NEW/NOW exhibition opens at NBMAA

The New Britain Museum of American Art is pleased to announce Michael Mahalchick as the next artist in the NEW/NOW Exhibition Series. On view from March 9 to June 9, his site-specific installation, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” is an experiment in collaboration between the artist and the public that raises questions of memory, meaning, value, and community. An opening reception is planned for Sunday, March 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and will feature a performance by the artist in the form of a museum tour beginning at 1:30 p.m.
“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” began as an open call for objects, wherein the general public was invited to donate “trinkets, hand-made treasures, decorative items, manufactured goods, ephemera, and other non-hazardous articles” that would serve as the raw material for Mahalchick’s installation. The concept was inspired by the artist’s interest in “how the connections created by the relationships of disparate objects, acquired from a common source, combine to form a temporary and idiosyncratic portrait of a community.” While the individual objects are left physically unchanged, their symbolic value is tested through the context of their display.
In addition to the objects contributed by over 40 participants, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” incorporates portraits borrowed from the New Britain Industrial Museum that depict some New Britain’s leading industrialist who contributed to the city’s status as the “Hardware Capital of the World” during the early part of the 20th century. Within the context of the Industrial Museum, a repository of thousands of items manufactured in New Britain, the paintings “function as more than portraits of the fathers of industry, they are symbols of progress and transformation,” Mahalchick explains. “By utilizing these paintings in my exhibition, I would like to restore their function as artworks in order to allow the space they create in the context of the museum to transform the donated objects from poor objects cast offs to rich carriers of meaning. I want them to function as mirrors of the human condition, that we are all “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.”
The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.
Admission is adults, $12; senior sitizens, $10; students, $8; and children under 12: free. There is free admission from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
The museum is at 56 Lexington St., New Britain.
For more information, go to NBMAA.org