The Whitney Museum of American Art Commissions Virginia Overton To Create Site-Specific Installation

Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens opens June 10, 2016
The Whitney Logo

For the second commissioned project on the Museum’s fifth-floor outdoor gallery, the Whitney Museum of American Art has invited Virginia Overton to create a new site-specific installation. Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens, to be installed on the Whitney’s largest outdoor space and in adjacent galleries, will explore the concepts of the sculpture garden as a cultivated setting for contemplating artworks and the garden sculpture as a vernacular ornament adorning lawns and gardens. Situated not in a verdant landscape but on a concrete-paved rooftop, Overton’s sculptures themselves will take the form of aquatic gardens, forging dialogues between the High Line’s plantings and the Hudson River’s waters.

On the outdoor gallery, Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens will feature two towering, prefabricated windmills to harness the site’s abundant natural power and pump air through crisscrossing pneumatic tubes to multiple water features planted with aquatic gardens. Throughout the course of the summer, Overton’s installation will attract insect and avian visitors, varying with the weather to emphasize our tenuous and unpredictable hold on the natural world.

In the adjacent galleries, Overton will choreograph a sequence of encounters that highlight and disrupt the connection between the Whitney’s architecture and the outdoors. The Goergen Gallery will be wallpapered with a landscape, while a hovering sculpture will both accentuate and bar the artificial panorama. In the Kaufman Gallery, a group of abstract sculptures crafted from industrial and natural materials, some salvaged from the artist’s family farm and past projects, will be on display. Open views will be provided between the Kaufman Gallery and the outdoor gallery, revealing publicly for the first time the transparency inherent in Renzo Piano’s design of these spaces.

Throughout her career Virginia Overton (b. 1971, Nashville, TN) has used the languages of physicality, displacement, and minimalism in her sculptures, videos, photography, and installations. Overton creates exhibitions in response to the natural and manmade environments in which she works, often overlaying these sites with diverse references ranging from the history of modern art to her personal background in rural Tennessee. She has had recent solo shows at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland; and The Power Station, Dallas, TX.

Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator and assistant curator Laura Phipps.

Swing Into Father’s Day with Golf Getaways at “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Velas Resorts

This Father’s Day, treat Dad to an all-inclusive golf getaway at the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta. Father’s Day Golf Packages at the Puerto Vallarta properties have it all – from accommodations and complimentary suite upgrades, to massages and most importantly rounds of golf on the area’s top courses. Guests tee off from either Vista Vallarta Golf Club, which features two 18-hole courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf and home to the PGA World Cup tournaments, or Marina Vallarta Golf Club, that offers a Joe Finger-designed 18-hole course with spectacular views of Banderas Bay.

Casa Velas, the adults-only, boutique hotel located on Marina Vallarta, is the perfect getaway for two. Couples enjoy three rounds of golf including cart, green fees, taxes, tips, and range balls; 20 percent savings on food and beverages at the course and the latest gear in the Pro-Shop; a special golf gift; 50 percent savings on rental golf equipment; and a 50-minute massage per person to enjoy and wind down after hitting the links.

Walking distance from Marina Vallarta and minutes from Vista Vallarta, the family-friendly Velas Vallarta is the ultimate destination for a Father’s Day family getaway. Velas Vallarta’s Father’s Day Package includes a stay in a spacious Studio Suite with complimentary upgrade to a one-bedroom suite (upon availability), VIP roundtrip airport-hotel transportation, welcome cocktail, and two rounds of golf per person on either course.

Complimentary WiFi is included at both resorts to upload pictures and videos of fun times on the greens.

Rates for the Father’s Day Golf Package at Velas Vallarta starts at $235 per person, per night based on double occupancy and $295 at Casa Velas. A three-night minimum stay is required. All-inclusive rates at Velas Resorts include luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, daily activities, nightly entertainment and live performances, Kids’ Club (Velas Vallarta), fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. For more information on Velas Resorts or to book, please call 1-888-407-4869 or visit

Casa Velas has received the AAA Four Diamond Award for hospitality seven times and has been in the top two in TripAdvisor for Puerto Vallarta since 2010. Located just five minutes from Puerto Vallarta Airport and only 15 from the popular downtown area, art galleries and “El Malecon” (the boardwalk), the hotel features 80 spacious suites, some with private pools and Jacuzzis. Spa Casa Velas encompasses treatment rooms for singles and couples, a hydrotherapy area, a garden-view fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, and a beauty salon. A novel service is a handbag bar where guests can enjoy use of a “loaner” designer handbag at no extra charge. Emiliano, the AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, is in the hands of one of the area’s leading chefs serving Mexican and international cuisine. Guests can also enjoy dining privileges at the sister resort, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, with three gourmet specialty options.

Velas Vallarta is an all-inclusive family resort located on 10 acres of oceanfront with lush gardens in Puerto Vallarta, walking distance of Marina Vallarta Golf Course and just minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta. Situated on the emerald waters of Banderas Bay, Velas Vallarta features 345 suites in three eight-story buildings, a high-tech Convention Center that can accommodate up to 700 people, three swimming pools, a rejuvenating spa along with spa cabins seaside, fitness center, multiple restaurants, and an inviting lounge with live music. Nightly theme dinners and local specialties are sure to please even the most discerning palate, and room service is available around the clock.

When it comes to daytime and evening entertainment, guests can choose from an exciting and original array of activities and events, from making piñatas and jewelry, yoga on the jetty to Mexican fiestas and casino nights. The recently renovated Kids’ Club also welcomes children under 13 with supervised activities like treasure hunt, face painting, sand castles to crafting with beads, allowing parents to indulge in a choice of exciting or relaxing pursuits like a game of golf, a variety of excursions or pampering at the spa. In addition, the resort was one of the first in the destination with a Green Globe certification, dating back to 2008.

Puerto Vallarta features championship golf courses, world-class spas and magnificent beaches, not to mention various sports and activities up in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The possibilities for rest and relaxation, or fun and excitement, are endless.

Smithsonian Museums to Celebrate “America Now” This Summer

Three Smithsonian Museums To Present Programs That Capture American Participation in Democracy, Dance, Portraiture, Music and ArtSI large color.jpg

America Now,” a collaboration of programs jointly organized by three Smithsonian museums, will create spaces for civic engagement and cultural connections under the unifying theme of “participation” since 2016 is an election year. The National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History and Smithsonian American Art Museum will present five programs this summer, between May 27 and July 9, designed to engage a variety of audiences in the American experience. To encourage participation in the country’s democratic system, the museums are also partnering with Rock the Vote, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on building political power for young people. Rock the Vote will assist all three museums to register voters at the events and to encourage their participation in the election process through volunteering and being informed about the issues.

The National Portrait Gallery will kick off the series Memorial Day weekend, with an evening program Friday, May 27. Events at the National Museum of American History will take place, Tuesday, June 14, Flag Day, and Saturday, June 18. The series will conclude Saturday, July 9, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. All events with one exception are free and open to general audiences. This second annual “America Now” collaboration on programming is made possible by the support of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Family Foundation. Details are outlined below and at #AmericaNow and

National Portrait Gallery

“America Now” Cultured Snapshots and Cameos

Friday, May 27; 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Eighth and F streets N.W.

Jazz and folk musicians the Leyla McCalla Trio will perform songs from albums Vari-Colored Songs: a Tribute to Langston Hughes (2013) and A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey (2016). McCalla, a Haitian American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, also plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Her trio includes Daniel Tremblay and Free Feral, who sing and play banjo, guitar and the viola. The evening will be rounded out with DJ Adrian Loving as he spins songs inspired by the American songbook, old and new. Visitors can jump into a photo booth created by the artist collective Manual Cinema. The booth will capture silhouettes of visitors as a memento for the evening.

National Museum of American History

“America Now” Naturalization Ceremony

Tuesday, June 14; 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Flag Hall

Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W.

On Flag Day, June 14, the museum will host a naturalization ceremony in front of the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery to mark how America’s democracy is strengthened by the diversity and community of its citizenry. During the ceremony, Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton will present the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal to an American who embodies values based on the diffusion of knowledge.

National Museum of American History

“America Now” Go-Go and Hip-Hop: Community Innovations

Saturday, June 18; 1-4 p.m.

Coulter Performance Plaza, 1West

Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W.

Visitors can join the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation for a discussion and performances celebrating go-go and hip-hop music, which developed in Washington, D.C., and New York City around the 1970s and out of similar socioeconomic circumstances.

National Museum of American History

“America Now: We the Party People”

This is a ticketed and a 21+ event.

Saturday, June 18; 7-11 p.m.

Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W.

Inspired by the passionate political participation of 19th-century American youth, the museum will convene “We the Party People,” an after-hours event presented with Brightest Young Things. This non-partisan celebration will explore how Americans have participated in their democracy with lightening talks, political history objects-out-of-storage and much more. For more information on this ticketed and 21+ event, visit

Smithsonian American Art Museum

“Creativity in a Citizen Democracy”

Saturday, July 9; 4-7 p.m.

Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Eighth and F streets N.W.

The third and final program in this exciting series celebrates the ways Americans participate in democracy-through art, music, storytelling and service. The program features performances by D.C. hip-hop artist Tarica June and bluegrass bands Steep Canyon Rangers and Seldom Scene. Inspired by the music, visitors can pick up paint brushes to express what American means to them on a 20-foot community mural, post Instagram photos from around the museum that will stream in a live feed in the Kogod Courtyard, post with artworks from the collection in a photo booth, write letters to active military service members and share information about a favorite American artist by participating in a Wikipedia edit-a-thon. Additional activities are planned and will be added to the museum’s online calendar as details are confirmed.

Barbie Unveils Oscar de la Renta Doll

Barbie® has partnered with the design house, Oscar de la Renta to launch the Oscar de la Renta Barbie® doll, just in time for wedding season. This bridal doll is the perfect gift for the stylish bride-to-be.


The Oscar de la Renta Barbie® doll will be available for $175 on, and select retailers. (Images provided by BarbieMedia)

As a fashion icon, Barbie continues to be a muse to fashion’s top designers. Oscar de la Renta was famously the first to design for the doll back in 1985, and again in 1998. Once again, in 2016, Oscar de la Renta captures a refined and elegant bridal look that all brides-to-be will dream of wearing on their wedding day. This doll is a beautiful memento celebrating a milestone with a best-in-class designer and longtime fashion partner.

We are honored to work with the Oscar de la Renta team on this beautiful design capturing their signature bridal look in Barbie scale,” said Robert Best, Senior Design Director at Barbie. “Barbie is the only girl who can have a closet full of wedding dresses without ever walking down the aisle.

Inspired by the runway “Something Blue” bridal look, the Oscar de la Renta Barbie is a take-your-breath-away vision in an ivory, embroidered lace over chiffon, trumpet gown. The simplicity of the gown’s fluid lines and the tiers of the wispy light blue train, personify the designer’s passion for interpreting romance in a classic way. The jewelry pieces are exact replicas of those worn on the runway in Spring 2014. Barbie also wears a delicate rhinestone ring and carries a bouquet made of tulle. Her bridal look is complete with gold-accented ivory pumps and an elegant chignon reminiscent of classic elegance and refined beauty.

Alex Bolen, Chief Executive Officer of Oscar de la Renta LLC said, “We are so pleased to partner [again] with Mattel in the creation of the Oscar de la Renta Bridal Barbie. Like us, Mattel makes beautiful products with the utmost precision and highest standards of quality. Our third partnership, spanning over the course of 30 years, is a testament to the timelessness of both of our brands. We look forward to bringing the Oscar de la Renta bridal experience to a new audience with this fun and unique product offering.”

The Oscar de la Renta Barbie® doll will be available for $175 on, and select retailers.

Barbie Exhibition at Musee des Arts décoratifs (Paris) Now through September 18, 2016

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The very first Barbie doll. The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

From the moment Barbie was introduced to the world, a fashion icon was born. Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has served as a model and muse to the most world renowned names in fashion and the arts. She provides the ultimate canvas for their imaginations, to identify and play out their dreams. Today, she continues to be at the center of pop culture, reflecting the times and inspiring conversation. More than just a toy, Barbie has mirrored a culture and its evolution.

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The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

In 2016, Barbie is being honored by museums around the world including the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris, paying tribute to this iconic doll whose story has made an indelible mark on the socio-cultural history of toys in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Drawing on Mattel archives which include over 700 dolls and work by contemporary artists and designers, the exhibition highlights the historical heritage of Barbie for both adults and children. More than just a toy, Barbie has mirrored a culture and its evolution.

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The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

Throughout her history she has adapted to social, political and cultural changes and evolved, embracing new trends and challenging stereotypes, always embracing the dreams and ambitions of contemporary life for the next generation of girls.

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The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

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The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

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The Barbie exhibition at the Musee des Arts décoratifs in Paris. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

Barbie has always given girl’s choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories. And earlier this year Mattel literally changed the face of the brand with a range of new dolls represent the world girls see around them with variety in body type, skin tones and style allowing girls to find a doll that speaks to them.2016_Barbie_ RueSaintHonore

The newest generations of girls know there’s nothing they can’t do, and they’ve never been told otherwise. They have the confidence to try new things, take risks, and stand out among their peers. Barbie supports this empowered thinking, and reinforces it with every doll that is made — from Computer Engineer Barbie to Princess Power Barbie. Because when girls grow up in a world without limitations, they will show us that anything really is possible.

Barbie® Launches Misty Copeland Doll

Doll Launch Embodies Copeland’s (and Barbie’s) “You Can Be Anything” Message and Continues the Brand’s Legacy of Honoring Female Heroes


Ballet dancer Misty Cope;land with her namesake doll from Mattel’s Barbie “Sheroes” Line. (All images provided by BarbieMedia) 

Mattel’s Barbie® is honoring ballet dancer Misty Copeland by unveiling a doll in her likeness to continue to show girls they can be anything. Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), has been a role model to girls throughout her career.


The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina and through Barbie I was able to play out those dreams early on,” said Copeland. “It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of kids with my very own Barbie doll.”


The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

The doll is part of the Barbie Sheroes program, honoring female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere. Copeland joins an esteemed group of diverse Barbie Sheroes, including Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Kristin Chenoweth, Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya.

The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role, which she is performing again on May 18 (matinee) and 19 as part of ABT’s annual spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Copeland was intimately involved in the doll’s design and partnered with the Barbie design team on all the details.


The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role. (All images provided by BarbieMedia)

Copeland shows girls how to break boundaries both on and off the stage. She began dancing on a Boys & Girls Club basketball court and continues to be very active in local Clubs in various cities. She also works with Project Plié, ABT’s comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies.

This initiative furthers the Barbie “You Can Be Anything” campaign message echoing that when a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines anything she can become. Earlier this year, Barbie expanded their Fashionistas® line by introducing even more diversity with three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.


The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role. (All images provided by BarbieMedia) 

Misty Copeland is at the center of a cultural conversation around how women continue to break boundaries,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie. “As a brand, we want to honor women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams. We know role play often leads to real “play” in life and we’re thrilled to celebrate Misty with her very own doll.

The doll is available for $29.95 on and rolling out to retailers nationwide.