The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio has announced plans to open a new interactive studio, located within the museum’s AT&T Lobby, on Friday, July 1, 2022.
The new space comes after the completion of a $6.25 million restoration project focused on the museum’s grounds, and incorporates elements of the gardens. The DoSeum Design Studios, along with McNay education, curatorial, and operations staff, designed the hands-on space. The Studio is situated in the area that was previously the Museum store. The store is now located at the front window area in the lobby.
In a press release announcing the Studio, Meredith Doby, Vice President of Exhibits and lead of DoSeum Design Studios stated, “This unique space invites visitors of all ages to engage with the McNay’s world-class art collection in a new and experiential way. Visitors are welcomed into a site-specific experience infused with surrealist natural elements, curiosity-driven interactives, and a personalized interaction with the collection.”
The Studio will encourage visitors to reflect, co-create, and share experiences through activities directly related to works from the museum’s collection that are on view in the space. Alongside the permanent collection works, local artists will be invited to display work that responds to a prompt provided by the McNay.
In recent years, the McNay has paid specific attention to visitor experience at the museum. Many of its temporary exhibitions have incorporated interactive elements — from an oversize Lite Brite in the show Immersed, to various prompts asking visitors’ responses to specific ideas within the shows.
The inaugural Studio Artist, Soomin Jung Remmler, will have work on view through the end of the year. Ms. Remmler created a series of landscape drawings inspired by the prompt, “What does home mean to you?” Additionally, she worked with museum staff to create whimsical dioramas set into a foliage covered wall.
Ms. Remmler explained, “I created the little village and a house in response to the fantastical foliage walls throughout the Studio because they remind me of the nature that exists within all of us. The miniature houses, stars, moon, and origami airplanes symbolize home as the place where one’s heart is.”
The Studio is a self-guided space, but will also host artist-led workshops and programs in the future. Visitors to the museum can access the Studio with their general admission ticket.