Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Midwest Museum of American Art

Art takes nature as its model. (Aristotle)

I love that a mom from our Moms and Tots group scheduled an outing to the art museum in Elkhart. This would be an activity I would "mean to do", but never really get around to do. I  really honestly worried a little about how all the kids would do, but they did great! 

All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

The Midwest Museum of Art is nestled in downtown Elkhart. I only paid $4 for my entrance (preschooler free), but noticed they have a family price of $7. I like family prices! It is also free on Sundays. There was free parking nearby as well. Hours and days open can be found here. The museum is set in an old bank, complete with a vault! I love the architecture of the building. Modern sculpture can be found outside. 

There are a couple of rooms of changing exhibits. There was a Youth Art 2013 exhibit while we were there. I must say, this was my favorite part. I loved the variety, life, and youthful nature of this exhibit.  It was great to know these artists were local high school students. 

I went to a Friends of the Library meeting last week. There are often older books that need "recycled"--I enjoyed seeing different book options and thought it would be neat for the library to have an upcycled or recycled book contest. 

This owl caught my eye, sharing its wisdom and financial savviness. 

Beautiful drawings, photography, sculptures, etc. 

There was a "recycled", mixed media approach to many pieces of art in this exhibit. I really was enjoying it. The pieces seemed quite vibrant.


Well, this is a nature blog, right? Art and nature--what is the intersect? Can nature be art? Can art be nature? I thought back to my classes in art in my undergraduate degree. What is art? I could have discussed the topic for hours as we looked at interesting examples. There were natural elements included in many of the pieces. Is nature inspiration? I've seen many articles recently about how nature increases creativity. We need art. We need nature! Who doesn't want to swing a spell here?


At the end of the tour, the volunteer docent mentioned she'd never done tours for such a young age of child. I thought she did a great job of moving us along and showing us major highlights of the collection.

She showed us the variety of pieces in the museum and helped draw our eyes to particular features. 

Humans who spend time in the wilderness, alone, without man-made mechanical noise around them, often discover that their brain begins to recover its ability to discern things. (Robert Anderson)

We find the Works of Nature still more pleasant, the more they resemble those of art. (Joseph Addison)

I've always liked Abe Lincoln. He certainly looks larger than life here in the Norman Rockwell gallery.

Some sisters from Warsaw were famous potters. They created a fair amount of pottery that is now valuable.

There was a whole room/collection of pottery, mostly from artists in this greater area. 

Hmm . . . wonder what he is thinking!

These larger pieces were bright and beautiful. The docent contrasted them with the smaller, duller (but still important) pieces on the opposite wall.

I think I'll try looking at this upside down?

There is an original Rockwell piece!

While the many of the exhibit reflected nature and I personally believe there is a strong nature connection to many pieces of art, my son found "nature" outside while I was chatting with a mom. He counted the sweet gum balls, made them stick together, and generally enjoyed these for a couple of hours at least. 

I found this upcoming Artist Attic Junktique on their events page. Sounds cool to me! I love upcycling!

The artist and the photographer seek the mysteries and the adventure of experience in nature. (Ansel Adams)