“All kinds of visuals have helped to shape me, and that’s a very important part of being a painter. I feel like I’ve gone through my life on my eyeballs. I just keep rolling along on my eyeballs. And I don’t know how else to do it.” – Barbara Rossi1
Surreal and figural, this statement is bold and one we can all aspire to. I’m excited Intuit will be putting this wide-eyed approach into practice with a new challenge called Intuit Outside. After conversations about how to support Intuit and reimagine our annual spring benefit at a time of social distancing, Intuit’s Young Professionals Board conceived of an idea that would allow us to share our passion for art with our wider community. During the week of June 15-19, Intuit will host a Facebook fundraiser inviting you to find art outside and share a photo of it. Each photo posted will be matched by a $20 donation for Intuit.
Walking around my neighborhood (with my mask on) this spring, I’ve taken in countless examples of my community expressing hope, humor, creativity, political activism, gratitude, mourning and tender reflections on our existence in various media. Apartment building windows serve as mini pop-up galleries, many of them featuring children’s art. Cement and green spaces have transformed into community gardens and new outlets for expression. The cityscape continues to change as people respond to tragic and life-altering events.
Framing my time outside with this challenge in mind has helped me to hone an awareness that many members of the Intuit community practice as a lifelong pursuit. Intuit has always had an adventurous spirit. Its members embrace a wide array of art beyond the mainstream and outside of gallery walls. I’ve appreciated hearing stories of Intuit’s founders steering their cars off the road to take in something new, finding themselves literally rerouted by their experience of art.
In The Innocence of Objects, Orhan Pamuk states, “The measure of a museum’s success…should be its capacity to reveal the humanity of individuals.”2 As we all roll along on our eyeballs the week of June 15-19, let’s look forward to seeing the city from a different perspective and gaining a virtual window onto what others in our community are noticing and experiencing.
Intuit will be hosting Intuit Outside on Facebook and Instagram this June 15-19. Each day will feature a special prompt. Use the hashtag #IntuitOutside to post your photo and check out other great examples of art outside! A prize will be awarded to those who post five or more photos related to scavenger hunt prompts on the fundraiser page.
1 Works by artist Barbara Rossi are inspired by self-taught, vernacular and non-Western art as well as by everyday visual culture. Please see: “Barbara Rossi,” Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists, Pentimenti Productions, 2012, http://chicagoimagists.com/#artists/barbararossi.
2 Orhan Pamuk, The Innocence of Objects: The Museum of Innocence, Istanbul (New York: Abrams, 2012).