On a hot and muggy Saturday in August, Rob and I ventured upstate to visit the Dia: Beacon museum in upstate New York. I had heard of various Dia establishments throughout the NYC area, and as most city galleries go, I was expecting something small, with art displayed in tight corridors and rooms. Imagine my surprise when we pulled into the parking lot and were greeted with the 300,000 sq-ft former Nabisco printing factory as our final destination. "Are you sure we're at the right place?" I asked incredulously.
We walked into the bookstore first to purchase tickets, and I was intrigued by the series of three signs posted above which seemed to set the stage for what kinds of works we would be seeing that day. Dia promotes and supports artists who are both true and absolute in the things they produce, but also welcomes and encourages the audience to make their own interpretation of the art. In a way, the organization invites us to the best crossroads of creativity in which there is no trepidation or anxiety in what is produced or seen because it is all real.
I unfortunately was not allowed to take photos once we entered the space, but there are many pictures on the Dia: Beacon site which I hope can introduce you to the enormous nature of the exhibits inside. In a nutshell, the place is huge, housing sculptures as large as itself. I felt very small and insignificant as a bystander in the face of such artistic genius. But according to Dia law, I was allowed to feel that way.
Afterwards, we had lunch in the nearby town of Beacon, where I saw more signs of the creative community. But it was a different type than what I was used to in the city. It is quieter and more subdued there, a place that has made strides in a way that may not be as fast-paced, but is equally important. I will be back there again soon.