Blogged Down

I typically anticipate my slot in the “Woodson Wanderings” posting rotation. Storytelling is what I do; it’s the creative filter through which I experience the world. This time I became stuck, until I focused on a recent spontaneous creation that SPARK! participants sculpted from modeling compound. It means the world to me. May a modicum of all that SPARK! is – for individuals with memory-loss and their family members, friends, care partners, Woodson volunteers, and staff – find its way through my blogged-down thoughts and into this post so that you can delight in it, too.

Mid-Winter Warm Up

During the winter holiday break, my wife Jeana and I visited our son, Justin, and family in Dubai, located on the Arabian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates. Leaving the bitter cold of Wisconsin and spending a week in warm weather was a good reason for the trip. An even better reason was spending time with our family, including two grandsons.

Battle the Winter Blues

The days following the Christmas holiday are anticlimactic for me. If you, too, experience a post-holiday slump, I encourage you to battle the winter blues with friends and family and a visit to the Woodson Art Museum. In addition to being warm and cozy, the Art Museum galleries offer a wonderful change of scenery.

One Good Turn Deserves Another

I have fond memories of turning my first wooden bowl during shop class at John Muir Middle School. The bowl became a Christmas present for my parents, who used it for serving holiday treats. Years later, I was surprised to learn there was a woodturning club in the area.

Museum Holiday-Season Hours

Visit the Woodson Art Museum often during the holiday season to experience the warmth of Quilts & Wood and more. See what’s new to see and do, always admission free.

Museum open:

Tuesday through Friday, Dec. 26-29, 9am-4pm;

Saturday, Dec. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 31, Noon-5pm

Museum closed: Mondays & holidays, including New Year’s Day.

Happy New Year!

Mixing Traditions – Old and New

As the holidays approach, many of us likely are busy with traditional activities. Over the years, I’ve found that some of those once-exciting tasks, including Christmas shopping and decorating the house and a tree, have become less important. There remains one holiday custom – cookie baking – that I still hold dear.


December 6th. It arrives each and every year immediately following December 5th and exactly before December 7th. For the twentieth consecutive year, a snowman-adorned stocking is filled with trinkets and treats – on this day. For the sixteenth consecutive year, a Santa-adorned stocking (filled with similar goodies) hangs beside it on the mantel. And for the nineteenth year, my two kids will forget that the sixth day of December is Saint Nicholas’ Day and will be pleasantly surprised (2014 was a momentous year as my daughter did remember and added chocolate-covered curried cashews to my stocking.)

Art Quilts and Wood-Turned Objects on View this Winter

Vibrant art quilts and strikingly elegant, contemporary turned-wood objects comprise two new exhibitions that opened at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on Saturday, December 2. A television quilt-show celebrity, area woodturners, and snow sculptors demonstrate their work during varied Museum programs for all ages this winter.
An eclectic array of designs, materials, and techniques are woven throughout art quilts depicting animals, both real and fantastical in “Wild Fabrications,” organized by Studio Art Quilt Associates in Hebron, Connecticut. “Explorations in Wood: Selections from The Center for Art in Wood” features enigmatic turned-wood objects from the collection of Philadelphia’s Center for Art in Wood. Both exhibitions remain on view through February 25, 2018. A whimsical, large-scale glass sculpture by Ricky Bernstein also is on view near the west gallery.