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Patron Blog: Youth Inspired by MASS MoCA

Below is an e-mail we received from one of our patrons. We are glad to know that visiting MASS MoCA had such a dramatic effect on these visitors and inspired them to create their own art.

Dear MASS MoCA,

I am a friend and mentor to Peter, age 11 yrs and a 5th grade student in Old Deerfield, Ma. For several years we’ve gotten together weekly for a variety of activities here in Western MA. To be candid, Peter is far more interested in baseball, his two dogs and cheeseburgers (maybe even math and science) than modern art. With some reluctance he agreed to visit your institution with me this past week on 3/19/08. As the Kidspace was in transition, his reaction was based entirely on the “adult” experience that MASS MoCA offers.

We walked into the main gallery area and were both awestruck by the huge projection of a computer generated tree being blown by the wind. Frankly, we were both hooked and thoroughly enjoyed viewing the entire collection and discussing our perspectives of the various styles of expression. Peter (and I) really loved the dioramas of wax figures. He looked at one of a realistic male figures in color sitting with his head on a table looking very sad while two elderly figures all in white sat across. This made him think that the white figures were ghosts and he could relate to the loss of the sad figure because his dad passed away several years ago. It was an “Aha” moment for Peter where it made sense to him that through art one could express a thought or feeling better than with words.

As we were leaving, and with no prompting on my part, Peter stated that he would like to make a sculpture. So on Saturday the 21st, after attending a 6:45 AM Solstice sunrise event at a Stonehenge like installation at UMASS we went to my studio in Wendell. Peter 100% on his own drew the plans for his piece, cut out the foam core, glued it up and named his work: “Peanut Butter and Jelly”. We had eaten breakfast at a cozy country nook on the way home and he had taken inspiration from the individual jelly containers.The drum stick stand is an homage to his love of drumming and perhaps to beating the peanuts into butter.

I just wanted you to know that your museum inspired both of us and we would like to thank you for providing such an excellent venue to the public. If there is any tidbit of advice I might share with you is that your public outreach might let folks know that MASS MoCA isn’t all about unfathomable, esoteric modern art. We had a blast at MASS MoCA and we will return. Frankly, I wish you were closer so I could attend more of your performance and discussion offerings. You really do change one’s perspective of life in the far Northwest corner of Massachusetts.

Sincerely, Bob

PS. If you have been inspired by a visit to MASS MoCA we would love to hear about it! You can comment on this post or send us an e-mail.

Posted March 24, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Patron Blog
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