One child asked his mom during Kinetic Saturdays, “Is that art really going to talk to us?” When’s the last time a piece of fine art in a museum spoke to you?
Every first Saturday of the month from October to April, Mat Bevel Company opens the Museum Of Kinetic Art (MOKA) and inspires kids of all ages with whirling, fine art sculptures and thoughtful theater vignettes during Kinetic Saturdays. The events are a fine art, educational experience where super hero characters playfully dispense wisdom from a mechanical world of found objects. For many, the museum is a playful introduction to science, technology, engineering and math through the lens of art.
MOKA is a thirty-year collection of found-object sculptures made by sculptor, poet and performer Ned Schaper, president of Mat Bevel Company. He’s created the sculptures from thousands of recycled items based on his Available Resource Technology principles.
What makes this body of work unique is that the Schaper performs with and wears the sculptures as part of his Surrealistic Pop Science Theater. The theater’s story takes place in the world of Beveldom, “a lost land of found objects,” with host Mat Bevel. Schaper and his mechanical puppets make up the large cast of characters. Each sculpture plays a vital role in the theater as a character, headdress, costume, motorized vehicle, musical instrument, and even an energy plant and thought launcher.
Kinetic Saturdays is one way that Mat Bevel Company is creating a modern climate of inspiration, building community through the spirit of art. People of all ages become part of this intimate fine art museum and street theater experience.
Alicia Vega from the Arizona Daily Star says, “This isn’t a quiet gallery, it’s kid-friendly art that actually talks to you and puts on a show.”
According to Breagh Watson of The Daily Wildcat, “Every machine is engaged in its own little song and dance. What is especially unique about these moving sculptures is their higher purpose in the world of Beveldom. Each sculpture has a name and a story.”