“Instead of Us Going to the Museum, the Art has Come Out to the Sidewalk to Us”

ImageSource of Photo: http://host.madison.com/news/local/city-life/an-art-gallery-that-borrows-from-little-free-libraries/article_1f76e4d9-818d-5ad1-b8b8-e13647bb0bcc.html#ixzz2VdNIg8RN

Madison, Wisconsin, has many art galleries and museums, but Madison artists Rachel Bruya and Jeremy Wineberg wanted to make some art available to people who don’t go to the art galleries and art museums. They decided to create small art galleries for the public. The Little Mifflin Gallery is about six feet tall, and it has an 18-inch-high glass box big enough to display very small sculpture or a few works of art on paper. The Little Mifflin Gallery is next to the sidewalk in front of Ms. Bruya’s home on E. Mifflin Street; it opened in June 2013. Two more little art galleries readily available for public viewing are planned. Mr. Weinberg, a sculptor, will manage the Little Monroe Gallery, which will be located near his workplace: Monroe Street Framing. The third gallery, the Little Forward Gallery, is expected to be located somewhere on the University of Wisconsin campus. Mr. Weinberg said, “People don’t have to go into a gallery. We’re bringing art back into this lively social scene.” Ms. Bruya, who in 2007 graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s master of fine arts (MFA) art program, received support for the idea of the small art galleries from the university. Dean Allen and Gabe Strader-Brown, who are graduate students in woodworking, built the galleries. Dane Arts and a Madison Arts Commission BLINK! grant from the city of Madison also supported the project. Mr. Wineberg said, “You don’t want to do [artwork] that’s repulsive to people who live here, but you also want to challenge them. You can push yourself, make something new.” Ms. Bruya and Mr. Wineberg have advised artists not to display works of art that use precious metals, lest the works of art be stolen. Ms. Bruya said, “If someone wants to back up their truck in the middle of the night and tie this thing up and yank it out of the ground, there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Mr. Wineberg said, “You’re taking a chance to put stuff out there. One of the cool things about this is it catches a lot of people by surprise. We’re trying to encourage a serendipitous kind of experience.” Passersby have taken note of and liked the Little Mifflin gallery. Ms. Bruya said, “One of the first people that stopped by after the show went in was a mom with her two kids. She kind of pulled them over and said, ‘Hey, look, you guys. Instead of us going to the museum, the art has come out to the sidewalk to us.’ That encompassed every intention we’ve had with the project. It was amazing to have someone walking by get that right away.”

For Further Information: Lindsay Christians, “An art gallery that borrows from Little Free Libraries.” The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin).


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