How to: Make a Musical Maraca at Home

On June 6th and 7th, almost 6,000 visitors attended Jazz n’ Families Fun Days, the Phillips’s annual family festival in partnership with DC Jazz Festival. Families decorated maracas, listened to live jazz music, played instruments, and joined gallery tours. In preparation for this big event, Phillips Education staff spent the last couple months collecting thousands of water bottles and toilet-paper rolls for the Family Fun art project – musical maracas! Check out these before and after photographs showing the innovative and creative ways visitors transformed recyclable materials into instruments that were as artistic as they were musical.

Space Modulators

László Moholy-Nagy’s Space Modulators (a great example at the Guggenheim, right), executed late in his career, are beautiful, but slightly odd painting/sculpture hybrids made in clear plastic. I came across them while I was researching his oeuvre for my book, Painting after Photography, and was drawn to them because they look so radically different from the photography and rigorous, geometrical abstract painting he made at the Bauhaus.

Playing with Light in the Dark

Vesela Sretenovic, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, installed dramatically lit sculpture in a darkly painted intimate gallery to play with light, dark and shadow on the third floor of the house. Our collection of sculpture doesn’t get seen as often as other works and to have an entire room dedicated to these choice pieces is a treat.