Art After Dark: Primavera & First Light Funeral

Join us for Art After Dark: Primavera & First Light Funeral at the Newport Art Museum on April 14th from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. In the spirit of Catalyzing Newport’s “Culture of Yes” Catalyst residency with the Knight Foundation, steering committee members, The Newport Arboretum, Salve Regina University, NAM, and National Grid collaborate on the First Light Funeral, a farewell to the beloved 180-year-old Fernleaf Beech tree in true New Orleans style!

Newport, RI – Art After Dark, the Newport Art Museum’s popular late night event, held each month on the second Thursday (Newport Gallery Night), will celebrate the advent of spring with “Primavera” and also bid a sad farewell to the Museum’s beloved 180 year old Fernleaf Beech tree, on April 14 from 5-9pm.

In the spirit of the Culture of Yes!, Catalyzing Newport steering committee members, the Newport Art Museum and the Newport Arboretum invite the community to join us at the Museum for this collaborative event.  Art After Dark is pleased to participate in First Light Funeral, the kickoff event for Newport Arboretum Week and the Newport Arboretum’s first ever “Lighting of the Beeches” festival. Together we will celebrate the life of the Newport Art Museum’s iconic Fernleaf Beech, which is succumbing to age and is scheduled for removal this spring.  

The celebration will take place at the Museum and will feature Salve Regina University’s Jazz Ensemble performing New Orleans’ style jazz funeral arrangements and performances by Rhode Island’s ballet theater.  The Museum will host an exhibit of special hand-crafted shrines made by community members in workshops led by Christina Bertoni, professor emerita from RISD, with assistance from Newport Art House.  Guests will be invited to share their thoughts on leaf shaped notes that will be attached to the tree.  Following a lively procession to the beech tree, noted local scholar Nancy Austin will share reflections on the beeches as living landmarks that tell the story of Newport’s heritage as readily as our iconic architecture.

Art After Dark will welcome Harvest Kitchen and Sweet Magnolia Soups as our Chef’s in Residence, and popcorn courtesy of NewportFilm.  The Coleman Center Maker Space will feature “seed bomb” making where guests can take home a Newport Art Museum Beech tree great-great-great-grandchild seed to plant (or nasturtiums for those with limited space!)  Enjoy guided mini-tours of the galleries, exhibiting artist talks, scavenger hunts, and don’t miss star-gazing on the lawn with Skyscraper’s, RI’s Amateur Astronomical Society.  They will train their high-powered telescopes at the vast universe and share their knowledge of the constellations and related myths.   

So dress warmly and follow the luminary to the Museum for this special evening event.

Admission to Art After Dark is free for Members ($10 suggested donation for non-members)

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