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A Day at the Hart House Virtual Art Museum!

A Day at the Hart House Virtual Art Museum!

Did you know that Hart House’s Art Museum has gone virtual? The Hart House Art Museum is a great hidden spot tucked away on campus, but now that I’m home in quarantine, I’m glad that I can still access it in some way!

Today I spent a lot of time checking out the Hart House Virtual Art Museum. The Virtual Art Museum features digitized, rotating art exhibits with full size, high quality images of art, information about the art, and even helpful links to learn more about the exhibit and its accompanying artists. 

A picture of the homepage for the Hart House virtual art museum
The Hart House Virtual Art Museum home page! creds: artmuseum.utoronto.ca

For example, I checked out their exhibit “Freedom of Assembly,” which can be viewed online from June 23rd to July 31st. “Freedom of Assembly” showcases photographs which address issues like the Black Lives Matter protests, the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, and social movements and uprisings. I was fascinated by the pictures in the exhibit and the powerful stories behind them, and definitely recommend checking out this exhibit if you are also interested in these important issues! 

A picture of Canadian Youth" by David Buchan
“Canadian Youth” by David Buchan in the “Freedom of Assembly” exhibit. One of my faves! Creds: artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/freedom-of-assembly/

Even though I don’t consider myself an artist, I definitely felt inspired by the art I saw at the Virtual Art Museum, and even tried out some art myself that day. 

An exhibit called Weather Amnesia at the Virtual Museum especially inspired me— it explored variations in weather patterns and what this historically and presently means for communities. It also talked about the ways our perceptions of nature change due to the urban environments we live in.

From this, I decided to go on a walk and focus especially on the nature around me. From taking the time to focus on this, I was able to spot a huge wolf spider and some cool plants I’d never noticed, and even strayed into a local bog near my house. 

A picture of flowers on the side of a road.

The exhibit itself and my time exploring outdoors prompted me to try out some art — I’ve mentioned this before on a Life at UofT blog, but one of my favourite things to do is decorate terra cotta pots with paint! Something about the texture of terra cotta pots makes them a really easy medium to work with and the results are so beautiful and useful. 

Today, I painted a pot that featured the wolf spider I’d seen outside, inspired by my walk and the Art Museum. My boyfriend also painted a fun cat plant pot! 

A picture of a plant pot decorated with a spiderA picture of a plant pot decorated with a cat

Overall, visiting the Hart House Virtual Art museum was such a fun and inspiring experience. Even though I was just visiting an online website, I was still fascinated and inspired in the same way I would be if I was visiting an in-person gallery. 

If you’re looking for something to do one of these days, I highly recommend checking out the museum and letting it inspire you, as it did me! 

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