images from the Gallery's collection

MAG Homepage

Main menu:

Site search



RSS Feeds RSS Feed

We Love to Hear What You Think!

By Marie Via, Director of Exhibitions

Art pushes buttons. Its job is to produce an emotional response, to remind us of what it means to be human. And its effects are often unpredictable: an image that vibrates with mystery for me, for example, produces a feeling of intense loss in my husband. While art is the touchstone in my life, informing the way I look at everything else in the world, a dear friend finds a museum visit a pleasant diversion a couple of times a year. My neighbor’s painting of three kittens playing with yarn may strike me as banal, but it brings her deep and genuine pleasure.

As Director of Exhibitions here at Memorial Art Gallery, I often remind myself that strong reactions mean people are paying attention! I’ve seen one person rhapsodize and another wince while looking at the same work of art . . . but they’re looking. When I’m able to engage visitors about their responses, the experience can be delightful–or sobering, or intriguing, or maddening, or surprising, as the case may be. It is always thought-provoking.

Gregory Van Maanen At least one visitor to the current exhibition, Gregory Van Maanen: The Happy Survivor, was appalled enough to send us this tart review: “You can’t be serious.” I can’t think the writer was minimizing the pain the artist drew upon to produce these pictures, yet something definitely didn’t settle well. Was it his skill with a paintbrush? The choice of subject matter? The sheer number of paintings we elected to include in the exhibition? How I wish our anonymous critic had taken a moment to add a phone number or an e-mail address so the conversation could continue!


Comment from Larissa Masny
Time: March 24, 2009, 3:14 pm

I just wanted to share with our blog readers that veterans receive free admission to the Memorial Art Gallery Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29, 2009, 11 am-5 pm. This is in honor of the last weekend of our exhibition, Gregory Van Maanen: The Happy Survivor.

To hear about the artist Gregory Van Maanen, and his exhibition, check out the Gregory Van Maanen: The Happy Survivor section of the Memorial Art Gallery website below. It includes an interview of Marie Via by WARM 101.3’s Kevin Gillan on the show, “Rochester Speaks.”

Write a comment