Monday, September 22, 2008

When Museums Visit Museums

This past week-end I had the pleasure of attending a wedding all the while enjoying the Florida sunshine in good ole' Jacksonville. As a museum staff member, I've become a magnet to the tourist attraction brochure racks in hotels. I consider them a candy store for marketing material development. My first search is zooming in on any art museums in the area, and then of course visiting them. An early flight Friday morning from Philadelphia provided plenty of time int he afternoon to visit MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville. I was thrilled to visit a museum filled with contemporary art, seeing as the Biggs collection is mostly historical (no offense to Sewell C. of course!)

In addition to the permanent collection, MOCA was hosting two exhibitions, one that had opened to the public that day. Lucky me! Making Marks was quite similar to the Biggs' own annual Award Winners show, a invitational viewing of 33 locals artists' works. I admired their reasoning on the importance of displaying local artist's work as a way to trace the evolution of art in the local scene. Our local artist groups today are so similar to the artist colonies years ago, therefore it's important to continue to acknowledge the history made in this art. Anyhow, the art was awesome, featuring landscapes, installation, sculpture and more.

Though the best was definitely saved for last. In addition to Making Marks, MOCA had just opened Ultra-Realistic Sculpture, a collection of Marc Sijan's, a Milwaukee-based artist, super realistic sculptures. Lifelike didn't even begin to fully describe Sijan's sculptures. Working from live models, Sijan produces plaster molds in plaster, sculpts with tools casts in polyester resin, and uses oil paint for final touches. His figures are all on the verge of movement, which is his way of exploring the human figure on an emotional level. My first thought at the site of these was, "This is Madame Tussauds on a whole different level. From The Maid to the Dancer, the detailing was impeccable down to the veins on the forearms and the scratches on the finger nails and bruises on the shoulders.

Hence to say my visit to MOCA made my trip to Jacksonville enlightening, relaxing and enjoyable. However, a few slices of vanilla wedding cake doesn't hurt either.

1 comment:

MOCA Jacksonville said...

Thanks for the visit… we're glad MOCA made your Jacksonville visit!