10 August 2011

I went to the Oakland Museum of California

and all I got was this lousy Post-It.

Just kidding.

But seriously. Freedom of speech at its finest at the John Muir exhibit.

More than the John Muir exhibit, though, I was triggered by the museum's art wing. Organized into California people, places, and creativity, it gave me plenty of food for thought.

Like, why is it that our cultural institutions so often feel so off-limits?

Whether they be museums, galleries, or just trendy cafes with art on the walls, American cultural institutions seem to require that those who engage in them - by attending events or just hanging out in the space - be in the know (and willing to put up with snobby (or just shy? I don't want to assume the worst about everybody; I really don't) baristas) before they can engage. And how else to get in the know than to engage?

A vicious cycle.

Who benefits from the art community being maintained as exclusive?


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