London Olympics 2012

'LOndOn 2012' by Rachel Whiteread and 'Love' by Bob and Roberta Smith
As London draws attention from sports fans from around the world, those with an admiration for art can visit find plethora of Olympic-themed exhibitions London has to offer! Here are links to few active art-exhibits:

As you watch your favorite world class athletes, do check out this interesting infographic ! Happy Watching :)


Every Vote Counts!

At Danforth, we often say that it simply is not possible to be alive without making an impact on the world that surrounds us. To that, we try hard to offer distinguished services such as Summer Art classes, Adult Art Workshops and FREE Public Tours to our museum visitors. We have seen that when our actions are recognized by museum visitors via feedback notes, visitor emails, fundraising etc. we feel even more inspired to continue our pursuit of making Framingham a vibrant (& thriving) art community in New England!

While we use our energies only in ventures of utmost importance, time and again a vital situation catches our attention and we honor the impulse to act appropriately on it. Well - one such situation has arrived this summer. Danforth Museum of Art is competing for a new website-worth up to $50,000. The Danforth is one of twenty-three nonprofit organizations competing in the Carrots for a Cause competition, sponsored by JackrabbitTo win, all we need is 15 seconds of your time and your valuable vote! Every Vote Counts! 
"A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows" 


Summer Fun @ Danforth

Ever wondered about:

> Expressing your feelings through creativity?
> Creating engaging doodles for your loved ones?
> Having fun playing with crayons, clay or water colors?
> Commencing that long-thought canvas illustration?
> Develop your Visual thinking skills?

If you answered Yes to either of these, you must visit Danforth Museum soon:)  Regardless of your age or experience with creating beautiful Art, Danforth Museum of Art offers art classes and workshops for all-from kindergartners to accomplished adult artists! Some useful web links are this & this !  Hope to see you at one of the upcoming events at Danforth soon :)
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. Pablo Picasso


Empty and Full

Cross Posted at Gnome Mag
The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, swimming beneath ocean waves, soaring above in a glider or cruising the waters in a ship. Members of the ever burgeoning Art community may call this phenomenon as perspective. The magnificent images in ongoing exhibit ‘Empty and Full’ at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in Boston elucidates a thought provoking perspective on Duality. The exhibit illustrates awe-inspiring work titled Twelve Miles to the Horizon by Catherine Opie, a revered American photojournalist of contemporary times.

A plethora of things attribute to making Twelve Miles to the Horizon an instantly engaging work. In her work, Catherine Opie narrates her voyage from Busan (South Korea) to Long Beach (California, USA) using images as the medium. These unedited images, shot over a period of ten days on her trans-Pacific journey, and mounted in huge frames [50 by 371/2 inches] look spectacular amidst the white-washed walls at ICA. At first, the viewer is intrigued by so many juxtaposed images of sunrise & sunset on display. The intrigue then translates into sincere admiration upon learning that all the panoramic images were shot by Catherine from the deck of a container ship at sunrise and sunset everyday during her excursion through the Pacific ocean. These twenty images have been meticulously captured with utmost exactness and thus they share the same horizon line precisely at centre of the image.  Amidst water continuously rolling off the ship, turbulence in ever changing weather and unpredictable ocean waves, keeping the heavy camera equipment still on ship’s desk would have been a herculean task.
These cyclical images shot at dawn & dusk appear to portray duality. There’s abundance of water on one hand but total absence of land on the other.  Her images also reinforce the static versus dynamic nature of our environment. The omnipresent sun, ethereal moon & usually calm sky being static elements whereas turbulent waters, twirling container ship & ever changing perspective being dynamic elements. All images taken together makes the viewer ascertain and evaluate the nature of relationship between organic (photographer, ship crew) and inorganic (ship, camera) elements.

Enterprising spirit of photographer contrasts sharply with serenity of the ocean especially at dawn. Warm colors at dawn seems to make viewer feel rejuvenated, ready to start another day enthusiastically. The cool colors at dusk however imply a sense of loneliness and similar connotations of everything dark. The first (departure from South Korea) and the last image (arrival at California, USA) also seem to accentuate the contrast between rational (ethereal natural beauty, nature imposed order etc) versus irrational (civilised societies governed by strict rules, government imposed order etc).

The strong visual energy portrayed in these life size landscape photographs makes viewer wonder-Why artist decided on venturing out all alone on such a never-seen-or-heard before voyage in first place? Perhaps artist wished to break free from burgeoning cities and complex lifestyle to a far flung place where she could capture vibrant colors of nature, seek plenty of inspiration and narrate a visual story. Perhaps the excitement of capturing the unknown, remarkable possibilities of meeting new people & adventure of sea voyage engaged her inquisitive mind.

One of the most crucial aspects of life in modern times is the notion of freedom and the notion of bondage. The final goal is to experience freedom in its entirety but to understand what freedom is we first have to understand what bondage is. Catherine’s landscape photographs illustrate both very well. One one hand she is out in the open sea doing what she loves to the core (freedom) but on the other hand, in-spite of possessing best photographic equipment,  she can only capture her subjects and not her feelings in photographs (boundaries). Most of us live in a hallucinated state where we are restricted by our own projections and thus we seldom achieve breakthroughs.

At the outset, her Empty and Full exhibit seems to advocate to spectator to suggest shifting into an open & adventure seeking mindset. Once our minds are open, we can commence filling them with all the splendid people, places and experiences that we have always longed for. Very soon we might find our lives full of spirit and remarkable times similar to her breathtaking landscapes. These images seem to be a wake-up call from artist to the viewer, suggesting the viewer to pursue their true passions, march forward towards their long term goals and ultimately matter!

Despite being devoid human presence, Catherine all-encompassing surreal oceanscapes leave viewer feeling little perplexed, quite amazed and romantically dreamy.
[Images Courtesy - Catherine Opie]


Over The Moon

Join us on March 24, 2012 as we celebrate our fifth anniversary to support Deborah D. Blumer Fund with our museum visitors, distinguished volunteers and omnipresent art admirers. We promise to offer our visitors opportunity to meet celebrity artists, listen to live music, engage in stimulating conversarions, learn about our educational programs, devour sparkling wines & great desserts and experience pure fun! Here's some information about Over The Moon and our other upcoming events. See you all at Danforth soon!
'Art doesn't transform. It just plain forms.'~Roy Lichtenstein


Art + Sound

Random experiments are fun since they usually surprise us with unanticipated outcomes and provide us with candid feedback for re-running these experiments with better insight and experience. I was quite thrilled to be a member of one such unique expertiment at BOSE headquarters earlier this week. As members of ever-growing Danforth museum community, we got opportunity to do a community outreach at BOSE.Our goal was simple, educate people about our museum's presence in Framingham, suggest some great engagement programs we have (e.g. Drop into Art, Bring Your Baby etc.) to BOSE and highlight the benefits of visiting museums in general to BOSE employees.

Upon reaching the event, we were pleasantly surprised upon learning that BOSE had organized a family fair inviting representatives from various groups such as Fitness Centers, Credit Unions, Vacation tour operators, Healthy Food Cos and of course us :) Quickly, we organized our booth scattering our classes brochures & member information pamphlets on our table. Our first impressions were extremely positive-we were greeted cordially by event organizers, who helped us with writing pads and water bottles to get us started.  SoonJanis (fellow docent) and Kendra (our education co-ordinator) joined me and we prepped our booth further. Thanks to Kendra's iPad, within moments we setup a slideshow showing salient artworks from our current exhibits. As clock ticked noon, the fiar was overwhelmed with inquisitive appearing BOSE employees from all departments. As visitors approached our booth (perhaps drawn by visuals on slideshow), we commenced conversation with questions such as:
  • Have you heard of Danforth Museum Of Art?
  • Do you know there is an art museum in Framingham?
  • Have you been thinking about honing your little one's observational skills?
We were quite amazed at spotting genuine interest in ART, Museums and Creativity in general amidst BOSE employees. I personally had few memorable stimulating conversations with visitors on How museums can develop one's visual perception skills, How ESL students learn so many words during one visit to a museum and How slicing & dicing an artwork develops critical thinking ability of children. As we handed FREE passes to visitors, we communicated enthusiasm, positivity and openness to all.

As an outsider, I have always admired ultra small immaculate surround sound systems from BOSE. This visit reinforced my respect of the company where creativity & perfectionism seems to thrive naturally! We sincerely thank Jaclyn McTigue from BOSE for orchestrating this family fair where we exchanged both great ideas and smiles with spirited BOSE employees. Hope to do participate in more such experiments in the days ahead :D
[Image - MIT]
'Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.'~Plato


Thanks much Guggenheim !

Tired of being on eternal bookhold list at your local library hoping to be able to read your favorite treasured Art publication someday! Thanks to Guggenheim, now you can read digitized versions of these treasured out-of-print ART publications (some dating back to 1937!) right from your laptop, Aakash tablet or iPad for FREE!

Click here to browse reverred publications online & download their digitial prints. Happy Reading art admirers :)
'Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.' ~Richard Steele

Significance of Spirals

Ad Mom’s Coil, 2007 Etching with chine collĂ© 
I have voiced it before that VTS touring style offers fringe benefits both to museum visitors as well as tour guides. I was quite keen to start my 2012 innings with a  visit to Danforth and thanks to Kendra (our museum's education coordinator), opportunity seemed  right around the corner. I was quite excited upon learning that I can do a Public tour on January 7th for our museum's esteemed visitors. I visited museum in advance to jot down visual clues and take a mental note of salient masterpieces in Rhoda Rosenberg's gallery.

As the tour commenced, we asked all five visitors to spend a minute or two in gallery and observe keenly. I was pleasantly surprised upon finding that all of them were drawn towards an artwork titled "Mom’s Coil, 2007". Following were some of the answers I received upon probing them with a barrage of questions:

  • What do you see in this artwork? Threads, Rope, Wool, Coil, Spiral.
  • How about the surface? Rough, Corrugated, Uneven, 3D like.
  • How does it make you feel? Gloomy, Confused, Disappointed, Sad.
  • What is artist trying to portray? Connections, Perplexed-ness, Blackhole.
Thanks for VTS style questions, within 3-4 minutes as a group we started analyzing the artwork together trying our best to ascertain what artist is depicting and why! Interestingly Dan (an elderly gentleman in our group) said the artwork was all about now omnipresent SPIRALS and we decided to exchange some ideas on what Spirals signify in real world. In brainstorming session that followed for next 20 minutes, here were some interesting observations made by group:
  • Fundamentally all SPIRALS have a fixed central point from which rest of the spiral emanates farther away.
  • What makes viewing spirals engaging, is that one's eyes are drawn towards the inside-out or outside-in  curliness of the spiral. But most spirals appear aesthetic to naked eye.
  • Unlike other geometric shapes, spirals seem to be fluid (instead of static), in a state of dynamism.
  • In Ancient Greek culture, spiral symbol signified INFINITY and a state of constant motion.
  • In Ancient Celtics culture, spirals indicated birth,  growth and never ending expansion.
  • Leonardo-da Vinci is known to have filled his notebook with observations about nautilus shell spirals. These observations became basis for several of his masterpieces. 
  • The organic spiral seems to represent coiled-up energy waiting to be applied in appropriate endeavor.
  • Spirals certainly represent connected-ness. Even our universe is depicted by a big Spiral and so are Black holes and galaxies. 
  • The mother of all spirals - the Golden Spiral and its applications in nature (seeds packing inside a sunflower) are truly mesmerizing indeed.
As we wrapped up the discussion about the artwork, I briefed the group about Rhoda Rosenberg's bio and salient details of the exhibit. With that the group appreciated Rhoda's work even more and as we moved onto next gallery, we felt enriched (learning facts about spirals), engaged (stimulating discussion) and alive! Do mark your calendars and come visit Danforth this winter for exciting art events, interesting artist talks & our rewarding art classes-details here.
[Image - Rhoda Rosenberg]
"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection"~Michelangelo