Over three Saturdays in April, members of the Brooks treated themselves to a day of inspiration, learning, and relaxation! They set up shop in the beautiful outdoors (beautiful to those without major allergies I’ve learned) and explored the fine art of acrylic painting, and even sketching with India ink. With the guidance of Eszter Sziksz, local artist and Memphis College of Art instructor, members delved into a series on landscapes—traditional and abstract, inspired by our exhibition Revealed Terrain: Landscape in Contemporary Artists Books. Curator of the show, Cynthia Thompson, led a tour prior to the art-making, providing insight into the stories and artists behind the collection.
This is what members find special. The ability to produce material and learn many of the same processes artists use to make the works we contain in the museum is a treat. Personally, I like to not only become more knowledgeable about something that interests me—I want to learn how to do it myself, just to give it a whirl. I think many of our members are this way. Sure, what I see is fascinating, but what would it look like if I sat down with those supplies and used my imagination? Have you ever watched ballet dancers and thought to yourself, “Yeah I can do that… just tippy toes, got it, one spin, yep, a little jump, and finish in a very long lunge”…? Then, you attempt it. (Well some get to that part), and you realize the insane amount of practice and talent it takes to perfect those twirls. Art, or any talent, can work the same way. Someone in a gallery stands there and says, “What’s so special about this—I could do that too.” But, did you? Was it your idea, energy, and skill that brought this piece to fruition? Art becomes precious to us for many different reasons, not necessarily the technique, but also the time, the artist, and the emotion it evokes—whatever it is that is speaks to you or even goes as far as changing your life. Our members are interested in capturing that too. Making art can not only be very soothing, hence my idyllic rhyming title, but it can also teach you about yourself and even surprise you!
Some members were experimenting with acrylic and India ink for the first time, while others took this opportunity to develop their skills in a new setting, amongst fellow members. I live (at least job-wise) for opportunities like these when I can help members experience the museum, or just the arts in general. After sending an e-blast advertising for the classes, several calls came in from members trying to feel out the atmosphere for such a class. They wondered, could this be for me? I don’t need any experience? Am I going to embarrass myself by my lack of skill in holding a paint brush? Answers are yes, no, and definitely not (in that order). All levels were my target audience! I love to inspire our members, and conversely, I love to be inspired by YOU.
Eszter, Cynthia, and all the members (present at the class or not) are such a delight. Thank you again for participating and sharing your Saturdays with us! Very soon, The Soul of a City: Memphis Collects African-American Art will be opening, and I want to encourage you to join us at the opening reception, and if you’re not a member—join the museum!
Members, we thrive on you! Members : Brooks :: Coffee : Mornings
Feel free to adopt my summer motto: RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP, RENEW YOUR SOUL!
This blog is written by Andrea Carlisle, Membership Manager at the Brooks!