I’m always impressed with the wealth of really stellar programming that Noah and I can enjoy at so many New York City museums.
We’ve done“First Saturdays” at the New Museum (site of THIS memorable exhibit – remember the nude sensory tank?). And we recently participated in a special kids’ day at the Whitney, which coincided with their “Sinister Pop” exhibit.
But I’m particularly fond of No Longer Empty – where artists actually draw inspiration from the building they (temporarily) take over.
You may recall one of my “Thursdays with Noah” excursions, at an abandoned retirement home in the Bronx. This was our first encounter with No Longer Empty and we LOVED it. I promptly put myself on the mailing list for future events.
And if you live in the New York area, I suggest you do too.
No Longer Empty goes into abandoned locations and creates temporary, site-specific art installations. The exhibits are completely inspired by the spaces they inhabit, and there is extensive outreach to the local community, in order to create an engaging experience for those who come to visit.
The exhibits are free and always include great children’s programming.
In other words, a unique and interactive art experience that is as far from a “hands-off” museum trip as you can get.
In the case of this show – “How Much Do I Owe You” – the location was a 1927 bank in Long Island City, Queens. The show explored the relationships between people, commerce and money, and used almost every room and surface in the bank to display the artists’ works (you can read more about the exhibit, as well as each of the artists’ installations on the NLE website).
Noah was hesitant at first, as he knows to use his “inside voice” and “walking feet” when we go into a building. But he soon realized that this was a special occasion and began running around and exploring all of the floors of the bank.
He loved the vault (“look! A circle door Mommy!”), as well as the piggy banks and “butterflies”.
We sat at a long desk and “made” our own money, which we then hung up on a wall (Noah insisted on climbing to the very top of the sliding ladder to hang his – hence, no picture as I was clinging for life to both of us).
As in the last NLE exhibit, the staff members were incredibly nice (message to Naomi: Noah says “Hi!), spending time speaking directly to Noah and walking us around. Ironically, after telling Noah “don’t touch” one of the installations, it was Naomi who told us that the artist actually wants people to touch, add to, or even take the money on the plates.
My boy was just thrilled to re-arrange the money (I was thrilled that the plates were plastic).
Maybe we’ll see you there!
What do you expect? He’s four.