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Exhibition Details

The Art of Video Games

Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • January 23, 2016 - April 17, 2016

Summary of Exhibition

Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society. In the forty years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. An amalgam of traditional art forms—painting, writing, sculpture, music, storytelling, cinematography—video games offer artists a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences.

The Art of Video Games is one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. It features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers. The exhibition focuses on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation.

The Art of Video Games is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation; Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Mark Lamia, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. Promotional support is provided by the Entertainment Consumers Association. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

Presentation at the Frost Art Museum is made possible with generous support from Alienware, Killer NetworkArcade Odyssey and Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables

sponsorship logos for the art of video games

The Art of Video Games | Programs and Acitivities

The Art of Video Games Opening Reception*
Saturday, January 23 from 4-8 pm

4-5 pm | Lecture with Curator, Chris Melissinos*
5-8 pm | Laser Game Night, play vector arcade games during the opening reception and go back in time.*

Games Jam Kick off
Friday, January 29 from 2:30-5:30 pm 

Game Jam Closing Reception 
Sunday, January 31 from 3:30-5:30 pm 

Groovy Games
Wednesday, March 9 from 5-7 pm

Panel Discussion: Gaming the System
Wednesday, March 9 from 3–5 pm

Zelda Symphony 
Thursday, March 10 from 6:30–7:30 pm

Frost Family Day: Arcade Invades!
Saturday, April 16 from 12–4 pm

Movies on the Lawn – Films Inspired by Video Games

Thursday, January 21 at 7:30 pm 

Thursday, March 3 at 7:30 pm

Super Mario Bros
Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 pm

*Costumes are encouraged. No weapons real or fake will be permitted.

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