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Virtual art: UL Lafayette’s “Hilliard at Home” series brings museum to viewers’ inboxes

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Posted at 10:47 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 11:47:49-04

By CHARLIE BIER

UL Lafayette

Art lovers spending time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic needn’t miss out on "trips" to the museum.

The Hilliard Art Museum – University of Louisiana at Lafayette delivers a weekly palette of virtual content to art enthusiasts’ inboxes. The “Hilliard at Home” series is available to anyone who signs up for the museum’s free newsletter at its website.

“Hilliard at Home” curates virtual gallery tours, commentary, and artist spotlights and interviews. It also revisits past exhibits.

“Salvador Dali’s Stairway to Heaven,” for example, was a recent focus. The 2018 Hilliard exhibit showcased over 140 of the artist’s illustrations. The series featured footage of some illustrations displayed during the exhibit’s run, commentary from art experts, and a link to a virtual tour of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Susie Gottardi, the Hilliard Art Museum’s marketing manager, said that while the format is always similar, the series features a range of artists and topics each week to ensure that it appeals to a wide range of tastes.

“People have really responded to it and are letting us know how much they enjoy learning about artist’s and their work virtually,” Gottardi said.

“Tina Freeman: Artist Spaces,” an exhibit at the Hilliard in 2017 and 2018, was the basis for another recent “Hilliard at Home” offering. The original exhibit included painting, sculpture and photography, along with Freeman’s images of studios and other spaces in which artists created the works. Freeman’s photographs were also published in a UL Press book.

The series often contains links to educational activities for children. The Hilliard’s virtual “Play Day,” for example, provides tips on drawing, collage, or how to make homemade paint.

“Hilliard at Home” was launched in April while the museum is temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gottardi said the series will likely become a permanent offering when the museum reopens at some point.

To learn more about the Hilliard Art Museum – University of Louisiana at Lafayette or sign up for the “Hilliard at Home” series, visit hilliardmuseum.org or call (337) 482-2278.

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