Monday, May 5, 2014

Field Paper

   I have always enjoyed visiting the Nevada Museum of Art, but I found that I was uncomfortable on the day that we went on the class trip. I am usually the quite wanderer when it comes to museums and galleries, however during this trip I was quiet with a purpose. I wanted to observe my fellow patrons and how they interacted with the space, keeping in mind that it was a free day at the museum with a Maurice Sendak exhibit. I found that while the displays were well rounded, with elements that could interest a wide range of people, the overall installation design sent mixed signals and created some confusion with the guests.
   One of the first discontinuities was within the Maurice Sendak display involving the beautiful boat in the middle of the mini gallery. It seemed to be incredibly child friendly and built to withstand a playground like setting, and yet it looked to be untouched by the large group of children. I understand that the parents impressions of a display within a gallery could result in ushering the children away from possibly "messing it up," but then where were the docents or the signs to let the guests know what was allowed.
   I also don't understand why a museum would schedule a child-aimed display at the same time as a brightly colored collaged room with explicit content, so closely spaced together within the building. I feel that if you need to post signs, and station a docent within the space to "warn" parents to read a sign, then the locations of the installation should be re-evaluated. I also don't appreciate the way that the docents hovered over the guests, especially within the collaged installation.
   Overall, a visit to the NMA is educational and provides an access point to some wonderful collections. My critique is that the day to day execution of operations could use some improvements. Better planning of the layout within the gallery, and better directional clues via docents or signs. I would still recommend the NMA to others, and return again myself.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lorena's Field Papers

First Review:
When visiting the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, I made many observations regarding the layout as well as the structure. Through an unfortunate leadership conflict the museum did not get off on the right foot and now the new director as well as the staff are trying to correct these past mistakes as well as redirect the intentions of the museum. The original intent for the museum was to be as a children museum for young people as well as their families to enjoy and that is what it was fundraised for. However now the board is trying to convert it to attract all ages. For me this is an unrealistic goal for not for a single moment during my visit did I feel like I was not in a children’s museum. I feel like the intention of converting it into something it is clearly not is very misguiding and I feel like it would be more beneficial to embrace the state of the museum as it is. Instead of investing money and effort into changing branding for example, which really doesn't make much of a difference considering the targeted age of all the exhibitions, I feel like all the money and effort should go toward improving and expanding the exhibition especially with the large amount of empty space. Besides the misleading plans for the future, I observed a poor layout, which the director pointed out, however kept pointing out changes that will take place in the future without touching upon immediate changes that could take place to improve the aesthetics of the gallery spaces. He would complain about certain aspects such as having a tree in the middle of an open space when it would be fairly easy to resituate. This made him seen like he has a lack of incentive and his cursing in a children’s environment made him seem to not suit the environment very well. Once the foundations for the museum are set correctly I believe the museum will strive.  

Second review for extra credit:
I was disappointed in the gallery at the University of Nevada because for me it represents nearly all the bad qualities a gallery space can have. This has nothing to do with the artwork, for I found the artwork was quite good, it was the gallery space that wasn't doing the artwork justice. My first concern was the location, for the location was nearly impossible to find. There were nearly no indications to where it was and the students there didn't even have a clue. I find that the exhibition space has so much potential and it is a great advantage to have a gallery space on campus, however I feel like the potential is being wasted and instead of drawing people out it is giving them a skewed idea of the realm of exhibitions. Once you do find the space you are greeted by an employee who looks bored out of her mind and doesn't seem to be very passionate about art for not even she could answer questions concerning the art. The gallery space was not very traditional. The lighting was very dim and the walls and flooring seemed to match the rest of the school’s interior which did not enhance the artworks whatsoever. The next issue was that because there were no labels or any indication of an artist of the intentions of the artist it was just left open for interpretation. I feel like this defeats the purpose for the artist since she can’t receive any recognition as well as the visitors who are left in the dark regarding the purpose of the artworks. I also felt like there was no consistency. For example, there was a movie playing that I felt was in no way coherent to anything else. I hope the exhibition improves for I do believe it has potential. 

Hailey's Field Paper

I recently had the oppertunity to see the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art and I really really enjoyed seeing it.  Maurice Sendak was the creator behind the book Where the Wild Things Are.  It was so nice to see the original drawings of a book that I read and looked at so much as a kid.

The exhibit was set up wonderfully, giving the viewer room to walk around, not only the images hung on the wall, but plenty of room to walk around the pieces in the center of the room.  There was a replica boat of what was in the book and a bronze statue that set in the middle of the space as  well as a place for kids to hang out and read some of Sendak's books.  All of the images on the wall were hung at a height that kids to see them as well.

Throughout my visit there, I saw and heard at least 3 tours where kids were walking thought the space with an audio tour from someone at the museum.  I wanted to join the tour, it seemed really informative and I really liked that kids were very interested in it.

I was happy to see people actually interacting and talking in what is normally a quiet space.  It felt very comfortable to be in the gallery.  I feel as if they left enough space in the exhibit to wander freely through it.  Both kids and adults were happy, it was not generated to just one age group.  I even liked the colors that were on the wall, all in all felt like a very well put together space.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flor's Field Paper

This exhibit was very good, the paintings from Sendak’s books were hung at eyelevel for kids.  There was a reading corner that was good environment for the kids to listen to Sendak’s stories.  Even the pedestals where lower so the kids could get to see the art up close.

As an adult it felt like you where a giant, but the work was intended for kids, and it was important to make them have the same experience that an adult has in a full sized exhibit.  

The one thing that I didn’t like was the boat in the middle of the room.  It looked like something that you would see a park or jungle gym.  Its structure looked sturdy and well crafted; there were no sharp nail or screws that made it dangers to clime on.  When we went in the gallery there were no kids playing on the boat.  There was not a sign that said “NO CLIMBING” but there was also not a sign that said kids could climb.  If I was a kid I would defiantly want to be able to pretend to sail on the boat. 

It makes no logic to put a perfectly good boat for kids to clime on in the middle of a children’s exhibit and than not let them climb on it.  This was almost as bad as putting a chocolate cake in front of a kid and then not letting them eat it. I felt that this was the big downfall to the exhibit.

Over the exhibit was good except for this big temptation in the middle of the room.  It was sad to see, and if I was a kid I would have tears in my eyes from not being able to play on it. If your going to have an exhibit for kids and have it be interactive you cant have the big center of attraction be a big wooden boat and have it be a disappointment that you cant clime it. I believe the exhibit would have worked better if the boat could be climbed on, or if it was gone altogether, or if it was suspended in the air.  

Field Paper: Truckee Connects

Truckee Connects: A Review
As soon as you enter the main room at the Discovery Museum in Reno, Nevada you find yourself staring at a colossal three-story cloud themed climbing structure.  But the exhibit that really interested me was at the base of the structure.  Truckee Connects was a water hydrology exhibit molded after the Truckee River.  At the beginning of the river was a representation of Lake Tahoe, at the end was Pyramid Lake.
 The exhibit allowed the exhibit allowed the viewers to interact in a variety of different ways.  The viewer could: Sail boats across Lake Tahoe using fans, divert water to a working power plant, float a miniature tube down the river, open and close a dam, operate a working fish ladder, and participate in a variety of activities at the end on Pyramid Lake.  The river requires a full swimming pool filtration system, and a certified technician for clean water operation. 
I felt that this exhibit was extremely successful as a learning too that allowed the viewers to relate scientific principals to a local landmark.  The level of interaction required by the viewer was high, without their participation, it would not be possible to fully understand the lessons intended.  However, once there are a dozen or so kids operating the river, other patrons can view the piece from a variety of different angles. 

Overall, I thought this was a well-rounded exhibit that balanced education, engagement, and entertainment.  If I were to change an aspect of the exhibit, I would have added a panel or two discussing lake Tahoe, its depths, and the conservation efforts involved with keeping Tahoe blue.  It is just as important or more to instill a sense of conservation at a young age as it is to learn about hydrology. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kyle and Kelly Demo: Ian

Kyle and kelly were doing a demo during the whole NCECA Conference. I would sit in and watch them work for an hour or so each day. I really had nothing else to do and I was not feeling like walking around the conference early in the morning. Sitting and watching them work and listening to them talk about their work is actually a lot more interesting than you would think. So Kyle and Kelly are identical twins. They dress the exact same! Everything is matching all the way down to their matching tattoos. I bet they even had the same socks on, but I never asked to see if I'm right, but I bet I am. They work completely differently than anyone else. They work on the same piece at the same time. It's so cool!!! One will be working on the cloths of the person and the other will be working on the face and than they will switch! it's crazy! and sometimes they will each have their own project to work on and then they will just switch projects and start working on that. They also did a lot of small talking back and forth. I can't blame them to run out of things to talk about if their on stage for a week straight. They talked all about their processes of building which I found to be super helpful because I am a sculpture artist myself and any insight helps me out. I also found out that they use acrylic paint instead of glazing their work. This comes from their background of painting their whole lives. They find that switching from painting on ceramics instead of canvas is a lille easier because painting a sculpture is just painting in the lines, so it goes a little quicker. Rather than painting a 3D image on canvas. Kyle and Kelly are also coming to Sierra Nevada College to do a workshop this summer and I'm already signed up to take their workshop. I am so excited to have them teach me their techniques. It's always cool to get an outside perspective on ceramics. It brings in a new way of thinking. I look forward to being challenged in new ways.