Experience art in unexpected places with the #InsideOutUSA photo contest

arts / Article

Above: Inside|Out Detroit, courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

I love having a chance encounter with art, especially in unexpected places.   You turn a corner, or look around and see something that captures your attention because it’s so out of context.   What is a framed piece of art doing out on a trail, on the side of a building, at a racetrack, under a viaduct or in an outdoor market?  Why that specific work of art for that particular location?  What’s the significance and how does it relate to me?

InsideOut is a program created by the Detroit Institute of Arts to make art a part of our everyday lives, by installing framed reproductions of its collection out into the community.  Because it’s a perfect fit for Knight’s mission, last year we funded museums in Akron, Detroit, Miami and Philadelphia to implement the program in their cities, and make the art hanging inside more accessible to people.

A group of recently-arrived immigrants to the United States tour InsideOut Akron as part of their English class. Photo courtesy of the International Institute of Akron.

And then the magic began to happen. Because of InsideOut, neighborhoods, entire communities have started to talk about art.  In each city, people have really gotten in to it – organizing everything from bike tours, wine tastings and even a zombie run around the locations. They have begun to think about art museums in a different way as they start to see how a collection has personal relevance.   

Ever curious, we wondered what it would look like to bring the four InsideOut cities together – at least online.  From June 3 – 12, the museums are hosting the #InsideOutUSA photo contest on Instagram.  The contest seeks out the most creative photos of these outdoor exhibitions, photos that both have the hashtag #InsideOutUSA and tag their museums. We want people to think outside the box like this Detroiter did:

Sophia Fenby in front of an Inside|Out Detroit reproduction of "A Study of Birds" by Albert Moore.

The Akron Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts and Pérez Art Museum Miami will launch the contest with an Instameet in designated locations from 6 to 9 p.m. June 3. Knight staff will be out and about and we’re hoping to catch you in the act of creative snapping of your favorites. You can learn more about the contest and the program at InsideOutUSA.org.

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