Last week across the globe, devices pinged, news alerts broke, and satellite transmissions bounced around the atmosphere drawing most to digital images; images of 850-year-old craftsmanship, handwork, and artistry succumbing to one of earth’s elements – fire. Interpretations are numerous and various attempting to explain why individuals worldwide stopped to share – at a minimum a view and for most, mourning of – the partial destruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
I prefer the perspective of shared art. To know Paris as the capital of France is to recognize the images of the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame.
As I regularly write and say, my primary responsibility – and a privilege of my job – is to share art with all ages and stages – to make friends through art. The Woodson Art Museum is a place to explore, enjoy, engage, take respite, escape, and grow.
Some of our littlest friends began their spring visits to the Museum this past week. Head Start 3- and 4-year olds walk up Franklin Hill and join our volunteers for an experience we call “Making Friends through Art.” Sharing a story, gallery time, music, movement, and hands-on art projects helps nurture sprouting social skills, blooming curiosity, and at a minimum, wayfinding at the Woodson Art Museum – and hopefully, a love of art, too.
It takes many hands and hearts to nurture our programs. Many people and donors are to be thanked: Head Start administrators and educators for building four Woodson visits into each academic year; Museum volunteers who share their joy, experience, and talents; visitors who invariably smile warmly when sharing the galleries with Head Start friends; staff who schedule visits and ensure the space is welcoming for all visitors; and Wilmington Trust and the M & T Charitable Foundation for support that enables the purchase of art supplies and materials.
A week later, conversations about Notre-Dame focus on resilience, rebuilding, restoration, and transitions. Visit the Woodson Art Museum to share in that spirit and make friends through art.