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Salon Series continues in Snite Museum of Art

| Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Once a month, Notre Dame students, staff and faculty gather in the Snite Museum of Art after hours to analyze a selected piece of artwork. Aimed at creating a relaxed space to view and discuss the works in the Museum, the Snite Salon Series began in January 2013, Bridget Hoyt, curator of education and academic programs for the Snite Museum, said.

“The purpose is to give people the opportunity to dialogue with each other and dialogue with a work of art. … It’s an opportunity to get to know works of art in the Snite’s collection in a pretty intimate way, to build a relationship with a work of art over time and in conversation with others,” she said.

The group focuses on a single work in the Snite’s collection each month, Hoyt said.

“People can take a slow and long look at one work of art,” she said.

“Through conversation, people end up with a different understanding of the work than they started with.”

Hoyt said she leads the program every month but tries to remove herself from the conversation as much as possible in order to allow the group to come to its own conclusions.

“I encourage the conversation to be driven by the viewers’ observations,” Hoyt said. “The more diverse the group, the more interesting the conversation.”

The series attracts a wide array of undergraduate and graduate students from an array of majors and professors from all disciplines, Hoyt said.

Catherine Mary Barr, a freshman engineering major, said she attends the event for the intimate setting in which to view the paintings and for the chance to learn from others.

“If I were to just come here on my own and look at them, I would not get the rich insight that the other students bring to it — especially students who take art history or art in general, who know all the different techniques and uses of lighting,” Barr said. “Every time I come here, I walk away with really deep insights, not only on the painting but also on the time period, the artist and the theme and messages.”

Hoyt said the series began as a way to engage students with the museum, but the Snite also holds other events to help immerse students in the museum.

“We have a student advisory group that runs programming primarily for students,” she said. “We also have a group of student gallery teachers who teach other Notre Dame classes that visit the museum, and we have a student collecting group that acquires contemporary photography for the museum. …We also do yoga in the galleries and guided meditation in the salons.”

The Snite Salon Series meets the last Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Snite Museum of Art.

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