Furniture Masters

Guest Post: Alone Together – How do we engage with art when we can’t meet in person?

We are pleased to re-post this blog post written by Furniture Master Richard Oedel. For a link to the original post, click here.

Alone Together – How do we engage with art when we can’t meet in person?
By Richard Oedel

It’s a question I’ve been struggling with.  People are reluctant to travel and visit galleries and museums, and with this pandemic continuing into the next year, it seems like there should be a better way to connect with people. 

I think we might have found it. But first, how we got there. 

(If you don’t care, you can just  click here and go to the solution we have come up with) 

I’m not alone in the thought that we need to find a better way.  The shining star in the museum firmament is the Frick Collection in NYC.  Every week they host “Cocktails with a Curator”, what they are calling a mini-series with casual but well produced videos of a particular piece of work in the collection.

Not only compelling, but also convivial, these 20 minute windows into the collection are just the right amount of scholarship and introduction into their world.  It makes me smile.  It gives me information.  It is free.  I am giving money to the Frick this year because of it.  Enuf said. 

Following them up is the Berlin Philharmonic,

who began to do live performances at the Philharmonie (their beautiful hall) in April.  First it was two people on stage playing.  No camera people, no frills.  Just live music.  All free for the asking.  

Then it was four, all masked, playing in an empty hall.  Then 6.  By the end of the season, the final live concert played out on a much larger stage, which they have modified, and with a sparse audience.  The live portion of the concert was short, and interspersed with other recorded performances.  But it was live.  I signed up for their season pass.  Again – they provided something of value that others weren’t doing.  And they learned what works and how to improve it along the way.

As makers and artists, most of us are still making.  But with our ability to communicate in person limited, our voice feels muted. So the hunt is on for a virtual venue where we can share our work and our thoughts and where other people can actively view and interact with pieces in depth.  

I thought that museums should be able to do that, so I started looking, and found the National Gallery of Victoria.  In Australia.  Doing an exhibit of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Virtually.  

And then we started to work out our own exhibit strategy.  Four months later, we had settled on our 3D platform, the testing was complete and our individual work ready for delivery.   Thanks to the League of NH Craftsmen we had a venue to do the exhibit photography.  Which led to our official opening of Alone Together on November 20, 2020an exploration of the work eight of us have done over the past 9 months.  

Here is the link.  Alone Together 3D Virtual Walkthru

The NH Furniture Masters loading in to the exhibition
(Yes, we socially distanced- and took off masks only for this 10 second photo!)

I hope you like the result.  I also hope we learn and improve on it for our next exhibit. Stay tuned.