The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA)
has been transforming itself since April 2016, renovating 15,000 square feet of the museum, adding collection galleries to its upstairs, repairing and repainting gallery cases, and creating additional art storage. While renovations are not quite complete
(phase 2 is expected to finish up this December), the museum, which has been closed to the public since July 23, is re-opening next Fri. Aug. 17 with a brand spankin' new exhibition, Something's Happening: The Big Art of Katie Pell
is Pell's first solo museum exhibition, one that's described as "an irreverent rite-of-passage narrative that uses the artist's own life to explore the ordinary side of icons, the exceptional side of ordinary people, and the power of identifying your story." Pell will be on hand for the exhibition's opening, giving an artist's talk at 6 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. CMA's chief curator Will South will discuss the thematic installation of Pell's collection, which fits into the museum's reimagining of the collection galleries.
The sprawling exhibition (it takes up four galleries) features 71 pieces, ranging from sculpture to textile to drawing to collage. In an artist's statement Pell writes, "I have decided to make work that celebrates a paradigm of love. As attractive as it is to join in a Dorothy Parker-style battle of intellects or to party like a nihilist, I feel an urgency to introduce generosity and communion into my life's work."
Museum curator Catherine Walworth, who worked with Pell to develop the exhibition, says, "Our goal was to create a kind of dream sequence that a teenager might launch into while listening to record albums and thumbing through their year book." Looking at some of the images in Something's Happening
, we can see what she means by dream sequence. From colored pencil-esque sketches to chunky puff clouds, Pell's work is evocative of all stages of our imagination's life.
The exhibit will be on display through Sun. Oct. 28.