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Luce Unplugged
November 26, 2010

Luce Unplugged

Luce Unplugged with Star FK Radium

Who doesn’t love sipping coffee and looking at art while enjoying the sounds of local musicians? Sunday, November 7 marked the beginning of a new Luce Foundation Center Art+Coffee performance series, aka Luce Unplugged, which we hope will encourage visitors to do just that!

Luce Unplugged (wonderfully named by museum staff member Laurel Fehrenbach) features a talk about a particular artwork, given by one of the Luce Center staff, followed by a performance by a local musician (or musicians). The local instrumental trio, Star FK Radium, kicked off the series. Star FK Radium, whose name is a clever play on RFK Stadium, the beloved former home of the Washington Redskins and current home of Washington's soccer team, DC United, chose the artwork for that day’s talk—Il Penseroso by sculptor Joseph Mozier.

The neoclassical marble sculpture is based on the allegorical figure of Melancholy from John Milton's 1632 poem Il Penseroso. Milton's central character, the Thinker, embodies both the black melancholy that afflicts its victims with depression and the golden melancholy that inspires poets. After listening to Star FK Radium’s performance, I understood why they picked this artwork. Their music is both sad and surprisingly uplifting. Band members, Alissa Taylor (violin), Bill Martien (guitar), and Matt Clarke (percussion) favor melodic arrangements that push the boundaries of traditional compositions. To get a better feel for the band's sound, read about Il Penseroso and then listen to their music.

Next up for Luce Unplugged: local songwriter and guitarist Aaron Thompson performs Sunday, January 23. Thompson chose House, by Russell Gillespie, because Thompson said his music is often inspired by the idea of place.

One visitor commented that viewing the art while listening to the music was a "great auditory/visual experience!" We hope you can make it to our second Luce Unplugged.

Posted by Tierney on November 26, 2010 in American Art Here, In This Case: Luce Foundation Center


How fun! The Luce Foundation has come up with a great way of experiencing art on many levels. I can't wait for the next event on January 23.

Music and coffee. Mmm...

Sounds very promising. Anything else planned prior to January 23rd?

Taco, there is nothing planned prior to January 23. Keep an eye on the Museum's online calendar or our Facebook pages (Smithsonian American Art Museum and Luce Foundation Center) for dates of future performances--we hope to have them on a regular basis.

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