Tue07222014

Community

Ready, set, 'Let's Do This!' : SFMOMA and Town Crier invite creativity


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Ethan Lang of Los Altos creates a mind map in response to SFMOMA’s “Let’s Do This!” project.

People react to modern art much like taste buds respond to different foods – some people hate brussels sprouts while others can’t get enough of them.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley” may or may not be someone’s cup of tea, but a series of art projects in January invites local residents to stir up creative concoctions flavored to their taste.

During a monthlong live art project in January titled “Let’s Do This!,” residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the greater Bay Area are encouraged to make their own art in response to a series of prompts.

Developed by “Project Los Altos” artists, the weekly calls to action are scheduled to be published as two-page spreads in the Town Crier every Wednesday in January, and online at sfmomalive.tumblr.com.

Regardless of age or artistic inclination, the prompts offer challenges to which anyone could respond.

“One of the main goals was to use a traditional medium like the newspaper – which by all accounts is widely read and revered by Los Altans – to create a space for anyone and everyone to explore, participate and feel more connected to the art on view in Los Altos that went beyond looking at the works in the exhibition,” said SFMOMA Public Programs Associate Gina Basso of the collaboration.

On week one, former Los Altos High School art teacher Charles Garoian will urge Town Crier readers and other participants to unplug from their devices and see what happens when their world is devoid of digital chatter.

Artist Chris Jankowski’s prompt will feature a competition to invent a new language that embodies the cultural identity of Silicon Valley.

As each prompt is completed, participants are invited to document their experiences through photos, videos, writing or another medium of their choice.

Each week SFMOMA and the Town Crier editorial team will collect responses via email, Twitter, Facebook, mail or hand-delivery to the Town Crier office. The Town Crier staff will compile all responses for display online, and a selection of the most creative, interesting and/or visually stimulating entries will be published in the print version of the paper.

“While the projects are really a seedbed of ideas or suggestions for creating art and performance, in the end it comes to life through public participation, and we hope your readers (and anyone else) will feel inspired to participate,” Basso said.

For a peek at the prompts and how the first participants are responding, visit sfmomalive.tumblr.com/.

Families participate in SFMOMA's "Lets Do This!" - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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