I could possibly be winter’s biggest fan but there’s no denying the season is pretty much devoid of color. Occasionally we get a vibrant blue sky but otherwise I’m content with the gray, white and brown palette that nature offers.
For a few months anyway, my eyes are resting.
Should I need a day with color I can always go to my local office supply store. Besides, I’m a sucker for markers, paper, clips and pushpins.
This week, however, held another source of color and vibrancy.
A spur-of-the-moment trip into DC on Monday to meet friends for lunch ended up with a trip to the newly renovated and opened Renwick Gallery. I’ve had Flat Stanley from one of my nephews for several weeks now and although he had fun being snowed in with us, he needed to get out to see the city!
Photography encouraged. What a welcome sign to see in an art gallery. Before I ever saw the exhibits my heart was smiling.
And then I encountered this.
My heart wasn’t just smiling, it was singing.
Fun fact: There are 60 miles of thread in this piece.
A few rooms farther and this met my eye. A monochromatic floor in a gallery that pulsated with light and color.
A floor that called out to be populated with humans lying down, some on huge pillows, some in couches, all looking up in wonder, at the ever-changing light show above them. Adults and children together, couples, groups of friends, solitary viewers…. each of them alone in their thoughts yet in this experience with the other inhabitants of the room.
Now my heart was not just smiling and singing, it started to dance.
The museums and galleries of my past were often silent and stuffy. They didn’t encourage laughter. Walking into one, with the oh-so-serious guards patrolling the spaces, always instilled a feeling of guilt in me. As if I was going to break the barrier between myself and the grandeur of the art. As if I wouldn’t display the proper amount of reverence for the masters.
As a matter of record, I have been known to lie down on a museum floor to better enjoy a Chihuly installation in a ceiling. To discover why click here. People looked at me strangely.
The Renwick changes all of that.
It’s current show, Wonder, is aptly named. Step into it’s spaces and you’ll find yourself wondering where this kind of art has been all your life.
How can you not love a gallery that allows you to walk into the art and lie on the floor? How can you not love a gallery that not only allows but encourages photography?
And don’t we all need a bit of color in the midst of winter?