Throughout my life I have been drawn to art for its ability to inspire and uplift, to evoke empathy and introspection, and to bring individuals and communities together. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for our community in Central New York, and for the world at large. During this time of uncertainly, and for many isolation, art can offer us a connection to one another and a source of hope. While our doors are Syracuse University Art Museum are still closed for the time being, I write to tell you that our digital ones are open and to encourage you to spend some time virtually with our art collection by looking closely on your own or participating in one of our virtual programs.
Over the past few weeks, the museum staff has worked tirelessly from home to build new virtual content for you. Two cancelled spring exhibitions curated by Syracuse University faculty along with undergraduate and graduate students have been happily recreated as virtual exhibitions available to view on our website at any time. A group of highlights from our robust collection of 45,000 artworks has been curated for your perusal and many new virtual exhibitions are in the works! And if you want to see even more, you can also search our entire collection of artwork on our online collections database, or reach out to our museum staff for guidance or conversations.
We have also scheduled many upcoming virtual programs such as museum talks with the curators of our virtual exhibitions and close looking object sessions with museum staff examining artworks from the permanent collection. In addition, the museum’s dedicated graduate and undergraduate student employees have worked closely with museum staff to create a variety of virtual “SUArt From Home” programming that includes activities for adults as well as children. For instance, one of our talented students and Art Illustration major Katie Mulligan is working on drawing a series of coloring pages based on artwork from the collection. Her portrayal of Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Joan of Arc is now available for download, and we’ll soon have more from her that features our public art on campus collection. One of our graduate Museum Studies students, Matty Subhedar (who has a remarkable talent for museum education), has created a how-to caricature activity that provides a step-by-step instructional on how to draw an expressive figure that takes inspiration from artworks in our collection! While many new virtual initiatives are in the works, we’d really like to hear from you about what type of content you want to see more of. Tell us your thoughts and stay connected with us on social media. We’re actively on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can follow us on all platforms at @SUArtGalleries.
We look forward to reopening the doors to our museum and welcoming all of you in person in due time. For now, I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to continue to stay connected with the art collection and with one another.
With warm wishes,
Vanja Malloy, Ph.D.
Director and Chief Curator
Syracuse University Art Museum