"The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years" Opens at Boston Public Library
Exhibition in Copley Square highlights BPL collection and celebrates AIB centennial
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For Immediate Release
March 18, 2013
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One hundred years of The Art Institute of Boston (AIB) is celebrated in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library. In honor of AIB’s centennial, the exhibition The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years showcases prints, drawings, and photographs by talented faculty and students.

The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years is a collaborative effort between Boston Public Library and The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. The exhibition opens on Friday, March 22, at the Central Library in Copley Square and runs through Saturday, June 29.

There are thirteen artists featured in the exhibition. Dating from 1949 to 2012, all of the prints, drawings, and photographs in the exhibition are part of Boston Public Library’s collection of works on paper by artists with ties to Boston. There are 58 single works and four portfolios in the exhibition.

The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years is among a number of events and exhibitions occurring throughout the year celebrating AIB’s centennial. Founded as the School of Practical Art, AIB was one of the nation's first private studio schools. Today, AIB offers two Masters of Fine Arts programs, enrolls 500 students annually in Bachelor of Fine Arts Programs in Fine Arts, Photography, Illustration, Animation, Art History and Design, and conducts classes for high school students and adult learners.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the Boston Public Library on this public exhibition celebrating AIB’s Centennial,” said Stan Trecker, Dean of AIB. “We appreciate the Library’s focus on the talents and creativity of the AIB faculty and students who are represented in the BPL’s outstanding collection of artworks.”

A key feature of the exhibition is a selection of artwork from portfolios created by students in AIB’s advanced printmaking class. Since 1992, under the leadership of instructor Liza Folman, students in the course have created an annual exchange portfolio based on a theme of their choosing. Over the years, and through the generous donations of the advanced printmaking classes, Boston Public Library’s Print Department has acquired seventeen of the portfolios, which now reside in the library’s permanent collection. In addition to artwork from Folman’s students, Folman’s own work is highlighted in The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years.

“The exhibition celebrates Boston Public Library’s acquisition of works by Boston artists who have contributed to the Boston art scene both as professional artists and as long-time AIB faculty members,” said Karen Shafts, the Boston Public Library’s Assistant Keeper of Prints and curator of The Art Institute of Boston: Celebrating 100 Years.

The exhibition will be on display in the Wiggin Gallery at Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. For detailed gallery hours, visit www.bpl.org/general/hours.htm. Boston Public Library’s exhibition blog is located at www.bpl.org/exhibitions.

The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University was founded in 1912 as the School of Practical Art, one of the nation's first private studio schools. Renamed The Art Institute of Boston in 1967, AIB established itself as a non-profit and reflected the school's increased focus on fine art, design, illustration, and photography. AIB merged with Lesley University in 1998, expanding offerings to students throughout both institutions. This year, construction will begin on a new home for AIB in Cambridge. The new Lesley University Arts Center will be adjacent to Lesley University’s Porter Campus, and the move from Kenmore Square to Porter Square will bring the 100-year tradition of educating artists and designers, as well as year-round cultural events, to Cambridge and the wider Lesley University community. To learn more, visit www.lesley.edu/aib.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a literacy center, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit www.bpl.org.

Image: Liza Folman. Corrosion, 1996. Etching and aquatint with relief color. Published in the portfolio "Time Pieces," published 2000.

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