Artpace After Hours
I think everyone can agree that there are days when we like our jobs and then there are days when we LOVE our jobs. This evening’s Artpace After Hours was a clear-cut example of me loving the opportunity to work at Artpace.
The idea for Artpace After Hours began during brainstorm session at a team meeting months ago, followed by series of lunchtime conversations between me and Alex Freeman. From there, I was able to cultivate my thoughts on creating an event that provided an audience that was new to Artpace and to contemporary art a confident start with some basic tools to begin looking at art. I hoped that we could help to de-mystify the big unknowns of contemporary art by starting with the known.
With cocktails and snacks provided by Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, guests began the evening by contributing to our Scattergories-inspired wall of words. Topics included: materials used to make art, ways of joining two things together, sources of inspiration for art, and more. It was a great kick-off and our small group of guests had the chance to get their minds thinking while also mixing and mingling with others.
As I said, we wanted our conversations to be led by the “known,” before tackling the unknown, so we began by looking at clues of Gabriel Vormstein’s Hudson (Show)Room The Teeth of the Wind and the Sea. What could we determine from the clues that help us to know more about the work as whole? Simply put, a lot. With each person bringing their own background and knowledge, the small groups came up with fantastic answers that helped determine the artist’s process, materials, and some of the recognizable images in the work.
Taking the momentum of the clue hunting exercise we used the same strategy throughout the rest of the spaces at Artpace. We got a sneak peak at the 11.1 International Artist-in-Residence exhibitions of Kelly Richardson and E. V. Day and put our sleuthing skills to the test as we predicted what the spaces might include when they open on March 24th. We also took an in-depth look at the Window Works 11.1 exhibition by Joshua Bienko and our Archives and Resource Library.
Seeing the Hudson (Show)Room exhibition by Gabriel Vormstein in its entirety pulled the experience together as the guests confidently approached the work. Their discussions from previous spaces and activities enabled them to use their known facts and start exploring what the meaning could be and make it less mysterious. The answers and dialogue was impressive to say the least; each guest had something to contribute and proved that our evening had accomplished its goals.
April 14th may seem like a long way off, but I’m already getting excited about our next Artpace After Hours. The next exploration into the unknown will include a look at the 11.1 IAIR exhibitions and even a look into where the artists live while they are in residence. I’m in!
-Kaela Hoskings, Assistant Curator of Education