The Power of Positive Reviews

Posted on December 04, 2019

‘Tis the season for checking online reviews before making holiday gift purchases, booking lodging, or planning itineraries of must-do activities.
Checking Woodson Art Museum reviews on TripAdvisor and social media makes perfect sense.
“What people say about you is 12.85 times more important in driving your reputation than things that you pay to say about yourself,” writes Colleen Dilenschneider, chief market engagement officer at IMPACTS Research & Development, in her blog designed to provide data for cultural executives. “Which do you trust more?”
Although Colleen’s comments may not be surprising, they are encouraging because of the bounty of stellar comments visitors are posting in the wake of Woodson Art Museum visits.

Baking it Forward

Posted on November 27, 2019

The holidays are fast approaching. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, just twenty-seven days until Christmas.

I’ve always loved this time of year, especially the traditions and family gatherings. My definition of family has evolved over the years to encompass many close friends with whom we celebrate.

Baking was among my family’s annual traditions and it’s something I’ve continued. I use several of my grandmother’s and mother’s recipes and have added my family’s favorites as well as newly discovered taste treats.

Eye of the Beholder

Posted on November 20, 2019

I like art; most often, it’s a visceral connection. I enjoy being with art and experiencing it. I relish casual and informal “conversations” with artworks. I then imagine why a particular work “speaks” to me. Being curious by nature, though, I often also research works – learning to better appreciate the art. Research may include internet searches, tapping the collective wisdom of fellow curators, asking others in a gallery why they like the artwork, or asking an artist friend’s opinion. What results is a breezy, personal comment on art, reflecting the “eye of the beholder.”

Back to School

Posted on November 13, 2019

The reason why I’m enthusiastic is not because I’m studying to learn how to start a business or work on Wall Street, but to be a better Woodson Art Museum employee.

This Spud’s for You

Posted on November 06, 2019

Prepping for student art projects doesn’t usually require bushels and boxes of potatoes. This week’s artist residency, though, is shaping up to be extraordinary.
Artist Tom Hill’s residency, “Produced in Produce & Worked with Wire,” November 5-10, focuses on wire sculpture, incorporating root vegetables into the mix.
Who knew that potatoes, coupled with a bit of creativity, could pack such a punch of personality? Tom Hill, as it turns out, knows quite well that adding a bit of twisted wire can transform a spud from a dud into a memorable character filled with flair.

Flexibility & Seasonal Changes

Posted on October 30, 2019

When planning for the Woodson Art Museum’s members travel adventure to Denver, which wraps up today, we knew weather could be a factor. Did we fully appreciate the potential for temperature extremes or precipitation?
Hats off to the good-natured attitudes of my fellow travelers and to our docents and artist-hosts throughout our Denver stay. It’s been an exceptional trip, yielding lasting friendships and memories of amazing Colorado sun and blue skies as well as a taste of winter to come.

Extending & Expanding Hospitality

Posted on October 23, 2019

I see parallels between hosting guests and website redesign. When, prepping for company – whether a houseguest or Woodson Art Museum website visitor – we try to visualize ourselves in their roles, making them feel welcome, anticipating needs, ensuring it’s safe and easy to navigate, and sprinkling bits of delight along the way.
In the months since a major redesign of the Woodson Art Museum website, we’ve made tweaks, as needed, and pointed out a few upgrades incrementally, in separate blog posts and social media highlights. Now, I’m taking the opportunity to offer a “whole-house” website renovation tour, highlighting amenities of which we’re particularly proud.

Just the Beginning

Posted on October 16, 2019

Fifteen years ago, at a long-range planning meeting, I set a goal to offer access to selections from the permanent collection on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s website. Funny thing about goals; they can be elusive.
I’m happy to share this link that provides access to more than 700 artworks from the Woodson Art Museum’s collection. As promised, this is just the beginning. I’m now working on adding a few hundred works soon. Look out team, we’ve just begun.

Birds & Words: A Fun Family Quest

Posted on October 09, 2019

Literature and art are natural companions; children’s illustrated literature is an early introduction to both.

Kevin Henkes’ Birds is a favorite book to share – with babies through second-grade students – while leading Woodson Art Museum programs during Birds in Art 2019, on view through December 1.

Birds and “Big Ideas”

Posted on October 02, 2019

Each year, as Birds in Art inevitably sneaks up on me, I consider ways to share and interpret the avian-themed artwork with Museum docents, visiting students, and program participants. The annual process of looking for serendipitous themes or popular subjects in Birds in Art begins in May, when fellow curator of education Lisa Hoffman and I view small, printed images of exhibition artworks spread out on the library table by administrative manager Shari Schroeder.