Musicians play at an Art of Elan concert in the San Diego Art Museum’s rotunda.
The delicate, and little practiced art of hooking up musicians with paintings, doesn’t occur to a lot of people. But to Kathryn Hatmaker, San Diego violinist as well as artistic director for the Art of Elan organization, it seemed quite straightforward.
Art of Elan, in collaboration with the San Diego Museum of Art, presents a series of short online performances, inspired by paintings in the Museum’s collection, running from June through August. The performers appear alongside the artwork. A full schedule is available at Art of Elan’s home page.
“Art of Elan was formed as a non-profit in December 2006,” Hatmaker explained, “with the idea of building community through music and bringing what we’re so passionate about (classical music) to a wider and more diverse audience. We mainly present smaller, intimate chamber music concerts (which basically means just a handful of musicians: duos, trios, quartets, small ensembles) in unexpected places, like art museums, art galleries, breweries, warehouse spaces, et cetera.”
“We’ve always loved connecting the dots between various art forms, so visual art and music is a really organic pairing for us. We first started concerts at the San Diego Museum of Art in the fall of 2007, and the initial idea was to be able to contextualize different works of art (and music for that matter) and provide an engaging, multi-sensory experience for the audience, all in one hour. One of our early supporters was a Trustee at the Museum, so it was a logical partnership.”
Kathryn Hatmaker wants to provide “an engaging, multisensory experience... all in one hour.”
Featured performers include Hatmaker herself on violin, matched with “Virgin and Child with Saint John” by Francisco de Zurbaran; harpist Julie Smith Phillips, matched with “In The San Felipe Valley” by Charles Reiffel; Rose Lombardo on flute, matched with “Las Tres Virgenes Volcano at Sunset” by Eliot Furness Porter; and trumpeter Stephanie Richards, matched with “Circle, Blue-Violet” by DeWain Valentine.
“Like everyone right now, we are trying to find ways to stay true to our mission, while adapting to the ‘new normal’ that seems to be hanging around for longer than anyone initially thought,” reflects Hatmaker. “But we are also strategizing about ways to present live music in person this fall, even if it’s just for tiny audiences of 10-20 people at a time. We will continue to innovate and embrace the diversity that has made San Diego such a vibrant cultural ecosystem. Stay tuned.”