EYE OF THE BEHOLDER DATE ACTIVITY
The MOA is full of beautiful and interesting things, and, as the old adage says, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What better way to get to know your date than by learning what they see in a work of art?
In fact, we can learn a lot about ourselves by looking deeper and longer at a work of art, asking "What do you see in this work?", "What is the artist saying to you?", and "How does it make you feel?" While you’re here, we invite you to ask your date those kinds of questions and to see the museum through the eyes of the person next to you. You’ll be amazed by what you may learn!
Standing in the center of the big open space on the main level, look up at the MOA skylight. You'll see Gabriel Dawe’s awe-inspiring fiber art installation, reminiscent of a rainbow.
The artist chose the title Plexus no.29, which means “network”—like a web of connections, reminding us of the threads that bind our world together. Gabriel Dawe has created many colorful string installations; this is his 29th version. Walk around this work, explore different perspectives (try the balcony!), and share your favorite view with your date. Ask your date:
- How does this work change with each new perspective?
- How might the appearance of this artwork change at different times of the day?
What speaks to YOU?
Head downstairs and find the Of Souls and Sacraments exhibition. In these galleries, artists have shared religious scenes through symbols. Look for an artwork that you can share with your date—something that resonates with your life experience or is especially meaningful for you. Ask Your Date:
- Which work did you choose, and why?
- What was the first thing about this work of art that caught your eye?
- Is there something you like about it that you didn’t see right away, but discovered after looking for a while?
Art and BIG IDEAS
Head back upstairs to check out that big red LOVE sculpture by American pop artist, Robert Indiana (photo not available due to copyright restrictions). Read the label to learn some background on this piece and think critically about the design choices made by the artist:
- Why four letters in a square?
- Why this font instead of others?
- Why use these colors?
- Why might the “O” be crooked?
Ask Your Date:
- If you were going to create something to represent “love”, how would you do it?
- What are the most important aspects of love to you?
What about ABSTRACT art?
Exit the museum at the north side to see the sculpture Juno. Reuben Nakian's Juno stands at the entrance of the MOA. Juno is the name of a Roman Goddess who was the protector of Rome. In many places around the world, statues are placed outside of buildings as "protectors," signaling to visitors that they are entering an important place. Walk around Juno, examining the sculpture from different angles.
Ask Your Date:
- Does Juno look like a protector to you? Why or why not?
- What kinds of places warrant a "protector" statue? Are there any places you know of that do not have a protector sculpture but could?
- If you could choose a protector of some sort standing guard outside of your home, who/what would you choose?
What have you learned about your date (or even about yourself)? If you have more time, explore the other galleries and keep asking your date what they see, what they like, and why! Report back to the info desk to claim a souvenir for your visit.
Thank you for joining us at the MOA - we look forward to seeing you again soon!