Art in Focus

Art in Focus is an exploration of the arts through film, lecture and thoughtful dialogue. Art in Focus is for adult learners of all ages who are interested in the arts and their impact on the world.  Founded in 1996 by Rita M. Ray, South Shore Arts continues this series annually with a variety of topics and guest speakers. Several lectures will coincide with upcoming Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra concerts and South Shore Arts exhibits. An important aspect of the program is the thoughtful dialogue between the program facilitator, the guest speakers and the attendees to broaden views of the arts and individuals in our world. Our goal parallels that of the U.S. Department of Education, “Learning Never Ends.” Art in Focus is open to the public and, thanks to generous support from Community Healthcare System, it is always free.

2017–18 Schedule

September 11, 2017
Modern Masters: Picasso
The life of Pablo Picasso is an exciting story of rebellion, riches, women and great art. Journalist Alastair Sooke travels through France, Spain and the US to see some of the artist’s great works and recount tales from his life story. 

September 25, 2017
Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists
A lavishly-illustrated romp through Chicago Imagist art: the Second City scene that challenged Pop Art’s status quo in the 1960s, then faded from view. Forty years later, its funk and grit inspires artists from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware, making the Imagists the most famous artists you never knew.

October 9, 2017
Maestro Kirk Muspratt on The Mikado

Join Maestro Kirk Muspratt in the Symphony rehearsal room for an introduction to composers Gilbert & Sullivan and their two-act comic opera, The Mikado. The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra will present this beloved operetta on October 27.

October 23, 2017
Reliving 1957: A Dance Party
Join James Lane, Emeritus Professor of History at Indiana University Northwest, co-director of the Calumet Regional Archives and editor of Steel Shavings magazine for a lecture on the sights and sounds of late 50s pop culture. He will also be spinning hits by Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis. 

November 13, 2017
Almost There: Peter Anton
This documentary follows the reclusive 80-something outsider artist Peter Anton, his discovery by filmmakers Wickenden and Rybicky, the fallout from his first major art exhibit and the circumstances by which he is forced to leave his deteriorating childhood home in East Chicago.

November 27, 2017
Duneland Dynamics: Scenes and Stories of the Indiana Dunes
Join award-winning author Dr. Kenneth Schoon in a revealing presentation about the Indiana Dunes. Schoon’s research interests center around science misconceptions and local studies. He will go beyond the rugged beauty and uniqueness of the Dunes and tap into the controversies, struggles, battles and scams that have come along with having this natural wonder in our region’s backyard.

December 11, 2017
Who is Afraid of Conceptual Art
Like many people, Cambridge University art historian Dr. James Fox never really “got” conceptual art. In this documentary, he sets out to provide an open-minded guide to this art form for the perplexed. 

January 22, 2018
The Art of the Steal
This documentary looks at the controversy surrounding the art collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, a millionaire who amassed a remarkable collection of significant works during the early 20th century. Barnes sought to keep his priceless pieces together as part of his foundation even after his death, but the involvement of numerous parties led to the scattering of his collection. This documentary sheds light on how his wishes were violated by a handful of opportunistic individuals.

February 12, 2018
Hidden Perspectives: Works by Rine Boyer & Eric Tucker
Join artists Rine Boyer and Eric Tucker from the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood in a conversation about their work, inspiration and creative process. The talk will be followed by an opportunity to view their exhibit of two- and three-dimensional work in the gallery. The exhibit runs from February 4 through April 8 .

February 26, 2018
The Artist is Present
This documentary follows Marina Abramovic, a Serbian performance artist, as she prepares for one of the most important moments in her life, a major retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. A retrospective at one of the world’s premiere museums is a great milestone for any living artist. For Marina, it is far more. It is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: “But what is art?”

March 12, 2018
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker
This documentary focuses on the tumultuous early days of this iconic vaudeville superstar who ruled the 1920s flapper era in the US. Before Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna, Tucker was the first woman to infatuate her audiences with a bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other previous performer. 

March 26, 2018
Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary, delving into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while minimalist and conceptual art was the fad. As a successful black artist, he was constantly confronted by racism and misconceptions. Much can be gleaned from insider interviews and archival footage, but it is Basquiat’s own words and work that powerfully convey the mystique and allure of both the artist and the man. 

April 9, 2018
Straight Shooters
Join photographers Larry Lapidus and Bob Palmieri in a conversation about their decades-spanning body of work that documents important events in everyday life. The talk will be followed by an opportunity to view Lapidus’ exhibit in the Atrium gallery, which runs from April 2 through June 18.

April 23, 2018
Modern Masters: Matisse
This documentary features journalist Alastair Sooke as he sets out to discover just how much the artist Henri Matisse has influenced our modern lives. Sooke explains why Matisse’s art is considered so great and also looks at how Matisse’s brilliant use of color and simplification of form continues to inspire illustrators, designers and artists today.

May 14, 2018
The Met Gala: First Monday in May

This documentary follows the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history, “China: Through The Looking Glass,” an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. With unprecedented access, filmmaker Andrew Rossi captures the collusion of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala, one of the biggest global fashion events chaired every year by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. The film dives into the debate about whether fashion should be viewed as art.

*Lectures are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, September through May 14.
*There will be no December 25th or January 8th session. 
Lecture topics are subject to change. 
Cancellations may occur due to inclement weather.