Happy! on view at NSU Art Museum

On Friday, Oct. 27, the NSU Art Museum will hold an exhibition opening for “Happy!,” curated by museum director Bonnie Clearwater. The exhibition will house a multitude of contemporary works ranging from 1938 to today that aim to affect viewers’ emotions. Artists involved in the exhibition include Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Alma Thomas, Yayoi Kusama, Tracey Emin and more. Members of the NSU community have free membership to the museum and will be admitted at no cost.


According to communications manager Jessica Graves, “Happy!” is about more than just being happy, and in Clearwater’s words, “For many of these artists, art-making is a way to channel sadness, stress, depression and trauma. Their acts of creation reward them with a sense of euphoria or hope. Even when faced with a hopeless situation, they can usually find a solution.”


On opening day, Los Angeles based artist Alake Shilling will give a free tour at 1 p.m., and FriendsWithYou, a collaborative art duo from South Florida comprised of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, will give an art talk regarding their installation and creative process at 2 p.m. The talk will cover their previous work as well as never-seen-before pieces to be featured in “Happy!” 


In regards to their work, Clearwater said, “FriendsWithYou have emerged as innovators in the field of experimental art, and their positive messages have universal appeal.” The work includes a big inflatable rainbow, titled “Little Cloud” and a Monet-inspired large scale painting of “A Beautiful Place.”


Other notable pieces include a sculpture by American artist Kaws, an interactive room of found glowing objects installed by Kenny Scharf called “Cosmic Cavern” and an interactive room filled with helium-filled reflective pillows created by Andy Warhol titled “Silver Clouds.”


Fortunately, as Graves said, “There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to see the entire exhibit,” so making a trip to the museum will expose you to every one of the plentitude of artists on display. The exhibit spans the second floor, and it has sections that range from “archetypal symbols of happiness” to “the power of music, dance, song, spirituality and sex” to “signifiers of childhood joy” such as cartoon characters and snuggly animals. Regardless of medium or form, the pieces are intended to juxtapose negative and positive emotions and to inspire a sense of hope and contemplation with any viewer.


Photo Source: Friends With You

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