From Street To Samsung: How Art Museums Maintain Relevancy

From Street To Samsung: How Art Museums Maintain Relevancy

Art can be viewed on the daily; why travel out of the way for a few strokes on canvas?


To a casual viewer who would look up Boise, the Boise Art Museum (under the initials of BAM) is the third sentence down from what defines the capital of Idaho.

A public place to donate any medium, a museum is often misunderstood as a habitat for the antique miscellaneous. An audience may include students under mandatory circumstances, children with inherently innocent yet ignorant perspectives, and the rare few who come more often than the other groups combined.

Synonymous with culture education, a busy day at such a place only rivals the crowd size of a bank on an average day. For a place with such an important status ranking among the variety in a metropolis, it seems almost mandatory to have one in a major city, yet during the many times that I've visited BAM, it is more often than not, empty.

This is not a question of why it exists, but a question of relevance in a culturally shifted society. The sentiment of utilitarianism and impatience seems to have taken its toll on the art museum, one with a singular objective: observe.

Entertainment can be achieved at the tip of our fingers, with the sheer amount of content on the internet, so why take the extra steps to go out and buy admission? After all, more often than not, the pieces on display can also be found with a quick search, and some light digging can grant more insight than a printed summary on a wall ever could.

Thus, the difference between a memory (digital) and experience (tangible).

A memory is the Pythagorean theorem to a student or a joke's punchline in a sea of humor. An experience is walking down a hall the well lit and uniform lights, contrasted by the individuality of human creativity and brilliance.

A memory is a doctor's appointment, carefully scheduled and timed to the hour. An experience is the slow digestion of abstract sights on a thick canvas, with the blends of acrylic mentally unfolded stroke by stroke to reveal meaning.

A memory is information sorted and stored, forced to stay until proven necessary, then thrown to the wind on a whim. An experience is the epitome of happiness, bringing us that much closer to, according to our good psychologist Abraham Maslow, self-actualization; something as modest as a museum can somehow achieve.

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