Folks, I forgot one of my resolutions: go to a museum once a month. I love going to museums — my family always went to museums on vacations as a child, and as an adult I’m still not entirely sure what to do with myself on a trip to somewhere that doesn’t have museums. If a tiny village has a museum, I will find it and go. These have actually been some of my favorite museums!
However, I’m also really bad at going to museums in my day-to-day life. This is particularly silly as A) I live in DC, home to the Smithsonian (aka the largest museum complex in the world, and free, to boot!) as well as a ridic number of other awesome museums, and B) I find visiting museums inspiring and revitalizing to every aspect of my life (professionally, academically, artistically, emotionally).
So on that note, I took January’s trip two weeks ago! Instead of heading into DC, I headed north to Sandy Spring, Maryland, where the Sandy Spring Museum is a community and local history museum (one of my favorite kinds of museum!) that also hosts resident artists and studios. Its permanent display focuses on the primarily Quaker background of Sandy Spring, as well as the day-to-day life in the region during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
The reason I chose the Sandy Spring Museum as my first trip of 2016, though, was to view TEXTile Ternions. TEXTile Ternions is a surface design exhibition by Diana Guenther supported by the Margaret M. Conant Grant, which is awarded by the Potomac Fiber Art Guild. Diana is a dear friend, and I was very excited to see the result of her work during the grant, as I’ve followed along in person and on her blog.
Challenging herself by using a limited color palette, Diana’s work interprets the history of the Sandy Spring area by drawing forms and images from museum artifacts. The range of colors she achieved was truly astonishing — I would never have guessed that she had limited her palette to three colors (orange, red, and navy) if I hadn’t been told! The pieces range from nearly grayscale to pastels to primaries, and from subtle to saturated. While a wide variety of artifacts influence the work, there are several particular themes that reoccur across pieces. Many of these themes involve the day-to-day lives in the community, drawing on postcards from Sandy Spring, artifacts collected from the volunteer fire department, and other community engagement. I particularly enjoyed pieces that focused on women’s community involvement, such as pieces inspired by a women’s tennis club or the ladies’ sewing group.
If you are in the DC area, I recommend visiting Sandy Spring Museum. Though it’s a small museum, it is a lovely drive through the countryside of Maryland; combined with a picnic or other small excursions, it would be easy to make a day trip of it.
If you would like to see the TEXTile Ternions exhibition, go NOW
! It hangs until February 8, so you only have a week left!