Photo: Courtesy of Edward Owens

Columbia Museum of Art launches tool-related art, lecture series

Opened on June 2, the Columbia Museum of Art has housed a special exhibit entitled ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection. 

It features 40 pieces from 28 different contemporary artists related to tools, home building and the connection of these pieces to the world around us. Throughout August, the final month of the exhibition, the Columbia Museum of Art will launch a lecture series that coincides with ReTooled.

According to Kayleigh Vaughn, the museum's manager of engagement, the decision to implement lectures into the ReTooled exhibit came from a desire to connect to those around us — both at a municipal and state level — who play integral roles in “historic preservation, the building arts, and architecture.” This includes individuals involved in a variety of fields such as design, archaeology and art history research.

The museum hopes to draw people to the lectures from all different sects of the community. Historic preservation transcends generations, and the lectures will attempt to convey the importance of this to its attendees. While the art itself may be something people enjoy, Vaughn says that the art can ultimately be used as a tool to generate a conversation about deeper matters regarding the creation and preservation of a community.

“The art ... gives us a springboard to approach people about the important everyday topics like community,” Vaughn explains.

Museums often have a give-and-take relationship with the city in which they reside; they have a way of pulling in members of the community to be involved with a project, who, in turn, can educate the greater public about topics that may not often be explored. The CMA wants people to learn something new and walk away with a better understanding of historic preservation and community building.

Below is a brief description of the remaining lectures scheduled this month:

“The Master of Plaster”

Tuesday, August 15, 6 p.m. 

Speaker: Lauren Dillon, Executive Designer of Master of Plaster Finishing Systems, Inc.

Dillon will speak about the firm’s process of plaster preservation and the ways in which they create new projects.

“The Influence of Mount Vernon” 

Friday, August 25, 11 a.m. 

Speaker: Lydia Brandt, USC assistant professor of art history

Brandt’s lecture will focus on Mount Vernon and America’s various representations of it, relaying ideas from her recently published book "First in the Home of his Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination."



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