Mizel Museum wants your charms and sacred objects for a new display

Categories: Art, Events, Museums

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Gronk and Spronk from local gallery owner Ivar Zeile's personal collection.
Does your family have a special charm that gets passed down from generation to generation? Do you keep a rabbit's foot keychain in your pocket for good luck? If you have jewelry or an object that means something to you, the Mizel Museum would love to display it. As part of its permanent exhibit, 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks, the museum is looking for cultural objects that symbolize protection or carry special meaning for people in the community to display in an upcoming companion exhibit.

See also: Mizel Museum's Denver Collects series takes viewers into the homes of local art collectors

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Gronk and Spronk inside Zeile's truck, where they have remained good luck charms for two decades.
"I'm looking for an array of objects -- worn, hung or carried around -- whose owners deem them to hold some kind of protective power," says Georgina Kolber, curator at the Mizel Museum. "The objects can be traditional amulet-types, or they can be something hand-crafted and original. I'm not as interested in what the charms look like, but rather the perceived power they hold to the owner."

These precious objects don't have to be expensive or have value outside of the personal connection they have to you; the museum is looking for a wide array of pieces that express and explore individual history. Though the permanent exhibit these submissions will compliment focuses on the history and culture of the Jewish people, these new additions are meant to tell many stories.

Kolber also shares that with events in Colorado's recent history like the floods, wildfires and the Aurora Theater shooting, there is a lot of conversation around feeling a deeper connection to places and things and a desire to protect them.

"I remember sitting at my desk the Friday morning after the Aurora shooting and feeling a deep sense of sadness for not only the people directly affected by this massacre but for the place itself -- the theater, the neighborhood, and the city of Aurora," says Kolber. "Similar to any other human case or natural disaster, the places in which they happen become scarred and require healing.

"I think each individual can point to a place in their neighborhood or city that they'd feel a protectiveness over -- I didn't experience fires and flooding in Colorado personally, but no doubt my friends living in those places feel a similar sense of protectiveness over the places that were so violently harmed in those events. From that night onwards, this idea about protecting the places that matter to us, became the focus of my attention and after enough discussion with my coworkers, we turned it into an overarching theme for the next two years of programming."

The Mizel Museum will be collecting objects through March 31. If you are interested in loaning a piece, contact Kolber at 303-749-5014 or gkolber@mizelmuseum.org.


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