Eat your heart out at the Pizza Mu­seum

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Local News - By Gary Ger­ard Hamil­ton

There is now a mu­seum for pizza lovers ev­ery­where that’s popped-up in ar­guably Amer­ica’s pizza cap­i­tal, New York City.

NEWYORK>> There is now a mu­se­um­for pizza lovers ev­ery­where that’s popped-up in ar­guably Amer­ica’s pizza cap­i­tal, New York City.

The Mu­seum of Pizza is ded­i­cated to all things cheese and sauce, but there’s more to it than meets the tongue.

“It’s often that the sim­plest ideas are the best. And we wanted to use pizza’s ubiq­ui­tous ap­peal to get peo­ple through the door and look­ing at art and hear­ing about his­tory in a dif­fer­ent for­mat,” said Alexan­dra Serio, Chief Con­tent Of­fi­cer at Name­less Net­work, the group that baked the Mu­seum of Pizza idea.

“Our ap­proach to this Mu­se­u­mof Pizza is a fine art ap­proach, so we went out to mul­ti­ple artists con­tem­po­rary in manymedi­ums, and asked them for their in­ter­pre­ta­tion of pizza,” said Serio. “And what we got back is—it ranges the gam­bit, let’s just say that. That’s an un­der­state­ment.”

Lo­cated on the street level of Brook­lyn’s William Vale ho­tel, the mu­seum is an ex­pan­sive, one-f loor space that houses a wide va­ri­ety of art, from­giant pho­to­graphs to sculp­tures to large in­stal­la­tions that en- gulf vis­i­tors. And the popup mu­seum, also known as “MoPi,” has al­ready drawn a lot of in­ter­est—more than 6,000 peo­ple came through the doors when they opened this month.

An­other in­stantly rec­og­niz­able at­tribute of the space is the bright col­ors that are weaved through­out the ex­hibits—per­fect for tak­ing so­cial me­dia-ready pic­tures.

“Hon­estly, I thought it would be like more of a mu­seum like at the be­gin­ning, with the pizza boxes and it kinda tells you when it was de­vel­oped and stuff like that,” said Nene Raye, vis­it­ing from New Jer­sey. “Then I was kinda hop­ing they had some­thing artsy in it be­cause I love tak­ing pic­tures. So this is amashup of ev­ery­thing—so you get a lit­tle bit of ed­u­ca­tion and then some fun, which I love.”

Serio said selfie-friendly ex­hibits are be­com­ing a pri­or­ity for mu­se­ums as they try to get younger legs to walk through their doors.

“It’s a kind of par­a­digm shift with mu­se­ums,” she said. “You’ll see, I think in the next few years be­cause of mu­se­ums like the Mu­seum of Ice Cream, and mul­ti­ple pop-ups of this ilk, mu­se­ums kind of court­ing a younger au­di­ence and see­ing how they can make their ex­hi­bi­tions more tac­tile, touch and pho­tog­ra­phy friendly.”

Ly­di­aMe­len­dez, a self-de­scribed “pizza afi­cionado,” bought her tick­ets in April. For her, this ex­pe­ri­ence was worth the wait.

“I thought it was go­ing to be kinda bor­ing, like I’m go­ing to walk in and there’s just go­ing to be a book about pizza and how to make it. But this is def­i­nitely one for the books.”

While pizza may be the hook that draws those in­ter­ested to the­mu­seum, the fo­cus of MoPi is to ex­pose vis­i­tors to the fine art world— even if the ed­u­ca­tion is fed one slice at a time.

“The Mu­seum of Pizza’s tar­get de­mo­graphic isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the same type of peo­ple that are mak­ing a quar­terly trips to the MoMA or the Frick col­lec- tion or the LACMA (Los An­ge­les County Mu­seum of Art) “, said Serio. “We’re re­ally putting fine art in a place that’s eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for a wide range of peo­ple.”

The pop-up mu­seum, which costs $35 for adults but is free for kids un­der 5 and se­niors, closes Nov. 18.

BEBETO MATTHEWS—AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows a tex­tile sculp­ture from artist Hein Koh called “Mys­tic Pizza,” part of a group art ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing pizza at The Mu­seum of Pizza in New York.

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows a pizza video game cre­ation from Jere­mey Couil­lard, a New Me­dia pro­fes­sor at LaGuardia Com­mu­nity Col­lege, which is part of an im­mer­sive group art ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing pizza at The Mu­seum of Pizza in New York.

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows the “Pizza Gui­tar,” from mu­si­cian An­drew W.K., part of a group art ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing pizza at The Mu­seum of Pizza in New York.

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows a pizza box play­room cre­ated with neon lights and col­or­ful flu­o­res­cent tape called “Ga­zoo,” part of a group art ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing pizza at The Mu­seum of Pizza in New York.

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows the “Pizza Gui­tar,” from mu­si­cian An­drew W.K., part of a group art ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing pizza at The Mu­seum of Pizza in New York.

This Nov. 2, 2018photo shows Ka­reem Rahma, founder and CEO of the Name­less Net­work in New York. While pizza may be the hook that draws those in­ter­ested to the mu­seum, the fo­cus of MoPi is to ex­pose vis­i­tors to the fine art world.

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