Yesterday I realized that I have been in Columbus for 3 1/2 months. A short period of time that has flown by. What surprised me the most was how I have already settled in to my daily routine.
1) Drop my bag at my desk and grab my coffee mug.
2) Walk to the staff kitchen to get my cup a joe and head back to my desk.
3) Turn on my computer and check my email.
and so on and so forth. At around 2:00pm I realized that I had not walked through the galleries in a while. When I first arrived at CMA, I tried to make a point of going upstairs frequently throughout the work week. Discovering artwork that I hadn’t noticed before, an area that I had overlooked. I also like seeing what visitors respond to in the museum; Overhearing them discuss what confuses them and what holds their interest. So I got up off my duff and headed towards the galleries again.
It’s exciting to see people taking advantage of free admission this summer. The difference in the energy in the galleries between June and July is palpable. Our membership has given an amazing gift, and I am thrilled to see so many people taking advantage of it.
I started in the Expressionist gallery, made it through the George Tooker exhibit again, past the newly installed Custodian by Gwathmey, and then it happened. The moment I always cherish when I am at a museum I have been to frequently. I see something that I knew was there but hadn’t really looked at before. Deborah Butterfield’s Joseph was looking right at me, and only me, for a split second. So I walked toward it and looked over it, and under it, and around it again. Charred bits of welded steel plopped onto each other, layer over layer. Rusted and dented with muted, flat colors pushing out from the backside. This woman, this artist, managed to make dirty, ugly, and hard bits of metal into this object, now emanating a sense of movement and softness. Maybe there were not a lot of thoughts and ideas in this object, but in that moment I believed what she was trying to show me. That sometimes things that we take for granted everyday can transform into something worth looking at again.
I love my job.
Associate Curator of Contemporary Art