“Art must get out of museums and reach the people” PANEL DISCUSSION and PICNIC LUNCHEON
Closing reception of Balance in Nature: Sculptures by Jerzy “Jotka” Kędziora
Saturday, October 19, 2019, 1:00pm, Old Westbury, NY
The Polish Cultural Institute NY is proud to announce a panel discussion “Art must get out of museums and reach the people” on the occasion of the closing reception of Balance in Nature! Sculpturesby Jerzy “Jotka” Kędziora exhibition currently on viewat the historic landmark, Old Westbury Gardens. We invite you, your family and friends for an accompanying afternoon luncheon picnic and special docent led tours of this spectacular exhibition which spans the grounds of this magnificent Charles II-style mansion nestled amid 200 acres of formal English style gardens.
In response to Jerzy Kędziora’s firm belief that art must be accessible, the panel discussion will examine contemporary figurative sculpture and its role in connection to public space within the art historical narrative, specifically centering around the current exhibit of the artist’s works at Old Westbury Gardens. The artist will elaborate on the intricacies and challenges of the process from concept to creation of his sculptures from concept to creation of his sculptures in relation to a given public space, as well as the issue of public perception of his art. Art historical discursive insight will be addressed by the Sculpture Center curator, Sohrab Mohebbi, the recipient of the 2012 Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for the blog presencedocuments. The role and meaning of public art in NYC Parks and public spaces will be discussed by the Deputy Director of Art & Antiquities at NYC Parks, Jennifer Lantzas. The panel will be moderated by an independent curator of modern and contemporary art, Marie-Ève Lafontaine, Managing Director of Arsenal Contemporary NY. Before and after the picnic luncheon and panel, visitors are invited to join for exhibition tours led by the docents of the Old Westbury Gardens Programs.
Perched high above the ground and between trees, Kędziora’s fantastical life-sized sculptures are unique for their ability to remain balanced in mid-air despite being attached at only one or two points. These captivating objects playfully mask the technique’s serious origins. The show features works from a dozen or so years, including Kędziora’s world-acclaimed series of gravity-defying sculptures.
1:30pm— I docent-led tour of the exhibit Balance in Nature! Sculptures by Jerzy Jotka Kędziora at the Old Westbury Gardens. Approximately 1-hour.
2:00pm — Picnic luncheon begins
2:30pm— II docent-led tour of the exhibit
3:00 pm—III docent-led tour of the exhibit
4:00- 5:30– Panel Discussion “Art must get out of museums and reach the people” followed by Q&A, moderated by Marie-Ève Lafontaine.
The panel discussion luncheon is organized by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with the Old Westbury Gardens, in association with the Art & Balance Foundation of Poland.
Jerzy Kędziora has been awarded numerous prizes, presidential awards and honorable mentions in various exhibitions and competitions such as LICC in London, Representational Art in Madrid, or A Sculpture for the City in Lakeland. Since the 1990s, Kędziora has been working on a series of hanging sculptures of balancing figures. Among them is “The Confession,” which won one of Poland’s major sculpture competitions. His works can be found in museums, galleries and governmental institutions, including the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and diplomatic sites in the United States. Recently, the artist was a special guest at Art Basel Miami, ArtExpo New York, Art San Diego, Art Palm Beach, and the Art Biennale in Venice. www.jerzykedziora.com
Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the former home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. Completed in 1906 by the English designer, George A. Crawley, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion is nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Westbury House is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from the more than fifty years of the family’s residence.
Today, Old Westbury Gardens welcomes visitors of all ages for guided tours of Westbury House, in-depth tours of the formal gardens, school visits, children’s programs and events, family programs, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, indoor and outdoor classical and pop concerts, lectures, book signings, horticultural demonstrations and workshops, Scottish Games, botanical arts and gardening classes, and Master Gardener and Educator-led talks and tours of topics relating to horticulture, art, history, design and architecture. www.oldwestburygardens.org
The Art & Balance Foundation was established in 2015 to promote the Polish national heritage, promote knowledge of contemporary art, including Polish sculpture, and to support, promote, consolidate and secure the work of Jerzy “Jotka” Kędziora.
Over the short period of activity, the Foundation has co-organized a number of exhibitions of balancing sculptures of Jerzy Kędziora in Poland (including Rabka, Sandomierz, Lublin, Puławy, Bełchatów) and also around the world: “The Art of Balance” (Miami, USA, 2017-2018), “Charlie Chaplin & Friends” (St. Urban, Switzerland, 2018-2020), “Polish Cultural Trail” in Singapore (2018-2019), “Balance in Nature” (Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, USA, 2019), which will be moved to several locations in Columbus, Ohio (2019-2020), as well as the widely commented exhibition “Between the Water and the Sky” presented from 2016 on the Father Bernatek Footbridge in Krakow, which so well entered the city landscape, that it has been transformed into a permanent outdoor gallery. The Foundation also took part twice in the International Day of Contemporary Sculpture “start’17” and “start’19” organized by the “Sculpture Network” – an international association of sculptors (our events were the only ones from Poland), as well as presenting the sculpture of Jerzy Kędziora at the exhibition accompanying the Venice Biennale, “Personal Structures – Open Borders” (2017) and installed seven balancing sculptures at ARTZUID 2019 – Amsterdam Sculpture Biennial (it’s a great success, so far no other artist from Poland has been invited there).