Bonding at Mass MoCA

A weekend of art, wine, and good food is pretty much the Koetting idea of well, existance. So my father and I escaped last weekend for a father/daughter retreat up to North Adams Massachusetts to recharge our batteries. Our destination—a tiny “designer” hotel, Porches, fashioned out of onetime worker housing, situated across the street from a giant decomissioned factory turned into a modern art museum, aka the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.Very few places have the luxury of providing artists with the space that Mass MoCA has. The 13-acre campus houses 19 galleries with over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. The galleries feel enormous and the art displayed there can often be more massive in concept and foot print than you can find anywhere else.For example, Jenny Holtzer’s Projections, currently on display features two dual projectors running poetry across the walls, floor and ceiling. The bean bags you see on the floor are heat sensitive so after laying down for a few minutes your body leaves a heat impression on the cloth.I was also blown away by the seemingly abstract, yet highly conceptual art of Spencer Finch. Spencer likes to capture the fleeting moment, most often seen in colors, or in this case by capturing wind. 2 hours, 2 minutes, 2 seconds (Wind at Walden Pond, March 12, 2007) seen above isn’t much of a looker, but it’s great to experience. Using high-tech gear, Spencer captured 2 hours, 2 minutes, and 2 seconds of wind blowing at all speeds, from all directions, at Walden Pond. Standing in the middle of this piece, you can close your eyes and recreate the feeling once again.Here, Spencer has captured the exact color of candlelight. Using an instrument to measure color, Spencer recreated the exact hue by adding colored gels to the museum windows. Enjoying this room in the afternoon is truly heart warming. Note, you are supposed to view this piece by reflecting upon ambient color on the stark “white” wall opposite this window, not by viewing the windows themselves.After a day of deep thinking, we headed into town for a lovely dinner at Mezze, a local restaurant where we dined upon roasted sea scallops with a cauliflower puree and roasted hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, yum! The wine was delicious and was chosen based solely upon its label design —as all “your guess is as-good-as mine” decisions should be.We ended each day with a relaxing soak and shivtz at our hotel, Porches. The lightly falling snow made the steamy pool and hot tub even more calming.All in all I’d give this weekend getaway an A+! Thanks, Dad, for embarking on the adventure with me.