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Detroit Institute of Arts releases emoji guide to the collection to celebrate World Emoji Day
Guide reinterprets masterpieces through Apple emoticons. Image: Detroit Institute of Arts.

DETROIT, MICH.- In celebration of World Emoji Day on July 17, the Detroit Institute of Arts will release a guide to 13 DIA masterpieces in the form of Apple emojis.

The DIA has posted combinations of emojis representing singular works from the museum’s collection for followers to guess on social media, but the emoji guide features 13 works together in one place. The museum will encourage users to post their own emoji interpretations of works from the collection in conjunction with the release of the guide July 17.

The idea for the campaign grew out of a practice by some DIA staff members to text each other emoji interpretations of artworks and make each other guess which works they were referencing. Staff members had so much fun playing this game that they decided to share it with the public to engage new audiences and carry out the museum’s mission of helping people find personal connections with art.

“At the DIA, we help people build personal connections with art, so this is a way of facilitating the making of those connections through a familiar way of communicating for some people,” said Larisa Zade, DIA senior communications specialist. “If I am someone who likes using emojis, I might be encouraged to come to the museum, view a work of art and see why we chose a particular set of emojis to represent it. And if I am someone who is already familiar with a specific work of art, the emoji interpretations encourage me to observe the work in a new and interesting way.”

The global celebration of World Emoji Day takes place on July 17 because that date is listed on two Apple emoji keyboard symbols—the calendar and the notepad icons.

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