ericamerylthomas [at] gmail [dot] com

Psychic Landscape of the Art Museum gives museum visitors a new way to experience art. The project was born out of my desire to create a way for people to find personal, emotional connections to the work in the museum through a participatory event. I went for my first tarot reading in fall of 2013 and much to my skeptical mind's surprise I found it a really meaningful, perhaps life-changing experience. It became a tool of self-discovery and I wanted to share this experience with others.

For the project, I consulted with an 8th generation tarot reader and psychic, Jodi Snyder, to choose the works for each card. Because of her deep knowledge of the meanings for each card, I deferred to her judgement for most selections. Though, as we walked through the museum together observing and discussing, it became clear that we had a similar vision and were drawn over and over to the same works. Together, Jodi and I developed a full 78 card deck to be used at an event at the Portland Art Museum. I art directed the card design in collaboration with fabulous designers, Alan Hernandez-Aquila and Elizabeth Jackson.

The night the deck was revealed, Jodi was present to read cards for visitors. As is the case in a standard reading, participants were able to ask to focus on a particular question or area of their life. Jodi did brief readings and once finished the cards became that person's personal Psychic Landscape of the Museum. After each reading, visitors were offered a location key showing where to find all works featured in the deck. They were invited to seek out the works that appeared in their spread, creating new, more personal context for the art referenced in their reading. Each participant was also given a full deck to keep and use in future. 

Jodi is now using the deck we created together for the majority of her private readings.