Hardening of the categories causes art disease.—W. Eugene Smith
On Sunday I had my first day as a volunteer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I assisted with the Family Experiences Sundays program and I was totally excited. Over the years, I had a couple of fantasies. Back in the days of being home with my kids, I would have an image in my mind of the iconic “power suit” and “power athletic shoes” of the commuter on BART who went to the city for the “powerful” job. (hmmm, what does that say about my perception of motherhood?) Even when I went back to work, my commute was only five minutes and I really had to dress for meeting a lot of wet clay and acrylic paint. (I used to ruin my cloths and got used to walking around quite spotted. Once back to work, I never actually got the “power suit” of my fantasy.) Part of my excitement about Sunday was anticipating hopping on BART, walking to the museum, putting in my time and commuting back home again. All with the iphone camera in my hand.
And just so that you know, parking on Sunday at the BART lot is a breeze.
I enjoyed the “streets of San Francisco”…
and got to enter the museum through the steel doors of the staff entrance, sign in with my designated number, and secure my official badge to my lapel.
I had a little extra time before my shift, so I sought out the Blue Bottle Coffee Cafe in the rooftop sculpture garden.(Blue Bottle Coffee is the current popular coffee in SF.) Next time I must get a piece of this…
The activities for kids revolved around minimalism since that was the current show in the museum. So in the studio room I facilitated kids making collages using colored masking tapes in the style of Mondrian and then for a while I stood in one of the galleries handing out kits so that kids could make minimalist sculptures with straws (you know me, I pulled in some teenagers, too) The interesting thing was that I was facing work by Richard Tuttle. A few months ago I mentioned him when I discussed the documentary Herb and Dorothy. Tuttle’s rope with two nails was somewhat hard for me to understand, so in order to expand my art-eries, I took pictures of the work I faced during my shift.
I could not resist taking a picture when I walked past this piece…
For the last segment of my shift, I was in the Robert Ryman Gallery. His work is mostly white, displayed on white walls. I would not have spent as much time in one place if I was there on a regular visit and it was quite interesting to keep finding more to notice in all that white. My photo of one of the pieces is embellished by having taken it with the Hipstamatic app of the iphone and I accidently got my own reflection in the glass of the piece.
Speaking of straws, as we were, in the gift shop I found some new friends. Piperoid paper pipe robots. Here they are taking over the world:
I must say that the fun day unplugged any hardened art-eries I might have been developing. As Richard Tuttle says, “Treat art as an adventure.” I am sure I will treat being a pseudo-commuter on BART as an adventure up until the first Sunday there is a rainstorm.