Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Artful Excursions!

Since I'm retired, I can't really talk about Artful Excursions in terms of field trips with kids, but I think, even if you are still actively teaching, it's important (informative, restorative, and enlightening) to take your own artful excursions, whether it involves visiting museums, or traveling to take an immersive class, exploring a botanical garden, or simply hitting the road with a camera and/or a sketchbook.  I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite artful excursions.  I'm leaving out the obvious: the Met and MoMA in NYC (though the pic above is from a visit to MoMA a few years ago).  I've been to both dozens of times.
I love to visit sculpture parks, both big and well-known, or small and off-the-beaten-path:
  • The Storm King Art Center (pictured above) is an incredible place, a 500 acre outdoor sculpture park, in NY's Hudson Valley, filled with monumental sculpture.  I blogged about a visit there a while ago.  You can find the post HERE.
  • You've probably never heard of the Circle Museum.  We made a chance discovery of this quirky roadside attraction while driving to take a hike at Bash Bish Falls, near the border of NY and MA.  You can read about my visits to the Circle Museum in two blog posts, HERE and HERE. The pics below are from this really cool place, all the work of one talented artist, Bijan Mahmoodi.

Oddball little museums:
  • Check out my post about The Museum of Bad Art in the Boston area, HERE. It may make you feel better about your own artwork, if you lack confidence!  But don't think that it's mean to have a museum like this.  It's all very tongue-in-cheek fun, right down to the Somerville location, in the grungy basement of a movie theater.  Admission to the museum is simply your movie ticket. There's another location in the Boston area as well.
  • I posted about The Barbie Expo in Montreal HERE.  If you're into fashion, or Barbie dolls, or both, this is the place to go!  I was really inspired.
  • At the little Harvard Museum of Natural History, there's an exhibit of glass flowers.  Pretty amazing works of art, they were made for botanical research.  Somehow, I forgot to post about it, probably because we visited it on the morning of the same day that my son got married.  Anyhow, below is a pic of some of the glass flowers.  Maybe, if you go to the NAEA convention in Boston this March, you could visit this awesome exhibit!  By the way, there's lots more at the museum.  I was especially inspired by exhibits of gorgeous colorful insects. 
  • In tiny Shushan NY, I discovered an exhibit of fairy houses at the Georgi Museum.  Magical!  Read about it in the blog post HERE.  This exhibit inspired me to make gnome homes with my students, who were building papier-mache garden gnomes. You can find a post about them HERE.
Favorite museums:
  • I can return to Mass MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) time after time.  It's a super-cool place.  And if you're in the North Adams/Williamstown MA area for a couple of days, you an visit Mass MoCA one day, and the nearby Clark Art Institute the next.  Read about my visits to Mass MoCA HERE and HERE, and in other posts as well.
  • There's so many wonderful museums to visit in NYC, and I've been to the Met and MoMA many many times.  But it's always worth hopping the subway to Brooklyn to visit the Brooklyn Museum, a real gem.  (and bonus, there's a nearby botanical garden, too!).  While at the museum, you'll get to see Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, a spectacular piece of feminist art. And on your way back to Manhattan, walk across the fabulous iconic Brooklyn Bridge!
  • It may not be an "art" museum, but I return repeatedly to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Along with all the other treasures there, each year for a period of time in the winter, there's a butterfly conservatory.  It's certainly an artistic inspiration!  Blog posts HERE and HERE. 
  • And if all else fails, take a walk.  It can be just a walk in your neighborhood, or a walk in the woods, or a walk on the beach.  All are artistic inspirations for me.  Bring a camera if you won't have time to sketch.  Below, from a walk through Central Park in Manhattan. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh man! I have hiked at Bash Bish many times and never knew about the Circle Museum. Unfortunately I don't live in the area any more, but I may have to carve out a day next time I'm in the Northeast. Looks really neat. Thanks!