DIA After Dark

Sometimes the best nights are the ones you don’t plan for.  The trip to the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) I invited Mom and Aunt Margaret to was a documentary showing put on by the local community group, ARISE Detroit. The presentation wasn’t what I expected and we decided to leave early and I’m so glad we did.  The early exit allowed us to explore the museum and discover a buzzing night life. The thing I love most about Detroit, is that it constantly surprises me.  It’s obvious I think the city is making progress but even I’m often impressed at how well it’s doing.  I’ve been going to the DIA for years and prior to this past week I would have thought my couple visits a year were sufficient, now I know better.
Mom and I went from the General Lecture Room to the Rivera Court for Friday Night Live.  The free concert series is a regular event at the museum and we saw the final part of Angelica Sanchez and Omar Tamez Duo’s performance.  I will not pretend to be a musical critic but I found their music interesting.  I don’t know what their intended message was but I felt like the music was a soundtrack to life.  The beautiful consistent melody of the piano was overwhelmed by chaotic sounds from a guitar and other instruments.
Following the performance, we looked at Monet’s Waterlily Pond, Green Harmony which is currently on loan from Paris. I love Impressionist art and Monet is one of my favorites.  As I admired the painting, I was reminded that I used to read quite a bit about Impressionist artists.  I can’t remember the title of the book I most enjoyed and a trip to the library may be called for to refresh my memory.

Prior to leaving the museum and heading to Greektown, Mom and I visited the American Gallery. I love the art in this section; particularly the work of John Singer Sargent (the piece above is Madame Paul Poirson). I originally discovered Sargent’s work during a visit to the Met in New York.  Portraits appeal to me and the fashion in his paintings leave me envious.  While we were exploring the museum I thought about a post I recently read on one of my favorite blogs: A Cup of Jo. It discussed the idea of taking it slow in art museums and spending 20 minutes in front of one piece instead of 20 seconds. It’s an interesting challenge and something I intend to try.

The Detroit Institute of Art is amazing and leaves me with that big city feeling I crave. It already makes national lists of the best museums in the country and I wouldn’t be surprised if it moved up in coming years because there have been a lot of changes to make the museum more accessible (free admission for tri-county residents) and visible in the community.  This visit reminded me that my trips to the DIA don’t have to be confined to weekend afternoons and I’m really looking forward to going back.

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