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Robert A. Nelson, 'Cat and Mice,' 1975. © Robert A. Nelson, used with permission.
Robert A. Nelson, 'Cat and Mice,' 1975. © Robert A. Nelson, used with permission.

Cat-Inspired Exhibitions Are Coming to Massachusetts

Robert A. Nelson, 'Cat and Mice,' 1975. © Robert A. Nelson, used with permission.
Robert A. Nelson, 'Cat and Mice,' 1975. © Robert A. Nelson, used with permission.

City after city and art show after art show, cats have successfully transitioned from being champions of the Internet to being the furry subjects of real-world museum exhibitions. This May, the Worcester Art Museum (WAM) in Massachusetts will launch "Meow: A Cat-Inspired Exhibition," which will feature feline-centric art displays, public programs, and installations.

The project kicks off on May 21 and will run through September 4. Scheduled events include an exhibition titled The Captivating Cat: Felines and the Artist's Gaze, a community cat art show, cat-themed craft sessions, a “Cats-in-Residence” installation where guests can interact with and even adopt pets, and a bonus dog-themed exhibit curated by the museum’s mascot, Helmutt the dog. “The playful and mischievous natures of cats have inspired artists for ages,” WAM Director of Audience Engagement Adam Rozan said in a press release. “'Meow' is an opportunity to take this subject, which completely is of the moment, and explore how it relates to the experience of art, from ancient times to today.”

WAM tells mental_floss that pets aren't invited into the museum for this project, but there is a way for family cats to be included among the art. WAM is hosting a digital billboard contest for 'Meow,' which asks guests to submit the best photos of their cats. Eight winners will see their pets featured on a billboard for a week between May 1 and June 26.

As a preview of what cat lovers can expect from 'Meow,' the museum shared images of some cat-themed art from its collection. Check them out below, and head to the Worcester Art Museum’s website for much more information about the upcoming events.


Gustave Courbet's Woman with a Cat, 1864. Oil on canvas; museum purchase.


Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita's Untitled (Girl with Cat and Tiles); 20th century color lithograph on cream wove paper. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hall James Peterson. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.


Egyptian, Eleventh Dynasty.Head of Cat, bronze. Mrs. Kingsmill Marrs Collection.



Orovida Camille Pissarro's The Ambush, 1938. Etching and aquatint on cream laid paper; museum purchase. © Estate of Orovida Pissarro, used with permission.


Theophile Alexandre Steinlen's The Cat in Winter, 1909. Lithograph on cream wove paper. Sarah C. Garver Fund.


Toshi Yoshida's Black Panther, 1987. Woodblock print, ink and color on paperGift from the Judith and Paul A. Falcigno Collection. © Estate of Yoshida Toshi, used with permission.

[h/t Artnet]

Images via Worcester Art Museum

                                                                                  

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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