Mary Kluz: An Original

By: Lisa Hoffman, curator of education on September 20th, 2017

My fairy godmother waved her wand one last time.

The toddlers that shared in joy, laughter, stories, snacks, and art making during the September 19 Toddler Tuesday are a unique group . . . the last to reap the rewards of the meticulous, disciplined, dedicated, and loving efforts of our dear Mary Kluz.

Mary died on September 11, age 90.

I asked to blog for this installment of “Woodson Wanderings” in tribute to Mary. I’m struggling for words and not for the reasons you may suspect. I want this to honor Mary – to reflect what she would want. The Mary I know wouldn’t want a maudlin retrospective.

Mary always anticipated the next project and didn’t fret over the last – “Whatcha got for me, Lisa?” Mary never stopped; she cut hands-on art projects nearly until she drew her last breath. Mary told me – over the last few months – that she was prepping an abundance of a particular project so that the Museum would have a supply for when she was gone.

The Mary I know lives on in her work, in the smiles of our littlest visitors, in the projects gracing many refrigerator doors, and in my heart.

Let the blogpost I wrote in February stand as my tribute. I know Mary read it and I am guessing that it met with her approval (which was hard-earned and sparingly given) because she and I never spoke of it; I surely would have known had she disapproved.

To honor Mary, get to work.

Visit the Woodson Art Museum. Programming for all ages and stages – including Toddler Tuesday – go on. Mary wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mary J. Kluz

July 27, 1927 – September 11, 2017

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