Huntington Museum of Art (Huntington, WV)

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Lorna Simpson’s Easy to Remember, 2001, one of the pieces exhibited at the Huntington Museum of Art’s large-scale video series, VIDEO: Beyond the Frame. Image courtesy of Lennon, Weinberg Gallery

Located in rural Appalachia, the Huntington Museum of Art serves the tri-state area of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern Ohio. The region’s largest fine arts museum, the Huntington serves the community through arts, arts education, and nature programming. The museum’s extensive permanent collection of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, ethnographic objects, and decorative art is at the heart of its exhibition schedule, which is further enhanced by temporary exhibits. In FY 2007, the Huntington Museum of Art received an NEA Access to Artistic Excellence grant of $15,000 to support VIDEO: Beyond the Frame, a large-scale video series.

The year-long project featured exhibitions of work by four master video artists for approximately ten weeks each. Lorna Simpson’s Easy to Remember was on view from February 1-April 30, Bill Viola’s Ascension was on view from May 10-July 30, Peter Sarkisian’s Dusted was on view from Aug 10- Oct. 30, and the series closed with Mary Lucier’s Floodsongs on view from Nov. 10-January 30, 2008. The works in the exhibition were selected to highlight a diversity of styles within the medium as well as for the accessibility of their subject matter. According to the museum, the video exhibition was planned in order to “provide the audience with an opportunity to view an art form that it would otherwise have to travel to a large metropolitan area to experience... Viewing these objects tests our skills of observation, listening, and contemplation.”

The museum also produced a catalogue and hosted educational activities around the video art exhibition, the first exhibition of this art form in the museum’s history. In February 2007, noted art historian Michael Rush presented a public illustrated lecture on the history of video art. Rush also served on the jury for Exhibition 208, the Huntington’s annual regional juried exhibition, which in 2007 featured a special call to video artists. In November 2007, featured artist Mary Lucier gave a public lecture and also facilitated a full-weekend, intensive video workshop. Approximately 50,000 people benefited from the exhibition and outreach activities.

(From the NEA 2007 Annual Report)