The Westmoreland channels ‘cool era’ with artist’s works | TribLIVE.com
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Mary Pickels

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art will keep summer cool — and extend the season — with a celebration of pop art, centered on an exhibition of work by one of the genre’s most influential artists.

“The Era of Cool: the Art of John Van Hamersveld,” runs July 20-Oct. 20.

Van Hamersveld gained early recognition for crafting the poster to advertise the iconic 1966 surfer film, “The Endless Summer.”

His work as Capitol Records art director immersed him in the world of rock and roll. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he designed numerous well-known album covers, including the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour,” The Grateful Dead’s “Skeletons in the Closet” and the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street.”

Van Hamersveld also designed concert posters for artists including Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Bob Dylan.

“Era of Cool” will include a selection of his album covers, poster designs, drawings, mural designs, photography and paintings.

”Over the past five decades, Van Hamersveld has created a wealth of instantly recognizable graphic design. We invite visitors to experience the eye-pleasing alchemy created when pop culture, music, and visual art converge,” says Anne Kraybill, the museum’s Richard M. Scaife director and CEO.

Additional exhibition programming

• 7 p.m. July 20, “The Endless Summer” beach party, featuring the movie of the same name, live beach tunes by Stage Right!, indoor and outdoor museum activities, Barry’s Italian Ice, Smoker’s BBQ and a cash bar. Free.

• 7 p.m. Aug. 17, Summer Saturday, live Rolling Stones covers by Tupelo and Noah, indoor and outdoor museum activities, Barry’s Italian Ice and a cash bar. Featured movie is “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” Free.

• 7-8 p.m. Aug. 21, Nwaka Onwusa, curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, leads an interactive conversation and listening session celebrating the musical explosion, creativity and impact of rock n’ roll music during the ’60s and ’70s. The event will revisit familiar sounds shaping the culture, while uncovering stories and sounds that helped to challenge and further propel rock n’ roll. Cost is $10.

• 6-9 p.m. Sept. 7, “Dinner for a Small Planet” with author Frances Moore Lappé and chef Taylor Kalasky. As Van Hamersveld began creating counterculture album covers, many began embracing vegetarianism. Lappè is author of bestselling vegetarian cookbook, “Diet for a Small Planet,” exploring both healthy eating and the environmental and economic impact of food production and its contributing role to world hunger.

Kalasky of Yumzio Bistro will prepare a four-course vegetarian meal blending conversation with Lappè and recipes inspired from her book. Cost is $60.

• 6-8 p.m. Sept. 13, Second Annual Greensburg MusicFest, presented by The Westmoreland Cultural Trust. Live music outside the museum, recorded music inside, explore the differences between vinyl and digital recordings. Free. Details: thepalacetheatre.org

• 7-8 p.m. Oct. 2, museum chief curator Barbara Jones will talk with Van Hamersveld, learning more about his early artwork and the numerous mural and public art projects he continues to create. Cost is $10.

• 7:30-11 p.m. Oct. 5, Big Art Party, Peace. Love. Art. Rat up your beehive and don some psychedelic threads for music by Them Vibes, with Van Hamersveld, variety of bites and cash bar. Proceeds will support The Westmoreland’s exhibition and education programs. Cost is $75.

Details: 724-837-1500 or thewestmoreland.org

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