On Friday, Nov. 18 the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) hosted their seasonal event, SAM Remix, in which the museum shed new light on established exhibits and brought out new ones exclusive to the event. The main lobby was transformed into a dance floor with various live performances throughout the night, as well as disc jockeys in other parts of the museum, which gave the SAM a very different and exciting ambiance.
A model walks the red carpet at the SAM Remix.
“It’s an event where you don’t have to be quiet at the museum, you really get to experience it,” said Samantha Siedlecki, a guest that regularly participates in the SAM Remix. “[SAM Remix] feels way more alive and less dusty and old.”
Given its timing shortly after the opening of the museum’s “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style” exhibit, this fall’s SAM Remix was centered around fashion and the achievements of the famous designer. Guests were treated to videos across the museum that captured iconic runway moments in history and were told to be on the lookout for the elusive “Pop-up Walk” which might emerge anytime and anywhere. Those that were lucky enough to see it witnessed an impressive impromptu performance led by Ron Gatsby of the Purple Lemonade Collective, and were even able to live out their own modeling dreams when audience members were allowed to become part of the show.
Those in attendance at SAM Remix were not only able to look at art but also try their hand at making it. Throughout the museum were various stations that made up the “SAM Creates” segment of the museum’s programming, best described as arts and crafts for adults. These stations were all supervised by local artists from a variety of disciplines and gave guests a variety of options with regards to what they wanted to create. From designing outfits based on famous SAM artworks, to making kaleidoscopes from film slides and negatives, the SAM Creates stations gave guests the opportunity to show their creative side and reconnect with their inner kid. The artists volunteering at the event also offered a series of “My Favorite Things Tours” where they assumed the role of curator and guided guests through their favorite works and parts of the museum offering their own insights as creators themselves.
“You not only have this space above with the art, but you can go below and let out everything you’re feeling by going and dancing and making your own art,” said Sam Herman, another guest at SAM Remix. “It seems to be saying ‘we want to see what people can do when they are exposed to our art and are around other people going through the same experience.’”
Though the SAM Remix embodied a festive and energetic air in most of its presentation, it also provided its guests with more thoughtful and reflective spaces as well. On the back corner of the third floor, removed from bustle of the central galleries was “Go Tell It: Civil Rights Photography,” an exhibit focused on capturing both the people and narratives of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Though most of the gallery was centered on these mid-20th century images, there was also a small subset of more contemporary works from Joseph Norman and Shikeith, showing the present condition of social justice in our country. This gallery was also the venue for two live performances from poet and spoken word artist Daemond Arrindell, who presented a series of pieces thematically tied to the photographs. Arrindell encouraged guests to look around and observe the displays as he performed, creating a multimedia experience engaging the senses and the imagination.
“This edition of Remix brought artists from diverse disciplines to activate the galleries and draw on themes from SAM’s exhibitions including Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection for Style. From Cherdonna to Purple Lemonade to Daemond Arrindell to so many more, we were thrilled to engage all the participants in making, creating, dancing and exploring. It was a fantastic night with lots of energy and we look forward to the next Remix in March!” said Regan Pro, the Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs for the SAM.
For more information on the exhibits and programming from November’s SAM Remix, as well as information on when the next SAM Remix will be, visit www.seattleartmuseum.org.
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