By: Diane Feen Contributing Writer
We were dazzled by the Opening Party for the Cornell Art Museum last month. Its new incarnation preserves the history of its illustrious Delray roots yet makes it more accessible to a larger array of art and artists to display their genius.
It was hard to decipher if the art – or the people watching – was more compelling. But in fairness to art curator Melanie Johanson the art was as spectacular as seeing local luminaires like Frances Bourque, former Old School Square CEO Joe Gillie and Delray Architect Bob Currie.
The bright white walls illumined the gaiety of the moment – and the mirrored mannequins from UK artist Lilibeth Rasmussen – solidified the namesake of the exhibition. As the night was just firing up to its crescendo the mannequins came alive through music and dance. I wondered if these statuesque figures were reasonably static or was I imagining their movement (clearly salmon on a cucumber would not have me hallucinating).
Rather quickly it was apparent that the dancers were actual humans (from FAU) and were decked out in identical mirrored bodysuits as the mannequins. They danced to upbeat rock tunes that had guests jumping to their feet to surround them in motion.
The theme (and name of the exhibition) was “Looking Glass” and surely we all seemed to be looking. We looked at artwork that reflected our own likeness back to us through color and formation. We looked at the new sleek gift shop, expansive walls, polished Dade County wood floors and we looked up (or down) from the modern glass paneled second floor railing.
But despite the modernity of its new creation, the Museum’s history was still gainfully intact. And for that we are grateful. There was another reason to be grateful – and that was to philanthropist Margaret Blume for donating the money ($1 million) to spearhead this bold renovation of the museum.
“Let’s get away from our cell phones and explore our souls,” said Blume from the top of the staircase. “This renovation was so much fun I am a little sorry it’s all over; we had a great time.”
“The grand re-opening of the Cornell Museum was made possible by the generosity and beautiful spirit of Margaret L. Blume. Small but mighty, the Cornell Museum truly is ‘The Mouse That Roared’! From early vision to bold reality, the process has been charmed, and the result is an artistic triumph. It is our great hope that the momentum that created the new Cornell Museum will fill the sails of Old School Square is it continues to surprise everyone on its course to become a singularly unique Arts and Entertainment Park,” said President of OSS Rob Steele.
Steele has a point. Old School Square has been around since 1913, but like a late bloomer it keeps getting better and more dynamic. Come see what all the fuss is about – and indulge in the arts at the Cornell Art Museum and Old School Square.