“Night Game-Practice Time” by Ralph Fasanella. The Lunder Collection.

“Playscape,” at the Colby College Museum of Art, will feature works in a wide range of mediums and include new acquisitions. It will also be accompanied by a Creative Cart filled with hands-on projects for visitors of all ages.

The exhibition runs from Jan. 17 through April 22.

From the platform of an innovative television show that aired from 1968 to 2001, Mister Rogers (played by Fred Rogers) made a distinction between everyday life and the world of play, in his case the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Play, he surmised, was “the real work of childhood.” Yet our relationship to play extends into adulthood, and it’s safe to say many of us could use more of it in our lives. We learn by playing, and play is key to creativity and resilience. It can also be uniquely absorbing, releasing us from an awareness of time. In such moments, we have entered the realm of the playscape.

Inspired by the 2023–25 Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities theme of play and sourced from the Colby Museum’s collection, this exhibition invites you to consider the role of play in contemporary art. Games and art have elements in common: both depend on rituals, practices and rules, whether passed down through generations or conceived on the spot. Likewise, artwork titles can be occasions for wordplay. Some artists deploy their imaginations to create three-dimensional worlds on two-dimensional surfaces. With every such artwork, the viewer completes the piece through an act of suspended disbelief.

Colby College Museum of Art is at 5600 Mayflower Hill in Waterville. Call 207-859-5600, email [email protected], or go to for more information.

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