Julie Mehretu (American, b. 1970); Stadia II, 200; ink and acrylic on canvas. Copyright 2007 Julie Mehretu. Photo credit: Richard Stoner. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicholas Rohatyn and A.W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund. x1200
WCMA Blog

WALLS: The Pick-Up Day Experience

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Sunday, February 16, 6:45 a.m.  I roll out of bed and greet a wintry Williamstown morning. Armed with a tarp, a sleeping bag, and a coffee, I join my friends and we make our way to WCMA, hoping that few of our fellow students are as warm-blooded as we are. As it turns out, twenty-four of Williams’s finest have beaten us to the punch, already freezing away for the chance to have a first pick of the Williams Art Loan for Living Spaces (WALLS) collection.

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8:15 a.m.  Feeling has left my extremities, but on the plus side, hot chocolate and granola bars have arrived! Ahead of me in line a group of friends have started dancing to the music, while at the very front seniors Sam Flinn and Zoe Grueskin have set up shop, waiting at the museum doors as they have since 4:30 in their little green tent. I can’t help but wonder what they’re going to pick, having grown attached to several of the works during my many hours doing homework on the couches in the WALLS exhibition last week.

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10:10 a.m.  It’s finally time! My group has entered the museum, and in a matter of moments the first few works have flown off the walls, eagerly selected by those earliest of risers. For a second there I feel surprisingly anxious, furtively eyeing my favorite artworks while likewise wanting to repel all attention from their direction. The group applauds as off go the Rosenquist, the JuMin Zhou, the Oldenberg. I play art consultant to my somewhat less numb companions as we pace around the room, consoling my friend Claire when a favorite – a print of Chagall’s La Création – is lifted off its hook and carried away. We should be selecting any minute now…

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11:00 a.m.  I lie down on my bed, wishing I could snuggle up after all the morning’s excitement. In my head I start making a to-do list, running through the readings and sketches and problem sets that await. But looking up at the lovely new lithograph above my dresser, I pause, soaking in Feininger’s hazy colors and sketchy outlines. Maybe all that other stuff can wait just one minute more.

—Marisa Repka ’14

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