18 Mar 2015

Van Gogh and Bracket Busters

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March.

Melting snow, climbing temperatures, St. Patrick’s Day….and of course, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. The tournament is one of the premier sporting events in the United States, pitting 64 college basketball teams against each other in a single-elimination super-tournament to crown one champion.

A common practice among those interested is filling out a bracket, where you predict the winners/losers of a matchup (mine is already broken, by the way—thanks for nothing, Manhattan and Brigham Young…). We’re of course hoping that our own University at Buffalo Bulls (in their first-ever appearance!) pull off an upset of West Virginia University on Friday!

Speaking of broken brackets…it turns out that we picked the wrong artwork in the first round of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s “Art Madness” tournament. The AK’s spinoff of March Madness has 16 pieces of art, from museums across the United States and Canada, squaring off in a similar style tournament to crown a winner. A winner is decided by an online vote, with each matchup taking place over the course of a week.

Just like March Madness, you can print out a bracket from the Albright-Knox here: http://www.albrightknox.org/news-and-features/features/article:03-13-2015-artmadness-starts-on-march-17/

And just in case you wanted to see our picks, we filled out a bracket and posted it online:

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Of course, we’re going with the hometown favorite to win it all—Buffalo’s own Albright-Knox and their entry, “The Old Mill” by Vincent Van Gogh.

(And we got the first pick wrong. Darn it, Clyfford Still…)

The “Art Madness” concept from the Albright-Knox is fantastic in the sense that it takes traditional material (like art, that is usually static) and makes it accessible and shareable in a format that many people know. Engaging in social media, and especially taking inspiration from an extremely popular sporting event, it takes a shot to score with followers and visitors that may not otherwise be engaged with art galleries and museums.

So dribble on over (but don’t travel!) to the Albright-Knox’s site, download the bracket, and pick yourself a champion. You can post it and share online with the hashtag #ArtMadness to see how everyone else is doing!

And a word of caution: don’t mess up your first pick.

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