Cleveland Is Captivated by Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

The region is raging over the new exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

Tickets have not been easy to obtain, but I was lucky enough to attend the preview event. Here’s everything you should know about the exhibit!

‘Infinity Mirrors’ is a contemporary exhibit in Cleveland until September 30th. By now you’ve probably seen the photos of the yellow and black pumpkins, or polka dotted trees around Wade Oval, but they hardly do this exhibit justice.

The exhibit starts in the museum atrium. You will be drawn to the Narcissus Garden, a garden of hundreds of silver metal balls, but don’t touch.  There are plenty of guards watching to make sure you don’t try, even though you will want to. Situated at the corner of the garden is the first of 6 rooms, Where the Lights in My Heart Go. The rest of the exhibit is downstairs.

When you see the advertisements for the exhibits you are seeing the room. I think that’s what the exhibit is known for but there is so much more to see.  As you head down to The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall and Gallery where the rest of the exhibit is housed, you will notice photos, artwork and other artifacts of the artist Yayoi Kusama.

While the rooms left me awestruck, I was also left wanting to know more about Kusama. With titles like Phalli’s Field, All The Eternal Love I Have For The Pumpkins and the Souls of A Million Light Years Away, you get a glimpse of Kusama’s brilliant mind. With each room or artifact on display, Kusama shares her insight on the meaning of her pieces.

Tips for your visit

Make sure your phone/camera is charged: With so much to see you’ll want to take photos and social media everything.

Expect long lines for the room: While the tickets are timed, one museum employee stated that lines can be up to 20 minutes long to get into the rooms. Trust me it’s worth it.

20-30 seconds time limits: Before you enter each of the rooms a museum employee will tell you about the room and how long you’ll get to be in each room. They have stopwatches so 30 seconds is 30 seconds.

Don’t throw away your shot (Sorry for the Hamilton reference)-  If you happen to be there when the lines are light you may be allowed to get back in line for another 30 second visit.  Take the opportunity before you get to far away from the room.

Only your cell phone or camera: If you have a handbag or other items you will have to leave them outside the room. No worries there are little stands by the employees to keep an eye on your stuff while they keep track of your time.

Take your time– In the beginning I rushed through the exhibit. I wanted to hurry up and get in line for the next room, however I quickly realized my mistake. This exhibit has so much to take in and see that you will easily miss some cool tidbits about Kusama or interesting pieces of her work.

Spend time reading the signs: Like I said there is so much to see, and while Kusama’s artwork is so beautiful to see its more amazing when you ready the story behind it.

Learn about Kusama: Like I said, the more I explored the exhibit the more intrigued about Kusama I became. Situated on the main floor is the Kusama Lounge, which features a timeline of Kusama life. There is also a short film of Kusama after you leave the Obliteration Room. In September the museum will be playing the film, Infinity-Kusama that was part of the Cleveland International Film Festival in April.

While I am glad I got to see the exhibit, I am still annoyed at myself for not getting tickets so I could see it again. Luckily there is still a chance to get tickets. Starting July 16th the art museum will be offering weekly ticket sales for the remainder of the exhibit until September 4th.

Shana Black
Shana Black

Shana Black is a lifelong Clevelander and the Founder of Black Girl Media LLC, parent company of Black Girl in the CLE, and 216Jamz.

At Black Girl in the CLE, Shana’s mission is to “Showcase Cleveland From a Sisterly Perspective,” by providing a safe and comfortable place for women to try new things around the city as well as highlight local events and places that are not often marketed to women of color.