The Woodson Art Museum has a new addition to its campus perched along North 12th Street. You might think it’s a birdhouse; it’s not, yet it does have roosts and portals to peek through and discover surprises inside. Although not a library, it does contain books ready for you to read or ideas to inspire a new creation. It’s the Stop-by Studio, filled with free Art Kits and books for all to keep or share.
Aware of the popularity and importance of Birds in Art, the Museum made the decision to reschedule the winter exhibitions, The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage & Spirituality and the concurrent Stormy Kromer: Evolution of a Classic, and extend Birds in Art into late February 2021. This potentially allows additional time for visitors to experience the 45th edition of Birds in Art, provided the pandemic allows a timely reopening.
Finding benign, lighthearted topics of conversation isn’t easy these days. There is much to talk about, but most is heavy and disheartening. I didn’t realize how much small talk – or at least the Midwestern variety – relies on shared experience or daily social interaction.
Art projects – no matter how small or silly – are the most fulfilling activities when I feel overwhelmed and, of course, offer of a mental health boost. I’m fortunate and grateful to work at the Woodson Art Museum with creative and compassionate coworkers who not only indulge my occasionally – alright, frequently – odd habits, but often encourage them. This blog post is about one such instance.
After years of deflecting the spotlight away from herself and, instead, toward the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, director Kathy Kelsey Foley is being ushered to center stage. Kathy is receiving the Association of Midwest Museum’s Distinguished Career Award for her significant contributions to the museum field.
The opening of Birds in Art, although missing artists, guests, and events of previous years, was a comfort. It is a delight to walk through the galleries and appreciate the beautifully displayed artworks created by amazingly talented artists. Even though artists were not physically at the Museum, shared emails, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts helped serve as substitutes. Happily, four artists and families did visit, which was a highlight of the subdued opening.
With the blink of any eye, we’re mindful that Birds in Art remains on view “only” through Sunday, November 29.
Don’t let time slip away this fall. Make plans to visit the Woodson Art Museum and Birds in Art . . . or make a virtual visit to our galleries through videos highlighted by artist-voices. You can revel in the artistry on view throughout the Woodson Art Museum’s galleries and grounds, and time can seem irrelevant.
As I settle into the administrative manager position at the Woodson Art Museum, I look forward to getting to know Woodson Wanderings readers and Woodson Art Museum members and to learning about the spaces and places that inspire you to get creative.
I like the word “absurd” and mental images it conjures – ridiculous, silly, incongruous . . . like a duck on a bike. Birds in Art artist David Milton agrees. He chose his painting’s subject – the 1950s tin toy – at the start of the coronavirus quarantine as a metaphor for the absurdity of the situation we are experiencing.