Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fun Facts about NACHI

The view looking up into the center spiral of Etsuko Ichikawa's installation at the UW Art Museum.

The installation by Japanese artist Etsuko Ichikawa, NACHI - between the eternal and the ephemeral - has been intriguing visitors since it opened in February. Her use and mixing of materials has been especially fascinating, as she combines cotton thread, pyrographs (drawings made from molten glass on paper), video, and audio components. A special section of sample materials was added to the gallery last month to give visitors the opportunity to touch these unique materials.

Here are some other fun facts about Ichikawa's installation:
- The installation reaches the ceiling of the museum at a height of about 16 feet.
- It is 44 feet long and 27 feet wide at the largest points.
- The spiral of cotton thread is 123 in length.
- There are over 11 miles of cotton thread, cut into 8200 individual pieces of differing lengths.
- Each of the 6 pyrographs are 14 feet high and 4-1/2 feet wide.
- The projected video of the dancers runs 32 minutes long and loops continuously.
- The sound comes from 4 hidden speakers under the wooden platform at the center of the spiral, is 28 minutes long, and also runs continuously.

The exhibition will be on view through August 6, so be sure to stop by and experience it for yourself! You can leave us your thoughts and comments about the exhibition either here on the blog, on our Facebook page, or in the guestbook in the gallery.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Art Museum Closed on Memorial Day

Along with most of the University of Wyoming offices and departments, the Art Museum will be closed on Monday, May 30th for Memorial Day.

We will be open for our usual hours on Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and we will reopen on Tuesday, May 31st.

Willett Drive is unfortunately still closed to through traffic for utility work to the east of the parking lot. You can access the Art Museum from the west on Willett Drive (just go past the sign that says closed to through traffic). If you are on the north side of the building, or driving north on 22nd Street, you can go around the back of the building on Harney and cut across to Willett on 19th Street.

For more information about museum hours or to help plan a visit to the museum, please call 307.766.6622. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Art Imidates Dance" online exhibition on Facebook

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Dancer, not dated, etching (restrike), 7 x 4 inches, Gift of Professor James T. Forrest and Dr. Suzanne S. Forrest, University of Wyoming Art Museum Collection, 1973.18

A new online exhibition titled, Art Imitates Dance, is now available to view on the Art Museum's Facebook page. Simply log in to your account and search for "University of Wyoming Art Museum." A photo album featuring 10 works from the permanent collection is on view.

This online exhibition is part of a collaboration with the Laramie Dance Center. Every year, the Dance Center holds a spring performance that is the culmination of a year's worth of hard work in each class - from tap to ballet to belly dancing. The theme of this year's performance is Art Imitates Dance, and each instructor selected a piece of artwork as the basis for the choreography, music, and costumes.

While the Art Museum doesn't have the specific artworks in the permanent collection, we do have similar works by some of the same artists and their contemporaries. This online exhibition features five works by some of the same artists who were selected by Laramie Dance Center instructors, and five works by contemporaries of other artists who work in either the same style, or have the same themes in their work.

Information about each piece is listed under the image, along with the title and artist of the similar work selected by the Laramie Dance Center. The goal of this online exhibition is to continue making connections between dance, gesture, movement and art. Each image in the online exhibition also features questions that encourage viewers to look closely and explore ideas about dance and art.

The Laramie Dance Center spring performance is this Saturday, May 21 at 1pm in the A&S Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. For more information about the ongoing collaboration between the Laramie Dance Center and the Art Museum, which will also feature Dance Center instructors teaching a movement component at the Art Museum's free summer program, Paint Pony Express, please call the Art Museum at 307.766.6622.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Detour on Willett to Access the Art Museum Parking Lot

Beginning today through May 22nd, Willett Drive will be closed from the east side of the Centennial Complex parking lot to 22nd Street. This will block access to the Art Museum for visitors and school groups coming from the east. Westbound access will still be open, although there will be a posted sign that Willett is closed to through traffic.

Visitors and school groups trying to access the Art Museum from the east can also take 19th street, which connects Harney to Willett and will take you west of the building where you can then access the parking lot.

Questions about planning a visit to the Art Museum? You can call us and get all the information you need at 307.766.6622!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tempted to Touch the Artwork?

Many people, from seasoned museum visitors to young students, and sometimes even curators, are tempted to touch the artwork. The reason museums have a strict no touch policy is that our hands contain many unseen and harmful dirts and oils. Over time, and with repeated touching, these dirts and oils can permanently damage the art by causing negative reactions, such as corrosion, that diminish the life span of the art. This is why when museum staff members need to handle the artwork, you will see them wearing white gloves to protect the art so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

One of the current exhibitions at the Art Museum has been especially tempting to touch because it incorporates interesting and new materials. Etsuko Ichikawa: NACHI - from the eternal to the ephemeral - uses cotton rope and pyrographs to create a unique environment in the gallery. Pyrographs are drawings created by molten glass scorching the surface of the paper. Because of the high heat of the glass, the paper need to be very thick. The cotton rope hangs in strands by the thousand, creating almost a curtain. Both the rope and the paper are unique materials, so the artist was generous and provided a sample of both a pyrograph and cotton rope, that museum visitors can touch. This will help keep the work in the exhibition safe, but also allows museum visitors to answer the questions they might have about what the materials feel like.

We invite you to visit the exhibition, explore it, and use your senses. From looking closely at the designs of the pyrographs, to listening to the sound playing from the center of the spiral, and now touch with these samples at the entrance to the gallery.

For more information, or if you have questions, you can contact the museum at 307.766.6622.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cell Phone Audio Tour for, Laramie: A Gem City Atlas

Interested in learning more about the maps on view in the exhibition, Laramie: A Gem City Atlas? The latest cell phone audio tour features prompts recorded by the creators of the maps. The students who first began working with Rebecca Solnit early in the semester when she was an Eminent Writer in Residence through the MFA in Creative Writing Program also wrote essays about the subject or subjects of their maps. A condensed explanation about the maps can be heard in their own voice, simply by dialing a local 307 area code number from your cell phone. These quick synopses are a great way to learn more about their creative process, the subject of the map, and maybe learn a little bit more about Laramie!

The complete essays are also available for public reading in the gallery. A specially created case holds all of the students' essays. These two unique opportunities really allow museum visitors to delve into the exhibition, whether it's through listening, looking, or reading!