Montshire Profile

Christine Destrempes, July 2012

How are you connected to the Montshire? 
I am a visiting artist for the summer.

Why do you choose to be involved?
I approached David Goudy about Art for Water’s Stream of Conscience: River of Words project, which is a public-participation art installation that raises awareness about water issues. Typically it’s made out of torn pieces of paper on which people of all ages write something personal about water. Then, I build a site-specific installation of a river or waterfall or wave out of the paper. David asked me if I could do an outdoor version.

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
Last August. I had a hard time making it to David’s office because I wanted to play with all of the exhibits on the way. It happens to me every time I walk into the Montshire.

What is your favorite exhibit?
Hard to choose. I’ll have to get back to you after I get to spend a couple more hours at the Montshire.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
How much fun it is. And, how accessible science can be.

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
Welcoming. There aren’t a lot of museums where touching is encouraged.

What do you wish we could do more of in the future?
Collaborations with artists. It would be really fun to collaborate from concept to execution on an installation that used art to illustrate or explore an aspect of science. Or use science to explore an aspect of art.

What do you find most rewarding about visiting the Montshire?
How totally engaged the visitors are. I haven’t seen a bored visitor yet.

Which other museums do you enjoy visiting?
The Institue of Contemporary Art and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, Museum of Fine Art and Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, DeCordova in Lincoln, MA, Currier in Manchester, NH. And, Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. When my son was a child, Museum of Science and the Aquarium in Boston.

What are you looking forward to about being a visiting artist at the Montshire?
I’m looking forward to making an outdoor version of a previously indoor-only installation. With this project, we’re leaving some of the ripples blank so that visitors can contribute. This is a completely new approach and I’m interested in seeing the spontaneous responses we will get. Also, I’m so looking forward to building a relationship with the Montshire. I prefer residencies that take place over the course of several months because there are so many more opportunities to learn from the staff as well as the public. And, I enjoy working as part of a team.

How many times will you be adding to the Stream of Conscience: River of Words? 
Several times over the summer—with public-participation art, one has to be flexible and adaptable.



Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses