This summer, the Smart Museum will collaborate with the Arts + Public Life’s Teen Arts Council, Odyssey Institute Program, Red Line Service, Stockyard Institute, and other cultural and community partners to think critically and creatively about what it means to belong.
In Anticipation of Belonging occupies the Richard and Mary L. Gray gallery in the middle of the Smart Museum. During an initial summit, the partners will use art in the Museum’s collection to spark conversation about the aesthetic, social, and political conditions that either encourage belonging or propagate exclusion. In turn, the partners will investigate how cultural organizations are situated within this dialogue, while also designing plans to physically transform the Smart’s galleries into an idealized space of belonging.
Following the summit each partner will choose and develop their own path of investigation: engaging in conversation, hosting public events, collaborating on art projects, and connecting objects in the Smart’s collection to their own interests and experiences with belonging.
This experimental program anticipates Conversations with the Collection: Belonging, a yearlong project that explores ideas of belonging through objects from across cultures and eras on display throughout the Smart Museum’s collection galleries. It also builds upon a number of projects from the Smart’s recent past, like the arts-based learning space GalleryX, our Interpreter in Residence program, and the conversations around hospitality catalyzed byFeast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art.