Art lovers will have lots to revel in during the fifth annual Party on the Porch at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth. The iconic building, named after former Star-Telegram publisher Amon G. Carter Sr., closed in June for an overhaul. And when the doors of the newly remodeled space open on Sept. 14, it’ll be easier for patrons to access what’s new inside.
Carter was an avid collector of renowned Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, whose works are among those on display in the museum’s redesigned galleries.
“Our Legacy Galleries, which house work by Fredric Remington and C.M. Russell, are now better situated within the context of the museum’s entire collection,” says museum spokesperson Kimberly Daniell. “Seven new, permanent collection galleries each offer a new perspective on American creativity with art organized around themes that explore a set of ideas.”
Much like its namesake, the museum is about community. The space was built in 1961, meant to house Carter’s collections while fulfilling his wish for it to operate for “the benefit of the public and to aid in the promotion of cultural spirit in the city of Fort Worth and vicinity,” says the museum website. It’s also meant to “stimulate the artistic imagination among young people residing there.”
Admission to the museum’s permanent art collections is always free. Following 10 days of members-only previews, the Party on the Porch, which is also free, will kick off at 10 a.m. on Sept. 14, and continue until 10 p.m., allowing visitors to party into the night.
“Visitors enjoy getting to explore the museum after normal museum hours through tours and art-making,” Daniell says. “A highlight of the night is the outdoor concerts. This year, we are opening with Abraham Alexander, a Fort Worth native, followed by The Band of Heathens from Austin.”
Along with the music, festivities and food trucks, revelers can also gaze at the work of innovative artists like Gordon Parks, Camille Utterback and others.
Parks seized the spirit of the civil rights movement through his lens and became one of the most prominent photographers of his time. Visitors can learn more about the artist and his style through Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950, which runs through Dec. 29. The exhibit provides an intimate look at the early years of the artist through 150 photographs as well as books, magazines, news articles and pamphlets.
Parks' groundbreaking work pushed for racial equality for African Americans. “From his fashion photographs to his thoughtful depictions of American life, Parks used the camera as his tool for proclaiming the value of an American community built on freedom and equality.”
In addition, new media artist Camille Utterback’s living abstractions are set to come alive in Set in Motion: Camille Utterback and Art That Moves. Visitors can interact by walking, dancing or moving in the space of the installation, which runs through Dec. 8 and is shown along with a collection of works by trailblazing female artists.
The unique style of Fort Worth artists Scott and Stuart Gentling can also be seen through 23 of their watercolors, which will be displayed in Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas, a collection of hyper-detailed paintings using copious brushstrokes just on one feather alone.
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Meanwhile, in Puente Nuevo by Justin Favela, contemporary artist Justin Favela uses colossal amounts of cut tissue paper to create murals in the museum that are inspired by works within the museum’s collection.
“Favela draws on his own Mexican and Guatemalan heritage to reinterpret art work from the past,” says the release. “His work bridges past and present and creates connections across cultures, bringing dynamic color, energy and fun to the museum experience.”
Brett Abbott, the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, says there’s been a remarkable amount of commitment to renewal, creativity and investment in the institution this year.
“We are excited to welcome our audiences back to the new Carter,” he says.