Arts Agenda: Art heads outdoors as sculptures, festivals highlight season

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Sculpture takes center stage at leading museums and gardens, while performing arts festivals get spring off to a good start.

Domestic

Charleston, S.C. -- The Spoleto Festival USA returns for its 32nd season at sites throughout the city from May 23 to June 8 featuring acclaimed arts groups from throughout the world and several premiere performances. Highlighted is a newly revised version of the Anthony Davis opera "Amistad."

Cleveland -- "Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum through Sept. 28 treats the national pastime as a pop-culture phenomenon with displays of sheet music, films, sports memorabilia and listening stations featuring baseball-associated songs. 

Durham, N.C. -- The campus of Duke University is the setting for the 75th American Dance Festival, from June 5 to July 19.

Grand Rapids, Mich. -- One of only four sets of Degas' famed set of 73 bronze castings is on display in the exhibition "Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures" at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park from May 30 to Aug. 31.

Katonah, N.Y. -- Everyday objects transformed into works of art, including a Red Groom light bulb, a Jasper Johns hanger and a Roy Lichtenstein mirror, are among the works featured in "Here's the Thing: The Single Object Still Life" at the Katonah Museum of Art through June 29.  

Los Angeles -- Happenings, ubiquitous art experiences in the '50s and '60s, come to life again at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary Museum through June 30. "Alan Kaprow: Art as Life" focuses on the career of the conceptual artist who coined the term.

New Haven, Conn. -- "A New World: England's First View of America" at the Yale Center for British Art through June 1 features nearly 100 watercolors by Elizabethan artist John White. The works are the only surviving visual record of England's first settlement in America.

New York -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, with its views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, provides a dramatic setting for "Jeff Koons on the Roof," an installation of sculpture by a leading American artist, through Oct. 26. The museum also displays movie costumes and haute-couture in its exploration of "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" from May 7 to Sept. 1. 

Works by Henry Moore, one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, are on display at the New York Botanical Garden from May 24 to Nov. 2. "Moore in America: Monumental Sculpture" includes 21 large works, most displayed in outdoor settings.

One of the key periods in American art, abstract expressionism, is explored in depth in "Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning and American Art, 1940-1976" at the Jewish Museum through Sept. 21.

It's only one evening a year, but for rabid museumgoers it's the night worth waiting for. At the 30th annual Museum Mile Festival on June 3, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission is free at nine of New York's leading museums along Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th streets. Fifth Avenue, closed to traffic, will feature live music and street entertainers in front of each of the museums. 

"Hamlet," the opener of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park season, runs from May 27 to June 29 in Central Park's Delacorte Theater.

Palm Springs, Calif. -- "Picasso to Moore: Modern Sculpture From the Weiner Collection" is at the Palm Springs Art Museum through Oct. 19.

Philadelphia -- The national dress of Japan is the subject of "Fashion Kimono: Dress and Modernity in Early Twentieth Century Japan" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through July 20.

agenda050508More than 150 artifacts from the shipwreck of a famed pirate ship are on display at the Franklin Institute from May 31 to Nov. 2 in the exhibit "Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah."

San Diego -- Recent sculptures, drawings and large installations by a leading contemporary artist are featured in "Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes." The exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art runs through June 30.

Santa Ana, Calif. -- Fourteen famed warriors are coming to America for their first visit. "Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor" will be featured in the exhibition at the Bowers Museum from May 18 to Oct. 12 along with life-size bronze animals and chariots.

International

Berlin -- The city's Kreuzberg district from May 9 to 12 is the setting for the 13th annual "Carnival of Cultures," focusing on Berlin's ethnic diversity. It features thousands of dancers, singers and musicians from more than 70 nations and a giant parade.

Cannes, France -- The Cannes Film Festival takes over the city from May 14 to 25. 

Hong Kong -- Some 100 visiting galleries are participating in the first Hong Kong International Art Fair from May 14 to 18 at the Convention and Exhibition Center.

Humlebaek. Denmark -- In a village just a short train ride from Copenhagen, two famed 20th century artists share the spotlight through June 29 in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art exhibition "Cezanne and Giacometti."  

Liverpool, England -- The Beatles Story Museum offers the exhibition "The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes" through Aug. 15.

Paris -- An ill-fated queen undergoes close scrutiny in the exhibition "Marie Antoinette" at the Grand Palais through June 30. More than 300 paintings, decorations and sculptures are used to trace key moments in the queen's life.

Arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is editor of Arts Management and author of eight books including his latest, The ReissSource Directory of the Arts (AEBMedia, Chicago).

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