This fall, the Fleming Museum is “showing our work” by exhibiting itself in a state of transformation and change, with listening to visitors at the center of that work. It is messy and vulnerable to work in public. Learning how to improvise and adapt—haven’t we all done so much of that these past 18 months?
Yet artists have always found a rich vein in that radical openness to documenting experiments and showing work in process. These experiments lead to collaborations. They lead to reflection and storytelling about the ups and downs of the creative process. They lead to change. The Learning Studio is a space for creating conversations with art and artists who inspire us to embrace this opportunity for working and learning in public. The Fleming staff have begun recording our own inspirations to think about change with these artworks; we invite visitors to add to these conversations.
The Learning Studio is born of improvisation, as we adapted an exhibitions gallery into a socially-distanced place for classes to meet during the 2020-21 school year. That improvisation led to a realization about how much we wanted to adapt such a space for people to gather and look at art together, in classes, in intimate conversations, in creative programs. You will see the large learning space change every day, as different groups of people gather to talk about art and material culture from the Museum’s collection. Any conversation could spark more changes as we learn from our audiences about what the Museum can become.
Support for this installation is provided by the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Fund, the Walter Cerf Exhibitions Fund, and the Vermont Arts Council.