“Champagne, Yardbird, Firebird”: AAR Galleries host first in three-part experimental group show series

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“Champagne, Yardbird, Firebird”, which ran at the American Academy in Rome 17-29 November, was the first in a sequence of new brief, informal exhibitions in the AAR gallery space. David Humphrey and Jeff Williams curated and coordinated this first group show.

The series as a whole features the work not just of Rome Prize Fellows and Affiliated Fellows, but also Visiting Artists/Scholars and AAR Fellow Travelers (i.e., spouse/companions). Architects, landscape architects and scholars—as well as artists—all have been called upon to contribute to what is described by the curators Humphrey and Williams as “a collision of disparate styles and interests that exist in dynamic 
relation”.

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The aim of the larger experimental project is to take advantage of the AAR Galleries between the public exhibitions that the Academy produces—and more generally, to foster lively interactions between the various practices that thrive at the AAR.

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For the installation of “Champagne, Yardbird, Firebird” in the Academy Galleries, the official release noted that “curation is treated like collage as Humphrey and Williams playfully make use of every attribute of the space as staging areas for artwork.
 Photographs, drawings, paintings, installations and architectural renderings hang in close proximity, allowing both comical and poetic connections to form.”

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Two other projects are being developed to follow. 

Participants in “Champagne, Yardbird, Firebird” included:

Jennifer Coates
Clement Coleman
Chris Counts (Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture)
David Erdman (Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize in Design) and Clover Lee
Michael Harris
Hope Hasbrouck (Garden Club of America Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture)
David Humphrey (Harold M. English Rome Prize in Visual Arts)
Matthew Hural (Arnold W. Brunner Rome Prize in Architecture)
Andrew Kranis (National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation)
Maryann Fennimore Kranis
Rosa Lowinger (Booth Family Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation)
Dona Ann McAdams
Michael and Ursula McClure (Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize in Architecture)
Matthew Monteith (Abigail Cohen Rome Prize in Visual Arts)
John Parker (National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in Medieval Studies)
Jeff Williams

Martin Brody is the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director for the American Academy in Rome. Brody, Roberto Caracciolo (Arts Liaison), and Lexi Eberspacher (Programs Associate) provided support for this innovative and successful show.

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