When asked what I do or what my role is at the Woodson Art Museum, my brief distilled answer is, “I share art.”
Sharing art is elegant in its simplicity. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. No correct spelling, proper grammar, or formula required. No prior experience needed. Read a book with a toddler and you’ll soon discover that even the youngest has an opinion about art, as a favorite illustration brings delight.
Sharing can change your perspective both literally and figuratively. My son taught me to look up. I like a linear presentation and travel purposefully through galleries. Elijah looks up and around; it’s amazing what one finds up and around.
Sharing art occurs often at the Woodson – in grand ways and in small intimate, encounters.
SPARK! participants and Museum volunteers share lively responses while viewing the austere Portrait of Mrs. Raditz and asking, “What’s her story?” Art was shared.
Birds in Art artist David Kapszukiewicz painted in the galleries a few weeks ago; he took time to demonstrate how to use different brushes for a group of curious students that I was leading through the galleries. Art was shared.
Art Park’s shadow and light table with its oval shape and ample gathering space celebrates the communion of art making. Art is continually shared.
Tots sought out the “man with a hat in a canoe,” appreciating the discovery of On Grand River although likely too young to appreciate the mastery of artist Frank W. Benson. Art shared.
Forest Folklore is artist Ann Cunningham’s homage to shared tactile art. I enjoy watching visitors of all ages engage in “seeing” Wolf Pack through touch. Art shared.
I first described my role as sharing art after a trek to The Art Institute of Chicago to share art with and celebrate the birthday of my daughter, Lydia. I admit I don’t know how to best appreciate most modern art. Knowing this, I promised Shannon Pueschner, the Woodson’s creative consultant and Mark Rothko devotee, that I would try to “get” Rothko’s work. After eavesdropping on a fellow visitor who confidently and reverently used words like “chroma” and “value” to describe and share Untitled with a friend, I texted Shannon, “I still don’t get it.” Being a true acolyte, she suggested we experience it together and sit with it for a while – share art.
What story do you have about a shared art experience?
Visit the Woodson Art Museum often. Join curator of education Catie Anderson as she shares the beauty of Frank W. Benson in Art 101 on Thursday, February 4, 5:30-6:30 pm, or Wednesday, February 17, 12:15-1 pm. Stroll through the galleries and find “the man with a hat in a canoe.” Imagine Mrs. Raditz’s story. Share art in the interactive family gallery, Art Park.
Visit. Share. Admission is always free.