Spring has brought a burst of new exhibitions at The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown and at Butler branches in nearby Salem and Howland. As always, variety is the keyword in Butler programming, with something for every art lover to see and enjoy.
On view in Youngstown through June 16, "No Air: The Fine Art of Sculptural Glass" is drawing audiences of all ages to works by artists who used experimental glass forming and coloring techniques.
Included in the show, on view in the Butler second-floor north galleries, are free-standing floor works, wall pieces and constructions that glow with bright hues and fantastic shapes.
Artists whose works are included in the show are Michael Zelenka, Henry Halem, Rene Culler, Jerry Catania, Fred diFrenzi, Sean Mercer and Herb Babcock.
Also new on view in Youngstown are paintings by Pittsburgh artist Joan Milsom. The show of 20 works can be seen in the Butler's second floor Davis Gallery.
Also on view in the Youngstown Butler's Flad Gallery is a new light show by California artist Milton Komisar -- a performance in light, color and movement, this electronics installation is best described as a painting with light. The show is sponsored in part by Butler Wick & amp; Co.
On exhibit through June 2 in the Youngstown Butler's Mesaros Galleries is "The Artist's Hand: Willem de Kooning Drawings, 1937-1954." This exhibition presents a survey of the drawings of a famous master of Abstract Expressionism.
De Kooning often drew on his canvas before starting to paint, and he drew constantly on paper, with little regard for the differences between a preparatory sketch, a quick notation and an individual work. The exhibition is presented courtesy of Mitchell, Innes & amp; Nash and in conjunction with Matthew Marks Gallery, New York City. On May 14 at noon there will be a screening of a de Kooning documentary in the museum's Zona Auditorium.
Opening today and continuing through June are works by two very accomplished artist-photographers. Pittsburgh's Aaronel de Roy Gruber displays classic photography showcasing traditional photography techniques, and includes a variety of subjects from landscapes to abstract compositions.
A meet-the-artist reception is set for Sunday, May 26, from 3-5 p.m. And artist Janine Stern, formerly of New Castle and now living and working in New Mexico, presents "The Factory Drawings," a series that combines traditional drawing techniques with digital photography and computer imaging. A gallery talk by Stern is planned for Tuesday, June 11, at 12:30 p.m.
The Butler is the host of the annual YWCA Women's art show through June 1st. The exhibition features work by local, regional and national women artists in all media. This year's honorees include; Yu Ling Yang, Rebecca Streb, Sharlene Green, Dianne K. Martin, Georgene Wright, Mary Kay D'Isa, Roxana Genis, Lynn Cardwell, May Halliday, Linda Johnson, Mandy Maloney, Cathleen Milligan, Lisa Pelo-McNiece, Elizabeth Rundorff, Peggy Townley, Sonja Tugend and Jane VandenEynden.
Beginning June 2 at the Butler branch in Howland will be an exhibition of the work of sculptor Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935).
In 1906, this French sculptor immigrated to the United States, where he became one of the pioneers of modern American sculpture. The artist is known for his purposeful distortion of the figure, inflating forms to create buoyancy. The artist's wife was the model for most of his work.
The exhibition is funded by Foundation Medici and on loan to the Butler courtesy of Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, New York City. To highlight this exhibition, an afternoon reception and gallery talk by curator Paula Hornbostel titled "The Heroic Ideal" is set for Sunday, June 16.
Currently at the Butler Salem branch, a very popular quilt show titled "The Same, Yet Different: Quiltmaking Meets the Modern Eye" is drawing large audiences. This exhibition of works by 13 artists was curated by Ohio quiltmaker Suzanne Evenson, and it represents variety and innovation in style and design. A meet-the-artists reception and gallery talk by Suzanne Evenson is set for Sunday, May 19, from 1-3 p.m.
National Midyear Show
June 30 through August 18 the Butler will present the 66th National Midyear Show, an annual painting show, which showcases the work of artists living in the United States or its possessions.
This year's exhibition was judged by Jerry Berger, Director of the Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Mo., and underwritten by David and Diana (Catignan) Chappell. A Butler Members Preview reception is planned for Friday, July 5, from 7-9 p.m.
Accompanying the Midyear Show will be "Joseph Sheppard: 50 Years of Art," a retrospective of drawings, paintings and sculpture by a master of realism who lives and works in both Maryland and Italy. (The Butler will honor Sheppard at the annual Midyear reception planned for July 5.)
There are still a few openings for youngsters interested in attending the Butler's Annual Summer Arts Day Camp, held the last two weeks of July. For information or to register, call the museum's education department at (330) 743-1711, extension 114.
XButler hours in Youngstown are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Butler hours at the Trumbull branch are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Butler Salem hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to all three facilities is free.