Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

April 24, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—On Wednesday, April 30, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will host Spring Into Art, a night of art, music and springtime fun for the community. The free party will also celebrate the debut of the Mead’s two new audio and video podcast series, Mead Audio Tours and Ten Minutes with a Masterpiece, which are available for download on the museum’s Web site and through the iTunes music store.

The evening will feature talks by Amherst students, beginning with the introduction of The Water’s Edge: Innovation and Exploration in Watercolor, a new exhibition organized by the students in museum director Elizabeth Barker’s Making an Exhibition interterm seminar. Spring Into Art will also include a performance by the college’s Young Lions jazz ensemble, acrobatics by Hampshire College’s Criss Cross troupe and a cappella music by the Blue Stockings, Route 9 and the Zumbyes. The gathering will also mark the unveiling of the Mead Audio Tours and Ten Minutes with a Masterpiece podcast series, which were recorded by the museum’s docents and Amherst interterm seminar participants and math students.

Each episode of Mead Audio Tours is recorded by the college’s undergraduates and provides a fresh look at an artwork in the museum’s collection. In one episode, sophomores Caroline Edmundson and Emily Mackey discuss the peculiarities of John Singer Sargent’s In a Garden, Corfu, explore his career as an artist and share what they personally love about the painting. Another episode features students in mathematics professor Benjamin Hutz’s Multivariable Calculus class describing their process of making three-dimensional computer models of works of art at the Mead.

Ten Minutes with a Masterpiece is a video podcast that documents gallery talks presented by students in the museum’s volunteer docent program this past semester. It provides a convenient way for visitors to relive a favorite talk, see one they might have missed and/or enjoy bonus materials such as interactive diagrams and images of related artworks.

Mead patrons are encouraged to upload the podcasts to their MP3 players prior to visiting the museum, so that they can listen while looking at the original artworks. Those without MP3 players can also enjoy the audio tours using one of the museum’s iPods, which are available to borrow from the lobby desk. (Those who borrow an iPod will be asked to leave a driver’s license or other form of ID at the desk until they return the iPod.)

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 413/542-2335.