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Arts & Culture

McNay Museum Wants You To Say "Oui" To Wednesdays

McNay Museum of Art
Oui Wednesday

The McNay Museum makes an interesting move—It’s called "Oui Wednesdays"--oui being the French word for yes. Kate Carey is McNay’s Education Director.

“Oui Wednesday is a new program that we initiated this fall. Oui Wednesday is the umbrella program, but then there are several smaller programs that fit within that.”

The over-arching idea is for museum visitors to get a more intimate experience with the current French Impressionist paintings exhibit organized by the National Gallery. To do so they’ve created thematic programs. Carey explained them to me.

“For example 'Passport to Paris,' which is kind of imagining your Parisian vacation. The first one was really kind of a language lesson," she explained. "So we had a fluent French speaker come and talk about some of those essential phrases that you need if you’re going abroad. And the next one is documenting your Parisian vacation."

Essentially, how to both live in the moment and document it, too. She continued.

“There’s another one: 'In the footsteps of impressionist artists.'”

This program matches artist paintings with the French location where they were painted. She also mentioned an added attribute for the French-challenged amongst us.

“You learn how to pronounce these French artists’ names correctly.”

The next of these curious efforts Carey calls the 'Isms' series.

“Lots of people struggle with all these various art history 'isms.' Impressionism, post-impresssionism, realism, modernism, post-modernism. So the 'Isms' talk is kind of a timeline starting with realism and getting us to modernism.”

It’s taught by a San Antonio College Art History Teacher.  Carey says she thinks a lot of students didn't take Art History seriously at the time, but they've got a chance to at the McNay.

“I feel like it’s an opportunity to kind of go back to school a little bit—but no tests!”

And then she explained the one I wanted to sink my teeth into:  'Bon Appetit.'

"We have the first 'Bon Appetit' coming up this Wednesday," she said. "We’ll be looking at and tasting artisanal cheese. November 5th is a winetasting and then in December is a French Pastry tasting."

We’ve more on Oui Wednesdays here: http://www.mcnayart.org/special-events/oui-wednesdays/