When was the last time you went to an art exhibit where bringing kids is encouraged, you can get down on your hands and knees to explore, and even use a power tool if you like?
I don’t even know if my words can fully describe how fun and magical the new art exhibit at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center is – but ‘wonder’ is a good place to start.
Wes Bruce spent much of his formative youth building forts and structures in the forests of Northern California. Now, as the MACC’s first artist-in-residence, he’s created a fort inside the Schaefer International Gallery, and the name of the installation is ‘Taken by Wonder’.
This isn’t your average fort, though. There are secret rooms, tiny nooks, thousands of ‘treasures’, like antique Singer sewing machines and upright pianos… It’s a very sensory experience – with most of the exhibit lit by Christmas lights, hallways with hanging eucalyptus branches which you get a whiff of just as you walk by, and rooms with leather scraps padding the floor… We explored for quite a while and there’s still an upper room that I’m not sure how to access. We’ll have to go back, but that’s part of the fun. With older children, or as adults, make sure you grab a ‘decoder’ paper – there are phrases written all around the fort that you can decode.
Outside the fort, the remainder of the gallery space is full of interactive art activities areas – with everything from ‘construct your own fort’ with hammers, screwdrivers, and all sorts of materials, a poem station, water colors, and a tiny tots area with crayons and building blocks.
And the best part – its totally free. We may come back often…
The gallery has NEW HOURS – Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm – and the exhibit runs through November 2. And, if you fall in love with any of the fort’s treasures, you can return during the deconstruction, November 4-7, from 10am to 2pm, to take home a piece or two.
Still searching for more? here’s some text from the MACC website:
Wes’ enduring concept for “Taken By Wonder” has many pulls centralized around the fictional research space of a group of outsiders and the discovery of their existence on an unknown island. There are blurred boundaries and hypothetical concepts alluding to origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs. Clues within the layers will lead us to believe that the inhabitants have only just left the space, stirring up a curious voyeurism and questioning.
Visitors will be free to explore the caverns and chambers of the space, finding artifacts, maps, and remnants of world civilizations, photographs, field samples, illustrations and writings. They will be invited to become part of the response in an interactive mapping room adjacent to the structure, with opportunities to share ideas through mark making and word offerings. This community collaboration will evolve through the duration of the exhibit, with public lectures and education tours facilitated by the artist and gallery staff and will be documented by video and photography.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Margaret Raffin. Additional funding provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and County of Maui, Office of Economic Development.