Pop Filter Hot Pick: Carnegie Museum of Art launches Oh Snap! Your Take on Our Photographs
Calling all shutterbugs: Tired of the endless feed of snapshots on Instagram and Tumblr? Looking for a new creative challenge to ignite your inner shutterbug? Better yet, want to see your original photographs adorning the walls of a world-class museum, hanging alongside work by internationally renowned artists?
Thanks to an innovative new project called Oh Snap! Your Take on Our Photographs
, you could soon see your works on display at Carnegie Museum of Art
Set to launch on Thursday, February 21st, with free photog festivities from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., Oh Snap!
is a collaborative photography project that invites the public to snap, then share, their responses to work on view in the Museum's Forum Gallery.
Featured in the Forum are 13 works recently added to the Museum's prestigious photography collection, which are presented as a jumping off point for audience participation. Works include color and black & white images by both acclaimed and lesser-known photographers, such as Jacques Henri Lartigue, J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Harold Edgerton, Chris Shaw, and Duane Michals.
A first-of-its-kind museum project, Oh Snap!
is designed to spark a creative response between viewers and objects, and on a more fundamental level, to demonstrate that art hanging on museum walls is not hermetically sealed nor limited to interpretation by art world experts and insiders.
We repeat, "This is not an exhibition."
The project's tagline, This is not an exhibition
, underscores the participatory nature and the demoncrative spirit behind Oh Snap!
Taking the concept of crowd-sourced content to a new level, the project aims to inspire audiences to actively respond to art objects by creating their own original imagery for wider public view in a museum setting.
In other words, viewer participation is required
The engaging project also provides a behind-the-scenes look at CMA's expanding collection of photography, inviting the public to explore new acquisitions and actively respond to them in new ways. The majority of the 13 works have never before been on public display.
Works from the collection reflect the museum’s growing commitment to photography, both contemporary and historical. Featured highlights include a playful image from 1912 by early-20th-century protégée Jacques Henri Lartigue called Zissou in His Tire-Boat
, a one-of-a-kind collage of photographs made from an album of index prints made by mid-century Malian photographer Malick Sidibéthat in 1968, and a visual homage to Pittsburgh's shifting identity by Charlee Brodsky.
The project also bridges the virtual with the visceral, in a day when the ubiquitous act of uploading images to a social media site can seem anonymous and almost passive. With Oh Snap!
, the public is invited to help round out a collection of artworks in a way that encourages active observation, sparks creative response and provokes real conversations.
Jonathan Gaugler, with Carnegie Museum of Art, says that response to the project has been great, since the website began accepting submissions on Feb. 8th. Some 166 images have been submited -- most via desktop -- from locations around the world, including Western PA, California, Texas, Kansas, Finland, Hungary, and The Netherlands.
"We want to do something that has never been done, to try something that has not been tried in a museum before. We want to encourage response and conversations. We're interested in how visitors interact with objects," says Gaugler. "These are the kinds of conversations we have all of the time, and we hope to do more of this kind of participatory project, especially with the Carnegie International
Gaugler says that the 13 images from the Museum were culled from dozens of permanent collection works. "The criteria was: is this something that the public would walk up to and respond to?" The ever-evolving project grew out of a six-museum consortium attend by Museum staff at the Ann Arbor, MI-based Innovatrium, which works to "shift museum culture by reaching new audiences." Part of a larger Museum-wide commitment to foster experimentation and audience interaction, Oh Snap!
is being launched in conjunction with 20/20: Celebrating Two Decades of the Heinz Architectural Center
So how does it all work?
Visitors of all ages are invited to submit their own photographs
inspired by one of the 13 works from the project, which are now on view in the Museum's first-floor Forum Gallery and featured at ohsnap.cmoa.org
Need some picture-taking tips? Channel your inner Henri Cartier-Bresson or Annie Leibovitz as you explore subject matter, character, landscape, composition, color, mood, and any visual element or theme that inspires you. Find a work that speaks to you and start snapping!
It's truly as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply select a photo that inspires you by visiting the Museum's Forum Gallery or perusing the project website
. Participants may share a photo they have already been taken or submit a new photo response. Anyone visiting the Museum in Oakland -- or visiting the website from all corners of the globe -- is eligible to participate.
When you feel compelled to respond, submit your photo response via the project's user-friendly website
. The site utilizes responsive design techniques, making it compatible with a wide range of devices such as mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.
Each day, CMA staff will print out new 4 x 6 prints of photographs submitted by the public, and hang them alongside their inspirations in the Forum Gallery. If your work is selected, you will be notified and will receive a free pass to the museum. Your work may even be featured in a museum publication.
Step #3? Launch party!
Thursday's free launch party
takes place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and will include signature cocktails, light graffiti and LED hula hoop activities, a green screen photo booth, and Great Lakes Brews.
Be one of the first 200 people to attend and receive a free drink. Watch as new prints are made throughout the night and added to the project, and upload your own photos that night from your mobile device. Be sure to participate in the party's raffle to vie for the chance to win a Lomography Camera.
The Museum will also host its monthly salon-style Culture Club
on Thursday, February 21st, starting at 5:30 p.m. Culture Club is $10, while the Oh Snap!
launch party is free.
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