I’ve never really considered myself an artsy person. It may have started way back in elementary school when my art teacher could NOT get my last name right (though I did have a painting exhibited at the local library when I was little!), but I never went on to take an art class in high school or college. I was definitely musical, but not “artsy.” And here I am a twenty-something with a bit of an infatuation with our local art museum. How did that happen?!
Well, the Memorial Art Gallery is a little bit special- I’ve started to realize it within the last year or so. A lot of museums just sit there and hold art. But the MAG is far less static than that- I’ve learned that they’re incredibly involved in the community and are constantly finding creative ways to engage different groups of people who haven’t had the desire to go check out art before.
The first time I really started to realize this was last fall, when I went to my first-ever Yelp event, entitled “Into the Archives at MAG.” Seriously? You’re going to let a bunch of random people who happen to use an app wander around in your art storage? THAT’S AWESOME! This was probably one of my favorite Yelp events that I’ve ever attended and it piqued my interest in the MAG.
From there, I happened to befriend a pretty cool MAG employee at a social media conference and learn more about all the stuff the MAG is doing to bring in young people. One of those things is social events! Who doesn’t love a late night at the museum? It feels pretty cool to get all dolled up for a night out at the MAG. Their most recent event was called MAD MAG, and tons of people turned up in Mad Men inspired attire. There was even an emoji scavenger hunt, a card tournament, and dancing. It was a pretty fantastic evening!
The ever-changing exhibits are another big draw, I find. My favorite one they’ve done this year was about the Ebony Fashion Fair and was called Inspiring Beauty. There were tons of gorgeous ensembles on display with diverse mannequins modeling each one! It was seriously a feast for the eyes.
We attended the opening of their latest and greatest new piece: a mural by Nate Hodge entitled “Inhabited Space.” They let this dude come in and paint up one of the hallways and it’s an absorbing masterpiece. SO COOL to walk through art to go see more art. You become a part of it. This photo doesn’t do it justice.
Last but certainly not least, the art isn’t limited to the outside- it’s wandered outside the walls of the MAG for all to enjoy in beautiful public spaces. Centennial Sculpture Park is full of delightful creations by Tom Otterness, and I am pretty obsessed with them. They’re just too adorable for words. Also, sculptures by local legend Albert Paley and poetry on the sidewalks don’t hurt.
The MAG is pretty darn social on the interwebs, so be sure to follow them on Twitter and Insta if you’re into artsy parties and other fun events! Their director, Jonathan Binstock, is worth a follow on Insta as well for selfies with Joywave, graffiti, and more.