Art Term Tuesday: Installation

Do you know if what you are looking at is an installation by an artist? Each of the installations at FWMoA has encouraged visitors to get into, walk around, and experience the space in different ways. What makes these pieces of art installations? Read on to find out!

Do You Get to Touch the Art? Working in a Museum: A Day with the Vice President and COO of FWMoA, Amanda Shepard

When people learn we work in a museum, the first question we often get asked is "What do you do all day? Do you just get to stare at art?". The follow-up question is, usually, "Wait, do you get to touch the art?". It often comes as a surprise, therefore, when they learn that many museum jobs do not include handling objects at all! Therefore, I sat down with Amanda Shepard, our Vice President and COO, to talk about her background, what her job entails, and if she is ever disappointed that she doesn't get to touch the art.

Treasures from the Vault: Dale Enochs’s “Double Exposure”

Today’s ‘treasure’ is a little different than others we’ve selected. Dale Enochs’s Double Exposure is set apart from other treasures we’ve featured because they don’t often leave the vault. On the contrary—this sculpture is permanently installed in our atrium! It may seem as though I’m betraying the identity of this blog series, but I ask you this – how often do we become so used to seeing a work of art that we no longer take notice of its presence? My task today is to compel you to give this particular work a second look.

Art Term Tuesday: Matting Artworks

When we visit art museums we often take for granted that art will be there, hung up on the wall for our enjoyment. In the last few weeks, FWMoA has experienced multiple galleries being deinstalled, prepared, and installed with new exhibitions. Because exhibitions at FWMoA change every 6-8 weeks, we are constantly taking art down, putting art up, and storing art. It wasn’t until I came to work at an art museum that I realized how much goes into prepping artwork for an exhibition, in fact, it takes a whole team of people! A collaborative process between artists, galleries, curators, registrars, and technicians, the artworks go through multiple states before they are displayed for all too look at and enjoy. One of those stages is our term Tuesday: Matting. 

The FWMoA Fridge

Museums have always served as sources of inspiration for artists so today, we’re highlighting visitor artwork that appears to be directly inspired by something they saw or experienced at FWMoA. Take a look at these artworks with Director of Children's Education Alyssa Dumire, can you figure out what the artists were inspired by?

Treasures from the Vault: Ginny Ruffner

A common misconception about working in museums is that you get to touch the stuff, whether artworks or artifacts. When I lead a tour a common question is: “What is the coolest piece of art you’ve gotten to handle?” As an educator, I have to explain, I’m not allowed to touch the stuff either! While my job requires handling of reproductions, I rarely get to to into the vault and see, or write about, the various treasures we have. Read on to see which treasure from the vault caught the eye of our writer!

Curating 1026 West Berry Street

It's installation week at FWMoA! If you visit us before Saturday you'll have to pardon our mess as this week we are installing the exhibit we’re calling 1026 West Berry Street – The Fort Wayne Art School. Read on to see what Suzanne Slick learned while curating this exhibition and how the community came together to contribute!

Art Term Tuesday: Art Appraisal

Imagine – You were crawling through Grandma’s attic this weekend, trying to chase out the squirrels, when you came across a large square object covered by a sheet. Grandma doesn’t recall where the painting came from but asks you to find out more about it. It’s signed in the corner and when you put that name into a search engine it comes up with a famous artist! Their paintings are rare, valuable, and you might have one right there in front of you! What do you do next?

Off the Cuff: Folk Artist Howard Finster

Throughout my career I’ve been blessed with friendships with some of the most interesting people in the art world.  One of the most fascinating was the self-taught folk artist Howard Finster. I was a myopic art historian in training when I first saw Howard’s work in an art magazine in the library of the Clark Art Institute.  I had no experience with “outsider art” and thought the idea that someone self-taught could actually make art was ridiculous.  Several years later, however, while spending a long weekend in Chicago browsing through the galleries of River North, I called on art dealer Carl Hammer and discovered that his entire gallery was devoted primarily to these “outsiders.” My education about folk- or outsider- art began that afternoon as Carl walked me through his back room pulling painting after painting from the racks and telling me stories about each of his artists, including Howard Finster.