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Snite Museum hosts ‘Valentine’s Day Recovery’

| Friday, February 17, 2017

On Thursday, the Snite Museum hosted a “Valentine’s Day recovery program,” poking fun at Tuesday’s holiday and allowing members of the South Bend community to explore the museum’s art collections.

Titled, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”, the event was part of the “Third Thursdays at the Snite” program, according to Sarah Martin, curator of public programs and education at the museum.

“Every month, we try to come up with something different to really kind of get people’s interest piqued to come into the museum and rediscover artworks, or kind of fall in love with their favorite artworks all over again,” Martin said.

“This month, because it fell so close to Valentine’s Day and after Valentine’s Day, we thought a kind of recovery program from Valentine’s Day, or an alternative program to Valentine’s Day, might be a good idea.”

The event featured a number of romance-themed activities: Participants could write love letters to themselves, create dating profiles for the works of art and go on tours of the galleries to learn about artists who had failed in their love lives.

At the love letter-writing station, students could choose to craft their letters using a Mad Libs template, a blank template or a pre-written template. Patrick Button, a third-year law student, was one of those who used a Mad Libs template to write himself a love letter.

“Apparently I love myself, even if I don’t have guns or rocks,” he said, reading from his letter. “It’s a nice thing to do after class, write Mad Libs valentines to yourself.”

Junior Jacqueline Pilato said she came to the event as part of an art history course she is taking this semester.

“We are required to come to a couple talks at the Snite and write about our experiences, so I picked this one because I saw the description and saw that it’d be a sarcastic take on Valentine’s Day,” she said.

“I thought it’d be interesting, something different than the Renaissance and Baroque-type art that we’re learning about right now.”

Mary Rattenbury, the Friends of the Snite Museum coordinator, said she thought the event was a good way for others to explore Snite’s galleries and look at Valentine’s Day with a sense of humor.

“I think it helps us not take some parts of life so seriously, especially young people that might not have a relationship. And holidays can bring people down, so this gives you a new approach to it,” Rattenbury said.

“I’ve been lucky to have been married for 38 years … but you know, I just think it helps you be less anxious and have a little fun with bringing life to art, by putting some storylines in with portraits or paintings.”

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