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Bruce Museum and The Greens at Greenwich join forces for memorable art and soundscapes experience

Participants at the Bruce Museum and The Greens at Greenwich joint event involving the playing of instruments while experience the art at the museum. In this photo, they are viewing Jennifer Angus’ exhibition ‘The Golden Hour,’ which will be on view through September. (Photo by Liz Leamy)

By Liz Leamy

The Bruce Museum and The Greens at Greenwich joined forces to host a unique event in which attendees were able to experience making sound with instruments while also viewing the museum’s remarkable collections and art installations, designating this as a memorable venture in every respect.

Aptly titled ‘An Afternoon of Wellness: Connect, Explore, Experience-Linking Art and Music,’ this sold-out event represented the third of a four-part series of this kind that has been jointly hosted by the Bruce and The Greens at Greenwich and is slated to run through September.

This event involved all of its 20 attendees being guided through through three of the museum’s amazing current exhibits, ‘The Golden Hour’ by Jennifer Angus, Andy Warhol’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ and Tara Donovan’s ‘Aggregations’ by Corinne Flax, The Bruce Museum Manager of School and Community Partnerships and Caroline Greco, Program Director at The Greens at Greenwich who is a Music Therapist and licensed Creative Arts Therapist, as they played such instruments as tambourines, drums, bell and egg shakers, rain sticks, a flute and harmonica in response to all of the different artwork.

“We’re exploring sound and the different elements and aspects of music,” said Greco. “In this experience, we’re all very much part of a whole, which is such a beautiful and meaningful thing.”

Throughout this nearly two-hour event, everyone there, including Flax and Greco, observed and took in the art as they responded to it with their own unique rhythmic and emotive musical expressions designating this as an experience in which each individual could tap into their emotions from a whole different perspective.

“Art evokes feeling,” said Flax. “This is a reaction to the presence of the artist in the art.”

At the same time, it was also interesting to see how participants reacted to each of the different exhibits.

Jennifer Angus’ immersive site-specific installation, ‘The Golden Hour,’ with its remarkable patterns involving textiles, wallpaper and other materials, objects and insects done amidst bright orange, yellow and red backdrops, many of the participants responded with audible gusto, playing their instruments with notable energy and vigor. (This exhibit is scheduled to run through September at the museum.)

“She’s amazing,” said Flax about the Lansing, Michigan-based artist. “Seeing her work is like reading music on the wall and throughout this whole space.”

Meanwhile, participants appeared shift into a slightly different gear while viewing Andy Warhol’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ collection featuring some of his most iconic work such as the Brillo box and Campbell Soup can pieces (that will run there through October), reacting in a much more meditative and contemplative fashion while walking through the two rooms displaying his iconic work.

Additionally, many in the group seemed to have a more subdued reaction to Tara Donovan’s stunning large-scale material white/ecru sculpture that filled up much of the large picturesque room at the Bruce with its floor-to-ceiling windows (and will be on display through March 2025) as they played their instruments in a rather reticent manner. (Donovan is based in Brooklyn, New York)

The Andy Warhol: Small is Beautiful exhibit at The Bruce as participants walk through taking it in and responding with their musical instruments to all of it. (Photo by Liz Leamy)

In regard to this piece, one of the participants explained she, in turn, was reacting to the proportion of its size in relation to the room.

All in all, this was an incredible event, with virtually everyone appearing to have a truly marvelous time.

“For me, the interactive feel of this event has been very interesting. It’s a different feeling and experience and it brings in a whole other type of audience,” said Helen Grace of Greenwich. “I also found playing the instruments while seeing all of the art to be very peaceful and calming.”

Upon conclusion of the soundscapes and art tour, participants were then lead to a large ‘classroom’ where they could sit down, relax and eat the selection of delicious cheese, fruit and sandwiches from Aux Delices Foods, which has a location at the Bruce Museum, as well as in Greenwich, Riverside, Westport and Darien.

Afterward, participants were given paper and colored pencils which they used to draw their interpretations of four beautiful instrumental musical pieces by Wolfgang Mozart, Philip Glass, George Gershwin and Felix Mendelssohn, respectively, marking the final chapter of this memorable afternoon event that started at 4pm.

“The arts are an important part of one’s health and well being and it’s all about looking at a piece of art and wondering ‘what does it say to me?” said Maria Scaros, Executive Director of The Greens at Greenwich. “Art needs to be in life in some shape or form and it’s important to appreciate all the ways to look at art.”

For more information, please contact:

The Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830-7157

The Greens at Greenwich
1155 King Street
Greenwich, CT 06831

Tara Donovan’s incredible sculpture at the Bruce Museum, filling up much of the space its displayed in to the awe of onlookers there. (Photo by Liz Leamy)
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