Absorbed by Art

"That's when I realized I had made a mistake. I had been ignoring this museum, thinking it was off limits because I have young children.
When my daughter was a toddler, we sauntered in to experience the Alexander Calder exhibit and broke all the rules. She crawled under the tables with the sculptures resting atop. She crossed lines on the floors. We ate in the gallery. The security guards nicely asked us to leave. We never came back.
It was a loss. I didn’t grow up going to museums often. But when I was in a BFA program at an art school located in the basement of a major museum, I had the luxury of spending hours in front of pieces of art that captured my attention. I’d sit on the floor and stare at the details of my favorite pieces. I’d copy what I loved, making discoveries about myself."

My review of the Miro exhibit currently at the Seattle Art Museum is a wonderful reminder of all the things I want for my kids, but sometimes cast aside when they don't work out the first time.  How will they be comfortable in museums?  Will they know what it feels like to be swallowed up by a painting that is so enormous and colorful it fills their entire periphery?   I want them to experience some of the wonder and magic that I did when I first became absorbed by art, yet taking them to museums scares me.

While I was at the SAM, I spent the morning alone wandering through the galleries, gazing at Miro's colorfully painted dreamscapes and funky sculptures.  I found nooks and crannies of space carved out for families and I realized the museum had been designed with parents in mind.  There's space for families with tantruming toddlers that need a place to take refuge.  When I sat down and took a minute to rest, I clicked some quick pics with my phone.  I added them to the group at my self-portraiture workshop and realized maybe I am still participating in the world of art and making discoveries about myself.


  1. Sister, yours2/24/14, 11:31 AM

    I love this portrait... You look so pretty yet your expression reminds me of old photos featuring the strong women in our family history!

    1. Awe, thanks. I wanna know which photos you speak of!