An old expression claims that a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day of work. In most cases, that rings true. However, at the Woodson Art Museum, usually the opposite is the case.
I never tire of telling the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s stories. Perhaps that’s an occupational hazard. I prefer to think it’s one of the pleasures of my role as the Museum’s advocate-in-chief. Last month, I welcomed Marathon County department heads, County administrator Brad Karger, and County Board chair Kurt Gibbs to the Museum for their monthly meeting. To quote Brad, “We are taking a ‘field trip.’ This is going to be fun!”
Last week, artist Bonnie Gale returned to the Woodson Art Museum for an artist residency and to pay a visit to Living Willow Dreams, one year after she and assistant Jonna Evans installed the living willow structure in the Museum’s sculpture garden. Living Willow Dreams offers a lush, green garden-retreat where visitors can take a moment to sit and observe the busy, although often overlooked, activities of summertime garden inhabitants.
For years I’ve referred to myself as a real estate hog. What does that mean for a curator? Well, anytime I see a wall in the Woodson Art Museum sans artwork I look to enhance it with selections from the collection.
How many times have colorful blooms caught your eye and caused you to wonder “what is that flower?” During a recent trip to southwest Wisconsin, conspicuous purple flowers clustered along roadsides and woodland edges garnered attention and conversation. Visit the Museum often with friends and family to discover the many ways botanical art fosters connections between people and plants and deepens appreciation for beauty, creativity, and each other.
While not as exciting as the work done to the lower level gallery, Art Park, or even the Museum’s roof, there’s no mistaking the importance of a tip-top parking lot.
What do you remember about the first museum you visited? I remember an early – perhaps not my first – museum experience as though it were yesterday. Earlier this month, Wisconsin-born artist Mark Wagner – who grew up in Edgar – undertook a multi-day residency in tandem with the inclusion of his collages in Cut Up/Cut Out, now on view at the Woodson Art Museum. To our delight, we learned, the Woodson was his first museum! If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and engaging in a “first museum experience,” now’s the time to do so.
This past weekend I visited family in Cincinnati; the trip was part Mother’s Day celebration, part long-overdue reunion.
My family visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum reinforced my belief that museum visits are moving and memorable social outings worth celebrating and sharing with others. It’s fitting that I reflect on the power of museum visits this week, as May 11-18 marks Museum Week and Arts Wisconsin’s Creative Economy Week.
We have a new puppy in our household – Hawkeye, a 3-month-old Brittany. Although he hasn’t begun teething in earnest, it won’t be long. A puppy, deconstructing paper and more, has one thing in common with the artists whose meticulously cut artworks are featured in the Cut Up/Cut Out exhibition, on view at the Woodson Art Museum through June 2. Surprising materials. Hawkeye chews acorn caps, wood chips, and rocks. In addition to vintage maps, books, and leaves, Cut Up/Cut Out artists intricately cut a saw blade, tire, and an oil barrel – transforming these items into lacey, intriguing wonders infused with thought-provoking themes.