This week we went to VCU's Institute of Contemporary Arts. I was interested to find out that the museum will not have any permanent works, and that it will be entirely exhibitions. Our visit began with a talk on the architecture of the building, focusing on how the entrances focus on the busy nature of the intersection vs. the calming nature of a pool and plants. We then did two art activities: drawing the view of another person based on their description, and doing a watercolor painting (using a water brush and watercolor pencils) of our view, but with expressive colors. I really enjoyed doing the watercolor and might look into using watercolor pencils in the future.
We had a short guided tour of the building and then free time to look more deeply at particular pieces. One thing from the tour that fascinated me was the tar ball of prison bedsheets - it was so toxic and had to be so carefully maintained, and the dedication to this piece of art just really struck me. I also enjoyed the mending project by Lee Mingwei and might want to have my clothes mended sometime. The obvious stitching seems to me a cute souvenir from the experience, and the conversation with a stranger would be good for me, I think. The idea behind that piece intrigues me.
Two pieces I liked visually were in the gallery on the first floor - The Therapy of Groups and another which I failed to grab the credit line for (it was a wall of people's descriptions of women.) The hands one is simply beautiful, with soft colors and light and expressive motion. I would love to make art like that in my own way (I doodle a lot of hands and could really see myself making a finished piece of just hands.) The paintings with words about women were shocking when I read the artist statement - they were all responses to a question about what words describe women. So many of the responses were vulgar and downright disgusting. The ones I took photos of were simply ones for which I liked the painting in the background, though.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School