Museum of Missing Stuff embraces local art

1912 Center will display lost items from Moscow artists until March



Jenny Kostroff, executive director of Hearts of the Arts, Inc. and manager of the 1912 Center, discusses the inspiration for the Museum of Missing Stuff exhibit.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen life editor

Loss is something everyone experiences, and the Museum of Missing Stuff attempts to demonstrate how loss can be art.

Jenny Kostroff, executive director of Hearts of the Arts, Inc. and manager of the 1912 Center in Moscow, said the theme is wholly dedicated to missing items of the community. The art show opens every first Friday in February.

The community wants to find long-lost things, Kostroff said, and the Museum of Missing Stuff showcases this desire.

Fifty-one artists from the community submitted pieces interpreting their experiences with missing items and lost ideas. They contributed small sculptures, paintings and drawings, and simple day-to-day items they frequently lose.

Kostroff said the art pieces are for sale, but the main point of the gallery is to enjoy the community’s creative approach to the topic.

The gallery will stay up until the end of March for the public to view during the many daily events held in the center.

Kostroff decided to include some items from the center’s lost and found, in what she described as “an interesting twist on the event.” Some attendants said they were hoping to find a key, jewelry and clothing items they lost months ago as they searched through the displays.

Various items in the collection are meant to spark curiosity about their origins, Kostroff said. This is true of the more eccentric pieces, like the Superman apron or the Arby’s uniform, which still had a nametag attached.

Kostroff emphasized the event wasn’t just the center’s lost and found collection. There were pieces dealing with the figurative and literal ideas of loss, provoking thought about why they were chosen for display.

“I don’t even know what pieces we’ll get until about a week before the event when I have to start setting up for it,” Kostroff said. “Which is kind of the exciting part, because even I don’t know what people are going to come up with.”

Even the food connects to the theme. Kostroff included doughnut holes — the missing part of a doughnut — and sausage links, which were called “the missing links.”

“People miss things,” Kostroff said, “and wanting to find lost things can bring people together.”

Some of the pieces deal with loss of innocence and childhood, and even lost culture. Making the event thought provoking while still remaining family friendly is important, Kostroff explained.

The main purpose of the center is to have a space for the community to join each other and spend time together, bonding over the eclectic items Kostroff set out.

Most events at the center are free to the public. A schedule of events is posted on its website, Kostroff said.

The art show will be free and open to the public until March.