For Immediate Release
31 January 2018
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Artist and musician Sally Taylor curates Come to Your Senses: Art to See, Smell, Hear, Taste, and Touch, A Consenses Project, at Kidspace
Featuring local grade 5 students whose art inspires the music of Carly Simon, Natasha Bedingfield, James Taylor, Chris Stills, and 62 artists from around the world
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon, curates Come to Your Senses in MASS MoCA’s lively Kidspace gallery and art-making studio, which will include new music by both of her parents. A part of Taylor’s long-running Consenses Project, Come to Your Senses asks visual artists, poets, dancers, musicians, perfumers, chefs, and sculptors to use one another’s art as a catalyst to create their own work. “[It’s] like a game of telephone that unfolds through all the senses,” notes Sally Taylor, “and inspires us to see the world through others’ eyes.” Come to Your Senses is the capstone of Kidspace’s “Art 4 Change” project that has encouraged visitors and students in its school partnership program to develop positive habits of mind (empathy, optimism, and courage) with which to approach complex problem-solving through art experiences. The exhibition opens on June 23, 2018.
As an undergraduate at Brown University pursuing a degree in anthropology, Taylor was introduced to an ancient fable about a group of blind men who encounter an elephant for the first time: Each feels a different part of the elephant’s body. When they describe what they feel based on their partial experiences, their contrasting descriptions prompt an argument. It is only when a wise king insists they listen to one another and share their different experiences that the men come to understand the larger nature of the elephant. The fable points to our tendency to view our limited perceptions as the singular truth, failing to consider others’ experiences or failing to grasp a larger reality. Taylor’s Consenses Project, which she has been developing for more than six years, recognizes our potential to see more by working together, incorporating everyone’s worldviews and beliefs. Consenses is based on an augmentation of experience rather than separation.
To begin the Come to Your Senses odyssey at MASS MoCA, Taylor worked with a group of 30 elementary school students in the North Adams Public Schools (NAPS) and North Berkshire School Union to create visual artworks reflecting on the topics of joy and fear. Six of the student works were selected as prompts to initiate “interpretive chains.” Sally designated 6 musicians and gave each of them a student’s painting telling them neither the origin of the art nor the inspiration behind it. She asked the musicians to translate the essence of the painting into a song. The songs were then given to dancers to translate into movement. Videos of the dance performances were shown to poets, whose resulting works were presented to perfumers to create fragrances. Fragrances were then given to sculptors, until all 5 senses were activated. Finally, set designers were asked to interpret the essence of each chain as a whole (painting, music, dance, poem, photograph, perfume, sculpture) and express their reaction as a physical space in which the art could live.
The 48 works across media — including the original student artworks-prompts — combine to make the Kidspace gallery a multi-sensory experience, where visitors will saturate their senses, marvel at the transformation of joy and fear as it travels through multiple artists in multiple mediums, and recognize our connectivity as they witness the continuity throughout each chain.
In conjunction with Come to Your Senses, the ArtBar — Kidspace’s hands-on art-making studio — will become a laboratory for exploring the senses, where visitors can choose a scent, or taste a piece of chocolate, connecting it to the artwork that, for them, best reflects its “flavor.” The ArtBar will offer other art-making Come to Your Senses activities for all ages, from responding to prompts with abstract artworks, to creating their own chains of art.
The free opening celebration takes place on Saturday, June 23, from 11am to 1pm. Meet Sally Taylor and Come to Your Senses artists, make art, and enjoy refreshments. Admission to Kidspace is always free; the ArtBar is open on weekends and during school breaks.
About the Artist
Sally Taylor is a musician and the founder of Consenses, a global and multidisciplinary artistic collaboration that engages hundreds of artists around the world who anonymously interpret each other’s art and respond with their own.
Born and raised in New York City, Taylor’s life changed when she was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of ten. Guided by her mother and father, she spent her early years learning how to communicate and decode the world using art as a language. She is a self-taught guitarist and songwriter. In 1998 she formed her own record company, and produced and recorded three albums: Tomboy Bride (1998), Apt #6S (2000), and Shotgun (2001). She toured with a 5-piece band for 270 days of the year from 1998 to 2003. She retired from the road at the age of 30, and moved with her husband to Boston to teach at the Berklee College of Music.
In 2012, Sally founded Consenses with the mission of promoting tolerance, empathy, creativity, and peace by providing art as a lens through which to see ourselves, each other, and our world more compassionately. In this effort, she is dedicated to enlarging the scope of artistic collaboration, the recognition of art as a conversation, and the collective exploration of the individuated human experience.
Since its inception, Taylor has worked with 220 artists from around the world, produced 11 concerts with 42 musicians, hosted 18 workshops in eight mediums, and toured over 10,000 visitors through the exhibitions. Previous collaborators include Jimmy Buffett, Jennifer Nettles, Reggie Watts, dancer Patrick Corbin, perfumer Laurent Le Guernec, jewelry designers Gogo Ferguson and Hannah Sayre-Thomas, poet Honor Moore, writer Susan Minot, film director Wes Craven, sculptor Bjorn Okholm Skaarup, and tea blender Peter Hewitt, founder of Tea Forte.
High-resolution images are available through this link: bit.ly/CometoYourSenses
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA’s 250,000 sq. ft. of gallery space includes partnerships with Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, Anselm Kiefer with the Hall Art Foundation, Sol LeWitt, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and will reopen on May 26, 2018. For additional information: 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA is open from 11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays through June 22. From June 23 through September 3, MASS MoCA’s galleries are open seven days a week — from 10am to 6pm Sundays through Wednesdays and from 10am to 7pm Thursdays through Saturdays.