Museum Paper - Art History and Appreciation 2 .pdf - Museum...

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Museum of Northern California Art Chico, California Art History and Appreciation 2 In the center of Chico stands a stunning building from 1920, originally built as a Veteran Memorial. It houses the Museum of Northern California Art. I drove for 1.5 hour to visit this museum, so my expectations were high. I was warmly welcomed by a team of volunteers when I walked in. They gave me more information about the exhibition of this month, the artist whose pieces were featured and the history of the museum. At first, I was disappointed to find out that they only featured art from one artist this month. However, after I walked through the different galleries, I quickly discovered this featured artist portrayed a lot of diversity in his work. He worked with many different mediums and in many different styles. It was hard to believe that all of these pieces were created by only one artist. My favorite thing about the Museum of Northern California Art was the fact that instead of posting a bio of the artist and explanation of the art piece next to the object, they put up a list of questions about the art piece. This makes you ponder about the meaning of the piece. They don’t tell you what to think, they simply encourage you to think about it. The questions also make you reflect on the impact the art has on your emotions, or they bring up certain memories associated to the theme of the piece. The exhibition that the Museum of Northern California Art featured this month was James Kuiper: Notes from a Spanish Dutchman. They describe it as “a retrospective exhibition of art work created by James Kuiper, artist and long-time faculty emeritus from the CSUC Art Department.” 1James Kuiper was born into a family of Calvinist Dutch farmers in Roseland, Illinois in 1945. His Dutch heritage was of great interest to me, since I’ve immigrated from the Netherlands only a few years ago. James and his first wife moved to Nigeria to teach English for two years. They immersed themselves in the culture and collected masks and other primitive art works. He met an anthropologist there who inspired him to enroll for a Masters Degree in Anthropology at the University of Michigan. After only one painting class at this college, he fell in love with the paintbrush. He changed his major to Fine Art and received his MFA from Michigan State University. He worked at the Art Department of Calvin College, he taught at the University of Alaska, he was the Visual Arts Director for the State Arts Council of Alaska and eventually

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James Kuiper

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