Scavenger Quest and Pop-up Talks: Students Explore the Addison

Emiliano Caceres-Manzano ’22, one of the Addison Ambassadors, explains the background and significance of a piece of artwork of his choosing during one of the “pop-up talks.”

A handful of people filed into one of the exhibit rooms at the Addison Gallery of American Art just as Kate MacLeod ’20, an Addison Ambassador, started her “pop-up” talk about artist Beverly Semmes’ piece “Rubbery Blue.”

“[‘Rubbery Blue’] takes up a great deal of space in the exhibit. What Semmes was basically going for was she was kind of exploring a lot of themes, of feminism and power and how people view those subjects,” said MacLeod in an interview with The Phillipian.

The pop-up talks were featured at the student-organized party “The Night at the Addison,” held last Friday. The Night at the Addison is an annual event planned and organized by the Addison Ambassadors.

Jamie Kaplowitz, Manager of Curriculum Initiatives at the Addison, said, “It’s been great to see so many people here in general and see so many people having fun and looking at the art. The ambassadors are doing pop-up talks in the galleries. It was great to see so many people listening to them talking about art because they have been researching and writing for a couple weeks now.”

Aside from the pop-up talks, the ambassadors designed a “quest” to get students on their feet and exploring the museum’s galleries.

“You walk in and you get a clue and there are clues all throughout the museum that take you around. And then once you complete the quest, it’s kind of like a scavenger hunt, you receive a prize,” said MacLeod.

The quest relied on interactive methods to encourage students to admire and appreciate the works displayed at the Addison. The museum’s visitors completed the quest for prizes including pins and laptop stickers.

Han Chin Toh ’22, a participant in the quest, said, “The quest is really fun. My friends and I are just having a blast right now. I really like the cryptic clues and hints that we get and then you just end up looking at the artwork much closely and thinking more about the artwork.”

The Ambassadors’ goal for The Night at the Addison was to get students to explore the museum for themselves and for them to be more comfortable with utilizing the Addison in the future. According to attendees, the event left them with positive experiences of the Addison and appreciation for its art.

Harry Chanpaiboonrat ’21 said, “I feel that the quest did get me around the museum a lot but my favorite part is coming back to each piece and just looking at it again and just seeing new perspectives.”

According to some Ambassadors, the event went better than expected and attracted a significant number of students. Emiliano Caceres-Manzano ’22, another Addison Ambassador, expressed hopes for more student engagement with the Addison in the future.

Caceres-Manzano said, “I want people to take away that the Addison can be a really friendly place. I think art is really relieving to be around and I think people underappreciate the Addison.”