MOA’s Newest Exhibition: ‘Shaping America’

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Various cultures have intertwined to make America the “melting pot” that it is well-known for today.

BYU’s Museum of Art opened its newest exhibition to showcase the intertwining of cultures that have shaped America. The museum will held a grand opening for the event on Friday. The event will feature live jazz music and a classic American dessert: apple pie.

Shaping America: Selected Works From the Permanent Collection of American Art is a five-year exhibition that demonstrates how America has been shaped by outside and inside influences over the last 250 years.
Shaping America: Selected Works From the Permanent Collection of American Art is a five-year exhibition that demonstrates how America has been shaped by outside and inside influences over the last 250 years. (Courtesy Yvette Arts)

“Shaping America: Selected Works From the Permanent Collection of American Art” demonstrates how America was shaped by outside and inside influences over the last 250 years. With some 80 plus pieces from the museum’s own collection, pieces on display include furniture, paintings and Native American art. The highlight of the exhibition will be a blanket tower created by Oregon-based contemporary artist Marie Watt. Watt’s new piece is made out of the collected wool blankets from the community.

Lynda Palma, museum educator for the MOA, said that this exhibition represents America’s evolving identity and artistic style.

“From its inception to our present time, America has embraced and absorbed a variety of peoples and traditions from across the globe,” Palma said. “What is especially compelling about (this) exhibition is its ability to convey, through art, the myriad cultural influences that have formed our great nation.”

The new exhibition has a unique technological twist that past exhibitions at the MOA haven’t had before. Several pieces include community members’ responses to the piece which are shown by sound tiles. An education kiosk at the end of the exhibition will include additional responses and encourage visitors to write responses of their own on a Twitter feed.

Carolyn Haynie, public relations specialist for the MOA, said that the technology in the exhibition keeps the show fresh and vibrant.

” You’re reading responses from a diverse group of people and you’re also reading twitter response from visitors on a daily basis,” Haynie said. “The technology adds a fresh aspect and increases the diversity even more because it not only shows America as a diverse place but also the responses also show the diversity of our community.”

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