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Visitors to the Modern Masters exhibit can access more information about each piece using a smart phone and a QR code.

While everyone is emerging from the confines of home and into the new ‘normal' of society, Historic City Hall is continuing to host collections that call guests away from the mundane everyday routine into a world of artistic beauty at its finest. As of Friday, June 5, a new exhibit is on display for visitors to come and explore.

The Modern Masters Collection, prepared by the traveling exhibition service Blair-Murrah, contains 87 pieces of art from 40 multi-cultural artists from around the globe. From neo-romanticism into Dadaism and Surrealism, these works of art make a statement about the human mind and modern age. They are an extraordinary look into the minds of those living in a post-World War I world, and exhibits those conflicts and cultures that drew the artists to their canvases in the name of expression.

The exhibit will be on display at Historic City Hall from June 5 to September 26 on the third floor. Admission is free for everyone, so there's little reason to not buckle up and drive over.

"The goal of Historic City Hall is to bring inspiration ...to this particular community and visitors from the university and educational system as well as our visitors traveling across the country," said Carol Anne Gayle, the Exhibit Specialist and Program Coordinator at Historic City Hall for going on 16 years.

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Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1971

The exhibit will showcase the works of prominent American artists such as Robert Motherwell and Alexander Calder along with French artists such as Jacques Villon, Marc Chagall and Hans Arp. Prints by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacommetti, Kumi Sugai, Pierre Bonnard and Enrico Baj will also be on display.

"This is an opportunity for students ... to come and see firsthand the works of the artists' hands," explained Gayle, "They also learn about all the different printing processes that are utilized in this exhibit. It's a good teaching tool for the artistic community and the teachers out there to gain insight and inspiration and clearer knowledge."

From whimsical ideas and a colorful palette to darker colors and opposite subject matters, the Modern Masters Collection has a little bit of everything for everyone.

"The Independent artists--I know each work that ... are different and striking and don't fit any type of mold," said Donaldson when asked her favorite modern art movement.

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Rene Magritte, “Les Bijoux Indescretes,” 1963

"Modern Masters---there's such a variety of work in the piece and it represents a time in the arts movement that after World War I, signaled a turning point in developing artistic community. Besides Dadaism, modern art is not a revolt against earlier movements, it's more like an experimental progression--and you'll see that progression as you walk through the exhibit," enthused Gayle.

Gayle and Donaldson were both heavily involved in putting together the display for the new exhibit and implementing a new, modern twist. They both are hoping that guests who visit are able to experience the same draw that they both have to the diverse nature of these particular works of art.

The modern twist to this "Modern Masters" exhibit is the addition of QR codes. These codes will provide a guide to the "labyrinth of unique and expressive works of art." These codes will also allow for guests to practice social distancing and meander through the display at their own leisure. The only device required for this experience--- a smartphone. Photography will be allowed within the exhibit rooms themselves.

"This is the first time we've tried this particular technology," said Gayle, "For years I've been wanting to do it. I think it ... opens a window, a whole new world. You can get so creative with it. Amanda and I are already brainstorming what we can do. We'll do our best to implement this technology in a creative, imaginative, and inspiring way."

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The Modern Masters exhibit includes 87 pieces that showcase the works of prominent American artists, along with other artists from around the world.

For even more art to settle the inner artist in everyone, visitors are invited to see "TWOFOLD: Lake Charles Legends" in the first floor gallery, "What on Earth" by featured artist Pat Craft and Gallery by the Lake and "A New Collection of Work" by Kevin Leveque in the second floor gallery.

Following Louisiana's guidelines for reopening, Historic City Hall visitors are encouraged to wear masks and use hand sanitizer, of which will be located throughout the building. Occupancy will be limited to 50 percent occupancy per Phase 2 guidelines, and as always the highest standards of cleanliness will be met. Historic City Hall is now operating during its normal business hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, feel free to call 491-9147 or visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.

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