I’ve professed my love of curling in previous blog posts. A favorite pastime of Wausau, as well as many other Midwestern towns, curling is a fun winter activity. Besides being an intellectual endeavor (sometimes referred to as “chess on ice”), it’s also physically challenging, testing balance and muscle memory. Additionally, ample time is set aside for socializing and camaraderie.
Curling features teams of four. Each of the four team members has a defined role for each “end” (where eight rocks are thrown). The “lead” throws the first two rocks; the “second” throws the third and fourth rocks; the “vice skip” throws the fifth and sixth rocks, and the “skip” throws the last two and most important rocks. Additionally, the “skip” is in charge of the overall strategy of a curling match.
The installation team at the Woodson Art Museum that changes and oversees our temporary exhibitions is not much different than a curling team. There are four of us: facilities manager Dave Jones, assistant director yours truly, curator of collections/registrar Jane Weinke, and curator of exhibitions Shannon Pueschner. If this were curling, Dave and I would be the “lead” and the “second.” Jane, with her many years of experience, would be the “vice skip,” and Shannon would be our new skip.
For thirty-eight years, former curator of exhibitions Andy McGivern was the skip. He came up with the plan, did a good portion of the heavy lifting, and by the end of each installation week, the Museum’s galleries represented a seamless transition from the former exhibition to the new one.
I’m happy to report that Shannon’s first installation week as curator of exhibitions went off without a hitch. While the intricate and unusual artworks comprising Cut Up/Cut Out were complex to unpack and install, everything is nestled beautifully, telling a terrific story about the art and artistry of cutting. It is not an easy job, and Shannon passed the first test with flying colors.
He may have won Olympic gold, but John Shuster better watch his back…