Photographer will lead tour of her work

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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center will present a guided tour of "Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13. The tour will be led by McAdams and John Killacky, the exhibit's curator. McAdams and Killacky will share the stories behind the photographs and recount their experiences on the front lines of art and activism. The tour is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Killacky first encountered McAdams in the 1980s, when McAdams was the house photographer at P.S. 122, an avant-garde performance venue in New York City. The two got to know each other better in the early 1990s during the controversy over the "NEA Four," performance artists Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller. McAdams had photographed the NEA Four, and Killacky had presented their work in his role as a curator at the Walker Center for the Arts in Minneapolis.

Both McAdams and Killacky later ended up in Vermont — McAdams on a goat farm in Sandgate where she and her husband, writer Brad Kessler, have lived since 1998; and Killacky at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, where he was executive director from 2010 to 2018.

"Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts" is a retrospective of four decades of McAdams' work, on view at BMAC through September 23. Resplendent black-and-white photographs from McAdams' expansive oeuvre feature historic images of avant-garde performers, pioneers of queer liberation, portraits of people living with mental illness, cloistered nuns, race track workers, and luminous images of farm animals, including Lou and Bill, a pair of oxen at Green Mountain College whose planned euthanasia became a national news story in 2012.

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is located in historic Union Station, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142. Major support is provided by its members and Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

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