Museum Trends: Having Fun with the Museum Dance Off 2017

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Screenshot of the Chrysler Museum of Art’s 2017 Submission. Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPbn6DWZ7EU

This month brings the Fourth Annual Museum Dance Off, an international competition where any gallery library, archive, or museum can submit a video of staff dancing to music in their workplace to win.

The dance-off is run out of Baltimore, Maryland, by WhenYouWorkAtAMuseum.com, a Tumblr account launched by museum worker Maggie G., who originally created the blog as a joke. The Indiana State Museum sent Maggie a video of staff members dancing, and she posted it because it made her smile. Other museums began to send her videos, and she decided to start an international dance-off contest. Dozens of museums from around the globe submit videos each year.

For more information, and to watch submissions from 2016, please visit: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/may/12/cant-touch-this-third-annual-museum-dance-off-reaches-thrilling-finale

To watch previews from this year, please visit: http://www.whenyouworkatamuseum.com

Amy Shirer ’18

 

Favorite Contemporary Artist: Leroy Campbell

Leroy Campbell is an artist born in Charleston, SC and raised in New York City, NY. Having no formal training, Campbell draws influence from artists like Jacob Lawrence and Archibald Motley to create his own uniquely spiritual and thought provoking work.

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Campbell uses charcoal characters to create evocative storytelling paintings. The piece above is called Supper Club, completed in 2014. He created this scene using mixed media elements on wood. Part of his series entitled Music, Campbell used an old piano as a base for this piece. He tends to combine the use of organic materials, acrylic paints, and different types of paper in order create vibrant displays.

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The characters shown in his paintings often appear as stylized silhouettes with extended necks and eyeless faces, such as the one shown in Laced Up (completed in 2014), pictured above. Along with the old newspaper articles used in the base collage, the characters are meant to deliver a thought-provoking narrative.

 

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As demonstrated in the work above entitled Defiance (completed in 2016), Campbell has a standing commitment to conveying civil rights messages and providing social commentary through his work. I find each piece both beautiful, and compelling. Check out more of his portfolio by clicking on the link below:

 

https://www.leroycampbelloriginals.com/portfolio

 

George Costanzo ‘19

Museum Trends: Increasing Museum Staff Diversity

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Image from: http://theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/pressure-mounts-for-us-museums-to-increase-diversity-at-the-top/

Recent studies found that while people of color make up 38% of the American population, they only represent 9% of museum boards and 16% curators, administrators, and educators. Although these findings are not surprising to those who work in the museum world, they certainly make it nearly impossible to ignore the fact the museums in the United States are dealing with a serious lack of diversity within their workforces.

Discussions about the best ways to increase racial and ethnic diversity are ongoing and widely debated. Some people believe giving money to institutions is the way to go, and others want to give money directly to people. Commissioner of New York’s cultural affairs department, Tom Finkelpearl, proposed following the National Football League’s Rooney Rule, in which a diverse pool of applicants must be considered for each senior position.

Other leaders suggest for museum staff to look at people with diverse backgrounds when considering applicants for positions — dance or theater majors, in addition to art history or studio art majors.Steps towards increasing diversity include raising money specifically for diversity efforts among city-subsidized institutions. Future measures might include offering paid internships, which allows people who cannot afford to work for free get into the museum field.

Alternative first steps include raising money specifically for diversity efforts among city-subsidized institutions. Future measures might include offering paid internships, which allows people who cannot afford to work for free gain experience in the museum field.

To learn more about this issue, please visit: http://theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/pressure-mounts-for-us-museums-to-increase-diversity-at-the-top/

Amy Shirer ’18

Gund Associate Team Spotlight: Audio-Visual Promotions

This week’s featured Associate team may be one of the smallest at the Gallery, but what they lack in size, they’re making up in exciting projects all around Kenyon! A.V. Associates are currently working on an interview with Transition States artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, whose exhibition at the Gallery ran from October 10, 2016 to January 2, 2017.  Lozano-Hemmer, whose work focuses on the intersection of art and technology in today’s surveillance-based world, has been the subject of vast critical acclaim across the world, and has had exhibitions all over Europe, the U.S., and Mexico.
A.V. Associates are also in the process of conducting interviews with Kenyon College’s senior studio art majors, whose work will be featured in a Gallery exhibition opening on April 24, 2017. These interviews will help viewers get to know the students behind the artwork and showcase the hard work of Kenyon’s artists.

-Jessica Lane, ’20

Museum Trends: Yoga in the Galleries

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Yoga at the Brooklyn Museum. Image from http://museeum.net/article/215/yoga-in-museums-around-the-world.html.

Art museums are catching up with one of the latest fitness trends — yoga. Museums around the world are teaming up with yoga professionals and offering classes in their galleries. The Brooklyn Museum offers one of the biggest classes, accommodating around 300-400 people in a single session, but smaller yoga classes are also available at nearby museums such as the Columbus Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. At the Columbus Museum of Art, yoga lasts for an hour, followed by thirty minutes of meditation. The Cleveland Museum of Art offers a tour of the gallery, followed by a yoga class. Each session has a different theme, and it costs about the same as going to a traditional yoga studio.

The goal of practicing yoga among the art is to promote a deeper and more meaningful connection to the works. By hosting yoga classes in a museum space, it also highlights how yoga practice is an art form in and of itself.

For more information about this trend, please visit: http://museeum.net/article/215/yoga-in-museums-around-the-world.html.

For more information about yoga classes at The Columbus Museum of art, please visit: https://www.columbusmuseum.org/?post_type=cma_event&p=20272.

For more information about yoga at the Cleveland Museum of Art, please visit: https://www.clevelandart.org/events/other/yoga-museum.

Amy Shirer ’18

Gund Associate Team Spotlight: Social Media Promotions

This has been a big year for the Gund Gallery’s social media promotions team! From creating the student-run blog to connecting with other art institutions across the country via our Instagram page, there has been no shortage of things to do for this group of Associates.

The Gund Gallery Associate Blog went up in September of 2016, and is centered around highlighting the many roles of Associates and members of the Kenyon community within Gund Gallery. The main focus of the blog this semester is the Student Artist Spotlight, written in part by Herbert Matthew Dittersdorf, ’19. As the annual end-of-year student exhibition for senior studio art majors draws near, this glimpse into the lives, inspiration, and work of our featured artists works as an online preview into what will be showcased when the exhibition opens to the public, from April 24 to May 20, 2017.

Jess Lane ’20

Student Artist Spotlight: Anastasia Inciardi

Anastasia Inciardi is an Art History Major and Studio Art Minor from Brooklyn, New York.

Why Studio Art?

For her entire life, Anastasia has been surrounded by art and music. Her mother used to be what Anastasia described as a “corporate art curator,” and now works for The Rolling Stones. Her father is currently serving as the head curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. As she explained, Anastasia, “always made art.” But she “wasn’t really focused on it” until she enrolled in free art classes at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. After taking those classes, she became more committed to her art and began working at museums including the Museum of Modern Art.

image1Anastasia’s dorm/studio.

Medium of Choice?

At first, in high school, Anastasia mostly practiced photography. Eventually, she discovered a passion for illustration which she retains today. She particularly favors turning her illustrations into stop-motion animations. In her words, she likes to make her illustrations “come alive.” In addition to her stop motion animations, Anastasia has started a small T-Shirt business. In an improvised studio in her Mather dorm, she designs and uses wood block prints to create unique T-Shirt designs which display a range of subjects, mostly relating to people and buildings which she has carried with her from her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. She donates all of the profits to Planned Parenthood, and has collected up at least 60 orders so far.

image3One of Anastasia’s original prints.

Who are Anastasia’s Inspirations?

Anastasia particularly enjoys the work of illustrator Julia Rothman. As Anastasia said, “I’m obsessed with her.” Rothman illustrates for publications such as the New York Times. She also designs wallpapers, books, and other goods. Better yet, Anastasia got to meet Rothman at a gathering of illustrators. Besides Rothman, Anastasia also gains inspiration from video artist Hannah Jacobs, whose music videos on Vimeo have inspired Anastasia’s stop-motion animations.

232Julia Rothman’s rendition of both Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

by Herbert Matthew Dittersdorf ’19

Museum Trends: Large-scale Online Photo Archives

16DIGITIZE-COMBO-superJumboAn online art database aims to link works such as Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1527 portrait of Sir Thomas More (left) with similar pieces. Image from the New York Times Online.

Currently, the Frick Collection has around 20,000 boxes in storage, filled with folders of photographs that depict works of art. Typed pages of information accompany each photograph. More than 1 million individual works are documented in the collection. Instead of continuing the old analog system, the Frick Collection recently teamed up with fourteen other art institutions to create a union database that will eventually hold twenty-two million images from across the partners. Of that, seventeen million will be photographs of artworks, and the rest will be supplemental materials. The database, Pharos, is already in beta testing and can be accessed at pharosartresearch.org.

The intended audience for Pharos is art historians, but anyone can utilize the resource. Through the Pharos database, users will be able to see a work’s restoration history, previous ownership, and information about similar works that have been destroyed or lost.

The motivation for the project came from the fact that analog photographs cannot last forever, and museum officials are worried that certain pieces could disappear. The creators also acknowledge that younger art history scholars often start their research online and they don’t want the photos to become underutilized because they aren’t available digitally.

For more information about Pharos, please visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/arts/design/art-history-digital-archive-museums-pharos.html.

Amy Shirer ’18