Art, in a sense, has never been more present and accessible. Software enables people to record music and produce films on their laptop or phone and to distribute their product instanteously across the globe. Artists may promulgate their work through social media, web-sites, and video sharing. Almost every type of medium and content may be viewed, discovered, purchased, or given critical review with a few keystrokes. As a result, cultural institutions, however august, struggle to stay relevant to a generation who are drawn to events not exhibitions and who often turn visits into a meta-experience where they expect online content or social media to complement what is right before their eyes.
For all that, however, institutions like Mystic Museum of Art remain necessary because they provide not only culture and education but foundation and standards. For all the joy and energy of the spontaneity and autonomy of the age in which we live, there is still something to be said for the deliberate, the studied, the curated, and the collective provided by a museum, where faculty bring unique training and talent and exhibitions give life to defined visions or transformative epochs. And more than anything, museums, including this one, carefully and thoughtfully establish education programming to ensure that a new generation can discover their creative spirit and learn the enduring value of art. Study after study confirms the value of art and museum visitation. Making art and experiencing art encourage tolerance and empathy, enable a view of the world from multiple perspectives, promote inclusion and an open mind, and aid motor function, critical thinking, and non-verbal learning in many forms.
There are numerous ways that Mystic Museum of Art generates the resources to be able to host exhibitions and provide educational and cultural programs for all ages. Staff are creative and diligent in seeking sponsorships and grants. Memberships, the gala fundraiser, gallery donations, and concert, lecture, and course fees are all crucial. Yet equally important is the Museum’s Annual Fund, which not only helps the Museum in its operations but allows patrons, artists, students, and members of the community to reaffirm the human element at the heart of this institution. Like any museum, Mystic Museum of Art is striving to stay current, to digitize, to enable visitors to use online resources to go beyond what is on the walls to a deeper understanding and connection to artists and their works. Yet as much as we look forward, we look backward as well more than a century to the Mystic artists who founded this Museum and remember that the future in art still depends on an impulse, an idea, a wish that comes from the head and from the heart and expresses itself to be shared. We hope you will consider a contribution to the Annual Fund and thank you in advance for your support.
Dan Pearson, Manager of External Affairs