Always CMA

Columbus Museum of Art

Melissa Vogley Woods
American, born 1968
Always CMA

Always CMA is a photo interactive artwork by Columbus-based artist Melissa Vogley Woods. The work is fabricated from engineering grade high-intensity reflective vinyl, and stretches along the glass overhang above the pathway to the entrance of the Columbus Museum of Art.

In 1919, just as the Spanish flu was ending, Louis Bouché painted Still Life with Flowers—a beautiful depiction of colorful, lively flowers. Bouché’s painting was gifted to the Museum by Ferdinand Howald in 1931, as part of a large collection of American and European Modernism that became the foundation of its collection. Nearly a century later, in the midst of a different global pandemic, Vogley Woods re-envisioned Bouché’s painting as a radiant reminder that even the most challenging moments, too, shall pass.

Louis Bouché, American, 1896-1969, Still Life with Flowers, 1919, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm), Gift of Ferdinand Howald

Throughout the day, the piece creates a dynamic web of shadows that move and stretch like a sundial. However, visitors are strongly encouraged to visit the piece at night, when they can co-create the most luminescent version of the artwork. In the dark, the pattern must be “activated” by the viewer through the use of cell phone flash photography, or cell phone flashlight. Once the light source hits the work, it becomes incandescent, shining back at the viewer from her particular vantage point.

Each digital image of the work is distinct, and viewers can share their unique versions of the work by using the hashtag #alwayscma. QR codes on the work’s signage will connect visitors to interactive elements and to additional background information about this project.

  • X