Monterey, CA, December 24, 2017 — The Monterey Museum of Art will launch a three-part lecture series in January 2018, about honoring women who have made a difference in the creative arts.
The series, “Women Who Have Made a Difference in the Creative Arts,” opens Monday, Jan. 22, with “Living the Handmade Artist's Life” with Elizabeth Murray, followed by “Musically Speaking, Leadership in the Arts,” with Nicola Samra, Executive Director of the Monterey Symphony, on Monday, Jan. 29, and finally, in honor of Black History Month, “A Dramatic Presentation of ‘Corn Hollow’ ” with author LaVerne McLeod, on Monday, Feb. 5.
All one-hour lectures will be held from 1-2 p.m. Mondays, at the museum’s 559 Pacific St. location. The lectures are free to museum members and free for non-members with general admission to the museum.
Admission is $10 for adults and free for students and active duty military with I.D. and those 18 years and under. Visitors are welcome to bring food and drinks during this lunchtime lecture series.
The first lecture features painter, photographer, author, international workshop leader, and gardener Murray, who will be sharing the stories of her life as a multi-faceted artist.
Murray’s passion for nature and beauty has taken her around the world — from remote African villages and the Amazon rain forest, to Giverny, France, where she helped restore Monet's Gardens — inspiring her to create a diverse range of art works. Today some of her work resides in permanent installments in corporate collections.
As a popular keynote speaker, she uses the beauty of her photographic images, personal stories, garden metaphors, and humor, to inspire and connect her audience to what has meaning for them. Her goal is to help people express their own creativity in their work and personal lives.
Today, Elizabeth Murray lives in an historic artist colony belonging to painter Charles Rollo Peters in Monterey. She has been restoring the house, cottages and gardens for the last 18 years. The author of nine books, including best-selling “Monet's Passion,” “Living Life in Full Bloom,” and “Cultivating Sacred Space,” Elizabeth Murray finds the garden to be both a life-enriching art form, and a path to intimacy with nature.
Nicola Samra will discuss the role of women in arts management — the challenges and the opportunities. She promises to address favorite topics such as “work/life balance,” and “successful fundraising tips.” She will also give her take on common questions such as “Is classical music is dying? “Can you have it all?” and “What is the role of art in society?. In the process, Samra will share her own path to becoming Executive Director, and the things she learned along the way.
A classically trained violinist, Samra has performed, toured, or recorded with Mastodon, Sky Cries Mary, and Sera Cahoone, in addition to founding the all-female string trio, The Bella Trio.
She previously held positions at the Carmel Bach Festival and California State University Monterey Bay, in the university’s development department. A Seattle native, Samra worked for the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Women’s Medieval Choir, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Samra holds degrees in Spanish Literature and Music History from the University of Puget Sound, and an advanced degree in Arts Administration from the University of Washington.
In her spare time, Samra, along with her husband, Dr. Todd Samra, enjoy arguing about pronunciation and grammar, and playing Wiffleball with their three children, John (20), Connor (10) and Enzo (6).
Through an interactive performance of her novel, “Corn Hollow,” author LaVerne McLeod will tell the story of a young African American girl living in the heart of Tennessee during the rise of the civil rights movement.
The book is based on McLeod’s own experience with segregation in the American South. Using an innovative performance style, she will choose a chapter from her book, and bring the story to life by engaging the audience as participants.
McLeod has lived in communities in various parts of the country, including Arkansas, Missouri, and Palo Alto. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a Master of Arts degree in Counselor Education from Southeast Missouri State University, with continuing education work from San Jose State University in California.
She has lived in Big Sur since 1979, where she balances life as a wife, mother, educator, artist, and author. McLeod also has a rich history of leadership involvement with our community, including creating and facilitating Bridge Building to Equity workshops.
About the Monterey Museum of Art
The Monterey Museum of Art expands a passion for the visual arts and inspires appreciation of California Art — past, present, and future. The Monterey Museum of Art connects art and community, with an emphasis on participatory experiences built around the Museum’s strong collection of California and regional art. Exhibitions and programs of the highest quality are designed to engage and inspire visitors.
The museum was established in 1959, to uphold the artistic legacy of the region by collecting, preserving and presenting the art of California and the Central Coast. Originally a chapter of the American Federation of the Arts, MMA remains the only nationally accredited museum between San Jose and Santa Barbara.
Visit montereyart.org for additional information on the Museum's exhibitions, programming and events.
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Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901