It’s a Jungle Here!

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on June 16th, 2009

Anyone working for an arts organization in today’s precarious economic environment knows that it’s a jungle out there when it comes to raising funds.

When I say “It’s a jungle HERE,” I mean at the Woodson Art Museum and that’s a good thing because on Friday evening, June 19, we celebrate the opening of two exciting summer exhibitions with a community dance party. One of those exhibitions is Frans Lanting: Jungles!

The other, American Ruins, features the infrared photographs of Arthur Drooker, who will be our special guest at Friday’s preview and also present a gallery walk on Saturday, June 20, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

We’ve really gotten into the jungle theme, which is no surprise given the vivacious, rich, and brilliant colors of Lanting’s fifty images. Toddlers can take a jungle safari on Tuesday, June 23 (10:30 – Noon). Adults can learn to salsa “among the treetops” with dance champions Julia Barrington and Todd Teeples on Tuesday, July 28 (7:30 – 8:30 p.m.). And all ages can participate in the “Fiesta Final” on Sunday, August 30, Noon – 4:00 p.m. It’s a family festival in the Sculpture Garden with Latin dance instruction and hands-on art-making including tissue-paper flowers, masquerade masks, and maracas. There’ll be piñatas to swing at, too. A veritable jungle of activities!

Head to the Woodson Art Museum between June 20 and August 30 for picture-perfect summer fun. Check the Museum’s web site for an array of programs, including the popular Concerts in the Garden, which kick off on Tuesday, July 7, with Janet Planet.

The jungles we explore this summer via Frans Lanting’s photographs are intriguing, captivating, and remarkable. Those aren’t adjectives I’d use to describe the challenges that museums and arts organizations are facing in today’s real-world jungle. Nevertheless, you can escape reality through a visit to Lanting’s jungles and Drooker’s ruins, both guaranteed to offer enlightening experiences.

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