Creatives-in-Residence Connect Visitors to Art in Innovative Ways

Creatives-in-Residence Connect Visitors to Art in Innovative Ways

Recently, the Denver Art Museum received a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to produce and document a series of six residencies. Over the next two years, the DAM will partner with creatives from a variety of disciplines to produce residencies that explore the many ways in which we connect with art.

This project builds on an earlier IMLS-funded project that allowed the museum to explore participatory activities as a tool for visitors to connect with art and their own creativity, like the popular Create-n-Takes program. From the project, we learned that creative experiences impacted visitors in profound ways that go beyond artistic expression to enhancing all aspects of life, from how they dress and decorate their homes to how they relate to their families and interact with coworkers. Now, leveraging what we learned, the DAM is pushing the boundaries of museum experiences by opening up the galleries as platforms for sharing creatives’ work and inspiring visitors.

First Up: A Composer

The DAM is excited to welcome our first creative-in-residence, composer Nathan Hall, who will be creating art-inspired sound-based works in several of the museum’s galleries on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays through March 27. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with Nathan and even participate in his creative process, which involves five installation and performance projects connecting music with works of art. Nathan will be welcoming guests during “Piano Office hours” in the European American Art gallery on Level 6 of the North Building on Thursdays from 1–4 pm and doing live performances on Sundays at 3 pm.

  • March 15: Calder meditation space, Level 3, Hamilton Building (approx. 45-60 minutes)
  • March 22: ENGI, Hamilton Building atrium (approx. 30 minutes)
  • March 27: Multiple performances at Untitled: Dream On

This new creative-in-residence program will form a connecting link between the creative and the visitor in an experimental way that both informs the performance and lends a fresh experience to the work of art and museum space.

Creating Deeper Visitor Involvement

Thanks to this IMLS grant, the DAM is continuing to build online resources that document what we are doing in Denverand making those resources available to museum professionals across the country. Grants like this enable the DAM to design and evaluate unique programs that spark imagination and connect visitors with art in new and innovative ways. By opening up who creates visitor programs, the Denver Art Museum is building its capacity for visitor engagement, creating deeper and richer involvement for our visitors, and fulfilling its mission for the purpose of inspiring a greater appreciation of art and creativity.

Melissa Olson is currently an intern in the development department of the Denver Art Museum. Melissa has been assisting at the DAM since August 2014 and her favorite work of art in the modern and contemporary art collection is Fox Games, 1989, by Sandy Skoglund (American, b. 1946), which is installed on level 3 of the Hamilton Building.