Addison Gallery of American Art Reopens to Public With “Inside, Outside, Upstairs, Downstairs.”

Students, teachers, alumni and other visitors crowded the lobby of the Addison Gallery of American Art on Saturday, September 25 for the reopening celebration of the museum. The Addison Gallery showcased the critically acclaimed exhibit, “Inside, Outside, Upstairs, Downstairs.” Brian Allen, Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art, said, “We always have a big party a couple of weeks after a show formally opens, so that the PA community has time to get settled [after the first opening].” At the event, visitors perused the recently curated galleries and visited the Learning Center to talk to Tristan Perich ’00, Andover’s Artist-in-Residence. The Addison organized the newly renovated galleries into distinct themes: Industry, Essence, Geometry, Testament, Intersection, Document, Sequence, and Presence. Allison Kemmerer, Curator of Photography and Art, said, “When we display work and add to the collection, we are constantly thinking about how objects speak to one another across time and media.” “For example, instead of hanging all of the 19th century paintings together in one room or contemporary art in another room, we wanted to install works that integrated the different medias. As a teaching museum, we think that these combinations and juxtapositions encourage interesting conversation and ideas,” Kemmerer continued. The themes of each room tied together abstract ideas and grounded concepts behind every painting and photograph. Kit Nichols ’89 said, “The geometry room was neat because even though the pieces were great separately, all together they were even more powerful.” Nick Camarda ’12 said, “I thought that the exploration room was incredible because there was so much detail in the paintings and it really gave me a new appreciation of art.” The curated room entitled “Presence” was also popular among visitors for its redefinition of the classic American portrait. Thea Shapiro, Andover town resident, said, “‘I loved how the [Presence] room relayed old and contemporary profiles in a different way.” As visitors drifted from the galleries into the Learning Center, they were able to observe Perich’s new art piece. Perich described his newly installed exhibit, “Machine Drawings” as “random, programmed movements of the pen.” “I had some creative ideas that I wanted to express visually, so I combined my fascination of computer science with visual art, to create a mathematical distortion,” he said. Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, said, “I think that one of the most exciting things about [Perich] being here is that he is a recent graduate [of Phillips Academy].” “His artwork is cutting edge because he uses recent forms of media such as music and computer science,” she continued. Many alumni, residents of Andover and older members of the community enjoyed seeing the difference between the old Addison Gallery and the newly renovated one. Nichols said, “It was amazing to get a sense of the breadth and warmth from the new Addison. The first floor of the old gallery was rather empty and cold when I was here [at Andover], but now it’s filled with astonishing works of art.” Hugh Samson ’68 said, “Returning to the Addison was like looking through rose-colored glasses. I had so many fond memories of the old Addison, but seeing the new additions was great as well.” Through the reopening, students and faculty members had a chance to renew their appreciation for the gallery. Matthew Lloyd Thomas ’12 said, “The exhibition was great because I had never been to the Addison before. It’s a magnificent building and a wonderful resource to us [Phillips Academy] students.” Edward Rotundo, Instructor in History and Social Science, said, “I’ve been at Phillips Academy for thirty years and I still can’t believe that we have a great facility like this at a high school.” Sofia Duque ’11 said, “It’s awesome how this museum attracts people from across the country; it gives Andover a renown reputation while also fostering a sense of community across campus.” Jamie Kaplowitz, Museum Learning Fellow, considered the event an absolute success. Kaplowitz said that the guests at the turnout was a small, yet reflective sampling of the community as a whole and allowed visitors to interact with the museum and each other. The Addison currently houses works of Mel Kendrick, Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Hopper and Stuart Davis among other reputable artists.