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Inaugural Brown Bag Art Chat a success

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The cool breeze that swept through Sacramento Wednesday was perfectly timed with the first Brown Bag Art Chat hosted by the Crocker Art Museum in partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

More than 25 art admirers gathered on the corner of 3rd and P streets to discuss Roger Berry’s steel sculpture, “Eclipse.”

The outdoor lunchtime discussion was led by Christian Adame, the museum’s manager of lifelong learning. Adame said the event had two main goals.

“We want people to get involved with the museum while we’re closed (for renovation),” Adame said. “But we also want people to really slow down and look at a piece of art.”

“Eclipse” is a curved sculpture located on the front lawn of the museum and was installed in the early 1990s. It is more than 15 feet tall and is constructed from weathering steel to outlast the harsh outdoor conditions.

Artist and northern California native Berry did not attend the discussion, but had the following to say about his original piece:

“I want the viewer to feel the energy of the curve, the tug of gravity and the tension of the moment between balance and toppling.”

Before the discussion began, audience members were invited to get out of their seats and examine the giant art piece from all angles for five minutes. Onlookers were then asked to slowly circle the piece while focusing on the negative space of the sculpture.

Reactions to the piece varied from viewer to viewer, and some minor disagreements arose. Descriptions repeated throughout the chat included organic, universal, environmental, static and kinetic.

Lisa Greene brought her son Micah to the chat. To her, the apparent theme was man versus nature.

“It goes along with the surrounding nature,” Greene said, “but it also is very structurally related to man.”

There are two more chats scheduled in the coming months.

Wednesday, Aug. 18
“A Time to Cast Away Stones” by Stephan Kaltenbach
Corner of 13th and K streets

Wednesday, Sept. 22
“Picnic” by Jerald Silva
East side Historic City Hall, 915 I St.

Reservations are encouraged, and can be made by calling 808-5499 or e-mailing education@crockerartmuseum.org. For more information, visit crockerartmuseum.org.

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