In July we spent a few days in New York City with our daughter visiting lots of museums and eating great food. One memorable stop was to the Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle. MAD explores the worlds of art, craft and design. Above the exhibition gallery floors the museum hosts artists in open studio spaces where visitors can watch them work and ask questions about their process and the source of their inspiration.
We met Ken Amarit, a new media artist who combines hand craft (hand dyed and felted wool) with stop motion video games for iPads. His work table was covered with piles of wool he had dyed, using natural colors from plants grown in his Brooklyn garden. He was busy carding the wool, which he then felted onto clay figures that he stop motion photographs for scenes in his video games.
I was amazed at how hard the game Voyager was (ok, I don’t play video games; my daughter easily moved into the upper levels, while kept dying in the first few seconds); and also at the surprising colors from the natural dyes. Strawberries made pale pink; red cabbage made blue green, and beets made a muted chartreuse. Ken said that was in part to his just learning how long to soak the fibers in the dyes. I’m sure my fiber friends could explain it better.
You know the arts are alive and well when such creative connections are being forged between the analog and digital worlds.