14 July 2010

Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #1111: A Metaphor For Interns in Training

Though I will admit this post is long overdue, it's about time we noted that Sol LeWitt's installation ran perfectly parallel to our crash course in Museum Education.

Upon our arrival here at The Art Institute of Chicago, we were greeted by a fantastic work in progress: none other than one of the many carefully instructed Sol LeWitt's dotting the art world today, including Wall Drawing #63 on display in Gallery 294. For those of you who aren't familiar with Sol LeWitt, a large body of his work consists of conceptual and minimalist pieces. Wall Drawing #1111: A Circle With Broken Bands of Color like much of his other work is strictly directed based upon drafted up plans and schematics as well as predetermined colors and materials. The idea is at the core of these works, and the plan and execution follows second - revealing an often times large scale, geometric, and minimal image in the wake of work and preparation.

Wall Drawing #1111 took about three weeks to complete. When we arrived at AIC for our first day of work, the layout and colors had been determined. Day by day, tape was added, then color, layer after layer in a hard to follow pattern.

One of the artists executing LeWitt's work

Each day, more and more of the colors were painted in place filling in the grand scheme of the circle upon the wall. The wall drawing mirrored our own budding experiences here at AIC. We began the internship with an idea of what this opportunity was, what this institution was, but over the course of our training and the first we weeks of touring, the idea of this internship really came to life. With each color added to the wall drawing came one more day of experience, whether it was finding where the elevators are, mock touring, or learning everyone's names.

Sections of color systematically added to the wall

I like to think of the primary colors coming to represent the three facets of museum education that we are working for: Adult, Family, and Student Programs. Each one stands alone, yet together they function as a wonderful whole that works toward the unifying goal of bringing the museum and the art within to the diverse range of visitors. The secondary colors are what comes when you combine the primary colors - the result being the way in which the different departments work together training us on all facets of museum education and the inner-workings of this institution. With each day came more paint, and more information, as the circle began to fill in, we began to feel comfortable in our roles as museum educators. At the end of our final day of training the tape and paper was removed from the wall, revealing the finished product, a wall drawing for our intern class to call our own.

(interns left to right) Natalie, Mary D., David, Adrienne, Mary H., Maya, Jen, Sandy

To read a full interview with one of executors of Wall Drawing #1111 and to see more photographs of the installation, visit the AIC blog. The first two photographs were taken by Jason Stec. 

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