For immediate release: April 24, 2018
Contact: Susan Strano, Marketing Director
802-447-1571 ext. 204
Jessica Park (b. 1958)
The Presto®Quartz Heater, 1986
Acrylic on paper, 17.5 inches x 11.5 inches
Bennington Museum Collection
Jessica Park (b. 1958)
Las Vegas, 2016
Acrylic on paper, 21 inches x 36 inches
Courtesy of the Artist
Gallery Shot of Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park
Jessica Park – Her Story Told
Oliver Sacks, M.D. (1933-2015) was a physician, best-selling author, and a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. He has been referred to as the “poet laureate of medicine” by the New York Times. In his film, “Rage for Order,” Sacks meets and tells the story of Jessica Park – an artist who lives with autism. It explores his encounter with her which offers profound insights into the nature of autism, a condition characterized by the abnormal social interactions with an inability to communicate easily. In the movie, Sacks, along with Jessica’s parents, explores previous efforts to define and understand this condition.
On Saturday, May 5 at 2:00 pm, “Rage for Order” screens at the Bennington Museum in the Ada Paresky Education Center. Join us in welcoming Tony Gengarelly, presenter, who for the past ten years has been the director of the Jessica Park Project, an educational and professional program at MCLA. This event is free, but does not include admission to the galleries.
Jessica Park (b. 1958) sees the world through high definition rainbow-colored glasses. A native of Williamstown, Massachusetts, she is an internationally-acclaimed artist on the autism spectrum. In Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings by Jessica Park, on view in the Regional Artists Gallery of Bennington Museum, she features a lesser-known aspect of her work, focusing on the first decade of her career and more recent creations from the last decade that were created at the artist’s own initiative as gifts for family and friends, or to keep for herself. These works reflect Park’s deeply personal interests, or “enthusiasms” as she calls them, in popular culture, astronomical phenomenon, and prismatic lights and color, natural or man-made, often configured in tightly controlled grid-like structures.
In addition to being the director of the Jessica Park Project, Tony Gengarelly, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of art history and museum studies at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he taught for over forty years. Gengarelly has curated, individually or with his students, over 30 exhibitions. He has written and published on a variety of subjects most noteworthy are articles for the Folk Art Messenger and publications on American poster art, Maurice Prendergast and American landscape painting.
Oliver Sacks, M.D. is best known for his collections of neurological case histories, including The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain and An Anthropologist on Mars. Awakenings, his book about a group of patients who had survived the great encephalitis lethargica epidemic of the early twentieth century, inspired the 1990 Academy Award-nominated feature film starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.
Dr. Sacks was a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.
About the Museum
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont. The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Tuesday, closed Wednesday February 2 through May. It is wheelchair accessible. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.
Bennington Museum is a member of ArtCountry, a consortium of notable art and performance destinations in the scenic northern Berkshires of Massachusetts and southern Green Mountains of Vermont, including The Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art , Williamstown Theatre Festival (20 minutes away); and MASS MoCA (25minutes away). Visit ArtCountry.org for more information on these five great cultural centers.