13 Signs You’re a Member of the North Carolina Museum of Art

Inspired by those ever-present, ever-shared Buzzfeed articles that round up everything from 38 Signs You’re from North Carolina to 25 Signs Art Is Everything To You, we thought we’d come up with a few ways you know you’re a member of the NCMA.

Not a member? We bet more than a few of these will still ring true.

1. You know the Museum has a Mona Lisa.

Devorah Sperber, After the Mona Lisa 2, 2005, 5,184 spools of thread provided by Coats and Clark, stainless steel hanging apparatus, aluminum ball chain, acrylic sphere, and metal stand, spools of thread: 85 x 87 in., Gift of the North Carolina Museum of Art Contemporaries

It just happens to be upside down and made up of 5,184 spools of thread. Devorah Sperber’s After the Mona Lisa 2 is a visitor favorite and returns to view in time for the fall 2015 exhibition Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind.

2. You’ve had serious flower arrangement envy since Art in Bloom.

Seriously. Succulents and cacti are hard enough. But don’t worry: we’re bringing back Art in Bloom in 2016, so you’ll have plenty of inspiration for your own home and garden. Save the dates for April 7—10, 2016.

3. You’ve Instagrammed (or tweeted, Facebooked, or even Polaroid-ed!) a photo of the rings in the Museum Park.

In news feeds full of engagement and teething rings, you can always count on Thomas Sayre’s Gyre to get some likes. Pro tip: Cloudy days can make for even more dramatic pictures while you’re walking or biking the Park trails.

4. You know your favorite spot for outdoor movies and concerts, and can be gate to picnic blanket in 15 seconds flat.

You also know you can bring in your own picnic, blankets, and lawn chairs.

5. You refer to East Building as the old building.

Old habits die hard. Before West Building opened its doors in 2010 and added 127,000 square feet of gallery space to the Museum campus, the permanent collection and exhibitions were housed in what’s now known as East Building. It now houses education programs, special exhibitions, and more.

6. You’ve gotten chills when looking at that haunting gold sculpture by Michael Richards.

Michael Richards, Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, 1999, body cast in resin and Fiberglas, painted, and supported by steel shaft, with airplanes cast in resin and Fiberglas, painted, and attached by steel bolts, H. 81 x W. 30 x D. 22 in., On loan from the estate of the artist

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian commemorates the Tuskegee Airmen, African American pilots whose heroic contributions to World War II were recognized only in the past few decades. The work itself, in effect a self-portrait, now seems an eerie foretelling of the artist’s death. Richards was a victim of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001–his studio was on the 92nd floor of Tower One. The sculpture was feared to be lost in the wreckage, as it was not found in the remains of the artist’s studio, or at his home. Only later was it revealed to be stored in a relative’s garage outside of New York City.

7. You’ve seen the Rodin Garden in every season–even on North Carolina “snow days” without any snow.

8. You have a favorite Monet at the Museum.

Claude Monet, The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mists, 1897, oil on canvas, 35 x 36 in., Purchased with funds from the Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation and the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)

It took a lot of thought and debate, but you finally settled on The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mists. But then you changed your mind to The Cliff, ‰tretat, Sunset. But now you’re pretty sure it’s The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mists. Or maybe…

Claude Monet, The Cliff, ‰tretat, Sunset, 1882—83, oil on canvas, 23 13/16 x 32 3/16 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina

9. You know the proper pronunciations of Goicolea and El Anatsui

 10. The sight of this brings you pure joy:

In fact you’re still humming along to summer season concerts from the likes of Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, and Gary Clark Jr.

11. You’ve seen an exhibition before it even opens to the public.

It’s a pretty big perk, especially ahead of our 2015 fall exhibitions The Worlds of M. C. Escher: Nature, Science, and Imagination and Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind.

M. C. Escher, Day and Night, 1938, woodcut in black and gray, printed from two blocks, 15 3/8 x 26 5/8 in., Collection of Rock J. Walker, New York, © 2015 The M. C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. http://www.mcescher.com

12. You’ve taken a “mirror selfie” in the West Building portico on your way in to grab a bite at Iris or walk through the galleries.


13. The whisper benches fascinate you.

Don’t worry, we won’t tell your secrets. The benches, by Greensboro, N.C., artist Jim Gallucci, are linked by a hidden sound pipe and allow visitors to whisper messages back and forth while sitting on opposite sides of the Museum Park path.

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