The late artist Helen Frankenthaler once said that anything is possible. Itâ€™s all about risks, deliberate risks.
As they experienced her works inside the New Britain Museum of American Art this Valentineâ€™s Day, couples were inspired not by her words, but by the distinct feelings conveyed through Frankenthalerâ€™s abstract expressionism.
The NBMAA invited lovebirds to take a Valentineâ€™s Day Stroll inside the museum Sunday. They took home miniature bottles of Prosecco, heart-shaped chocolates and discount cards for a stay at West Hartfordâ€™s upscale Delamar hotel this month.
Jordan Simmons planned his and girlfriend Melissa Wojcickiâ€™s visit around their special Valentineâ€™s weekend stay in the area.
The couple lives in Norwich and this was their first time stepping into the galleries inside the NBMAA.
â€śI was looking for things to do this weekend and I found this and thought it would be fun,â€ť Simmons said. â€śSo far I like it. We just got here.â€ť
They strolled through the galleries hand-in-hand, drawing inspiration from the ink compositions of Shantell Martin and Frankenthaler, both featured in the 2020/20+ Women @ NBMAA series, running through Sept. 26, 2021.
Visitors and staff continue to follow covid-19 protocol, which includes limited capacity in galleries, facial coverings and maintaining six feet of distance between groups.
Hand sanitizer pumping stations are situated in every corridor and gallery.
â€śWeâ€™re still following covid protocols but everyone coming through seems to be having a good time,â€ť said Kate Obedzinski, of visitor services. â€śThis has been the busiest weekend weâ€™ve had in a while.â€ť
The installation of works by the late Frankenthaler, a painter whose lifelong mantra was â€śno rulesâ€ť â€“ opened Feb. 11 in the Stitzer Family Gallery. The exhibition will be up through May 23.
â€śLots of people are seeing it this weekend for the first time,â€ť Obedzinski pointed out.
Mike Marques and his girlfriend Rebecca Maloney came to experience NEW/NOW: Shantell Martin, in the William L. and Bette Batchelor Gallery.
â€śWeâ€™ve been meaning to come,â€ť Marques said. â€śWe donâ€™t visit as often as weâ€™d like.â€ť
On Saturday, families with children went home with a Valentineâ€™s Day craft, courtesy of the museumâ€™s educational department.
â€śWe gave out 28 yesterday and we still have more left, so weâ€™ll be handing those out over the next few days,â€ť Obedzinski said.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.