Have you ever visited an art Museum that featured an exhibition all about cats? The Worcester Art Museum did just that in 2016, and even better, they sourced their art from the community while supporting cat adoptions with a local shelter! Museums and cats are two things we love, so this was a match made in heaven.
Our family lives in the Greater Boston area, so we don't head into Worcester very often. Worcester is located in Central Massachusetts, about an hour away with no traffic (don't get us started on how much longer it would be in traffic!). From May 21 to September 4, 2016, the Worcester Art Museum hosted an exhibition featuring over 250 artworks from artists in the community, in addition to hosting live cats. Once we heard that, we knew we HAD to check it out over the summer.
"MEOW" the exhibition had a nice variety of drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures of cats that showed off felines exhibiting typical cat behavior, the relationship between cats and humans, and some whimsical imaginings of cats in alternate dimensions. You can get a feel of some of the artworks in this sneak peak:
Did you catch the cat re-imagined as the International Space Station? Yes, it made us chuckle too! There were also calm scenes such as these:
Cats watching the outside world through a window is just as relatable in Japan as it is in the United States. Plus, I'm sure we've all witnessed our cats pose with fresh cut flowers or a house plant, right before ingesting it as a snack.
And who can't relate to getting cozy with a book in bed or on a sofa, while cuddling with your adorably soft furry friend?
In addition to having the "MEOW" exhibition, the Museum also created a self-guided tour map to enjoy artworks featuring cats in their other permanent collections and galleries. I enjoyed the simplicity and beauty of the lithograph below, which clearly catches some cattitude in the sleepy subject.
One of the coolest aspects of the exhibition was that the Museum partnered with the Worcester Animal Rescue League to create a Cats-in-Residence Program to find forever homes for adoptable cats. A giant cat "aviary" was constructed in one of their studios, and visitors could get a timed ticket to visit cats up for adoption for 30 minutes. It was a very tall structure!
The cats had lots of beds, scratching posts, litter boxes, and climbing structures to keep them safe and busy throughout the day, and there were usually only a few cats inside at a time.
Can you spy the silhouette of a sleeping cat inside the tube?
The Museum clearly knew they would attract many cat-lovers to their building, and it was encouraging to see them use this captive audience as a way to get homes for cats in need. As of August 2016, they had 12 cats already adopted, and their photos were included along the walls as success stories from the exhibition.
I hope other Museums consider doing their own versions of an exhibition like "MEOW" in the future. It really was a great way to build and attract new audiences to the Museum itself, while supporting local artists and providing some truly deserving cats with much needed homes.
If you would like to read more cool articles about cat travel destinations, cat behavior, and cat health & wellness, check out our Tamadori Collection website.
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