Exploring Art at SAM

Posted by on Apr 10, 2011 in Art Around Us | No Comments
Hailey and Andy with <b>Mann und Mouse</b>, by Katharina Fritsch

Hailey and Andy with Mann und Mouse,
by Katharina Fritsch

One of the highlights of last week was taking my two nieces, Andy (age 17) and Hailey (age 11) to the Seattle Art Museum. Starting with the special exhibit of Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits”, we explored the entire museum, comparing favorite pieces and talking about what made these pieces special or important works of art.

Humans have been creating artwork for at least 35,000 years. Throughout this time, art has served many purposes which are unique to each culture and specific time period. As we walked through the various galleries, we talked about what kinds of artwork were being created and what the art told us about these cultures. Where these pieces supposed to tell a story? What did this painting tell us about the person? How did this piece make you feel?

Some of the pieces in the Modern Art Galleries led Hailey to exclaim “That’s not art! I could have done that!” Without knowing it, Hailey touched upon the age-old question about what makes something a piece of art. Luckily for Hailey, a curator was present and he talked to her about a specific painting, which gave her a better appreciation for that piece. She left the room saying “I’m going to go home and create a painting that they will hang in a museum.” I hope someday this happens.

Art surrounds us — it informs and educates, encourages thought and discussion, challenges assumptions, and sometimes it is beautiful and inspiring. I have loved art and art history all of my life, and spending a day sharing this experience with my nieces was fantastic.

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