A Fabulous February at the Noguchi Museum
by Clare Doyle
February may be the shortest month but it’s packed with events and activities at the Noguchi Museum. (Unless otherwise noted, programs and events are free with museum admission). The collection installation Noguchi: Body-Space Devices, a selective survey of the strategies Isamu Noguchi used to implicate the body in his work across a range of disciplines, will be reconfigured as a set for Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release, a performance-based collaboration with artist Brendan Fernandes on the five Saturdays: February 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, at 1.30 and 3 pm. Performances are unseated and will move throughout Areas 11 and 12 on the second floor.
The six dancers who perform Contract and Release are: Héctor Cerna, Violetta Komyshan, Victor Lozano, Tiffany Mangulabnan, Oisín Monaghan, and Amy Saunder. The installation was developed with architecture and design collaborative Norman Kelley, and with chair fabrication by Jason Lewis. Costumes were designed by Rad Hourani.
During the February 1 showing at 3 pm, visitors are invited to join a Center of Attention discussion focused on the Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release performance. A museum educator will facilitate a conversation about the performance as it takes place. Advance registration is not required.
On Sunday, February 2, from 11 am to 1 pm, families with children from ages 2 to 11 are invited to explore the galleries and participate in Open Studio: Marbling. No registration is required for this drop-in program.
Friday February 7 is Free First Friday, with free admission to the Museum all day. (Admission is always free for members, children under 12, NYC public school students, visitors with disabilities, and active duty military and their families (members of Blue Star Museums).
On Saturday February 8 from 10.30 am to 11:45 am, there will be a Clay Day for children aged 2 to 4. Space is limited and reservations are required. Museum members at the Family level and above receive priority registration. The fee is $10 for families with up to 4 members which includes museum admission and materials and can be paid upon arrival. This fee is waived for all Noguchi Museum Family level members and above, and Cool Culture participants. The Clay Day program repeats on Sunday February 16 from 10.30 am to 11:45 am.
For adults feeling crafty, jewelry designer Marjorie Victor will teach a Sheet Metal Pendants workshop on Saturday February 8 from 1 to 5 pm. Previous experience is not necessary: this is a unique opportunity to learn how to handcraft a pendant from a piece of brass sheet metal. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Ages 18 and older. There is a fee of $20 for Museum members, $30 for non-members. Program fee includes admission to the Museum and materials. Registration opens on January 29.
The month’s balletic theme continues on Saturday, February 22 with a Set the Stage: Dance, Dance, Dance session from 10.30 am to 11.45 am. This program is for families with children ages 2–4. Space is limited and registration is required. The program cost is $10 per family, which includes museum admission and materials and can be paid upon arrival. This fee is waived for all Noguchi Museum Family level members and above, and Cool Culture participants.
In addition to the scheduled programs in February, gallery talks take place daily at 2 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, and are free with Museum admission. Talks are open to all individual visitors: taking a tour is a great way to learn more about the sculptures of Isamu Noguchi. On Free First Fridays and second Sundays, the Museum also offers the 2 pm gallery talk in Japanese.
Picture: Noguchi: Body-Space Devices installation, photo credit Clare Doyle
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