by Marysia Lopez
This week, two women from Sarasota came in to meet with Peter to discuss Museum at Work, and to observe the overall museum atmosphere. These women are in the process of opening up their own contemporary art museum in Sarasota. As they jokingly said, they were hoping to explore how CAM works in order to avoid making mistakes when they open their own museum.
To speak with these women was definitely one of my highlights here so far. I probed them about the process of opening up a brand new museum (something I've never given much thought to) and they tested us on our knowledge of Museum at Work. After asking them about their journey in opening a new museum, I found out that it's a very slow and long process. They shared with us that they needed to raise $22 million in order to start and open up their museum. In two years, they have raised a little less than half of that. Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, not many have the money to donate to the arts.
Something that really caught my attention was when one of the two women mentioned that they really wanted to make it a contemporary art museum to help people get over their "fear" of contemporary art. I never really thought of contemporary art as something to be feared, but the more I thought about it, the more I noticed that it was true. As one intern stated in a past entry, she confused a table that was used to bring out art pieces from the vault, with a piece of art. Contemporary art is different than art of the past because there seems to be no constraints on what "defines" art anymore. Many people might go into a contemporary art museum and wonder "why is that art?" Instead of allowing themselves to enjoy the art, they become confused and frustrated. I have to admit that as a Humanities major who has studied mostly Renaissance and Baroque art, I am sometimes guilty of doing the same thing. But in my weeks of interning at CAM so far, I've realized how important contemporary art museums are in keeping the local culture of art alive. As Museum at Work comes to an end, I can honestly say that I'm very proud to have gotten the opportunity to intern at CAM and I can't wait to see what else CAM will bring to the USF community in the future.