Making Music and Maracas

Music Room_Josh Navarro

Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days, 2016. Photo: Josh Navarro

Last weekend, we welcomed over 4,000 visitors for Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days to try out instruments, make artwork and crafts from recycled materials, hear stories in our library, and of course listen to some live jazz! Thanks to the DC Jazz Festival, all of the participating DKMC Walk Weekend museums, and everyone who attended.

Maracas_Josh Navarro

Making maracas from recycle materials at Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days, 2016. Photo: Josh Navarro

art workshop_Josh Navarro

Jazz-inpsired artwork at Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days, 2016. Photo: Josh Navarro

Library storytime_Josh Navarro

Storytime at Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days, 2016. Photo: Josh Navarro

Mailing #MyAmericanArt Postcards

One of the art workshops at the festival will be #MyAmericanArt postcards. •#MyAmericanArt Postcards. Families can create and share their own American masterpieces and send them to someone special.

One of the art workshops at the festival will be #MyAmericanArt postcards. Families can create and share their own American masterpieces and send them to someone special. Photo: Racquel Keller

I have been spending the last few months as an intern in the Education Department. It is an exciting time to be a part of the team since they are in the midst of gearing up for this year’s Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days.  At the event, participants can create American art-inspired postcards, and we really wanted something cool to get them excited about mailing them. As a result, I was asked to design a custom mailbox! This was right up my alley because as an artist I build assemblages out of found pieces.

The things I wanted to take into consideration were that it should be kid-friendly, fun, largely made of recycled materials, and be something that The Phillips Collection would be proud to have on-site…for however brief a period!

Be on the lookout for the mailbox at Jazz n’ Families Fun Days on June 7 & 8. Come on down to the art workshop, make a postcard of your own, and drop it in the box.

Below is a look at my process and the finished mailbox.

Racquel Keller, Education Intern and Museum Shop Supervisor

It all started with a sketch! Photo: Racquel Keller

It all started with a sketch! Photo: Racquel Keller

Found a great big box in Education and went on a little trip to Community Forklift hunting for bits and bobs!  I found a few odds and ends there, including this great piece of recycled Plexiglass.  Plexiglass was key because I really want the kids to see where their mail was going! Photo: Racquel Keller

Found a great big box in the Education offices and went on a little trip to Community Forklift hunting for bits and bobs. I found a few odds and ends there, including this great piece of recycled Plexiglass. Plexiglass was key because I really want the kids to see where their mail was going! Photo: Racquel Keller

Then I wanted to make it relatable to our mailboxes.  That took a bit more cardboard (an old box kindly donated by the Museum Shop!) and a bit of creativity! Photo: Racquel Keller

Then I wanted to make it relatable to our mailboxes. That took a bit more cardboard (an old box kindly donated by the Museum Shop) and a bit of creativity. Photo: Racquel Keller

And finally, the beautification – the box is covered with pictures from our collection!  Photo: Racquel Keller

And finally, the beautification – the box is covered with pictures from our collection. Photo: Racquel Keller

William Merritt Chase: Hide and Seek

William Merritt Chase, Hide and Seek, 1888. Oil on canvas, 27 5/8 x 35 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1923.

Hide and Seek is one of my favorite paintings in The Phillips Collection. Notable for its restraint, it is a marvel of visual economy. Hide and Seek was not a typical work for Chase, who was known for his tendency to paint cluttered interiors. His studio was filled with curios from all corners of the world, including a white Russian wolfhound, two macaws, and a cockatoo. There are only four objects in Hide and Seek, and Chase makes each one count Continue reading “William Merritt Chase: Hide and Seek” »