Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Exhibitions

Art Into Art: Inspired Responses
  • Art Into Art: Inspired Responses
  • 22-Sep-2006 - 29-Apr-2007
  • Central Court and Galleries, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Multimedia
Works
Events
Description

This fall, the Spencer explores how the art in its collection inspires other expressions of creativity, with a variety of programming meant to stimulate important conversations about the creative process. Art into Art: Inspired Responses is a campus and community project inviting creative responses to works of art in the museum, and includes transformations of the Spencer's front entrance, foyer, and Central Court to reflect the theme of visual art inspiring other forms of creativity. The original inspiration for Art into Art was fairly straightforward: the idea that a work of art, as conceived and executed by an artist, is only part of the art experience. The other part is the response. What is a painting without a viewer, a poem without a reader or a musical performance without a listener? We often talk about the qualities of works of art, but what about the qualities of the responses? Can a response be as creative and inspired as the work of art that stimulates it?

Yes. And a prime example is a book recently published by the Spencer.

Conversations: Art into Poetry at the Spencer Museum of Art collects 27 poems by Elizabeth Schultz, all inspired by works in the Spencer's collection. The book, which includes an introductory essay by Susan Earle, the Spencer's Curator of European and American Art, pairs images of the artworks with Schultz's poems, and is available for $14.95 in the Museum Shop. Schultz's poems will be prominently featured next to the works that inspired them in the Spencer's galleries this fall. Conversations is made possible in part by the generous support of Colette and Jeff Bangert, Janet Hamburg, Carol and Del Shankel, Linda and David Stevens, Georgia and Keith Stevens, Peggy Sullivan, and Marjorie Swann and Bill Tsutsui.

Art into Art also intends to challenge the ways we traditionally expect to see art presented in a museum. In the Central Court, works spanning centuries of art history are hung, salon-style, unhinged from time- or geography-based divisions. This installation of objects from the permanent collection celebrates not only art itself, but what we as viewers bring to it. The works have inspired poems, songs, dances, and scholarship. The unusual arrangement of paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture challenges our traditional method of seeing. In combination the works invite comparisons to the presentation of 19 th -century salons, as objects span heights and depths that exceed our traditional gaze across gallery walls. Some works will rotate during the course of this exhibition, while others will stay in place. Some objects on the wall may seem as comfortable as the face of an old friend, while others are initially unfamiliar. We present these objects as part of a continuum of engagement that includes your reactions and participation.

The Spencer thanks Sabatini Architects, Inc., for its corporate sponsorship of Art into Art.



A work of art, as conceived and executed by an artist, is only part of the art experience. The other part is the response. What is a painting without a viewer, a poem without a reader or a musical performance without a listener? We often talk about the qualities of works of art, but what about the qualities of the responses? Can a response be as creative and inspired as the work of art that stimulates it?

The Spencer Museum of Art is encouraging creative responses to works in its permanent collection through Art into Art, opening on September 21, 2006. Among those who have been invited to create works for Art into Art are Elizabeth Schultz, poet and Kansas University professor emerita, whose new book of poems, Conversations, is a collection of responses to works in the Spencer collection. She will be joined by Joan Stone, choreographer/dancer and KU professor emerita; Theodore Johnson, artist and KU professor emeritus; and Joyce Castle, renowned opera singer and University of Kansas music faculty member, who will sing a series of songs that were directly inspired by works of art including Statuesque, written especially for her. Numerous other individuals and groups from the University and community have been invited to prepare responses in writing, the visual arts, dance and music, and visitors to the museum can register their own reactions and responses to individual works.

We invite you to join in and share your creative inspirations with all of us!