Art Scavenger Hunt features CT artists in 15 interactive exhibits

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A recently launched scavenger hunt in Connecticut allows art lovers to explore exhibits outside the gallery.

In THE EXCHANGE statewide scavenger hunt, participants use a map with GPS coordinates to discover and interact with 15 unconventional public art installations across the state.

“We really wanted to do something off the beaten path and out of a conventional gallery,” said Suzan Shutan, one of the project’s organizers.

THE EXCHANGE is the first project launched by SomethingProjects, a curatorial project curated by artists Shutan and Howard el-Yasin, and is supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. SomethingProjects offers short-term exhibitions that introduce community members to new viewpoints from artists from diverse backgrounds, according to their website.

The Scavenger Hunt is viewable daily from August 15 through November 1, 2022 and features 23 participating artists from cities including Hartford, Fairfield and New Haven.

“We were interested in creating opportunities for artists, but also kind of subverting the typical ways people experience art. So we’re both very intrigued by the interaction, the social exchange and social participation,” el-Yasin said.

Attendees can find facility locations through GPS directions on the SomethingProjects website. The pieces include sculptures, graphics and performances.

A project in Meriden is a large garage full of items that a couple has collected, and participants are encouraged to pick up an item and write down why they chose it. Another site at Fairfield is a portable library. Another asks participants to visit a puppeteer garden, Shutan said.

“The exchange is both material and conceptual. But it’s really about gestures, or the exchange of gestures, whether you physically give someone something and they take something, but it’s about this gesture of sharing and kindness and just think about how we as human beings can interact through participation,” el-Yasin said.

The projects feature a wide range of artists, including puppeteers, graphic designers, photographers and sculptors. Shutan said she also wants this project to promote Connecticut artists, who she says are often overlooked by art communities in cities like New York and Boston.

“These are all artists who are not afraid to think outside the box and get out of what they normally do. These are all artists who are willing to challenge themselves and use this as an opportunity to try to do something new and different,” she added. said.

El-Yasin said one of the most exciting aspects of the projects is that they invite viewers to reimagine how art is created and can be designed. The works of art are located both outdoors and indoors.

“The idea is to take people outside to experience art as something natural. Certainly, in most cases, natural means the natural environment.

The two formed SomethingProjects last fall and plan to develop more projects rooted in the idea of ​​inclusion and aimed at challenging artists. They said they don’t have a concrete space or gallery, but rather modify their space based on the projects they create.

“It also means that our exhibits may change. The range of what we determine is interesting, but I think things will change. I think it’s really important to me, that we let things go in directions sometimes that we didn’t even anticipate,” el-Yasin said.

More information about THE EXCHANGE artists can be found on the SomethingProjects website.

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