Howard Agriesti, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art
In a world of touchscreens and augmented reality, how do you make a visit to an art museum engaging and unique for new audiences of all ages? The Cleveland Museum of Art might have found the answer in its new ArtLens Gallery (formerly Gallery One), featuring new touchscreen-free digital interactive elements. Although Gallery One was highly praised by local and national visitors, as well as the arts media, the CMA continues to evolve the concept, utilizing the latest technological advances available. This week, the CMA celebrates its new ArtLens Gallery with MIX: Interact on Friday and ArtLens Gallery Celebration on Sunday.
The innovative, multi-faceted ArtLens Gallery experience includes four components. Guests can engage with masterworks through touchscreen-free interactives in ArtLens Exhibition, create original artwork in ArtLens Studio, connect with the museum’s world-class permanent collection at the ArtLens Wall and enhance the entire museum experience with the ArtLens App.
An 18-and-over event, MIX: Interact at the Cleveland Museum of Art offers guests an opportunity to explore the museum’s new ArtLens Gallery. MIX: Interact takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 8. MIX tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of event or free for CMA members. Parking is available in the CMA’s garage. $10 special event parking rates apply.
“MIX: Interact is about introducing (or re-introducing) audiences to ArtLens Gallery and the idea of play at CMA”, says Deidre McPherson, director of public programs. “There will be plenty of opportunities to interact with art and experience the museum in fun and creative ways.”
In addition to exploring ArtLens and the permanent collection galleries, guests can enjoy the experimental and electronic hip-hop soundscapes of DJ Corey Grand and drinks in an animated atrium.
“ArtLens Gallery highlights how innovative and seamless technology can be successfully integrated into a world-class museum, and MIX: Interact attendees have the first opportunity to experience the cutting-edge space during a weekend full of ArtLens celebration events,” says Jane Alexander, chief information officer of the CMA. “Come enjoy the art, dock your device and play innovative, gesture based games while engaging with friends and diving deeper into the museum’s collection. In the atrium, there will be a huge screen mimicking the Beacon screen which will pull live visitor creations from the Studio, Exhibition, and App, as well as feature works of art on view from across the museum's collection. Visitor portraits and collages in the Studio decorate the Beacon, along with the expressions, poses, and artwork visitors make at Express Yourself, Strike a Pose, and Become an Artwork in the Exhibition, and visitor-created tours from the app.”
Proving that its world class experience is accessible to visitors of all ages, the Cleveland Museum of Art hosts a special family-friendly event in celebration of both Grandparents Day and the museum’s new ArtLens. The ArtLens Gallery Celebration and Play Day at the CMA take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 10. In addition to exploring ArtLens, guests can enjoy the museum’s permanent collection galleries, as well as art-making activities and programs for all ages.
“ArtLens Exhibition fulfills the promise of how easy interactive technology should be inside any museum,” says Alexander. “While the innovative technology is itself awe-inspiring and fun, the most exciting part of ArtLens is that we are providing new tools for visitors to look at artwork more closely and gain a better understanding of key concepts. We are using digital innovation to promote individual and social participation, and open an enlightened public discourse to advance our goal of helping people start a relationship with the museum’s collection.”
(Cleveland Museum of Art) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.