On the occasion of the exhibition by Gertrude Abercrombie, artist and educator Donna Castellanos created You’re Surreal, an interactive installation. Abercrombie’s contagious personality, extraordinary complexity, and passion for surrounding herself with fascinating people led to her status as the “queen,” and she was the subject of works by musicians, artists, and writers alike. Castellanos’s gallery provides a playful contemporary inspiration point, in dialogue with and complementing the historical works made about Abercrombie on view in the first gallery of the exhibition. And in her installation, visitors are invited to make their own creations as well.
Castellanos’s immersive installation is bisected into two distinct spaces: a surreal landscape and an interior domestic space. Visitors are welcomed into a nocturnal scene, complete with objects made in homage to Abercrombie’s personal emblems and themes. Here, gallery viewers are encouraged to become active participants, by playing, creating, and performing with a variety of props. Within the adjoining room, a visitor art creation area is available for further hands-on interpretation by museum guests.