Barrett Barrera Projects Staff Share Their Favorite Virtual Programming Now On View
While maintaining safe social distancing, the Barrett Barrera Projects staff have looked for new ways to enrich our time outside of the office and maintain active engagement with the arts.
Susan Barrett, President
The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Cocktail with the Curators has always been an enriching program for members to interact with curatorial staff and learn more about a myriad of topics pertaining to the arts in a welcoming, casual setting. While many programs like this have been put on hold due to the necessary quarantine, it is wonderful that the Contemporary Art Museum has worked to ensure this mainstay in the local arts community continues. Although we are currently unable to indulge in delightful drinks and conversation in person, I have appreciated the opportunity to virtually connect with the CAM Staff and museum members over cocktails via Zoom. In the past, Barrett Barrera Projects was able to collaborate with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis on a creative level as well, sponsoring exhibitions including Christine Corday: Relative Points.
Kelly Peck, Vice President
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has so many online offerings for adults and kids alike that it’s been a favorite in my household and while travel and onsite museum visits are limited. One feature that is particularly interesting is MetPublications, which offers books free for download or online viewing. Of particular note is the exhibition for Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination. Barrett Barrera Projects loaned Shaun Leane works for the exhibition, which remains The Met’s most visited exhibition to date having welcomed over 1.6 million visitors.
Bridget Melloy, Senior Director, projects+gallery
I was interested in seeing the Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can be Deceiving exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on my next visit to the West Coast. After the pandemic hit, I have been enjoying some of their behind the scenes peeks they have been sharing featuring their installation team building the show, fun Frida Kahlo trivia and how the city of San Francisco has influenced the artist. I continue to be impressed with the fashion based exhibits at the de Young. Barrett Barrera Projects loaned several Hassan Hajjaj photographs for their Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibit in 2018.
Jessica Baran, Director of Curatorial & Programming Development
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation is always doing thoughtful and innovative programming and has managed to continue doing so virtually, which is no small feat. This upcoming creative writing workshop, taking place on Saturday, August 22, is a great opportunity to both work with a talented St. Louis-based writer (Jacqui Germain) and reflect on an important contemporary survey exhibition (Terry Adkins: Resounding). (Installation shot of Adkins exhibit by Alise O’Brien)
Nic Cherry, Director of Facilities & Logistics
One of the small blessings in 2020 is that museums of all sizes are for the first time making special efforts for to make their exhibitions available in the digital realm, and suddenly the public has access to exhibitions from all over the world. Late last year I had pondered a trip to the Napa Valley to see Lucy Liu’s first stateside exhibition in person- it likely wasn’t going to happen.
Lucy Liu: One of These Things is Not Like the Others opened briefly to the public in February, 2020 at the The Napa Valley Museum, before the museum shut to the public and the exhibition was made available online. The Napa museum did a great job of making the representation of the show feel immersive through an annotated 3D walkthrough, which was easy to navigate and get a closer look. The $5+ donation to access the exhibition felt like a steal compared to airfare and lodging. The digital environment allowed additional multimedia integration which gave greater depth to the exhibition for both the clarity of Liu’s process and the arc and intention of this specific exhibit through the artist’s lens.
In One of These Things is Not Like the Others Liu explores sculpture, found object, and large scale paintings inspired by Japanese Shunga. The work is personal, emotional, at times sexual, and always bold. The confident brush strokes, fresh pallet, and faceless figures in her Family Portrait makes that one of my favorite pieces from the show, as it creates a space to ponder identity, culture, place, belonging, and quiet discontent- themes that echo throughout the exhibition. I would definitely recommend this exhibition, and although I would rather have made the trip to California to see it in person, it was a real treat to be able to see it at all- and Liu’s work is phenomenal.
Claire Grothe, Research & Systems Manager
I’ll be tuning into the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum’s “Talking About Race Matters” series, presented Wednesday evenings in August. Admittedly, I’m a little biased, as one of the presenters, Dr. Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, was my graduate school professor and program director, but as a white person, I’m also making a conscious and more consistent effort to seek out resources and education on systemic racism. The events are free, but you do have to register at the link provided.
Eric Repice, Preparator
I set out to explore digitally what the artist David Hammons (American, born 1943, Springfield, IL) was up to currently. I also tried to track down his Phat Free piece—one of my all time favorite video works, which I had seen at The Walker years ago. I found the work in several collections online, including at the Tate, The Met, and The Whitney. The Whitney has a still from the video and two other works by Hammons.
I also enjoyed a video discussion of Hammons’s coming pier project: https://whitney.org/artists/3719 . I then checked out if MOMA had many Hammons works. I found that they have 20 online at https://www.moma.org/artists/2486 . The MOMA site is great. I was able to explore these works close up and in their exhibition contexts. While I could not find Phat Free, I saw his High Falutin’ work and could visit the solo and group shows this work was part of at MOMA. High Falutin’ led me to explore this series of altered basketball hoops more. I encountered an amazing iteration and a very nice online exhibit at the Public Art Fund (David Hammons: Higher Goals).
Margaret Sherer, Associate Curator, projects+gallery
Beginning in March, the Museum of Modern Art, New York launched an online program called Virtual Views, which offers virtual peeks into their collection and other online programming. Through the month of August Virtual Views: “Film Vault Summer Camp” will make selections of historic films in the MoMA collection available to stream each Thursday, ranging from early silent films through contemporary video art. It’s wonderful to have wide access to iconic pieces of film that are often otherwise unseen or difficult to find for the general public. I have personally always been drawn to film and video as an art form, given its capacity for a breadth of expression and its uniquely temporal nature, both as a medium and often in subject matter. In particular, Dada film work was an early draw for me to the study of art history, and I am very excited to tune in over the next few weeks to view a selection from MoMA’s Dada collection. If you’re looking for a break from TikTok videos and Netflix shows, Virtual Views: “Film Vault Summer Camp” will certainly be worthwhile.
Kasper Woldtvedt, Project Manager
The August event series at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle is called POP+ Punk, celebrating Punk, past and present. In addition to interaction on the website, the event series will include some instagram takeovers as well. I really wish I was going to be in Seattle August 16th for the Punk Matinee Watchalong of the Lindsay Lohan classic revival, Freaky Friday. Barrett Barrera Projects brought the exhibition A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes to MoPOP last year, which included a piece that required a crazy installation and the design of the building was perfect for the install. It was hard to see it come down because it felt like it was a part of the architecture. Not to mention, so fun spending my lunch breaks exploring the gore and sci-fi galleries. While there I got to see the Wesley Snipes costume from Blade which was a delightful surprise!