By Daixi Xu, Education Department Summer Intern
I went into the Museum Park with the intention of finding Chris Drury’s site-specific installation Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky. I used a map to find the shortest way there. A “shortcut” led me almost all the way to Wade Avenue. I backtracked a little, revisiting the billboard of a city skyline tucked by foliage (Isaiah Johnson, One Brick, One Seed) and over the curvilinear designs tattooed to the pavement (Steed Taylor, Invasive). I ended up taking a path into the woods that wasn’t well defined. As I proceeded deeper through the trees, I became skeptical about whether I was on a path at all. The sun beat down on me as cyclists zoomed past, but the woods were a cool and serene sanctuary. Without a clear path, I felt no sense of urgency or mandate to reach my destination. When I turned a corner and saw Ledelle Moe’s concrete and steel sculpture Untitled nestled in an alcove, I felt assured that I wasn’t completely wandering off Museum property. Just a little bit further on, I spotted the hutlike structure of the Cloud Chamber, which was both a part of and apart from the earth. As I entered the chamber and shut the door (it doesn’t work if you don’t), the sky and trees suddenly filled the room, encircling me like stars in a planetarium.
Neither the wood trail nor the paved path in the Museum Park is linear. There isn’t always one course from point A to point B, and I don’t recommend mapping the shortest way to your destination. I wouldn’t have encountered so many works of art or discovered the Cloud Chamber—rather than just finding it—if I hadn’t gotten lost. Feel free to wander through the woods, stumble upon works of art, or take a path that’s not well paved. Art is more than just looking. Art is an experience.