maple Sugar Paintings of Eastman Johnson. Festivities include folk music, a puppet show, snowshoeing, maple granola making, gallery talks, and more. Admission is free.

Folk singer and dulcimer player Margaret MacArthur will perform traditional farm songs from Vermont at 1 p.m. MacArthur performs nationally and internationally and is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award from the Vermont Arts Council. Her CD Vermont Ballads & Broadsides was named as one of Yankee magazine's all time Top 40.

The Tanglewood Marionettes will present the "maple sugar" version of "Hansel and Gretel" at 3 p.m.

At 1, 1:45 2:30, and 3:15, Jennifer Trainer Thompson will demonstrate maple granola making. Thompson is author of Very Maple Syrup and has won numerous awards for her cookbooks.

Throughout the afternoon, weather permitting, visitors may snowshoe around the Clark campus to look for sugar maples and other trees.
Art-making activities will include making jewelry and other crafts from sap tubing and leaf rubbing pictures. Gallery talks of the exhibition will be offered at 1:15 and 2:15.

Sugaring Off: The Maple Sugar Paintings of Eastman Johnson reunites a series of paintings by Eastman Johnson representing maple-sugar-making traditions in New England. At the time of the Civil War, Johnson created a series of oil sketches depicting the charm of Yankee life-kettle tenders, storytellers, children with sleds, and woodcutters-culminating in large oil sketches of the "sugaring off," a party at which townspeople and farmers would gather around bubbling sap kettles for a feast. Fifteen of the best of these works will be featured in the exhibition, along with a video about maple sugar making past and present. Organized by the Clark Art Institute, Sugaring Off will be on view at the Clark January 18 through April 18 and will later travel to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

The Clark will offer a second family day related to the exhibition on Saturday, March 28, and an open house throughout February school vacation week, February 16-20, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is free through June 26. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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