Similar to the previous editions, tickets for the Groninger Museum Night 2019 were completely sold out. The Northern Times managed to get inside the five museums and asked lucky visitors for the highlight of their evening.
Written by Yelena Kilina
Digital and retro
The novelty of the evening, the Storyworld museum for comics, animation and gaming, welcomed all-nighters in a large hall of the Groninger Forum on the Hereplein. It was dark, colourful and lively there – groups of people animatedly making pinback buttons out of Donald Duck comic books, playing old-school video games and queuing up to draw famous cartoon characters and illustrations.
The making animated GIF’s workshop was a very dynamic corner with jumping, dancing and laughing people. Dutch students Noёlle, Lotte and Anne Sophie made their own friendship GIF after visiting the Groninger Museum, where they listened to USVA Student Choir singing, made personalised bags and enjoyed the Presence exhibition by Daan Roosegaarde.
‘Usually museums are serious, but here it is nice, fun and chill’, smiled communications student Lotte. Her friend, biology student Noёlle, continued: ‘Yes, it is a nice environment! It is my 5th year in Groningen as a student, but my first time at the Museum Night. I will definitely come back next year and would recommend it to anyone.’
The next desk looked as chaotic and colourful as an artist’s studio: the Museum Night visitors seemed to forget about time while sculpting clay figures for their own stopmotion projects. Krithika, who came from Delft to visit friends in Groningen, confessed that it took 1,5 hours for her to complete a slow motion animation, so she hadn’t visited any other museums yet! Luckily, with all of the museums open until after midnight, there was plenty of time for her to visit everything.
While drawing a nature-inspired illustration, Johanna mentioned that she finds such workshops very relaxing, ‘I also enjoyed the workshops at the GRID Graphics Museum, for example, playing with oil paint to create paper marbling at the Turkish bath workshop. Learning Japanese bookbinding was also nice, but not easy!’
The high-profile museum famous for its top-notch exhibitions turned into a night club with a lot of music. It definitely looked different with crowds dancing in the halls and exhibition rooms.
‘I like performing arts, so I enjoyed singing and dancing performances here,’ said Chemistry student Lorenzo. The Italian student already attended the Museum Night 2018, in contrast to his classmate Tonghua from China who wanted to join, but tickets were sold out. This year, despite the heavy rain, they managed to visit three museums. Their classmate, Ruben from USA, especially enjoyed making stamps with foam and dry needle at the GRID museum. ‘It was surreal to walk around dead animals at the University museum,’ added Ruben.
Crafts and joy
After so many positive comments about the GRID Graphic Museum, I decided to ignore the midnight yawns and cycled to Sint Jansstraat 2. Even though it was late, dark and rainy outside, inside the building the museum-goers were engaged in crafty activities: from printing texts on old-style letterpress machines (have you ever tried to twist the lever of a real printing press?) to scratching patterns on self-made stamps and getting hands on with oil paint (with a surprisingly ‘good old days’ smell).
‘I cannot find the motivation to do art myself, since it is a lot of work to do at home and it can be quite expensive’, reflected Ben from Germany. Holding his new artwork, he noted that the workshops at GRID and the Presence exhibition were what he enjoyed most. Ben and his friend Luisa, from Colombia, visited four out of five museums. ‘We went to the Northern Maritime Museum to listen to a ballad about Zuiderzee and polders, but it was already too late for the Storyworld,’ added Luisa.
As for my impressions, it seems that museum visitors longed for getting creative. Hence, here is the top-3 most praised activities of Groninger Museum Night 2019:
3. Music and dance performances;
2. The Presence exhibition by Daan Roosegaarde;
1. The GRID Graphic Museum workshops!
How about your experience? What activities you enjoyed most? Share with us in the comments below!