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Making Art History Fun at Art Market

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(L-R: Tania Houtzager, Ethan Angelica, Erica Gangsei, and Salvador Acevedo)

Sartle was thrilled to sponsor the awesome panel See Art Differently: Engaging New Audiences in World-Changing Ways at Art Market San Francisco, a discussion on how institutions such as Museum Hack​, SFMOMA, and Sartle are tackling unique ways to engage audiences in art, all moderated by Salvador Acevedo of Contemporanea

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Art Market was packed, to say the least. Two of our panelists almost didn’t get in because none of us thought to bring tickets. Oops. Luckily, a very helpful staffer quickly appeared with our awesome badges signifying our highly important role of “Cultural Partner.”

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Our three organizations are working extremely hard to make art fun to the casual viewer, as Salvador said, “The way that people want to participate in the arts is changing. A contemplative, passive experience is not any longer the only possibility.” In our experience, that could not be more true. We’re of the belief that art should not only be taught alongside math and reading but can also become one of the pleasures of everyday life. There’s even proof that it makes doctors better at their job, students more focused on their work, and is generally great for world peace, if you’re into that sort of stuff. For more about what was said keep reading below -

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When asked if these types of programs were trying to work around what the museums are putting out, our panelists had this to say: From Tania, “What the curators are putting out with the shows is really important and really, really good information, but it’s information seen through a curator’s eyes through the cold history of art, through the canon. They know when they’re putting it out there that it’s not going to serve everybody’s needs and not everybody will be served by this information. What museums should be doing and are doing is offering more than one perspective.” Erica supported her by reiterating that, “It’s not about moving the center; it’s about expanding the boundary. It’s about being part of an institutional culture that encourages experimentation … what we do is mediating between two different perspectives.” 

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Salvador asked how a culture so involved with an online experience is able to translate to a live experience like with Museum Hack and SFMOMA’s game initiative, Ethan said, “What Museum Hack does is offer a 100% money-back guarantee. We want to make it so that crossing the threshold of a museum is not a scary experience.” Erica expressed that it isn’t, “How do you translate eyeballs on the screen to feet in the door, [but rather] how do you translate eyeballs on the screen to an open and perceptive mind?”  

After a lengthy Q&A, a few of us stayed at Art Market and walked through the galleries. After such deep, philosophical discussion of art theory we were all happy to take some time to relax and immerse ourselves in the contemporary art scene. Forgive me for being distracted and not writing down any of the artwork info. (Message us if you know who made what!)

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So many layers

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Like 3-D pointillism 

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We had a lot of fun with this one … 

By: Lauren

ldare's picture
Lauren Dare

Sr. Editor

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