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Snite Museum, WVFI duet for ‘Art on the Aux’

| Monday, September 30, 2019

Nicole Simon | The Observer

Art is undoubtedly one of the cultural cornerstones of society. From the realism of Ancient Greek sculpture to the abstract genius of Jackson Pollock, art has been used throughout history to express and shared emotion. However, there are some today who feel art is lofty, incomprehensible and, ultimately, out of their reach. An upcoming collaboration between the Snite Museum of Art and WVFI will try to dismiss this notion.

Senior art history major Rachel Mills has been involved with the Snite since “before [her] first day of classes” as a first-year. Now, Mills is part of the Snite’s Student Programming Committee, which reimagines the space of the museum to create events aimed toward getting students involved and engaged with art at the Snite. A problem Mills says the Snite sometimes faces is “making the space of an art museum more fun, and not this rigid space” where art is to be observed but not engaged with. In a unique effort to overcome this misconception, she teamed up with student DJs from WVFI College Radio, and “Art on the Aux” was born.

“Art on the Aux,” inspired by the idea of a silent disco, will feature Spotify playlists curated by WVFI DJs paired with works of art within the Snite’s second floor gallery. Sections of the gallery will be indicated by QR codes, which visitors can scan to find and listen to the accompanying playlists while they browse the gallery. If attendees don’t have a Spotify account, the songs and the radio hosts’ reasoning for their choices will be posted as blurbs throughout the gallery. Mills says the goal of the event is to make the museum accessible to students without experience studying art.

“[I hope] people can come in and be inspired not only by original works of art, but by other students, and see their own creativity,” she said.

“Art on the Aux” had its inception last fall during a temporary exhibit called “Solidary and Solitary,” featuring art by traditionally overlooked artists. This year, “Art on the Aux” will take on the Snite’s permanent exhibit, allowing more creative freedom to the WVFI DJs and more opportunity for Notre Dame’s student body to get involved. In developing “Art on the Aux,” Mills led the WVFI DJs on a walkthrough of the gallery, hoping to spark inspiration by asking questions: “What if the exhibit titles were album titles? What would the vibe be? What if this piece was the album art?”

A part of the exhibit Mills is particularly excited to see realized is a group of paintings based on 19th century French politics, curated by WVFI station manager Michael Donovan. (Editor’s Note: Donovan is the Scene Editor for The Observer). Mills described it as an unexpected choice, given the specialized nature of the subject, but said it reflects the exact type of creativity that made her enthusiastic about putting on the event in the first place. She is optimistic Donovan’s playlist and others tackling less contemporary work will show that “even older art can be thought of in a fresh way.”

Beginning in October, students will have the opportunity to attend the Snite and get their Spotify on.

“The goal for all of our programming at the Snite is to get people to go to the galleries and have a meaningful interaction with an original work of art,” Mills said.

So keep your eyes peeled for the event’s opening and get ready to BYOH (bring your own headphones). You might find art is closer to home than you expect.

“Art on the Aux” will begin in October and continue for the remainder of the semester. Check out the Snite Museum of Art’s Spotify channel and visit https://sniteartmuseum.nd.edu/ for more information about the museum and its upcoming events. Visit https://wvfi.nd.edu/ for more on Notre Dame’s only student-run radio station.


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