If you are a faithful reader of this blog, you have noticed that curator of education Erin Narloch is leaving the Woodson Art Museum and moving south of the Mason-Dixon Line with her husband and young son. It’s a transition for the Museum, considering all Erin did at the Woodson. In fact, if you have been reading this blog for the last month, you might be a little tired of reading about her departure.
While Erin’s bubbly personality and talents as a young, energetic, museum professional will be missed at the Woodson, the reason why so much print has been dedicated to her leaving is because we are losing a member of our family. It sounds over-dramatic, perhaps even funny, but it’s true.
While working with artist Steven Siegel on the massive paper sculpture now a commanding presence in the Woodson’s sculpture garden, one of the many helpful volunteers asked me what it was like to work at the Museum. My retort was “great.” I have so many positive feelings and thoughts about how outstanding this Museum is, yet all I could come out with was “great.” While a competent explanation for that one-word disservice to the Woodson was forming in my cerebrum, curator of exhibitions Andy McGivern who was nearby chimed in with: “it’s like a family.”
Usually I’m the type of person to add to another’s thoughts, but after thinking for a moment, I realized he was right and there was no need for an addition. The people at the Woodson Art Museum are a family. While occasional disagreements among staff members occur and occasional playful ribbing is dished out from time to time, those who work here have one anothers’ backs and would walk through fire for one another. There aren’t many workplace environments where you can say that.
My experiences at the Woodson Art Museum continue to impact my development as a museum professional.
Editor’s note: Matt Foss has been sharing his time and talents with the Woodson Art Museum for almost two years. He received an undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree, both in history, from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.