“An Ethereal Feel”: Stephanie returns to ARTZ @ the Woodmere

We’ll be sharing a series of perspectives from ARTZ Philly’s interns, Stephanie and Alexandra! Read on to hear about Steph’s second visit to ARTZ @ the Museum.

A Violet Oakley painting of a family standing on a balcony

My second time attending an ARTZ at the Museum program was truly one to remember. So let me set the tone here — the number of participants was nearly three times as many as the previous session, and we were in the larger room at Woodmere, facing these grand lunette paintings that were part of the Violet Oakley exhibit A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance. There were large lunettes on each of the three walls, with various smaller paintings also placed throughout. Walking into the room I felt this very airy feeling, and I could feel a sense of warmth among the participants. That warm feeling only heightened as the program proceeded.

Portrait of ARTZ intern Stephanie Kong smiling

Susan opens up the conversation by asking the participants what they see. She asks them to look a little longer, a little deeper. I feverishly jot down as many as I can as the ideas begin to pour out. Ethereal, celestial, biblical, spiritual, and otherworldly were among the words I heard to describe the painting. Seeing and experiencing the process of creating context, discovering the story behind the painting was what I loved most. These participants and their caregivers have a deep passion for art, and it showed through their deep and beautiful responses. One participant created connections to her own memories as a young girl, recalling that the clouds reminded her of the days when she and her sister would lay out on the grass and watch the clouds go by. That intimate connection between life and art is something truly, truly magical. I love hearing people’s stories, and the stories unfolded at this program were really special. The ARTZ at the Museum program solidifies the importance of being present, in the moment, and allowing the art to speak to you. Things may be forgotten, but the moments in that room, of creating and exchanging ideas and unfolding stories will stay in that room; in that warm, airy place.

— Stephanie Kong, ARTZ Philadelphia Intern 2017/18; Temple University’s Human Development and Community Engagement Program

Violet Oakley’s mural series was slated as an ongoing exhibition due to popular demand! Read more here.

Stephanie is with us for a second semester, and we’re so glad to have her on our team. To hear more from Steph and Alexandra, ARTZ Philly’s interns, come back and visit the blog!