The Freer|Sackler rang in the Chinese Lunar New Year with a photo booth, mask and card making crafts, paper cutting, sugar painting and many performances from the Beijing Opera. This event had more than 10,000 people in attendance and was a huge success. Preparation took months in advance with booking the performers, inviting the media and bringing the departments together make sure each activity flowed smoothly.
Lines curved throughout the Sackler as visitors waited to look at the Art of the Qur’an exhibit one last time. My friend Fareeha was happy to catch the exhibit on its closing day. “I am amazed at the intricate details and sizes of the Qur’ans“ she says as she points to a Qur’an from the Safavid period, “ I never knew they can be that large”.
Looking at the different pieces of the exhibit, I was fascinated to see Qur’ans hundreds of years old and still in great condition. The gold leaf still shines and the colors are just as bright. It was interesting to know that despite these texts being created in different eras and calligraphy styles, the verses are always the same in each Qur’an.
At the end of the exhibit, Fareeha reflected on the pieces.
Everything is made because of how devoted and sacred the Qur’an is to those who made it. The symmetry, precious metals, and gold leaf – all of this used to make it beautiful. This exhibit gave me a greater appreciation for the Qur’an. I liked that each page had its translation so you know which verse it is showing. It made it seem that it was more than artwork but seeing meaning as well.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opened the long-awaited Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit with more than 5,000 timed passes selling out within minutes. People were only allowed 30 seconds in each mirror room to take the pictures that they need and to enjoy the feeling each room evokes. Kusama’s work lets viewers have heightened senses, engage with the art work, and reflect on the artists’ inner struggles with mental illness. My favorite room is The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away with never ending flickering lights making you feel like you’re floating in space.