Celebrate a new season of art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Mar. 18-20

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Holi at Birmingham Museum of Art
Holi: A Festival of Color. Birmingham Museum of Art (Jacob Blankenship/Bham Now)

As trees are starting to bloom, the Birmingham Museum of Art is getting ready to kick off a new season of art with three big events, and you’re invited! Set aside March 18-20 for an exciting weekend of free festivities that you don’t want to miss at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

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Here’s what’s happening:

Vishnu
Manjari Sharma. Lord Vishnu, 2013. Birmingham Museum of Art purchase.

Celebrate a new season of art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Mar. 18-20

  1. The (Spring) ReFRAME Party—opening night at the museum, sponsored by Medical Properties Trust, Friday, March 18, 5-9PM | Register now to save your spot at this free, limited-space event
  2. 11th Annual Holi Festival—celebrate the arrival of spring Saturday, March 19 | Free + open to all
  3. Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen—check out this new exhibit starting March 19 + running through January 15, 2023 | Free + open to all

Keep reading for all the details, and visit the Birmingham Museum of Art online for hours, directions and parking.

1. The (Spring) ReFRAME Party, sponsored by Medical Properties Trust

Manjari Sharma
Manjari Sharma. (Rachel Hulin)

Be the first to see the BMA’s newest exhibition, Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Hindu deities, here’s your chance.

What: a celebratory night at the Museum, highlighting recently-opened exhibitions and the BMA’s outstanding permanent collections, including:

  • Special in-person lecture at 6PM with the artist herself, Manjari Sharma | Register separately for this 
  • Gallery talks by BMA curators
  • Henna Art Stations
  • Sound Bath Experience
  • Live music, including DJ sets
  • Activities + more, including face painting + photobooth
  • Cash bar, food trucks

When: Friday, March 18, 5-8PM

Where: Galleries throughout the BMA

Register now | space is limited + registration is required

2. The 11th Annual Holi Festival

Celebrate a new season of art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Mar. 18-20

Holi at the BMA
Holi: A Festival of Color. Birmingham Museum of Art (Jacob Blankenship/Bham Now)

The BMA is proud to co-host a quarterly family-friendly Heritage Festival, sponsored by Medical Properties Trust, with the Indian Cultural Society, and Holi (pronounced like “holy”) provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate spring.

What: A Festival of Color, where communities come together for a fun-filled day celebrating Indian culture. Here’s a taste of what to expect:

  • Indian dance performances
  • Food tastings
  • Henna
  • Art-making activities
  • Gallery exploration
  • Throwing of Gulal (traditional Hindu name given to colored powders) in the BMA’s parking lot at the end of the day to welcome the spring season—wear something you don’t mind having to wash!

Where: Inside the museum + in the parking lot

Free + open to the public, no registration required

3. Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen

Laxmi
Manjari Sharma. Maa Laxmi, 2011-2013. Courtesy of the artist

In case you’re wondering, darshan means to see and be seen by the divine.

Ms. Manjari Sharma, born in Mumbai, India and living in Brooklyn, New York, is a rising star. While her contemporary exhibition will be on view in the Pizitz Galleries from March 19-January 15, 2023, seeing it during the festival weekend will be extra special.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to register early, you’ll be able to hear the artist herself on Friday night at 6PM.

One cool thing about this exhibition is that it features contemporary images of nine of the most significant deities of the Hindu pantheon alongside the diverse historic collections of the BMA. This gives a broader context to the Indic (referring to India and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka) world through works of art from Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal and Thailand.

The Darshan series began as a multi-year, crowdfunded Kickstarter project. She created every image photographically and without digital manipulation. Making it happen required a cross-continental organization of a large team of models and craftspeople.

Kickstarter donations helped fund the following:

  • Materials to dress each image
  • Payment for the expert set designers, tailors, jewelers, carpenter + special effects makers

The BMA acquired one of only two editions of the complete series in 2021, and the only one in the world with frames at such a large scale.

Manjari Sharma earned her BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and a BSC from Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College, Mumbai. Her artistic practice ranks with contemporary artists like Phyllis Galembo, Dawoud Bey and Eugene Tapahe, whose photographs you may have seen as part of the Jingle Dress Project exhibition. Her work is commissioned, exhibited, collected and published globally.

Plan now to head to the Birmingham Museum of Art the weekend of March 18-20 to welcome spring. Visit BMA’s website + follow them on Facebook or Instagram today.

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Sharron Swain

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