Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will be free to all guests on Saturday, Sept. 23, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 13th annual Museum Day Live.

During the annual event, participating museums across the United States embrace the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities — which offer free admission every day — and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. 

Last year, more than 200,000 people downloaded tickets and even more museum-goers are expected to take advantage of the free day this year, according to the Smithsonian.

“SMoCA is delighted to celebrate Museum Day and welcome our audience for free to see all of our exhibitions and catch the beloved light installation Ocean of Light: Submergence – A Squidsoup Project before it closes and leaves the museum,” said SMoCA Director and Chief Curator Sara Cochran. “It has been a huge popular success at SMoCA over the summer and visitors on Museum Day will be among the last to join our selfie competition and have the chance to win a $100 VISA gift card and a SMoCA T-shirt.”

Exhibitions that will be on view at SMoCA on Sept. 23: 

Ocean of Light: Submergence – A Squidsoup Project

This will be the last weekend for this wildly popular exhibition that has attracted tens of thousands of guests this summer; it closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Squidsoup, an arts collective based in the United Kingdom, is known for creating absorbing and seductive spaces using sound and light to build digitally mediated experiences where meaningful and creative interactions occur. Ocean of Light: Submergence is an LED structure using strands of more than 8,000 hanging lights that envelops viewers in light while they explore the idea of interactivity.

This live data ecosystem responds to internal and external stimuli in real time, allowing visitors to understand data on a scale larger than themselves and encouraging them to contemplate the immensity of data in today’s world. The piece also demonstrates how placement of artworks next to each other influences viewers’ perceptions and understanding of them, helping to build a narrative for the exhibition itself. 

Squidsoup consists of Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Liam Birtles, Chris Bennewith and Oliver Bown.

Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sponsored by Dorothy Lincoln-Smith.

[dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design

Do you think you know what “good design” is?

Much of contemporary design has moved away from the Modernist adage of “form follows function” and is about pushing the boundaries of functionality. [dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design showcases a selection of objects that playfully call into question the expected utilitarian roles of design and its usually straightforward relationship to art. 

Drawing largely from SMoCA’s permanent collection, this exhibition features unusual works that challenge the idea of functionality. It encourages viewers to decide for themselves what is the place for, and definition of, “good design” in contemporary life.

This also will be the last weekend for this exhibition, which closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

September 23, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Opening day for this internationally touring exhibition that features the work of nine contemporary artists from remote Indigenous communities across Australia: Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. The works are drawn from the renowned collection of Miami-based philanthropists Debra and Dennis Scholl and offer a glimpse into the diverse contemporary art practice of Aboriginal Australians.

All of the artists in this exhibition are revered matriarchs, commanding leadership roles and using art to empower their respective communities. Their works are steeped in ancient cultural traditions specific to each artist and yet speak to universal contemporary themes, revealing the continued relevance of Indigenous knowledge in the 21st century. 

The exhibition originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno under the guidance of William Fox, director of the Center for Art and Environment, and Henry Skerritt, curator of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Collection at the University of Virginia. 

Sponsored at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art by Dr. Terence Roberts.

The Museum Day Live! ticket is available to download at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two. One ticket per email address is permitted.