Nothing is more rewarding to a museum educator than seeing the positive impact of your programs on students. During the six month run of Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act more than 9,300 students visited the SAM’s galleries and experienced Calder’s work in person. Students learned about how he used geometry and math to create beautify balanced sculptures and created their own works of art out of wire and recycled materials in the museum’s art studio spaces. Here are some of our favorite thank you notes and quotes from students who visited the exhibition.
When you are in Seattle and the weather changes from 65 and sunny to thunderstorms and lighting within the hour, you know it’s…SIFF time! Otherwise known as the time of year when you most want to go into a movie theatre and stop trying to figure out if summer has arrived yet (it hasn’t). If you are as overwhelmed as I am by the 250+ page book of films that SIFF has put out, you’ll want to peruse other people’s lists of “must-see” movies, like this one, focused on the theme of visual arts. As suspected, they mostly fall into the documentary category, but there’s at least one other mixed in. Enjoy! And let me know which ones I forgot – I got a little bleary-eyed by page 235.
As SAM’s summer exhibitions Kurt and love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death—Andy Warhol Media Works opened last week, the Adult Public Programs team has been working hard to get ready for all of the affiliated lectures, performances, tours and June 4th SAM Remix. The simultaneity of these two exhibitions is exciting from a programmatic standpoint because we have the opportunity to use educational experiences to explore some of the conceptual connections between works in both. One of the projects I have focused on developing in recent months is a set of three classes that are part of our adult workshop series “SAM Creates.”
Kurt and love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death — Andy Warhol Media Works, two upcoming special exhibitions, open two weeks from today. Here is “Why Kurt?” the first of a series of 6 videos featuring local artists whose work is central to the exhibition, as well as KEXP DJ and Seattle Weekly columnist Hannah Levin and Jacob McMurray, senior curator at EMP I SFM. This video gets to the heart of the exhibition, articulating Kurt Cobain’s historical impact on our culture, and zeroing in on the influence he has had on artists working today.
April is the month when we celebrate Earth Day.
Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Interestingly, Nelson announced his intent to have a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment – which led to the first “earth day” – in the spring of 1970 at a conference in Seattle in September 1969. (Source: EarthLink.)
Earth Day gives us a great excuse to look at books and videos in our library collections that focus on environmentalism and land-focused art.
Make your voice heard – there’s a local opportunity for one of 25 eligible historic locations to be granted $1 million dollars by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation through a joint initative called Partners in Preservation. The cash is distributed according to an on-line voting system – according to the PIP website, “At the end of the voting period, the site with the most votes is guaranteed funding from a total of $1 million that American Express will give away to support the preservation of historic places in the Seattle-Puget Sound area.” There are so many great projects – it’ll be hard to narrow down just one.
When a natural disaster strikes, like the recent earthquake in China1, saving human lives is naturally the first concern. In the aftermath however, the loss of cultural artifacts and historic sites can be devastating to communities as well. Art and architecture provide evidence of our shared histories and give us a foundation on which to build a common identity. Living in Seattle, an area of the world prone to seismic activity, one might ask what Fremont would be like without its troll, or the Seattle skyline without the Space Needle? Hopefully, we will never know.
Those who went to the Meany Hall concert of Pakistani musician Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1993 will still remember the thrill of hearing his voice and his group—with the audience dancing, and dollar bills being thrown onto the stage! It was a taste of the power of qawwali, the musical tradition of Sufis in Pakistan and India.
Sometimes a seemingly simple task like sending out an invitation can end up involving people on the other side of the planet.