Traveling through the Louisville I noticed an event that took a different spin on viewing artwork at a museum. Brown-Forman hosted an “Art after Dark” event at the J.B. Speed Art Museum on 17 February 2012. The event started at 7 in the evening and would run until 11 at night. This was not a normal stroll through a choreographed routine leading from one painting to another. The goal of this event was to offer multiple venues of art and let the recipient flow through the multiple venues within the museum. All of my senses were peaked while touring through the museum. From the spicy pickle chips taunting my tongue to the impromptu and un-orchestrated jam session held in the main hall by no less than twenty musicians dancing on my eardrums not one sense was left unattended.
As I walked through the gates I was handed a paper with eight distinct pictures on it but each picture was only a small unrecognizable portion of its larger self. This was the lure of a scavenger hunt which would take me from beginning to end in search for each treasure on the paper. The hunt was to reground the visitor through each event so that not only could they enjoy the band in the back room playing to only themselves and the people watching as they amassed from the art foyer so that each person would also take time to look up and around and enjoy all of the beauty of the museum.
There were multiple pieces of art that drew my interest but two of the most brilliant forms of art that I saw were that of the somewhat incomprehensible band that sounded so out of tune they there was harmony formed. The first steps into the room that housed the band Sapat was surrounded by classical tapestries that lined from ceiling to the floor. A huge mantel held fast to the wall behind me and the twenty members, each staged at their instrument with the look of determination and focus as if they were going to play the first notes in Carnegie Hall. As the band began to play not one member was playing the same song, genre, tempo, beat or volume. Each musician was playing whatever they felt like playing at that moment. Some were reading music from their music stands while others trotted along like the pied piper almost enticing us to join the festivities. The music was fully engulfing and a great demonstration and reflection of how our society works. All working in our own worlds but if we can just look up we will notice we are impacting multiple people around us.
The next work of art was an event of art creation called Rush and Roulette. The scene was in the area of approximately 400 square feet five local artists that would take on the responsibility of starting, adding to or finished a piece of artwork through the rushed atmosphere set to the tempo which a local DJ created. As music blared out of the speakers each artist worked furiously to transfer their ideas onto the canvases before them. You could see the hurried look in the eyes of the artist as they searched for colors or brushes so that they could put the thoughts in their mind on to the paper in rapid succession. There was no time for second tries or erasing and starting over anew. This was 100% direct and raw as it came from the artists hands. There is something to be had from understanding that mistakes are understood and in this case expected.
This event shed a new light into how a museum event can kick start or sustain the joy of visiting and viewing art. As I enjoyed the live action areas of the museum I also took time to really look at the paintings, weavings and local art housed in the J.B. Speed Art museum. As I went through my scavenger hunt list I ensure to find them all. I was able to take advantage of every section of the museum by taking the time to watch and let the art speak for itself.