The Frost Art Museum’s gallery is “super chill,” designed to be worthy of a child’s curiosity and the admiration of adults, and to demonstrate that everyone is hard-wired for creativity. It is an environment rich in commissioned art installations and evocative objects that trigger active learning and engagement. The whiteness of the space serves as a blank slate for artistic expression and a variety of media, from new-age technologies, including Smart Table™ and iPads, to traditional art-making, such as super-white Lego™ bricks and drawing. Both orientation and terminus, the discovery gallery is “the place” to frame your Frost museum visit.
As part of the esteemed Frost Art Museum, it was essential that the family gallery welcome all visitors, especially children and families, to a culture-rich world of art ripe for exploration. During the course of planning the exhibits, critical factors for the success of bridging art and technology were assessed alongside the pragmatic complexities of gallery never secured or conditioned for displaying art. In a paradigm-shift, the museum and design team commissioned artist installations that could comfortable and securely reside within the family gallery, integrating “real” art and the voice of artists. The artworks create a responsive environment, where children and adults are inspired to be expressive, to make their own mark on the Frost. Adding this rich layer of beauty, meaning, and experience throughout the gallery makes it a culturally-rich, yet child-friendly complement to the museum.
Sharon and Peter Exley, artists, designers, and art procurers, collaborated closely with the museum director, her education team and curatorial staff. During the envisioning sessions, an oft-heard expression was that the family gallery should reach out – to the Florida International University campus, its students, its alumni, local artists and Miami families. Art was the method and means to achieve that mandate. The first design solution was a change to museum policy, permitting the former unconditioned space to be redesigned for the secure integration of a “study collection”. Once the new policy was in place, the design team built-in opportunities and site-specific ways for artists to “fill” the blank slate that was the newly emptied gallery. In working sessions, the design team, museum director (a renown curator), the special projects director, members of the museum staff, from curatorial to guards suggested recent FIU artist alumni and local artists to be commissioned. The design team then worked with each artist to connect artwork to visitor hands-on experience. Enriched by multiple perspectives throughout the entire design process, the family gallery now creates a unique bridge to art and play; one that re-imagines, reflects and respects the museum’s underlying educational mission.
Art builds authentic experiences for children in which self-awareness and self-expression are nurtured. Within the Frost family gallery, artist Alex Trimino created a chandelier that commingles traditional craft with light-based technologies, Pepe Mar collaged a bold curiosity cabinet, Chaitra Garrick Linehan animated a powerful dog’s tale, Sharon Theiman carefully wrapped Temari Balls, and Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié’s Agowe mixed media, resin and plaster head, Agowe, inspires visitors of all ages. Each commissioned artwork is matched to a corresponding hands-on experience, surrounding families with multiple and diverse opportunities to observe, to study art, to socially engage, and to be expressive.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.