Appleton Museum of Art Curator of Exhibitions Patricia Tomlinson talks about going beyond just seeing art and moving toward experiencing art. Tomlinson, a former professional archaeologist, joined the Appleton in 2016 after serving as curatorial staff in the New World Department at the Denver Art Museum.
It’s well known that people turn to the arts for comfort, solace and beauty. Even in the most difficult of times, art can offer hope and provide snippets of joy that shine through darkness. That is why, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been so vital that arts communities keep functioning, even though it may be in different ways than we are used to or perhaps even imagined. Whether it be a Facebook Live viewing of a world-renowned symphony or a small-town band, the arts have helped make sense of a confusing world and provided an anchor to those who’ve felt adrift.
Additionally, certain platforms provide the ability to “see” that your friends are watching the same event as you. This helps bring a community together, even though they may not all be in the same location. It’s been fun for me to see who has joined a live performance I’m watching online and then commenting with them on the performance. Someone mentioned to me that when she sees that her friends have also joined live digital events, she doesn’t feel as alone. That’s a wonderful thing.
In addition to the performing arts, visual arts have stepped up, too. Artists are painting live, participating in online interviews and conducting virtual gallery tours. Zoom has provided an online platform for art conversations that multiple people can join. Museums, as vital community participants, have also generated incredible content. My curatorial colleagues across the globe have investigated specific paintings in depth, giving interesting behind-the-scenes information. Museum educators have provided fun and educational art activities for children, and museum directors worldwide have sent out messages of comfort and reassurance that we will continue to preserve and protect the world’s heritage.
The Appleton Museum of Art is no different. We always strive to bring you the best we can, from educational programming to inspiring exhibitions, to new and interesting research about art and artists. During these challenging times, we have worked hard to create videos of our exhibitions for you to enjoy from home, began our “Teaching Tuesday” make-at-home programming and introduced you to insider information about our artworks. I will admit that we do this for you, but we also do it for ourselves. All of us in the arts do it because we truly love it. In addition to filling your souls, it fills ours. We are in the arts because we are very aware that art changes your lives for the better, as it has changed ours.”
June’s Teaching Tuesdays
A new project video is posted every Tuesday at 10am on The Appleton’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and website. They are perfect for ages 7-12, but anyone at any age can enjoy them using basic arts and craft supplies found at home.
6/2 Make Gluten-Free Dough
6/9 Make Salt Dough
6/16 Coil and Pinch Pot
6/23 Draw a Guitar
6/30 Simple Fireworks
for more information.
Appleton Museum of Art
4333 E Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala