The Official Blog / Diary / Journal of the Denver Art Museum's Artist-In-Residence Program

Walk-through with the Flobots

On March 17th, several DAM staff members did a walk-through with the Flobots to discuss artworks related to social issues. The Flobots are interested in these works as a starting point for deeper conversation and investigation. Experience and interpretation specialists from the Learning & Engagement department, curators, and curatorial assistants came along to point out what makes these artworks so confusing/contentious/etc.

We have realized that the residents need help sifting through the massive amounts of possible content in the museum.  Bringing together the creatives, directly with the staff who work in these collections, was a new way of working for us, and it proved to be incredibly fruitful.  Ideas were taken in new directions and the Flobots were able to understand firsthand some of the more challenging issues staff face when distilling content down to a single label.

As an example - in the cover photo for this post, Heather Nielsen, Experience and Interpretation Specialist for New World art, explained a series of Casta paintings to the Flobots. The paintings touch on issues of race and classificiation in historical society.  Sharing with visitors the deeper, emotional strands of the artwork can be challenging in a museum context and Nielsen talked with the Flobots about how those issues could be shared. (Programming update: The Flobots made the Casta paintings one of their stops in their audio tour of the DAM).