Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University (CAM) continues its mission of “connecting diverse audiences to art by inspiring creativity and learning within the campus community and beyond” with the release of its fall public programming schedule. The lineup marks the CAM’s first comprehensive public arts initiative since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re excited to share our fall lineup,” CAM Director Ellen Owens said. “We’ve worked hard to offer something for everyone, from children to young adults to lifelong learners. Art should be available to all. To ensure our programs are more accessible to those with restricted incomes, we are introducing a new initiative that waives the program costs for EBT cardholders.”
Programs for adults include:
•CAM public tours will be held from 1-2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. Tour participants can pay as they wish. Preregistration is not required.
√ Oct. 1: Explore the “Passion and Patronage Gifts from the Gerald Mead Collection” with Dr. Gerald C. Mead Jr.
√ Nov. 5: Sabine Kutt provides a guided tour of the exhibition “Living through War: Works from Kharkiv by Bella Logachova.”
√ Dec. 3: Enjoy an exhibition designed by Niagara University intro to museum studies students that explores social interaction.
•“CAM Meets” is an art history lecture and video documentary viewing series for lifelong learners.
√ Tuesday, Sept. 13: Artist, collector, curator, writer and educator Mead presents “Anatomy of a Gift,” a discussion on how and why privately collected artworks become public, as well as his 25-year history of gifting and purchasing artworks for the CAM collection.
√ Friday, Nov. 9: CAM’s curator of folk arts, Edward Millar, presents “Documenting Folklife in Niagara.” The session includes a spirited discussion and documentary screening that explores the role of fieldwork in preserving local Armenian cultural heritage. Millar will also discuss occupational culture and the folklore of dirt track workers at the legendary Ransomville Speedway, informed by the recent CAM exhibition “Ransomville Speedway: History, Culture at a Dirt Track,” along with several of Millar’s audio interviews from the Library of Congress digital collection, “Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Racing in Western New York.” Both sessions will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
•“Currents” is an intimate lecture series geared toward young adults, educators, and thinkers with a focus on contemporary issues and trends in art, cultural heritage, and local and global museum topics conducted on select Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.
√ Oct. 11: Learn more about the diverse imagery of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), from ofrendas (altars) and catrinas to calaveras (skulls) and marigolds, along with discussion led by artist Mara Odette that explore issues of cultural appropriation and adaptation.
√ Dec. 6: Dr. Amelia Gallagher will discuss her exhibition, “Ecce Sublima (Behold the Sublime): The Art of Christianity,” which explores the ability to teach religious studies by using art. The exhibition includes depictions of sainthood, the divine feminie, religious vestments, and the immersive art of prophet Isiah Robinson.
“Art Express” helps kids learn about and make art. (Photo courtesy of CAM)
Programs for children and families include:
•“Art Express” is an engaging, child-focused program held on select Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children ages 6 to 12 participate in hands-on art-marking activities and museum exploration. CAM teaching artists collaborate with participants to create thematic artwork inspired by the CAM collection.
√ Sept. 19: “Falling for Art”
√ Oct. 22: “Spooky Season”
√ Nov. 26: “Family and Community Art Making”
Bookmaking workshops are family-friendly folk arts classes conducted in collaboration with the Western New York Book Arts Center, held on select Saturdays from 2-3:30 p.m. Participants learn to make their book of choice (e.g., pamphlet stitch book, journal, poetry pocket book, sketch pad).
√ Sept. 24: Make a book using ebru, as seen in CAM’s exhibition “Painting Water and Cutting Paper: Traditional Turkish Paper Arts.”
Programs require preregistration (registration fees are nonrefundable). The non-member admission cost for each program, with the exception of the pay-as-you-wish CAM public tours, is $10 per person/child and is free for CAM members, Niagara University students, and EBT cardholders. CAM members and EBT cardholders can call 716-286-8201 for a discount code.
The CAM is free and open to the public 1-7 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays.
CAM's permanent collection includes more than 5,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art, Niagara Falls art, and regional folk arts.