Friday, June 19, 2015

27. The Henry Art Gallery: Ann Hamilton's the common SENSE & The Arty Party

Twenty seven down. Twenty eight to go.

Children have little patience for merely observing art. They instinctively want to interact and create. So it was that Ann Hamilton's exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery, titled the common SENSE, was a perfect fit with the gallery's annual Arty Party for kids.

The "the common SENSE" refers to Aristotle's observation that touch is the sense common to all animal species. This very ambitious museum-wide exhibition was four years in the making. Working with the Henry, the artist conducted research at the gallery, the UW Library's Special Collections and the Burke Museum. The exhibit invited participants to submit writings and photographs, read, sing, and literally dive into the displays by tearing out sheets from newsprint pads printed with animal images.

Held at the museum on a lovely Saturday afternoon, the Arty Party was full of opportunities for kids to experience the exhibit while expressing themselves on paper, in dance, and through design. There were stations to hear native stories and to learn from the Burke Museum about the sense of touch in the animal kingdom. For the older kids, an illustrator of superhero comics shared his art and creative process. The Northwest Film Forum presented several interesting animated short movies for kids. And Dubs, the UW Husky mascot, appeared live and in-person.

Dubs, an Alaskan
 Malamute born in 2008,
attended the Arty Party. 
You can follow him 
at a Dawg's Life.
The common SENSE exhibit demonstrated the Henry's belief that art is not a spectator sport. The first art museum in Washington, the gallery was founded in 1926 through a donation of art and money by Horace C. and Susan Henry. Today it is dedicated to contemporary art, and the common SENSE showcased the gallery's commitment to champion new work, bring leading artists to the region, collaborate with the UW and community partners, and connect audiences of all ages to contemporary artists and ideas. The gallery is currently featuring a wonderful photography exhibit supported by ArtsFund - llse Bing: Modern Photographer.

The Burke Museum and
the Northwest Film Forum
 participated in the Arty Party. Both
receive ArtsFund support.

No comments:

Post a Comment