When it comes to "going all out" for holidays, museums are right up there with Macy's. A combination of cold weather and hometown visits, leave many families searching for ways to entertain in much warmer indoor environments. Delaware historical and cultural museums are no exception...Yuletide at Winterthur, Longwood, Hagley, the Delaware Agriculture Museum...Warm up to the Biggs Museum....it's no hard task to fill your December Saturdays with morning shopping and afternoon Museum visits.
But it wouldn't be the holidays without all of the decor. We Museum peole want to make sure we spruce the place up for all of our visitors. Wherever you may visit, the Christmas tree is always the center of attention. However, year after year, I feel like I'm seeing the same tree, same angel, same lights, same glass ornaments, yawn. So when I read about Tate Britain Museum's Christmas Tree in London, I almost wanted to hop a transatlantic to see it myself.
Each year, the Tate Britain selects an artist to create a Christmas tree for the gallery. This year's selected Multimedia artists Bob and Roberta Smith went all out and created ‘Make Your Own Xmas’ a tree you not only view but also interact with. The tree, made from timber, bicycles and lamps, will be brought to life by the visitors when they provide pedal power to illuminate the tree. Eight bicycles of various sizes to fit all have been fixed to stands around the trunk, each holding a generator that is connected to a set of light bulbs that decorate the tree. Make Your Own Xmas is a spirited, thought-provoking response to the season of contemplation, celebration and consumerism. The artist's aim was to introduce an energetic, hands-on approach to art by getting the public actively involved in his work.
So much comes to mind when thinking about this work....going green through self-power, interactive art with the public, .... art is moving in a direction that we never might have expected, and everyone is invited for the ride.