An Intern’s Perspective on Final Friday

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern


Feel-good music fills the hall as people of all ages socialize and admire the artists that surround them. Food and drink line the tables of the Sculpture Court as local art enthusiasts discuss what they anticipate from the presenters that will follow the opening reception. Local poets write poetry-on-demand for an event attendee. The room is filled with anticipation. Final Friday is here!

At the David Owsley Museum of Art, an event called Final Friday is held a twice a 2016-10-29_final_friday_19semester. This event includes artist demonstrations, short presentations on projects, ideas or research by creative locals, food, drink, music, and art in a museum environment. Attendees range in age, background, and art knowledge, and any and all are welcome to attend a Final Friday event.

As the Community Outreach Intern at the museum, I have been actively involved in the planning and preparation of these Final Friday events. I work weeks in advance on preparing contracts for presenters and artists involved in the event, creating process guides, outlines, and rundowns for DOMA staff, and gathering needed equipment and supplies for the event. My position allows me to help with the coordination of the event from beginning to end, including the follow-up feedback form I devise and send to staff members to constructively critique the event after everyone has gone home.

Being a part of the museum staff means ensuring the proper set-up hours prior to the event beginning. Tables and chairs are set and microphones are checked at this time. Caterers come in early and begin to prepare for the museum to be filled with hungry visitors. Artists arrive to set up their presentations or creative spaces as the DJ brings in sound equipment to set the tone for the event. Emcees arrive and direct the presenters for their PechaKucha talks.

2016-10-29_final_friday_25 The event begins, and guests appear to take in the atmosphere of the evening in the Sculpture Court where they may laugh, talk, eat, drink, and even have a portrait drawn or a poem written just for them depending on the artist involved in the event that month. Following this time filled with networking and fun, guests become engaged and entertained by impassioned presenters who share their work. Visitors leave enthused and impressed by what they witnessed.

After the event concludes, guards at the museum help the caterers and DJ clean up and shut down the museum one gallery at a time. The building is closed for the night, and the staff goes home around 9:30 p.m. When I return on Monday, I create a survey to those internally involved in the event for feedback. The results are gathered and compiled into a document for future use. A survey is also offered to guests during the event. I also sort through these and record the responses in order to improve our Final Friday events.

Not only is Final Friday an enjoyable event for attendees and presenters; it is perhaps more admirable after finding out how much work is put in to the planning and execution of it. Seeing the staff work on various pieces of the puzzle needed to make the event a success in the weeks leading up to it has given me an appreciation for the work done to execute one night of cool and creative conversation with community members.

Final Friday will continue next semester in March and April, so be on the lookout for upcoming event announcements on social media. Subscribe to our events on Facebook to receive notices of upcoming events at the David Owsley Museum of Art!

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Photos by Emma Rogers of the October 28th Final Friday

Peace of Mind

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern


As I entered the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art in the museum, I saw students sitting up against the wall and chairs set up facing toward George Wolfe, the meditation instructor. I had never experienced a meditation session in my life, but I felt enthralled for the new experience. The students around me shared that they had attended a session before, and although I had never done so, I felt at ease with my surroundings.

The Meditation in the Museum is held every Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., and I meditiatiojcould not imagine a better way to end a week. As a busy student with a constant stream of thoughts running through my head, the opportunity to slow down and let the stresses of the week slip away was ideal. Wolfe provided all the participants with a handout that included the script he used during the session for future use. This session focused on the mantra “ong” and the idea of light within one’s self. As Wolfe referenced, meditation is considered by some to be the fourth state of consciousness in addition to the waking, dreaming and sleep states. This meditation state includes a physical relaxation and heightened sense of awareness.

Even though this was my first experience with meditation, I would encourage screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-2-42-21-pmanyone to attend a Meditation in the Museum session. Being in the museum itself provides a peaceful, calming and relatively quiet environment, and being led through a series of instructions in order to reach a calming and relaxed state of mind is an activity beneficial to most anyone. Students can attend a Meditation in the Museum session most Friday afternoons starting at 3:30 p.m. in the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art of the David Owsley Museum of Art. See the following link for the complete schedule for the Fall 2016 semester:

BSU Guidelines Meditation flyer4.jpg

photos by: Emma Rogers


Continuum Exhibition Opening

Emma Rogers
Media Intern

September 21st marked the opening of DOMA’s newest special exhibition, Continuum: The Art of Michael Dunbar in the Sculptural Tradition, featuring the work of Midwest sculptor Michael Dunbar. Guests gathered to hear the artist speak about his monumental body of work, including several Machinist Studies that are included in the exhibition. Continuum also features several examples from DOMA’s collection that represent the history of sculpture, providing a comparison between the artist’s contemporary style and historic movements. View Continuum in the special exhibition gallery on the second level of the museum between now and December 22nd, 2016.

Continuum: Behind the Scenes from David Owsley Museum of Art on Vimeo.

Pokébash 2016

Daniel Combs
Education Intern


Could Pokémon Go and a social event at DOMA coexist? What would the outcome be? We gained a bit of a taste of what would result from such a social experiment on Friday, August 26 at PokéBash. Before the official start time at 5 p.m. people were already starting to approach and enter the large wooden doors of DOMA. From the beginning, you could tell this wasn’t going to be just like any other art museum event. Many people mentioned their admiration of the integration between the artistic atmosphere and the mobile game. Even with the overwhelming sense of individual technology usage, people were still engaged with one another and even helping one another with aspects of their gaming.

There were plenty of fun activities besides the Pokémon lures lined up for students that made time away from their studies. Plenty of visitors took advantage of the free giveaways offered inside the doors such as mobile phone stands, posters, and more. There were coloring tables with crayons and coloring pages of Pokémon characters and art inspired by the DOMA collection. On the stairs, a photo booth allowed 2016-8-26_QuadBash_15people to be creative with putting themselves within a picture frame and act as goofy or serious as they like with various accessories and masks. Kailey and Aaron were first time visitors to the museum. “It was a great time and it was a beautiful building. There were great crafts to release tension after all the class work. It was much needed down time. We are definitely coming back again,” they said.

There was a constant flow of over 300 people coming in and playing their games, and many ventured off to explore the collection. With over 11,000 priceless artifacts, DOMA is full of treasures and inspiration. Ashley Douglas, a junior from Ivy Tech said, “the event was a whole lot of fun! The Pokémon theme and museum is a good combo. I’ll be coming back after my first visit.”

2016-8-26_QuadBash_41At 6 p.m. things filtered to the outdoor activities of the Quad, where lines of excited students rushed to do mandala-inspired rock painting provided by DOMA, get henna tattoos, climb a rock wall, eat free pizza and Insomnia cookies, or listen to live music. Several attendees spoke of how they believed social media, personal gaming with phones and handheld devices has become such a common scene.

As the event closed you could see people humming away at songs they heard from the band, dancing, laughing or talking about what the next event might be. Who knows for sure what is to come from the journey of life through the rest of the semester? One thing is for sure; there were memories made for many at the PokéBash. Many will look back at the event and remember the smell of the food, the goofy picture they took on the stairwell in front of the Buddha statue, coloring pages at the tables, the free poster that will hang in the dorm room for the next year or so, live music or the other outdoor activities. Who knows what the next cultural phase will be? Will people still be chasing imaginary digital creatures on their phones? We’ll see what’s in store at the next Quad Bash.

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Photos by: Emma Rogers

Behind the Scenes Art in Bloom 2016

Sierra Trowbridge
Education Intern


May 20th-22nd, the David Owsley Museum of Art hosted its second Art in Bloom, an event in which six florists are invited to create a floral arrangement inspired by a work of art in the museum. I attended the opening reception on Friday, May 20th. I do not think I have ever seen so many different and strange flowers in one place. Nevertheless, each florist was able to take materials of their own choosing and create an arrangement that brought out elements of the artwork as well as adding personal interpretation that made each piece unique and exciting. Seeing everything and everyone come together and transform the museum into a floral paradise filled with guests was something spectacular.

DSC_0125For my part, I was privileged to help a talented local florist, Jackie Turner from the Flower Bin Inc., put her arrangement together. Not that I got to play with any flowers, but when she needed something I made sure she had it and I drove the cart holding her flowers and vases with the utmost care. My favorite aspect of helping, though, was asking questions. Jackie Turner is probably one of the friendliest people I have ever met, and was more that willing to talk all about her flowers.  She loves tropical flowers, a fact evident throughout her arrangement. When I asked her what the most difficult part of putting her work together was, her immediate response was the color. The textile art work she took inspiration from, Mariska Karasz’s Equilibrium, had a lot of muted colors; browns and somewhat dull reds, yellows, and oranges. Fall colors that are a might bit difficult to find in the spring. She found her inspiration, though, and forged ahead with a plan to incorporate those colors and the textures within the tapestry, resulting in a beautifully dynamic arrangement.

Now, when I was helping Jackie and providing assistance in other aspects of preparation during the day, it was more of a behind the scenes kind of adventure. When the guests arrived, all of a sudden the hard work everyone had put in was on view. It was fantastic. People wandered all around the galleries making conversation, appreciating the flowers. I got to talk to brilliant people I would never have come in contact with. Greeting people, checking them in, answering their questions in the galleries; all of that went into making sure they had the best time we could provide. The fact that I was able to help in that goal is an experience I will not soon forget, and hopefully, our guests remember their evening among the flowers as fondly as we do.

View more images from Art in Bloom 2016 at our Facebook page!