Guild Hall’s exhibition program will kick into high gear this weekend, as three new exhibitions open Saturday, joining Arlene Slavin’s “Intersections,” which debuted last month.
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is presenting its first comprehensive exhibition of work from its collections, which include some of the United States’ most acclaimed artists. Organized by Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art and chairman of FAPE’s Professional Arts Committee, the show will draw from the organization’s collections of prints, photographs, and site-specific projects.
FAPE is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to donating works of American art to U.S. embassies. It contributes to the State Department’s mission of cultural diplomacy by partnering with artists whose gifts encourage cross-cultural understanding within the diplomatic community and the international public. As of 2014, FAPE’s donations include permanent works by more than 200 American artists placed in more than 140 countries.
Among the many artists included in the exhibition are James Rosenquist, William Wegman, Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Murray, Susan Rothenberg, Jasper Johns, Dorothea Rockburne, and Frank Stella.
A panel discussion moderated by Mr. Storr and including the artists Tina Barney, Lynda Benglis, Chuck Close, Joel Shapiro, and Carrie Mae Weems will take place June 28 from 3 to 4 p.m.
“Criss-Crossing the Divine” is an interactive installation by Nina Yankowitz that uses sophisticated technology to allow visitors to explore the relative perspectives of sacred texts.
Guild Hall’s Spiga Gallery will be transformed into a conceptual sanctuary where a trio of robotic devotees — a Muslim woman, a Jewish rabbi, and a Christian priest — will perform rhythmic gestures in front of a video loop projected on the rear wall.
Visitors will use infrared wands to interact with games on the gallery walls, one of which enables people to select and manipulate words that generate searches of sacred texts of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism and bring up sections of the texts, which change as the viewer modifies his or her search.
Participants can save and retrieve a copy of their search’s perspectives after leaving the gallery to see from which religions their color-coded texts originated. The installation is based on the belief that most conflicts are fueled by religious intolerance, and that most religions preach similar core values.
Ms. Yankowitz, who lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, emerged on the New York art scene in the late 1960s, and much of her work, including a number of public art works, has involved politics, interactivity, and technology.
The third exhibition will feature prints of watercolors that illustrate Billy Rayner’s book “Notes and Sketches: Travel Journals of William P. Rayner,” recently published by Glitterati Press. The two-volume book consists of musings, watercolors, photographs, and memorabilia from more than three decades of travel in India, Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey.
Mr. Rayner was editorial business manager at Condé Nast Publications, and wrote for Vogue, House and Garden, and Vanity Fair. He traveled extensively for both professional and personal reasons, perfecting his watercolor painting while on his many trips.
Wherever he goes, Mr. Rayner, who lives in New York City and East Hampton, travels with a sack of brushes, paints, and “an artist’s black book you can buy at any art store. I sketch rather than take photographs to remember places and moments, because I love the process.”
An opening reception for all three exhibitions will be held June 28 from 4 to 6 p.m., immediately following the FAPE panel.