Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Probing the artist

Hailey Library series focuses on the life of artists

Probing the artist

Margaret Truman's novel "Murder at the National Gallery"

The life of an artist is often as compelling, if not more so, than the art that they produce. It would be a long, hard and ultimately fruitless search to discover the successful artist who lived with 2.4 children behind a white picket fence.

In an effort to investigate what makes an artist, and therefore their art, the Hailey Public Library presents its 2005 series "You Gotta Have 'Art!"

Book discussions, art shows, contests, improvisations, film festivals, speakers and parties are some of the activities the library will sponsor in this program that celebrates the life of artists.

Introducing the series is an adult discussion group, "Art Reframed." Running every Thursday evening from Feb. 10 through April 14, the series will include five novels and five films based on the lives of real artists.

The subjects of the chosen texts range from the sublime Michelangelo to the controversial 1980s street artist Jean Michel Basquiat.

The book discussions will include an introduction to each featured artist and special guests will provide information and points of view to enrich the commentary. The five screenings will alternate with the book discussions.

The focus of the series will be the artists as people, examined within their individual spheres of place and time. The books and films, in order chronologically, will provide an insight into the development of Western art and focus on how politics, social upheavals and religion have influenced that development.

The series opens on Thursday, Feb. 10 with a discussion of Margaret Truman's novel "Murder at the National Gallery." Art forgery and the inner workings of a major Washington, D.C., institution occupy center stage in the novel, which takes place during a major exhibit of paintings by Caravaggio.

Margaret Truman is a long term resident and Washington, D.C., insider and her Capital Crimes series is hugely popular.

An introduction to Caravaggio, as an artist and a person, will begin the discussion. Excerpts from the Sister Wendy art history video series will be shown to illustrate Caravaggio's place in art history.

Book copies are available at the library for checkout, or at local bookstores. No advance sign-up is necessary, and participants are welcome to partake of one or all events.

Brochures detailing the entire series are available at the library, on the corner of Main and Croy streets in Hailey. Information is also available at

The "Art Reframed" discussion series program:

Feb. 10, "Murder at the National Gallery" by Margaret Truman (book)

Feb. 17, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (film)

Feb. 24, "The Passion of Arttemesia" (book)

March 3, "Brush with Fate" (film)

March 10, "Girl With the Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier (book)

March 17, "Camille Claudel" (film)

March 24, "The Forger" by Paul Watkins (book)

March 31, "Pollock" (film)

April 7, "Seek My Face" by John Updike (book)

April 14, "Basquiat" (film)

All discussions take place at the Hailey Pubic Library, Main Street, Hailey, on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.

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